For decades customer service has been managed in contact centres, packed with desks, phones and computers.
Customers would call, wait on hold for the next available agent, listening to the top pop music of the last decade. Wait times would frustrate customers, only to connect with an agent, just to be routed to another department, with further wait time.
Then automation attempted to streamline call routing, Dial 1 for sales, dial 2 for support, or 3 for accounts etc.
Next live chat and automated chat bots triaged voice calls to messaging platforms, scheduled call-backs and increased use of self-service tools.
Today, agents work from anywhere, answering voice and video calls from phones, messaging platforms and digital collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Facebook Messenger.
The trend towards video, live streaming and digital humans are about to disrupt how customer services are delivered.
Let me paint a picture for you…
From a website or mobile app, a you click the support button. A branded Digital Human introduces themselves and asks what you need help with today.
The Digital Human can not only hear, but see you, able to respond to your questions and your expressions too. Understanding when you’re feeling frustrated, instantly able to record tone, sentiment and satisfaction.
After a quick exchange the Digital Human shares help videos, or links to relevant web pages. Or if required opens a live video stream with a customer service agent.
They might instruct exercises or ask a patient to show them an injury to inform an appropriate health response. They may even be able to collect data from your smart watch or other data connected to the companies application.
One thing’s for sure, your identity verification would be seamless with voice, and photo authentication processed instantly.
Instead of forwarding your call to another department or having to wait for a senior manager to solve the problem, the agent simply invites their colleague into the call.
Customers calling with the same problem could be brought together in a ‘room’ where one or multiple agents are live streaming, providing updates, advice and instructions to dozens of customers at the same time. While all customers remain hidden from each other.
How do you imagine customer service experience will be transformed in the years to come?