Technology Record - Issue 23: Winter 21/22

73 Self-service options should be displayed prominently on apps and websites to steer customers in the right direction. Organisations must also create valuable, consistent, up-to-date and customer-focused content, as well as predefined response templates that are as personalised as possible. As with all their omnichannel customer service activities, businesses should keep a close eye on analytics too. They can use these insights to identify bottlenecks, issues with user experience or barriers to engagement on particular channels. Chatbots and voice bots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology are quickly becoming a popular tool for enabling self-service. The days of slightly creepy and stilted chatbot interactions are long gone; today’s tools deliver a much more natural and intuitive experience for enterprise dialogues. Plus, they can save contact centres, sales teams and others a significant amount of time and money. Chatbots and voice bots provide customers with around-the-clock access to instant and personalised responses to their questions. For example, they can guide customers with answers to frequently asked questions, deliver automated status updates on orders or service requests, and manage complaints. Bots can also qualify sales leads, onboard new customers and generally advise and assist the consumer. However, to be able to provide these services seamlessly, bots must be informed by data from customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and other enterprise systems. Anywhere365 integrates into more than 30 different data systems, including Microsoft Dynamics 365, to enable organisations to continually improve the customer experience and collect valuable insights into consumers’ behaviour. The changing role of contact centres and the omnichannel customer service trends that will emerge in 2022 offer exciting opportunities for forward-thinking, ambitious brands. The pandemic has highlighted the need to prioritise delivering the right omnichannel customer service. It’s shown how critical it is to ensure that all the tools and approaches are customer-focused, cost-effective, and fit for purpose. And it’s clear that brands failing to do so risk alienating customers and sending them into the arms of grateful competitors. There are three steps organisations can take straightaway. First, they should devote a significant amount of time to understanding new consumer behaviours. Next, they must explore how these behaviours might impact their customer base – both now and in the future. It may be beneficial to involve people from different departments such as marketing, customer support and IT in the discussions. Once they have all these insights, organisations are ready to plan and execute a strategy to take their omnichannel customer service to the next level with the help of partners like Anywhere365. Gijs Geurts is CEO of Anywhere365