Post-Pandemic Customer Service: Accelerating Digitalization and Automation Approaches

The intense business environment of 2020 will go down as one of the most challenging periods of this generation. One year on, we anticipate a pivotal turning point in running our businesses and establishing meaningful connections with our customers.

Modern marketing needs to become more flexible to adapt to the accelerating digital-driven context. Customer services are evolving, and companies require new omnichannel and customer-centric solutions. Options include in-house solutions or outsourcing services from third parties. 

COVID-19 has forced customer service teams to reassess their organizational strategies and shift towards the new digital and automated normal. Designing and deploying the right business remedies helps companies to remain competitive regardless of the downturn.

Digital Catalyst for Change

Over the past few years, many business owners began to create higher standards for their customer service teams. The main reason being to differentiate themselves from other competitors in the market. 

The digitalization process heralded a significant change in client service and adapting became an urgent necessity. With increasing pressure from new platforms like social media, businesses had to change their approach. 

The prevalent use of social platforms and online tools has made transparent entrepreneurial practices more critical than ever. The speed at which information spreads online means that even one negative complaint from your consumer might seriously damage your business growth. 

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Digital development, however, works the other way round too. Positive customer feedback can substantially transform your business outcomes. The so-called digital disruption emphasizes the need for novel customer service strategies to help companies accomplish much better results when approaching consumers.

Enhanced Customer Service and Cloud Migration

The focus on digitalization and automation enhances the crucial role that customers and customer services play in redefining businesses today. In response to new digital-oriented demands, many firms implement technology initiatives. Such initiatives help their service teams engage with customers on various channels in more meaningful and profitable ways. 

Source: LogicMonitor

Both pandemic and post-pandemic climates require companies to significantly speed their cloud migration timeline. Cloud capabilities provide a vast amount of benefits for businesses:

  • Cloud-hosted systems foster availability, reliability, and disaster recovery.
  • Customer service teams can function regardless of the lockdowns or remote work orders.
  • Increased workforce flexibility for more extendable solutions and accelerated integration of new technology solutions.
  • The automated validation of customer experience processes and client journeys.
  • Mitigated risk of dropped calls, bad connections, or poor voice quality.
  • Increased omnichannel features that help customer service specialists to smoothly transfer consumers between their preferred communication methods.
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New Digital Service Processes 

Customer service queries are rapidly increasing as products become increasingly sophisticated. The increased volumes in the new digital reality require new tech-savvy service processes for the future. This implies integrating new technologies, such as:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI);
  • Chatbots and robotic process automation (RPA);
  • Voice and speech recognition (NLP);
  • Biometrics and messaging.

Companies should also consider expanding the use and availability of digital channels, including mobile apps, chat, messaging services, and self-service systems, to become one step closer to their target consumers. 

Digitalization and automation of customer services have great potential to eliminate costs and advance reliability and quality of the service processes. Helpful during normal times, this is essential during crisis events. 

Photo by George Kedenburg III on Unsplash

Successful Automation Imperatives

Prioritizing the automation of the business processes has become vital for the success of most modern companies. The use of automation is, therefore, growing considerably. 

The most widely applied automation technologies encompass business-process-management platforms and robotic process automation. Additionally, image-recognition technologies and ML algorithms also play a leading role in digitally transforming current customer services. 

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According to respondents from larger enterprises that aim for automation solutions, three critical factors boost successful automation:

  1. Automation as a strategic objective.
  2. Equal focus on people and technology.
  3. Operating model for scaling.

The three imperatives for an efficient automation process should be evaluated as inherent components of the same automation mandate.

Source: Strategy&, Part of the PwC network

Digitalization and Automation Balance

To succeed in automated customer service, one should remember the importance of the human component in building robust relationships with clients. Automation may streamline operations, but cannot replace the less tangible aspects of human interaction. 

Leading with a growth mindset and focusing on the client experience can promote returns and eliminate potential risks for the post-pandemic company. Carefully mapping the customer journey from start to finish, is the first stage in a successful automation experience design (AXD) process. A clear operational blueprint highlights opportunities to manage tasks more efficiently. 

The ever-changing digital and automation technologies must be accessible across multiple layers of the organization to ensure they are correctly deployed for the superior customer experience with the brand.

Companies must never forget that adhering to new digital reality is a cross-functional synergy of the team.

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