By Steve Brubaker, InfoCision Chief of Staff
As an executive, it’s your job to make the difficult decisions that will impact the future of your organization. Team members come to you looking for answers, and so it’s your job to know what buttons you should press, and when.
Sometimes, this can be very difficult — especially when difficult customer service questions arise that can have a major impact on your company’s bottom line.
With this in mind, here are some hot button issues in customer service that you should spend some time thinking about, so you can be prepared to handle them when they arise.
- Is it necessary to have a dedicated contact center? Let’s face it: Contact centers are expensive. There is no getting around it. When you factor in costs associated with staffing, overhead, technology investment and more, the expenses can really pile up. And if your department is costing more than it is bringing in, this is a problem.
As such, you may be wondering whether it’s necessary to have a contact center at all. Some companies, in other words, are now abandoning their contact centers in favor of fully-automated solutions. Ultimately, this is a bad idea. Take our advice. Self service is great for some processes, but it’s not a good idea to make it harder for customers to get in touch with representatives when they are needed. Customers should always have a direct channel to service representatives. When this goes away, they can get very upset — and take their business to competitors.
- How important is artificial intelligence (AI)? Right now, everyone in business is talking about the rise of AI. Heading into 2018, AI is one of the hottest technologies on the market. But does your business really need it?
The truth is that AI is something you should seriously consider. And it’s not that hard to obtain. Many companies are now offering AI-based platforms that streamline business processes like sales, marketing and customer service. AI can help automate your customer service operations, reducing time waste and driving stronger returns. Plus, all of your competitors are most likely investing in it—so this is not something you should pass on in 2018.
- Should the C-suite take part in customer service strategizing? Is customer service something you should even be taking part in? Or should you leave it to other experts so that you can focus on more pressing priorities?
Think about how a general manager works in sports. Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees, for instance, does not get too involved in daily on-field issues concerning his players. He leaves this up to his coaching staff. Still, he is heavily involved in planning and strategizing at a higher level.
You can take this same approach by outsourcing your department to a third party contact center solutions provider. In this type of environment, you can still remain active and take part in strategizing, without having to get too wrapped up in making sure your customers are satisfied and the department is operating correctly.