By Ivan Moore, Forcivity
Part one of a two-part part series of remote customer interaction changing the service operations landscape.
The quest is ongoing for service providers to find innovative ways to deliver a better service experience to customers. To do so, the customer experience (CX) must be evaluated through the complete service delivery chain — from initial customer contact to remote support, to on-site technician service, and follow-up.
Improving CX requires service organizations to develop best-in-class processes to create new and unique ways of interacting with customers and invest in technology to optimize all the touchpoints. The rise in digitized operations has created an ideal environment for the deployment of remote support technology to reduce costs, improve customer interactions, and maximize productivity.
Digitizing service operations isn't futuristic technology. Its use was gaining popularity within the last few years but was accelerated by the pandemic. The rapid pace of change has transformed customer behavior and placed greater demand on seeking help through digital channels.
Remote Support Technology
Remote support technology includes everything from VoIP systems, live chat software, video consultation, SMS messaging, and asyncronous messaging. With face-to-face customer support on the decline, companies are looking for ways to invest in secure, reliable, and scalable remote support technologies.
Companies everywhere are rolling out self-help tools to empower customers to resolve simple issues on their own. However, only 9% of customers report successfully handling problems via self-service channels. This is because even the best and smartest chatbots simply can’t “see” those issues. Technologies, such as object recognition, image to text, and image similarity can add significant value to a company’s self-service offering. When customers can visually interact with bots who can guide them toward self-resolution, it’s a value-added channel for CX.
Furthermore, such technologies also can add visual data to a customer’s profile and help predict issues before they happen. A service organization may be alerted through proactive and predictive management that a piece of equipment needs to be serviced. This prevents a customer from having to request a service call after the asset fails, improving the overall CX with this type of prognostic maintenance.
Optimizing Visual Engagement
Today, the ‘remote first’ world is dominant, where visual engagement is integral to human interactions. Visual engagement is more than ‘see what your customer sees’, it’s a linchpin in digital transformation. When organizations can add vision to more touchpoints, use cases, and departments, while automating repetitive tasks, it leads to better customer experiences and improved service operations overall.
There are many ways augmented reality can improve field service. One of the most exciting developments might be remote visual assistance. It is allowing companies to overcome the limitations of social distancing and hybrid work models through the application of its video collaboration tools.
Today, remote visual assistance is a preferred technology for a touchless customer service experience. Augmented reality allows subject matter experts to share their knowledge and skill with a remote colleague or customer in need of assistance. The technology merges the two live video streams into a single environment, allowing the expert to be virtually present in real-time. The simplicity of remote expertise makes it incredibly powerful for problem-solving, blurring the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds.
Benefits Of Remote Visual Assistance
Real-time support has distinct advantages, including increased conversions, reduced response time, and quick issue resolution, lessening the need to dispatch a Field Service Technician. Companies who utilize visual assistance software have observed more efficient processes such as a 30% reduction in time to resolution, a 35% increase in first-time fix rates, and a 30% increase in customer satisfaction.
For customers, this tool is an additional channel to be able to fix their issues without having someone come out in person. For the company, there are monetary benefits, considering the typical cost of deploying a technical out into the field or truck roll is upwards of $1,000-$1,500. If businesses can take care of issues remotely, companies are finding cost-effective ways to troubleshoot more quickly.
Regardless of whether you are B2B or B2C, customers are seeing the benefits of communicating and making inquiries in real-time using different communication channels like email, social media, and instant messaging. This omni-channel support helps customer service teams provide timely service in the right context, meeting customers where they are.
Automation and AI aren’t going anywhere and will continue to be integrated across communication channels to not only lower operating costs, but to better support customers instantaneously and on a larger scale. The growth of remote support will continue to be driven by digital transformations – with the most important customer service trend being those that blend leading-edge technologies with effective CX strategies.
About The Author
Ivan is Chief Client Officer of Forcivity, a company exclusively focused on assisting companies through service transformations to improve their customer experience and accelerate growth. Ivan and his team deliver successful business outcomes for their clients across the entire customer journey by assessments of their sales and service delivery, optimization of business processes, operating metrics, and deployment of enabling technologies.
Forcivity specializes in helping organizations integrate an omni-channel experience into their CRM and service management package. Learn how we can help!