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How Presence Closes the Customer Service Gap

Customer Experience

I enjoyed a recent small world moment this week when I sent an innocent text message to my brother, who lives in Boulder, Colorado.

As we both travel frequently for work, we’ve established a somewhat regular ‘where are you this week’ text that usually has us at opposite ends of the country.  This week we found ourselves within a few hundred yards of each other in Washington, D.C. and met up for a quick coffee.

Deliver Powerful Brand Impressions with Presence
This was a chance encounter which made me think about how companies are using the opportunities they have to leverage their customers’ locations or presence to deliver more personalized and relevant service.  If you’re not thinking about how to use customer presence in your customer service strategy, you’re missing a major opportunity to deliver a highly differentiated customer experience.  By bringing contextual information to our customers using presence, we change customer service from something that our customers engage in themselves to an experience that delivers powerful brand impressions.

Integrate Context and Presence for Better Customer Experiences
This process starts with making better use of geo-specific trends to design customer service interactions.  Where customer segmentation efforts have flaws is in their ability to integrate context and presence into customer service treatment.  For example, it’s not enough to know that this is a VIP customer.  Presence data tells us this is a VIP customer travelling in France, and context offers us the information that the customer was declined at a point of sale in a Paris flower shop, and on his wife’s birthday.  Customer service leaders will turn that moment into delight, while reassuring a high-value customer of their fraud prevention and detection systems.

Work Collaboratively to Design Unique Customer Experiences
Further, providing customers a glimpse inside your customer service department offers unique opportunities to work collaboratively with customers to design a customer experience uniquely for them.  We’ve started to see this with notifications, announced wait times, and appointment scheduling (pick the dates and times that suit you best), but these are just a start. The next generation of customer service apps connects user preference and customer service treatment and better yet offer next best service action treatment for these variables. This means leveraging all that information we collect from customers in a highly contextualized, proactive manner to brings them through a single service process rather than a multi-step, multi-channel disconnected nightmare.

Ultimately the greatest opportunity lies with the smartphone that our customers carry with them 24/7.  When we leverage customer context, preference and presence together, that smartphone brings the customer service contact center to the customer’s fingertips.  My next blog will be on how to make a mobile device the key instrument of a customer service strategy. To find out more about personalization and mobile apps, read our white paper, Genesys Mobile Engagement–Creating Customer Relationships with a Mobile Strategy.

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