A business stands on core pillars or ideas, one of which is maintaining a good and healthy relationship with customers. Whether your customers have a pleasant or lousy experience with your brand plays a pivotal role in deciding if they are willing to return and spend. While good experiences make a lasting impression and drive long-term customer loyalty, unsatisfactory experiences affect the brand’s reputation and success.
Considering that customer experience is crucial for business success, let’s look at how you can adapt it to modern customer expectations.
What is customer care?
Customer care is part of the overall customer experience. It refers to customer interactions with a brand, from the pre-purchase stage to becoming a loyal customer. The most vital aspect of customer care is the trust between a customer and a company and how the company nurtures it.
Companies nowadays focus on customer care to enhance customer loyalty. Customer care describes how a company treats its customers and caters to their needs. It creates a rapport between customers and the brand that helps in further deepening and strengthening a long-term relationship.
People often confuse customer care with customer relations, customer services and customer experience. However, they are not the same and we must understand the fundamental difference to understand the evolution of customer care.
Customer care vs. customer relations
Both customer relations and customer care are practical tools for building long-term partnerships with the customers.
While customer relations involves engaging customers with your brand offerings, customer care focuses on building an emotional connection with the customers. Customer relations center around providing products and services. On the contrary, customer care aims to understand the customers’ emotional needs beyond the business expectations they have from a brand.
Customer care vs. customer service
Customer care and customer service are two sides of the same coin – both are crucial for delivering a rich customer experience and sustaining customer loyalty.
Customer service provides support and assistance by solving queries relating to business. In contrast, customer care involves active listening and understanding the customers’ emotional needs.
Customer care vs. customer experience
Customer experience is the holistic journey of the buyer before and after the purchase without necessarily interacting with any representative from the brand. In customer care, interactions between the buyer and the company representative are critical to building an emotional connection.
Now that you know how these terms differ, we will try to understand how customer care has evolved and the role of AI in this development.
The evolution of customer care
Earlier, customer care came with a time frame between which customers had to connect with support executives.
Today, customers need not wait in long queues (whether physical or digital) to receive support. Thanks to radical technological evolution and implementation of AI, customer care is now accessible 24×7 through phones, texts, social media, voice assistants, web self-service and similar channels.
Today’s customer care and service are less business-centric, focusing more on the customer experience. From the customer being a tiny part of business transactions to becoming one of the critical assets of companies, customer care has come a long way.
The mindset and attitude of customers have also evolved drastically. Today, the customer journey does not end with the purchase and businesses must provide excellent post-sales care and services to keep customers happy. If your customers are dissatisfied with your experience, they will go to the next brand offering better services.
Challenges of delivering excellent customer support
Implementing excellent customer care has its challenges.
- While easy queries get resolved quickly, the customer care team may ignore complex issues and negatively impact customers.
- Handling multiple customers at a time is challenging with no assistive technology at disposal and can cause agent burnout.
- Lack of proper training and negligence may lead the customer care staff to give wrong solutions to customers.
- Many companies are unable to offer hands-on customer support as they are unable to implement AI-driven technology due to lack of technical expertise and budget constraints.
Types of customer support tools
Enterprises require the right set of tools and technologies to offer the care that customers expect. Let’s look at some must-have tools that help businesses deliver seamless customer care.
AI-powered chatbots can understand and answer user queries and give intelligent answers through natural language processing (NLP). Solving frequently asked questions with chatbots saves valuable time and provides the employees the tool to deliver excellent customer care.
2. Agent assist
Agent assist is an AI-driven revolutionary technology that provides a unified view of customer queries across different channels, including chat, email and phone. It allows customer care executives to quickly resolve the customer’s issues, speeding up the response time.
Recently, people have become more self-sufficient and want to solve their problems. AI plays the role of a guide here by assisting customers in solving issues independently.
Robotic Process Automation(RPA) can seamlessly handle simple daily operations, from managing records to reaching out to customers and fixing elementary issues. This technology can be an effective cost-saving solution for companies.
5. Machine learning
It is humanly impossible to sift through large chunks of data, but machine learning offers a solution. It combs through the data to identify compelling similarities and patterns. By using these insights, employees can quickly identify and solve customer issues.
Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated feature that communicates with customers and understands their choices with a menu. It first gathers information and then solves issues based on the choices made with a telephone keypad or a voice response.
7. Voice assistants
More of a personalized service-providing tool, voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant have AI-powered capabilities, from playing songs to answering questions. Many companies have implemented them with complex work modules for a better customer experience.
To sum up
Today, many organizations struggle to deliver impeccable customer care and service. With machine learning and AI technologies, brands can overcome core business challenges. They can upgrade their customer experience and empower human agents to deliver better support, all while reducing operational costs by up to 70%. Talk to our experts to know more.