Blog - Future of Work

Want Improved Customer Experiences? Think Virtual.

01/03/2013

Customer experience is a much-touted metric that, while a positive goal, can prove to be too lofty for many organizations. Creating consistently positive customer experiences requires a dedication to first understand the customer and then to ensure that every transaction has a positive outcome. The truth about customer experience as a metric is that to be effective requires developing the strategy throughout an organization, not just with the team that is customer-facing.

However, the first impression typically lies with an agent that may or may not understand the customer experience metric. Or the agent simply may not have the right mindset to deliver consistent customer experiences that are positive and mutually beneficial. The most effective means of ensuring positive transactions is to have the best agents, and the best agents prefer to work virtually.

Superior customer service is achievable, as Amazon and Zappo’s have proven. Cloud technology gives businesses a means of routing transactions to the most qualified agent quickly, thereby improving the customer experience as well. But it’s the agents who truly make or break the experience.

Virtual Agents Bring More

Virtual agents are productive and engaged, more so than most agents required to work at a brick-and-mortar facility. Why? One reason is they are empowered to make decisions about their own work life. Virtual agents are typically not employees, but contractors who are not only more emotionally intelligent, but more motivated to stay engaged in work that excites them. These agents are capable of delivering positive customer experiences simply because it is their nature.

Another reason virtual agents support positive customer experiences is their innate ability to manage themselves, the customer, their time and the technology required to drive to a resolution. The new world of work is virtualized in a way never before seen, requiring anyone working virtually to effectively multi-task and appropriately manage distractions.

Customers are Empowered

Customers can find out anything about your product or service with a simple Internet search. They expect to have answers quickly and want to feel important to the brands they choose. This level of knowledge means the agents must also be educated and informed – two more traits that successful virtual agents possess.

Virtual agents are building their own service company, and in doing so look at managing transactions and supporting customers differently than an employee. Plus, as a business owner you can recruit and retain the best talent, since there are no geographic boundaries.

To be successful in today’s new world of work requires capitalizing on a global talent pool and maximizing the agility of a virtual environment. Customers expect to be valued, and want every transaction with an organization to be positive. Organizations that understand the importance of customer experience are more successful. A willingness to utilize virtual agents will provide a positive impact to your customer experience and subsequently to other transaction metrics.

 

Check out our upcoming book The New World of Work: From Cube to the Cloud. Find out why this is happening, what the new opportunities are, and what this whole shift means for you. Find out more about the book and get more information at www.newworldofwork.com.

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