How to solve customer billing and payment problems with visual engagement
Billing and payment issues represent a top driver of inquiries to customer service centers. Some issues repeat themselves over and over and are simpler to resolve, such as customer profile changes or subscription cancellations. However, some inquiries are much tougher to handle: an unexpected charge, or first bill, for example. Often, the greatest challenge is simply understanding the customer’s issue in the first place.
With e-commerce and digital banking/, insurance becoming increasingly popular, resolving billing issues and contract payments is becoming a massive challenge for customer service centers. In this article, we address this challenge by highlighting tech solutions that can transform the entire customer service approach to billing inquiries, eliminating many common customer service problems.
Customer service problem solving examples
Losing a good customer to a payment issue can be avoided with the proper attention and solution. With 33% of Americans saying they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service, any friction in the area of billing may cause the customer to re-evaluate the value of the product or service….and that just might result in churn.
Some examples of billing or payment inquiries include:
· Statement errors: When customers inquire about missing or misapplied payments or other credits, feel there are calculation errors on the bill or complain about unrecognized charges on a statement, it often takes significant back-and-forth before the agent can grasp the exact nature of the problem.
· Promotions management: When customers want promotional coupons applied to their account, agents must first ascertain that the coupon is valid and that it applies to the order in question.
· Proofs required: When a new subscription begins or a contract is renewed, agents require proof of identity to complete the transaction.
If agents mishandle these billing issues, the outcome can be extremely negative. Longer calls mean low scores on efficiency KPIs – AHT is lengthier, and there may be multiple escalations and return calls. Agents become frustrated with their inability to help causing higher attrition rate. And most importantly, customers experience frustration, lower levels of satisfaction with the enterprise, and ultimately, churn.
Oftentimes, the root cause of a mishandled call is the communication gap. When a customer interacts with an agent, the success of the communication is highly dependent on the customer’s ability to accurately describe the issue at hand. The back-and-forth questions/answer process is often lengthy and frustrating. This gap in clarity can be easily closed using visual assistance.
The Solution – Visual Assistance
Humans use their eyes and brains to see and visually sense the world around them. With 50% of brain capacity used for visual processing, customers automatically choose visual images when faced with a choice of processing methods. This has led to visual search engines leading the market, video tutorials becoming the preferred learning tool, and now remote support becoming more visual as well.
The difference between visually walking a customer through a confusing telecom contract and verbally describing a particular line in question is immense. Visual communication leads to instant, clear understanding, and in the process builds confidence and reduces frustration. Visual engagement empowers the customer rather than escalating dissatisfaction, and is therefore far more likely to result in the successful resolution of customer service problems
Options for Visual Assistance
The visual experience is powered by a variety of technological solutions for different use cases. Contact centers can choose co-browsing,
Co-browsing allows agents to see and interact with a customer’s browser in real time, visually guiding them to resolution, without requiring any downloads. Instead of spending valuable time “telling” customers how to solve their online billing issues, co-browsing allows the agent to navigate the website together with the customer. There is no ability to access or see other tabs, pages or even applications, so privacy is assured. Agents can move their mouse around the customer’s browser, highlight relevant information and annotate to make tricky processes even clearer. And, the clearer the customer’s problem, the faster the resolution, with Aberdeen reporting that co-browsing tools directly reduce AHT.
Example: A customer has a pair of shoes in her cart, but cannot figure out how to apply her coupon code. She is about to abandon the sale, but instead initiates a co-browsing session. The agent annotates on her screen, indicating the proper place to insert the coupon code, saving the sale.
Ideal for: When all the available data in discussion is on your website.
Screen sharing allows agents to view any information or image on the customer’s computer screen. Once the sharing app is downloaded, agents can request to view a customer’s screen and to take control of the customer’s keyboard and mouse in order to streamline a resolution. The session can also be recorded for documentation purposes.
Example: Customers with questions about their utility contract might abandon the sale, but with screen sharing, agents can walk them through the entire process, ensuring the contract is signed.
Ideal for: When the customer has your native app on your mobile device, eliminating the need for a download.
Live Video Assistance
Live Video Assistance refers to a live video engagement between an agent and a customer needing assistance. Both see the same physical environment via the customer’s smartphone, and the rep uses the power of AR to direct the customer toward the resolution. This technology delivers the capability for customers to use their mobile to indicate a physical bill or financial statement, or to show the rep a physical coupon or proof of identification.
Example: A customer calls a utility company insisting there is an error in the monthly usage amount. Using her smartphone, she shows her water meter to the rep, providing the proof necessary for the bill to be adjusted in her favor.
Ideal for: When a comprehensive solution is required for interactive communication, on and off screen.
How does Live Video Assistance work?
· Connect: A link to the platform is sent via text message to the customer’s smartphone. Clicking on the link establishes an immediate connection via the browser.
· See / diagnose: The smartphone’s camera can visually relay the issue to the agent, giving him the power to see what the customer sees
· Guide: Using advanced AR tools and visual instructions, the agent easily directs the customer through the steps necessary for a billing resolution
· Validate: Once the billing or payment issue has been resolved, the agent verifies the resolution visually, eliminating the needs for repeat calls
The Benefits of Visual Tools
Here are several benefits of using visual tools as a way of dealing with customer service problems:
· Lower AHT due to clearer faster communication
· Less escalation and higher FCR rate due to better understanding and trust
· Agent empowerment and lower attrition
· Higher customer satisfaction and less churn
Billing and payment issues represent common inquiries to customer service centers. When these customer service problems examples are mishandled, these calls become a source of customer