“Do you want to SuperSize that?” and “Do you want fries with that?”
These lines – uttered with every Mickey D order – are probably the most famous upsell and cross-sell out there. But the days of relying on sales staff to entice customers to re-open their wallets are coming to an end. The rise of new digital engagement channels is making it easier than ever for Customer Service staff to do the (selling) deed, while pushing the CX to the next level. Whether it’s virtual assistants for self-service, auto-prompted next-best-actions, or AI-assisted product recommendations, today’s digital-first approach is setting the scene for customer service organizations to shift from being a cost center to a profit center.
To drive revenues from within their existing customer base, contact center agents and field service technicians must focus on building, fostering, and then monetizing customer relationships. And like most things today, the best way to achieve this is through technology. Having the right tools and technologies in place allows sales and service teams to share knowledge in real-time, communicate effectively for the good of the customer, and generate a greater amount of revenue.
5 innovative technologies and digital tools to help Customer Service become better sellers
Intent prediction refers to the science behind figuring out the customer’s next-step wants or actions. Customers signals – clicks, views, purchases – are translated into predictive actions that deliver value-added personalization before customers even request it. Predictive solutions combine customer data with AI to determine intent and select the right next step to deliver the relevant customer support. For example, the technology can identify patterns that indicate a customer’s intent based on web activity or text and make the perfect upsell offer at the perfect time, empowering customer service to up their game.
Visual assistance refers to a live video engagement between a customer service agent or technician and a customer needing assistance. Both see the same physical environment via the customer’s smartphone, and the agents or technician uses the power of video, Augmented Reality, and Computer Vision AI to guide the customer. Visual assistance can be used across every touchpoint, from sales, onboarding, unboxing, setup and troubleshooting to operational guidance, maintenance and repair. This technology delivers the capability to provide practical help to customers in search of a resolution or in anticipation of a sale, such as measuring space in the home, recommendations for relevant products, or to showcase added functionalities.
Organizations now have access to huge amounts of data about their customers that can be used to provide personalized service and recommendations to targeted customers. The technology can also be used to predict technical and maintenance issues before they develop, offering customers preventive maintenance contracts or service calls before an outage occurs. For example, ThyssenKrupp claims that its predictive maintenance solution has dramatically increased elevator availability by employing real-time diagnostics that reduce out-of-service time.
Co-browsing and screen sharing allow customer service reps to see and interact with a customer’s browser, App or screen in real time, making it easy to guide them through online processes, webforms, transactions or demos. Instead of spending valuable time “telling” customers how to solve their software-related issues, these technologies allow the rep to navigate the website together with the customer. Agents or techs can use pointers around the customer’s screen, highlight relevant information and annotate to make tricky processes even clearer.
This personalizes the experience for the customer, encourages purchase completion and builds customer satisfaction. For example, when a customer is having trouble upgrading his plan, a customer service agent can use screensharing to walk him through the app, helping the customer complete the upgrade.
Conversational AI customer service platforms – known as virtual assistants or chatbots – represent a promising technology for driving revenue. Oracle reports that 80% of sales and marketing leaders say they currently use or plan to deploy chatbots in the near future.
Major enterprises such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Disney and Google are all actively engaged in the race to build virtual assistants and chatbots that can respond to customer queries and scale the delivery of quality AI-powered customer service. Customer service has clearly benefited from bots as these virtual assistants can store endless amounts of data, predict customer behavior, and access relevant information in real time – all important factors in driving sales.
Customer Service as a Profit Center
Customer service organizations are on track to transition from cost centers that resolve issues to profit centers that increase revenue. To facilitate this shift, enterprises should explore innovations in technology that make it easier for your service staff to take the reins from your sales staff. Implementing new technologies like intent prediction, visual assistance, predictive personalization, co-browsing/screensharing, and chatbots, all contribute to achieving a seller-less sales model and improving customer relationships at the same time. So, do you want fries with that?