customer service top
customer service top

In addition to the four records he set in leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a resounding victory in Super Bowl LV, Tom Brady also got his GOAT appellation.

But unlike the jargon of someone or something getting one’s goat, GOAT, in these terms, means the “greatest of all times” which is what many of his fans and teammates refer to when talking about the star quarterback.

Being the GOAT is a worthy goal and also attainable in customer service. It’s certainly something to aim for as customer expectations since the pandemic have heightened greatly. A 2020 Gartner study reported that customer service productivity can increase as much as 20% with the right systems and tools to assist staff. That same study reported the end result is that customer satisfaction increases by 11% with the proper tools.

Customer service is at a critical crossroads. Consumers are reaching out to brands more frequently and on more platforms and channels, some even moving simultaneously among more than one and shifting with great frequency.

At the time of its survey, Gartner found that 55% of respondents were increasing digital technology, particularly in customer-facing channels like self-service and channel optimization.

Call trees may be great for expediting and simplifying the escalation of notifications in emergencies and disasters but today’s consumer neither wants nor relishes the thought of spending endless minutes on call trees listening to recorded music and repetitious messages reassuring callers that someone will get to them shortly.

They demand and expect seamless, helpful and successful customer support.

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Brands already employing AI are aware of their value and should consider upgrading their technology to include augmented reality (AR) and/or mixed reality (MR) to improve current human interaction. Doing so would further remove tasks not requiring human participation and afford more time for invaluable person-to-person interaction.

Now is the time for marketers to improve their digital communications if they haven’t yet done so. In the aftermath of Gartner’s research, customer engagement platform Twilio conducted a more recent global survey and reported that 79% of respondents credited COVID-19 for increasing their digital transformation budgets.

92% told Twilio it’s likely they’ll be expanding digital communications.

In terms of customer service, one out of three respondents said they will be employing live chat and IVR (interactive voice response) channels for the first time ever, and will supplement customer service with web chats, VCAs (virtual customer assistants), and video conferencing.

According to Nextiva, automated customer service is able to provide a distinct advantage in the new normal. Marketers with limited budgets must reach clear agreement internally on which technologies to invest in. This may also require the expertise of a consultant after the brand’s marketing and customer service goals and strategies have been updated.

What’s important for leaders to know and recognize is that Gartner says it generally takes two years for a new technological change to fully demonstrate its value. This means that leaders need to be reminded they need to exercise patience and caution in setting high expectations over a shorter time frame.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.