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Two Technologies Customer Service Organizations Use To Build Emotional Connections

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Author: Forrester Research VP Kate Leggett
Author: Kate Leggett

Today customers use self-service for straightforward interactions, leaving complex issues like account closure or claims disputes for a phone conversation. These questions often take longer to resolve and are opportunities to build positive customer relationships.

Customer service organizations must look out for customers' best interests and support their emotional state. Take the example of Delta Air Lines and how the airline supports customers when they receive notice about a cancelled flight. Its IVR system can tell when the caller ID field matches a mobile phone that recently received a cancellation notice via text message. It skips the standard menu in favor of one context-aware question: "Are you calling about the text message we just sent you? - saving the customer valuable time, and making him or her feel like the airline has their best interests in mind.

How are companies making better emotional connections via customer service?  First, field service is becoming more important to nurture customer relationships. These interactions are by far the most personal channel for customer engagement, and they can make or break a relationship. Modern field service technologies empower customers to control the service experience by engaging with a tech on their timetable and their terms. They can also fuel differentiated customer experiences by equipping the technician with the right customer information, parts, and knowledge to get the job done in one visit. We foresee industries outside of the traditional ones – like insurance, field health workers, contractors - adopting these technologies for their value in providing differentiated experiences.

The second way is to use visual engagement,  as in an increasingly digital world virtual connections becomes more valuable. It strengthens the customer bond by valuing a customer’s time and virtually connecting with customers as video lets you read customers’ facial expressions and react to signs of frustration or anger. It’s no wonder that companies use cobrowsing with annotation to effectively help customers navigate complex forms. They also use video to cut through the friction of explaining complex situations.

Kate Leggett is VP, principal analyst at Forrester Research, serving application development and delivery professionals. Read more Forrester Research blogs here.