Customer engagement and experience is the name of the game today. Customers and prospects expect brands to engage with them throughout the buying cycle and beyond.
And brands should welcome the opportunity to engage with their customers to build relationships, nurture loyalty, and pre-empt issues or stop problems from escalating.
Today, customer engagement technology has evolved past poorly implemented chat bots and siloed messaging channels.
This enables companies to offer effective customer engagement in a way that doesn’t overburden the human customer agents.
A key ingredient to getting this right is a strategy called customer deflection.
For instance, during peak hours a customer with a question that gets asked regularly can be assisted in seconds via a chat bot, providing them with direct information from your own FAQs or knowledge base articles.
The customer is happy and support agents aren’t distracted by easy-to-answer questions and can focus their time on more complex and critical issues for other customers.
Easy-to-answer questions don’t always mean basic, though.
With the right customer flows and strategic thinking, even very specific questions – for instance queries about deliveries of individual orders – can easily and rapidly be taken care of by non-human channels.
This is one application of customer deflection, but there’s another important way that the strategy can be implemented.
This is when a company is just simply unable to provide answers to the customer’s request, something highly-regulated industries such as pharmaceutics or financial services face on a daily basis.
This leads to a dilemma where companies have a customer that wants and expects information. In this case, a customer deflection strategy can elegantly and politely divert a customer to alternative sources of information.
In the moment, the company has still assisted them but hasn’t contravened any legal or regulatory obligations.
An example of this might be queries around COVID-19 vaccinations. The various manufacturers’ brands are well known and widely publicised.
So, it wouldn’t be surprising if a person contacted a brand directly for more information about the vaccine itself, or about related matters such as the vaccination rollout schedule.
Instead of shutting down the conversation and leaving the inquirer disappointed and frustrated, which would reflect badly on the brand through no fault of their own, a customer deflection plan could instead direct the person to, for instance, the national COVID-19 site.
How can Realm Digital help you?
Successful customer deflection strategies need to be baked into the digital environment from the get-go.
Realm Digital starts any project with a thorough understanding of customer personas to design the best technology-enabled engagement journeys.