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3 Approaches to Customer Service in a Time of Crisis

Harriet Franklin
Sr. Principal Product Manager, Oracle

For organizations that are inundated by customer service inquiries due to COVID-19, it’s critical they understand what’s working and what isn’t, because they have to quickly pivot their customer service approach.

Organizations need to rapidly respond to changing information and ease the shift from the contact center to provide remote service. Companies that can support new and unpredictable customer inquiries are those with flexible knowledge management solutions, configurable service center infrastructure, and have the ability to quickly automate rules and workflows.

Here are three approaches organizations should consider:

1 - Provide Service Everywhere. Get information to your customers quickly. Start by frequently revisiting customer content to provide meaningful responses and interactions. Go beyond traditional service departments to provide knowledge content across the organization, not just the service center. Next, enable digital service channels. Include contextual knowledge that’s readily available on corporate sites and e-business processes. Also, leverage analytics to learn what content is effective and which isn’t working.

2 –Enable all employees to serve customers.  Move to an “all hands on deck” strategy. Enable employees in every department to react quickly to handle any call. It’s imperative to have a technology infrastructure that can easily transfer calls from your organization to anywhere, including employee’s homes. Remove the stress from your employees by helping them respond to customers with empathy and accuracy. Do this with simple, easy and effective employee experiences that empower them to answer inquires with little or no training.

3 - Automate and create new service experiences.  Automate the right experiences. As more organizations start their digital transformation, the importance of automation has accelerated.  Organizations that have already started are ahead of the game and better poised to adapt to this new way of operating. A good approach will determine which requests should be automated while making sure they don’t frustrate customers further.

At Oracle, we're working with our customers to replicate the success of existing customer experiences and service departments and helping to apply those best practices across an entire organization.

For example, Artificial Intelligent (AI) Solutions include conversational service via chatbots to answer questions 24/7 while reducing incoming chats and calls. Oracle Digital Assistant can help answer basic questions such as, “Where is my delivery?”, leaving your employees to concentrate on the more difficult customer inquiries.

For customers seeking more personal advice, such as “Can I defer my payment this month?” – Oracle Intelligent Advisor can deliver tailored advice and decision automation consistently across channels. For organizations, Intelligent Advisor provides the agility for business users to quickly create rules that deliver personalized service to customers.

It’s a big role to play. But, customer experience and service professionals can lead the way to ensure empathic, innovative and proactive approaches to service that help ease the challenges during and after a crisis situation.

This blog is part of a series of blogs that will offer strategies, insights, best practices and tips to help organizations respond to customer questions and reduce frustration.  Click here to read "Work from Home will Become the New Normal: Are Your Prepared?"

 

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