Amidst the turmoil caused by the ChatGPTa robot artificial intelligence (AI) with increasingly promising uses in customer service, a global survey of the multinational tool for sales campaigns Salesforce with 8,000 professionals dedicated to contacting consumers reinforces the importance of humans behind these interactions.
Called “State of Service”, the online survey interviewed professionals from customer service in 36 countries, including Brazil.
The idea of the study, carried out at the end of 2022, was to map the main trends of a market with global revenues of US$9.5 billion in 2021 — and projected to grow 80% by 2026.
What were the main findings of the study
Some of the main findings of the study were:
- 32% of the surveyed Brazilian organizations are currently represented at the C-Level (executive positions) for customer service, as the function is assuming even more strategic importance
- Globally, 65% of high-performing organizations (those with “excellent” customer satisfaction levels) use automation, compared to 41% of low-performing organizations (those with fair or poor customer satisfaction).
- In Brazil, 66% of service organizations are already betting on the automation of workflows and processes, and 46% are already using artificial intelligence
- the service digital-first continues to grow and, in Brazil, 70% of the companies offer service in social media e 69% chat online
- High turnover has called attention to the employee experience. Service organizations in Brazil experienced an average rate of turnover from 27% last year
What the Researcher Says
A general finding of the study, in the view of Ryan Nicholssenior vice president and general manager of the contact center unit at Salesforceis that turnover is increasing in this industry—and automation will be key to dealing with the problem.
“The investment in automation will be necessary to present the workflow with the right knowledge for employees to better serve customers, achieving success quickly and without taking a lot of time to do this type of thing”, said Nichols to EXAME, in an interview via video direct from his office at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Read below some of the topics covered in the interview.
Purpose of the State of Service survey
“This year, we asked more than 8,000 customer service professionals in 36 countries, including Brazil, where our customers are coming from and where the industry is going. And that’s really why we do this research, to get an idea of what’s changing and what companies will need to focus on.”
Turnover in companies
“One of the things we’ve seen globally is an increase in average employee turnover rates. Among older respondents, the turnover rate in Brazil was 27% over the last year”.
Investment in automation
“The investment in automation will be necessary to present the workflow with the right knowledge for employees to best serve customers, achieving success quickly and without taking a lot of time to do this type of thing. There are different types of non-impact automation. One of them is to automate the processes of the companies, so the bots who will deal with customers.
The other is to motivate your collaborators. If the company is not able to deal with a robot that performs the customer consultation, the participation of a collaborator will be necessary, where automation can still be used to help these employees to be very effective.”
contact center career
“A career can really start in the contact center and that’s only true if the contact center is investing in its people and giving them the knowledge and skills to use their time to start a fantastic career in the business.
Companies know how to engage with customers and how to help them solve their problems, so other companies see lower churn rates. And this is not something that came out of the research, but rather from conversations with customers that I was having some issues as we bring customers in to share best practices with each other.”
“It is even more important than the product or service in itself. When interacting on the first contact, you want to talk to someone and expect it to be resolved with a single person, they don’t want to be handed over to someone else, so it’s a real challenge for customer expectations.
Anyway, I think the best thing about automation is an important part of the story here, investing in automation helps improve the customer experience because you can offer a more personalized service.
Assets are faster and even if they are relatively new when they work, they are connected with all the knowledge and all the workflow necessary for service, so we really think it’s important to invest in automation, not only to reduce the cost of serving customers, but also to optimize the entire customer service process”.
Understanding the customer journey
“We value gathering the information so we can predict what will happen in it, what will be most useful for this customer right now, for example. The next best action is to hold responsiveness, what’s going on in the conversation, whether it’s a phone conversation or another channel, and make suggestions about that action. Thus, customer satisfaction will be greater”.
“Main communication channel it’s still the human voice, and that’s why we’re having this conversation right now, because it’s such a powerful way to communicate.
Other times I am happy that I can solve my problems on my own, this is more efficient and consumers prefer it. But, they still need to be able to speak to someone when it’s a more emotional or urgent matter, so I don’t think the human voice is being overlooked.”