AgoraGroup has been a leader in the digitalization of the after-sales for 20 years and we have seen the rise of self-care tools. Industries are investing heavily in the digitalization of customer service. After-sales service is about turning problems into solutions and frustration into customer satisfaction. As a specialist, we believe that “all digital” is not the solution. Technology must remain at the service of people, this is the subject of the first article in our series on after-sales mechanisms.
The key factor in after-sales service: reducing consumer anxiety
When making the purchase, the customer often feels privileged in a personalized relationship. In the event of a problem following its acquisition, the situation becomes very different. Who will manage their product breakdown or their usage problem? An unknown in the equation that generates stress and frustration. Depending on the degree of urgency, consumers will be able to tolerate or not, an automated management of their care. In the strongest cases of anxiety, digitalization is not an option. Imagine being stuck in a elevator without access to a knowledgeable operator with instead an online diagnostic tool … Conversely, if it’s about reporting the breakdown of a drill, the ease of filling out an online form from home seems to be the best option.
The cost-benefit balance: a delicate art
There is another essential aspect to take into account in a digitalization process. The complexity of managing the support and the diversity of cases. Continuous improvement aim to standardize responses and scripts, giving the illusion that it is easy to automate all types of support. However, we are still far from achieving the adaptability of a human being with a digital solution. We have established an analysis grid that crosses the level of anxiety and complexity.
While the two extremes are obvious choices, the key to digitalization a solution with high tension but low complexity will be linked to the effectiveness of the digital solution. It will have to provide a solution / rapid support care with fact-based speech. To take the example of the stuck elevator, if an announcement is made immediately to let the customer know when the emergency department arrives, the automation option becomes interesting. We could even add a translation in several languages and in this case, the service becomes high added value (a very useful option for a French person stuck in an elevator in Tokyo). The choice of a stress-free but highly complex situation must above all be economical. Indeed, solutions related to artificial intelligence are very expensive to train, and even if access to tools is increasingly easy, it will still take many humans to verify and make the models reliable.
The investment budget for the after-sales
Digitalization is often seen as a reduction in costs. However, this will depend on the level of technology deployed and especially the duration of the learning phase necessary to achieve intelligent digitalization. You must also take into account the changes over time of your business model. Do you have the in-house skills to handle computer bugs? If not, what is the budget for outsourcing the technology tracking?
At Agoragroup, we always ask ourselves this question: does technology add value compared to humans? This way we arbitrate the means to implement. Our frequently asked questions about the use of Agoraplus, our solution, were consulted 60,000 times in 2020. However, the human channel remains fundamental when it comes to adapting to a customer. Our customer support natively supports 6 languages. A human investment since support represents 20% of our workforce. Our processes include invoices and reimbursements for the activity of small family businesses. Cash flow is a vital issue for them especially in this time of crisis. Faithful to our method, our trained employees collect customer feedback to help create new FAQs. A wealth of information that will be used for users and also to train our teams.
Do you have questions, or would you like to work with us on this process? Do not hesitate to contact us.