How communications technology can raise the bar on customer service, employee experience

How communications technology can raise the bar on customer service, employee experience

By Whispir
30 June 2022
Partner Content

From capturing feedback early to providing messages with a higher rate of cut-through, communications software puts businesses in a better position to foster connections with loyal customers while mitigating the impacts of negative experiences that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Outside of staff culture, customer engagement may be the most human part of a business and therefore carries a great deal of subjectivity around quality, convenience, and interpersonal exchange.

But it is that human element that often means businesses do not know if or when they’ve made a mistake, with the adverse consequences felt further down the line through a lack of repeat purchases or services, not to mention fewer new take-ups due to word-of-mouth disparagement.

A Software as a Service (SaaS) platform such as Whispir (ASX: WSP) cannot fundamentally change a company’s core service or product, but what it can do is improve communications with clients and customers through a range of functions such as rich messaging and automated two-way communications, in addition to more internal tools including rostering and distribution lists.

Whispir’s head of solution architecture in Australia and New Zealand, Anastas Manojlovski (pictured), explains that not only do SMS communications tend to have higher cut-through with customers than email, but they can be enhanced further with rich messaging. Strategies to boost the effectiveness of communications include using known URLs and aliases to reinforce trust, adding calls to action, and sending notifications of incoming calls the recipient can expect.

“You can have basic communications such as a simple SMS or email as a notification to say ‘thank you for your service, we look forward to seeing you again’, and then that can extend a two-way communication,” Manojlovski says.

"You can ask them to respond to an SMS which is fairly basic these days, but by extending that to a rich content message you can notify them of things to look forward to or an event, ask them to rate your business on Google or whatever it may be to improve the engagement.”

Click here to learn more about how Whispir's technology can be used in the webinar Right message, right channel: How communications software takes the guesswork out of engagement.

He says another layer that can be added to two-way communication is automation.

"After someone has come to your shop you can ask them to rate the experience through a simple customer survey," he explains.

"Based on their response we can automate a follow-up action. So, we might send their feedback to your customer service team to follow up and maybe get a customer story out of it, to show people how much they love the service and give them a 10 per cent voucher.

“Or if they have a bad experience, rather than sending that response back into the system and then waiting for a week to write up a report and looking at it a few days later, we can actually create a  real-time response.”

The expert notes if a customer has had a bad experience and that has already affected them, allowing them to “stew on it for a week” only makes it worse.

“Then they won’t be visiting again,” he says.

“Using Whispir, as soon as the person presses that they’ve had a bad experience, an email or SMS will be sent to customer service advising something like ‘Anastas has had a bad experience, we need you to act on this right away’.

“If the person’s number is already pre-configured in the system, all you need to do is click the button and have a conversation with in person. So everything's happening in real time.”

He says there has been explosive demand for IVRs (interactive voice response) and the ability to dial in to a call centre, so Whispir has recently integrated with Amazon Connect Call Deflection.

“This integration offers a self-service option for people calling into your contact centre, effectively reducing wait times and call volumes, and providing a more seamless experience for both your customers and agents,” he says.

“Using Amazon Connect, you can create a secure and dynamic Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution. When a customer calls, the IVR is triggered, and they’re offered a self-service option to receive a text message with a link to an online form.”

After the customer hangs up, the Whispir platform automatically sends them an SMS with a link to complete whatever action is required, uniquely generated for each recipient to simplify tracking.

“This way when customer service calls them back, they already have all the information they need in front of them,” Maonojlovski notes.

Communication tools to improve employee experience

While customer service is critical to the success of a business, the quality of employee experience also has a bearing on productivity and performance, particularly in a tight labour market where the cost and duration of recruitment can be taxing for managers.

Whispir has numerous offerings to help improve employee experience, whether it be in areas that cater to the increasingly remote working economy or industries that require many compliance measures with health and safety requirements.

“I think in the post-COVID world with people working remotely, having that regular touch point with your entire company and keeping them up-to-date is massive,” Manojlovski says.

“Something that we’ve rolled out internally is CEO Jeromy Wells’ ‘in the week’ messaging where he gives a two-to-three minute video recap of everything that is happening at Whispir.

“Because we’re working in remote offices, it’s quite engaging to see a whole organisation have standard messaging, via SMS via email, and everyone's across what's happening in the business, because we don’t have the cliched ‘water cooler chat’ so much anymore.”

The company’s technology helps eliminate information silos within businesses and organisations, streamlining data and communications to improve safety for staff and other stakeholders. Through the use of dynamic distribution lists for example, specific cohorts based on geography or other metrics can be contacted in the case of an emergency.

Michael Hull, a vendor and risk manager at George Weston Foods, says using Whispir puts the company in a sweet spot to absorb the shocks from COVID-19 disruption without any unmanageable turbulence to business operations or employee wellbeing.

“Many of our employees are on the move. At best, they visit a site or a retailer once a day and spend the rest of the time on the move,” Hull says.

“With the Whispir platform, we can easily reach these people to deliver compelling information they need to be effective and to check in on their safety with their R U Safe remote check-in service.

“We didn’t need COVID-19 for us to prove that we are future-ready, in fact, the current crisis only justifies our efforts and investment in our digital transformation journey which the Whispir platform supports.”

Whispir is an all-in-one communications workflow platform that automates interactions between businesses and people, giving businesses the ability to improve their communication efficiency and reach through access to multi-channel, automated workflows, and actionable insights.

Businesses use Whispir’s software to create interactive messaging that solves simple to complex communication obstacles. With unique solutions to complex issues, Whispir provides a dedicated team to help create the best solution for each business.

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