Digital Conversations

Today’s world is experiencing a mass communication explosion. Digital interactions have become a norm in how we do business and communicate with others. Businesses that are successful are using social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to connect with their target markets. Those who aren’t savvy at social media are discovering the benefits of having digital conversations.

If you are not familiar with the term, digital conversations means the ability to have a conversation via any number of digital tools such as phones, computer, tablets, blogs and social media channels. These tools are able to record your voice and then send it to someone else. Often this is done via text messaging or through instant messages. Recently, big data has come into play when it comes to digital conversations.

Today’s digital customer service tool also includes video and audio chats. When consumers are able to better engage with companies and solve problems, they will keep coming back for more. Studies have shown that most people prefer to stay engaged and informed through digital conversations instead of simply viewing websites, listening to podcasts or videos and/or using other forms of mass communication. In addition, studies have shown that most people find that digital conversations help them retain more information and retain their attention longer.

This is because digital customer service interaction allows customers to share and distribute their experiences with others easily. Digital conversations also allow employees to provide feedback and learn from their co-workers. In essence, digital conversations across digital channels provide an internal watchdog that ensures that the company’s IT systems, networks and business processes are being maintained and efficiently managed. Additionally, digital conversations across digital channels provide a means of conducting training, internally and externally.

The most obvious use for digital conversations across channels is with customer service representatives. This includes call center executives, technical support representatives, support reps and others who are working at the front end of customer experiences. Through digital conversations, these professionals can learn more about and be more effective at resolving problems. They can use the web-based tools and automated systems that are available to them to better manage calls. In addition, these experts can use voice recognition technology to automatically capture various customer responses and turn those responses into personalized emails and even virtual presentations. Digital conversations also allow for easier follow-up by providing employees with an easy-to-remember means of monitoring progress and directing customers to specific resources.

Another use for digital customer service tools is with corporate image. Some companies make a point to put a positive face on their company behind its digital customer service tools and content. For example, one company, called Digital Customer Service Capital, publishes a blog that highlights positive stories and videos regarding how its employees have helped its customers in ways other than responding to telephone calls.

Digital customer service can benefit every type of business. However, it helps to understand just how customers are thinking when they choose to use digital channels to interact with a company. They are thinking about the tools themselves, as well as how those tools affect them as consumers. Digital conversations may be a blessing for some businesses while a curse for others.

The way that digital conversations occur between a call center representative and a caller has changed dramatically over time. In the past, representatives would connect directly to callers via a telephone line. That meant that the caller had to wait for the representative to auto-attend to their call. Or, the caller might not get a response because the conversation simply went dead. This was especially frustrating for callers during peak hours.

Today, however, many representatives simply accept calls at their own convenience. The process does require that the caller provide a brief description of what they need (so that the representative can better understand what the caller is asking about). Also, most digital customer service software provides the option for the caller to speak to a live operator in case of a problem or concern. However, those operators are not always on call and may not be able to provide the level of service that a live person can do (especially if the caller is talking to a computer screen – which can be frustrating when the screen is not actually seeing a person).

But even with those improvements, the one thing that digital conversations have yet to overcome is the issue of time. Even with the best technology, the average call placed today takes about 5 minutes to complete. That’s because all of the technology involved slows down the instant that the call is placed (which is why a lot of long distance calls use VoIP). Callers need to be ready to wait that few minutes for their call to be transferred to someone who can actually hear them. It’s understandable why people are reluctant to use digital customer service.