About the digital transformation of customer service.

There has been a lot of buzz about digital transformation for the last several years. It's loosely defined as the implementation of digital technology to transform the customer experience and internal operations. Not just a technology initiative, digital transformation also has a heavy emphasis on redefining jobs, gaining organizational buy-in, and fundamentally changing processes, products and service offerings. 

On the surface, digital transformation sounds like just another process improvement and automation effort, popularized during the '80s and ‘90s, but there's an important difference. These past efforts usually did include tweaking or even revamping processes, and then designing the technology to support the processes. In other words, they were process-centric. Digital transformation turns this approach on its ear by putting new and potentially disruptive digital technology at the center of things, challenging businesses to redesign their processes and organization around technical capabilities.

The digital transformation of customer service has taken many forms as businesses have infused digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) into their customer service models. This has impacted the customer experience, contact center operations, and the nature of agents’ jobs.

To understand more about the digital transformation of customer service, let's take a look at each of these areas.

Changes to agent responsibilities

Agents may be the employee group most affected by the digital transformation of customer service. Agents who are asked to support newly implemented digital channels, like social media and chat, have to learn new skills. Not only does supporting these channels require good writing skills, but agents may also need to learn to multi-task so they can, for example, handle multiple, open chat sessions. Additionally, if more customers are self-serving with tools like IVRs and chatbots, the contacts filtering through to agents will likely have tougher issues, meaning many agents will need to improve their problem-solving skills. This is the type of skill re-tooling common to digital transformations.

Contact center operations

The impact doesn't end with customers. The digital transformation of customer service also extends to contact center operations, where artificial intelligence is automating tasks, improving accuracy, and providing leaders with insightful and timely information. For example, some centers are using AI-assisted forecasting software, which uses logic to pick the best algorithms for their specific, often complex situations. AI and NLP are also transforming quality and compliance functions, by enabling software to review 100% of contacts and flag the ones that need further review. These new digital tools often require changes to processes and staff responsibilities, one of hallmarks of digital transformations.

Customer experience

The digital transformation of customer service means more convenience and choice for customers. For example, many more customers can receive 24/7 support by talking to IVRs that use natural language processing (NLP) or chatting with AI-powered chatbots. This allows customers to perform tasks like checking their account balances or rescheduling appointments whenever they want. Additionally, technical innovations have created more digital channels, such as messaging apps and video chat, that consumers can use to interact with businesses. Allowing more customers to get support on their own terms means an improved customer experience.

NICE can help you with your digital transformation of customer service.

NICE CXone is leading a new era of Smart Digital Conversations by eliminating traditional barriers to exceptional omnichannel customer experiences with new innovations across your contact center operations. To learn more about our philosophy, watch what Vit Horky, Sr. Director, Digital Experience at NICE has to say about three key ingredients for successful digital transformation of customer service.

Any digital channel

Your customers are trying to reach you for service on digital channels – even if you’re not there yet. How many SMS text messages go to your call center phone number with no response? Who’s trying to find you on Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp and not finding you? Now with CXone it is easy to provide digital-first omnichannel service in all the channels your customers expect.

  • Personalized digital interactions: deliver native experiences in each of 30+ messaging channels, such as rich media, emojis, and other collaboration tools.
  • Simple to Activate: pre-integrated channels make it easy to offer to customers and agents.
  • Easy to Say “Yes”: simple packaging removes barriers to offering all channels to customers and agents.
CXone digital channel
Empowered agents

CXone empowers all your agents to deliver a true digital-first omnichannel customer experience by simultaneously combining all customer interactions in one intelligent inbox across multiple digital channels and voice for agents to select ("pull"), while dynamically prioritizing the most time-sensitive or real-time interactions according to service levels ("push"). All delivered in a single application – complete with full customer context, journey history, and sentiment.

  • Single Interface: one inbox for all digital messaging and real-time (voice/chat) channels – retaining native experience of each messaging platform.
  • Agents in Control: ‘pulling’ work in natural flow, while dynamic prioritization maintains SLAs – and prevents ‘cherry picking’.
  • Customer Card: full customer context, journey and conversation history, plus sentiment.
Holistic management

With CXone, omnichannel interactions are managed holistically, from agents to supervisors and beyond. Integrated workforce optimization, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence across digital and voice interactions ensure complete management across contact center operations.

Related resources
Case Studies

Best Practice: The Power of a Digital First Contact Center

Your customers have different preferences in how they want to contact your business. Hear from NICE customer, ESCI on how opening digital channels transformed their contact center, improved agent productivity and drive down costs for their contact center.