by Johan Been, Vice President Client Operations, Ingenico ePayments.
Throughout my career working in operations and client services, I have discovered three main guiding principles that contribute to better customer service:
Excellent customer service is an all-around important aspiration, regardless of which industry you work in. In the eCommerce industry, the role that B2B product and service providers play in the customers’ experience is significant. Our clients rely on our technologies to meet their customers’ needs. But we are not just technology providers, we are also technology users. Implementing new and groundbreaking technologies can help us provide an exponentially better customer journey for our clients.
Technologies that only a short time ago seemed futuristic to most people are now being implemented in both B2B and B2C environments. Many global merchants are using technology to open concept stores based on experience and brand value rather than merchandise, and 3D and augmented reality are entering the retail space to create better, simplified, and more personalized experiences. We clearly observed these trends at NRF Retail’s recent Big Show. And these technologies aren’t reserved just for the retail space alone. Artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced technologies such as machine learning are becoming increasingly adopted and improved across the entire customer journey.
With technology advancing even faster than Moore’s Law originally predicted, about half of my time as Vice President of Client Operations at Ingenico ePayments is allocated to staying ahead of these trends and finding new ways to offer a faster, easier and better levels of service for eCommerce merchants. These goals are so important to us that we adopted a mantra of “letting the voice of our customers guide our business.” In a global B2B payments business like ours, where our company thrives with the success of our customers, enhanced service is a key element that essentially helps us create efficiency and generate better revenue on both sides.
As a starting point, we’ve built a continuous feedback loop into all touch-points within our client services, and we’re using that input to shape our business and service our customers’ needs better. Since starting this in Q3 of last year, we’ve had a visible increase in our scores, especially regarding our direct and immediate contact with clients. The feedback we receive is much appreciated and gives us valuable insights into how we can improve further. But we are not stopping there.
To meet our goals for enhanced customer service, we are also looking towards AI, which offers the potential for both quick and long-term wins. Artificial intelligence can be used as a tool to capture the voice of the customer in a meaningful way, help customers get the answers they need quickly, and personalize your brand a scalable manner. For this to work, however, the customer service foundation must be strongly rooted in the goals of the company. For this to truly be a success, there are a couple of key actions to take:
Based on these principles, my team has sought to implement some of the latest technologies being used by our customers into our own client services. Many eCommerce merchants we work with are implementing chatbots and utilizing AI and other technologies to provide better service to their customers, and behind the scenes at Ingenico ePayments, we are looking towards AI solutions to provide that same level of ease and speed to our own customer interactions. Our first pilots will begin this year, with selected clients.
As with the implementation of any new technology, our journey into AI is one that’s still in development, but as is the nature of innovation, we are committed to testing out new ways to bring customer experience to the foreground. Our customers will soon be the judges of the impact it makes on their experience with Ingenico ePayments.
Johan is a seasoned professional in the payments industry with 25 years of experience and deep understanding of how customers’ needs have evolved over time. Johan joined Ingenico ePayments (formerly GlobalCollect) in 2013, responsible for the company’s operations and customer care strategy. In this role, he’s responsible for the Ingenico ePayments’ customer care strategy, and translating the strategy into workable, customer oriented solutions.