Thanks to the proliferation of Internet, social media, and mobile devices, the way consumers communicate amongst themselves and with brands has transformed over the past few years. “Digital-first” has become a norm and consumers prefer not speaking with human beings to solve their issues or get answers to their questions. This has caused a dramatic impact on the customer service models that companies traditionally deploy.
According to a Mckinsey study, seventy-five percent of online customers expect a response within five minutes
The new rules of digital customer service are :
- Customer Experience – Apart from quality and price, the overall customer experience plays an important role in the purchase decisions of the consumers. Especially the millennial generation is more likely to spend on positive experiences rather than just products. Customer service is a key aspect to prove a great customer experience.
- Omni-Channel – Customers prefer the brand to communicate with them over their preferred channel – which could be email, live chat, phone, social media, or self-service inquiry. Depending on the complexity of the problem, the customer chooses the channel and wants the customer service to be omni-present. Not
only this, customers expect minimum friction when moving from one channel to the other and do not want to repeat their complaints.
- Immediate and 24X7 – Customers expect real-time problem resolution. With the proliferation of social media, brands can’t limit their customer service to “office hours”. A “real time” response is no more just a nice feature – that’s what is expected. Today, a smart and responsive customer service experience impacts the customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- From Reactive to Proactive: Customers have started expecting anticipatory services by brands. They want the brands to leverage their data and anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions. Companies need to not only manage the existing customer data effectively but also need to now deploy machine learning algorithms and leverage performance analytics to make predictions to self-diagnose the issues and provide service to their customers accordingly.
- Self-Service: Today’s customers are smart, well-informed, and are willing to do their own research. They are willing to solve their problems themselves before contacting the customer service. Companies need to start implementing self- service strategies to empower their customers to help themselves.
A three-person customer support team can save 600 hours per year through automation.
Here are the upcoming trends which companies need to watch out for, while planning their customer service management initiatives :
- Personalization – By leveraging technologies, companies will need to start tracking customer preferences and history to offer a highly personalized experience to her. With insights and trends acquired using Big Data, companies need to start creating customer experiences that cater specifically to the individual needs of a particular customer.
- Automation – Companies will need to resort to automation of their customer support. However, at the same time, they need to be careful to offer the human touch when required else it can cost them customer loyalty.
- The Rise of AI, Chatbots – The rise of AI and Chatbots (an extension of AI) is set to help companies make better business decisions to positively impact the customer experience. AI can assist customer support people to respond to commonly asked questions and create a positive experience for the customer.
- Mobile-First – Customers expect the brands to offer communication options to them which they can use from their smartphones such as voice, web, email, video, SMS, etc. Mobile is no longer just another option – it has become a primary mode of communication and brands need a strong customer service strategy around that.
- Self-Service – Most of the customers today don’t want to waste their time over IVR or phone to get answers to their simple queries. They want brands to empower them to solve their problems on their own. Self-service programs can help brands increase retention rates and thereby gain significant returns. Companies need to, however, pay a lot of attention to the design and User Experience of the self-service programs to make those really impactful and useful for the customers.
Today’s digital customers are hyper-connected, more knowledgeable, and socially active. They expect highly personalized customer service which is delivered on the channel of their choice and at the time when they need it. Future Forward companies who wish to offer stellar customer experiences leverage the power of machine learning and AI to help companies resolve customer issues faster, reduce support costs, and increase customer satisfaction.
Alcor is a global cloud advisory and implementation services company serving Fortune 500, Government Agencies, and other leading organizations in multiple industry verticals across the Americas, Canada and India. Alcor is a ServiceNow Gold Services Partner and also partners to Salesforce, FireEye, Microsoft, Dell Boomi, BOMGAR , and BigPanda amongst others. They advise leading businesses on cloud platforms, architecture, enterprise service management and integrating IT service delivery. They also provide business process consulting to capture, re-engineer and improve processes that can easily be automated to deliver real value. The Alcor consulting team has excellence in Business strategy, Cloud Technology and Organizational Change Management. For more information, connect with them at firstname.lastname@example.org.