With so much of life happening across the internet these days, everything from medical diagnoses to clothes shopping, it’s easy to see why traditional customer service and customer experience patterns have undergone a slight shake up. The percentage of customer service which now happens face to face has shrunk dramatically, with an enormous amount of contact coming via email, over the phone or through messaging. Even if there is a face to face component, it will often be carried out with an eye to further communication via digital portals.
And yet, these is certainly not to say that customer service has become less important. It is still the absolute backbone of most client facing industries. In fact, with so much purchasing of goods and services happening online nowadays, there is a real sense in which there is added pressure to customer services. If a customer’s interaction with a company is entirely in online digital settings, there can be a worry that finding solutions to problems is obscure and difficult to handle. So, a company’s customer service options now have to deal with that sense by being as available and easy to use as possible. This could require some innovation. So, here are a few ideas about the future of customer service.
Social Media Will Be A Crucial Playing Field
It’s no secret that social media has become a huge force in the world of business, as it is in the world of entertainment. With social media ad campaigns and marketing influencers all having a huge hand in business for a whole load of companies, there’s another area in which it has an impact: customer service. You may have noticed that many companies have Twitter accounts, specifically built for handling complaints and questions from customers. It has become so ubiquitous that nowadays companies are expected to offer a responsive social media. Some companies make a separate account, simply to deal with requests. “Customers love social media options for service. It’s convenient, familiar and smooth, all things which are becoming vital when it comes to digital customer service”, writes Harry Atkinson, tech writer at State Of Writing and Oxessays. So, if you want to be able to offer your customers some service right at their fingertips, it’s vital that you run a social media-based customer service option and that you are able to have a social media representative always ready to offer solutions to customers.
Chatbots Are Coming In Heavily
Artificial Intelligence is already playing a large hand in a whole range of fields, from streaming services to robotics. But an area in which it is yet to make a major impact, but looks very much set to, is in chat bots. Instant messaging services for customer service have been around. It makes a lot of sense: a highly responsive version of email customer service. The problem with basic instant messaging as a solution for customer service is that it isn’t especially well optimized in terms of man-hours for results. Having a full-time customer service team waiting to type responses in the chat may end up costing far more than it is worth. So, enter artificial intelligence. A chat bot can be programmed to direct users towards solutions for problems, usually by identifying key words as a way of understanding complaints entered into the chat bar by users. It acts a lot like a complex, responsive FAQ section, whereby, you can establish a way to have questions answered without devoting any employees to the task. We’re not quite there in terms of technological development but it won’t be long before customers won’t even be able to tell the difference between if they are speaking to a bot or a polite, organized customer service representative. It’s already pretty easy to get started with and if you have doubts, then simply try it out for yourself and you’ll see how effective they can and will be.
Mobile Is Everything
So much of modern life is operated through the interface of a smartphone or a tablet. It’s easy to see why. “Most smartphones are so advanced in their optimization, that they take on jobs traditionally attributed to other devices”, says Oscar Hamilton, HR at Coursework Help and Essay Services. “Examples of this include emails and web browsing, things which traditionally were handled on computers which now, overwhelmingly so, are dealt with on smartphones.” With so much of business and life being conducted on these devices, you are shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t make your customer services smartphone and tablet friendly. In fact, if anything, you ought to be looking for ways in which you can actually orient your customer service specifically for those devices, since many people will head to their mobiles with some idea that they may have to make a phone call if there aren’t any other options available to them for solving their problem or asking their question. This will continue to be the case as smartphones continue to dominate the consumer tech market in the way they have for so long.
Marketing Through Customer Service
Traditionally, there has been a sense that customer service is a burden, a necessary evil for companies to handle. If they could, they’d eradicate it and only have to interact with customers when they want to buy something or purchase a service. This makes sense; the bulk of customer service interactions occur when a customer is unhappy about something. Perhaps their product has gone wrong, or their order hasn’t arrived. Whatever it is, the exchange is fairly likely to be stressful and, if dealt with wrong, could prove to be very damaging for the company. As we look ahead into how the future of customer services is set to evolve one unusual change that looks set to come in, is treating customer service not as a burden but as an opportunity. In truth, it was already an opportunity for your company to prove your efficiency and your professionalism. But, in a more explicit sense, customer service actually presents a covert marketing area that should drive companies to invest real resources, including data collection and high-level representatives, into the field. The reason this is said is that, usually, when a customer is getting in touch with a customer relations unit, it is because of some sort of issue they have with the product of the company. The issue speaks to a demand, and the conversation presents an opportunity for a conversation, which in turn presents an opportunity for targeted marketing. An efficient customer service unit will always be searching for ways in which they are able to market something to the customer getting in touch. And, if the customer is in touch at all, that’s a pretty good indication of a level of interest in the company itself or in some of the products. If the customer has made a purchase and has a question or complaint, that two can be a breeding ground for future business.
So, convenience and efficiency are high on the list of trends and challenges set to come in in the near future for customer service. These two traits will come hand in hand with technology which is usually optimized to help with these anyway. But seeing customer service as an opportunity for further business and not a glorified FAQ section is similarly a really interesting change that looks set to be introduced.