Technology is continually improving the efficiency for people to interact both in the real world and the digital world. Someone can send a text message and get a response in the time it would take that same person to look up someone’s number and actually call them. Anyone too busy or overwhelmed to drive to a store can order food, clothes, and anything else online. A flustered web user can chat with an automated chat service to find answers to questions. The ability for people to live their everyday lives has become much easier due to improved technology. But as these aspects get better and more efficient, people expect the same easiness and efficiency in everything else, including customer service.
Innovation professor Enrique Dans says, “If you thought that customer service was simply putting a phone number on your advertisement, think again.” As companies are using technology to better meet the demands of customers, those customers are getting more demanding.
In a recent article in Forbes Magazine, Micah Soloman, president of a customer service consultancy, suggests a few ways that companies can better meet the customer service expectations of customers.
Self-Service Customer Service
Soloman suggests that companies “invest in well-designed customer-facing self-service.” The majority of companies have great employees who are available for customer service calls. Trained in professionalism and kindness, these employees work wonders in meeting the customer service demands of customers. But real customer service agents are not enough. Solomon notes that people need customer service at all times of the day, whether because of conflicting time zones or because people work through the night. By providing self-serving customer service, companies can be available to customers any hour of the day.
Self-serving customer service also benefits the modern man or woman who yields a smart device on the run. People might not have time to stop and chat while driving to work or roaming the halls. Customer service that can be provided through SMS messaging, social media messaging, and other quick means allow customers to multi-task their lives and receiving the customer service they need.
Customer Service for the Consumer
As technology better provides consumers with what they want, when they want it, and how they want it, those consumers will expect the same of customer service. They will want customer service when and how they want it. For some people, that will be a phone call to the company. For other people, that will be a text message. And for the rest, it might be an email or Facebook message. Dans encourages companies to not neglect any potential channel of communication.
Recently Twitter saw the possible frustration of only offering customer service through AI chatbot or other AI-powered means. They rolled out a new system that allows customer to recognize when they are messaging a bot and when they are messaging a real person. By giving some of the control back to the consumer, Twitter is hoping to alleviate potential stress and frustration from consumers.
There are many ways to improve customer service experiences for consumers and companies. Providing various platforms to for people to receive that customer service will help better meet the expectations of consumers.