How Customer Service has Evolved into Customer Experience
The future and importance of well-thought-out customer service can’t be overemphasized. The goal of every branding and marketing strategy is to give customers an unforgettable experience.
There’s no doubt that we live in a world that’s constantly changing. In the past decade, the standards of customer service have drastically improved. Today, adverts and letterbox mails no longer influence a consumer’s purchase decision. Instead, emerging trends like innovations in technology and the internet are slowly revolutionizing a consumer’s final decision.
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Customers now have different ways of thinking, carrying out transactions and research. There’s also easier access to data and information giving the customer full control of his or her purchase decision. So, how have these customer service changes improved the consumer’s experience? Here are all the answers you need!
Diverse Customer Service Communication Systems
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It’s pleasing to know that, as a consumer, you can carry out transactions using multiple avenues. Yes, for improved customer experience, mobile phones, social media, in-store consultations, and live chat are remarkable options. You also have a right to demand consistent levels of communication services that meet your expectations.
Social media, for instance, has been a powerful tool for companies to market their top services and products. Here, they can expand their market reach by targeting new niche groups. Similarly, it’s an ideal place for customers to share their positive and negative user experiences.
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Customer Service that’s Open 24/7!
Customer problems don’t just happen 8 hours a day or 5 days a week. Companies today have to attend to the needs of their customers across different time zones. Customers also demand quick responses to their queries on weekends, in the evening or on normal business hours.
In fact, author and social media influencer Jar Baer found that 32% of social media customers expect responses within the first 30 minutes. Therefore, to give their consumers a quality experience, companies now have to work in a 24-hour economy program to avoid losing business.
A Different View on Customer Experience
With a good number of companies constantly competing for online space to promote their products, achieving the intended business goals is often difficult. Luckily, with a transformative customer experience program, a brand can finally differentiate itself from its competitors. Besides, it’s no longer about price or brand reputation. Today, consumers are now more concerned about their user experiences
Having a stellar customer service system is, therefore, not enough anymore. Instead, there’s a need for organizations to implement more emotional connections to capture the attention of customers. They should feel looked after and cared for before they make their final purchase decision.
Fortunately, companies don’t have to invest too much to know what their customers need. Here, all the key details are carefully generated from the consumer’s browsing history in multiple channels of online interaction. Once they identify their customer wants, businesses can now get to the customer before he or she reaches out to them. This is by providing similar services and goods based on the customer’s history of purchase.
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Technology has Transformed Customer Experiences
As the buyer or consumer, sometimes it’s easy to look at a brand and say that it’s using poor customer service devices to mask its weaknesses. After all, a good number of companies have shown that they are totally out of touch with their customers. Most of them are making it almost impossible for customers to get the level of services and buying assistance they desperately need.
However, when used correctly, customer service technology has greatly transformed and improved consumer experiences. It has created an ownership change where customers are free to dictate their specific preferences and brands are obligated to listen to them.
Companies are also monitoring social connections to understand and meet the requirements of their customers better. After all, according to Search Engine Land, currently close to 79% of customers view the information they find online similar to get personal recommendations from friends or family.
Understanding that a Customer Has a Lifetime Value
While we may get excited about the rise of artificial intelligence for customer service, it’s important to maintain long-term physical relationships with consumers too. One of the serious problems affecting most businesses today is the inability to balance between personal and digital customer service.
To solve this, brands are now adapting and trying to learn more about their customers as a way of satisfying their growing consumer expectations. They have understood the need to foster a feeling of loyalty to make sure that consumers continue making purchases. In time, these buyers will become brand advocates and the organization will gain a huge advantage over its competitors.
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Brands Can Generate Information from All Channels
The leading cause of consumer frustration according to research done by the Harvard Business Review is when the customers have to constantly repeat themselves. It’s a problem that arises when companies continue using out-dated CRM technologies that lack consumer-oriented programs.
For instance, in the past, a business could differentiate its products by maybe faster or cheaper deliveries. However, the nature of doing business has drastically changed and it’s not just about solving customer queries effectively and quickly. Instead, businesses are now putting everything into a close perspective to make a customer’s work easier. This includes asking themselves questions such as;
- What will happen if the consumer wants to talk to us in rural areas?
- How can we help customers who have lost their account information or can’t remember their passwords?
- Does the customer have a platform where he or she can voice complaints?
The Rise of Mobile Messaging Customer Service
Research shows that customer service calls have slowly decreased within the last 6 years. More people have adopted digital avenues of communication with an average number reported to spend almost 8 hours of messaging on their smartphones.
Chat rooms like WeChat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger are popular among customers and a few businesses are now slowly taking advantage of them. Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Uber are some of the brands using these messaging services to revolutionize customer experiences. Their ease of use and seamlessness is just like interacting with family or friends.
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Customer Service Agents Work through a Single System
Customer service teams are faced with numerous system overloads. Most of them work in 10 separate systems including old ones established almost 40 years ago. This not only affects their work but also greatly derails effective customer experience. Try operating 10 outdated CRM systems, and you might be ripping out your hair soon!
Luckily, with today’s customer service technology, agents can maneuver through these platforms with ease. Similarly, customers will always get the chance to talk to an agent in case of any questions or queries. It’s one quick and transformative experience!
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Although the technology for a lot of customer service operations still needs a lot of improvement, there’s no arguing its growing importance to transforming customer experiences. Consumers now don’t want to keep on calling to make orders or enquire about products. Instead, platforms such as online messaging and on-site communications have emerged as more suitable approaches.
Organizations, therefore, have to add these changes to their customer service programs if they’re to remain competitive in this unpredictable market. Lastly, there’s also the need to be proactive in product and service delivery and this means first understanding the specific requirements of the consumer before even he or she reaches out.