For the most part, the fundamentals of customer service remain the same. Efficient and timely service, responsive front liners, proactive solutions are just some of the qualities clients look for in the products and businesses that they purchase. What changed are the channels and platforms that the use. It’s no secret that mobile networks, social media and the widespread use of smartphones drastically altered the customer service landscape. It’s just a question of how exactly these ubiquitous devices are making an impact on how we interact with clients and customers.
We’re almost half-way through 2015 and here are just some of the hyper-connected, mobile lifestyle customer service activities that we’ve been seeing in 2015.
1. Faster everything
Improved connectivity and mobile computing has raised client expectations when it comes to timeliness. Clients expect near-instantaneous answers to their questions, regardless of the messaging platform used—whether via twitter, by SMS, or by phone—wait times have increasingly shortened. Delivery schedules are likewise expected to follow this “faster, speedier” trend trend, too, thanks to Amazon.com’s lead. In many locations around the US, shipping labels are being pasted on packages for orders that were placed just a few minutes before. Overnight shipping will not be considered fast enough in a world where products can be moved and shipped to your home address as soon as you finished ordering it.
2. Rising popularity of the self service trend
As Forbes contributing writer Blake Morgan puts it: “the best service is still no service for many“. She further states that a recent survey found that web service is now the most widely used customer service channel, and not voice or queries made by phone. Obviously this is, again, brought about by mobile technology as well as an increasingly tech-savvy population that find it more convenient to type in a few keywords on their smartphones instead of seeking out someone to answer simple questions.
3. More values-based purchasing
Shoppers nowadays are becoming more deliberate and purposeful in their shopping decisions. Customers are now seeking to buy products from companies whose values or philosophies align with their own. Whether it’s about environmental consciousness, an increased awareness in product sustainability, or a desire for zero waste packaging, customer sentiments are increasingly being expressed from their buying choices, and its impact on society as a whole.
4. Social media and smartphones mean more multi-channel customers
Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes predicts that social media and phones will work in tandem to provide customer service that balances the client’s need for quick service while ensuring that their private information remains confidential. He calls this the “Tweet-to-call link”, where a client’s tweet for a problem that needs solving will result in a custom link that works for that particular customer. This link leads to a service representative who will handle the issue, and once resolved, the link is deactivated. Customers now demand a seamless experience when reaching you, whether they do that through your social media channels, website, or tranditonal 1-800 numbers.
5. Increased focus on customer service as a differentiator for the mobile device industry
Thomas Berlemann, CEO of B2X predicts that because of the widespread popularity of mobile devices and an abundance of manufacturers competing for market share, device innovation has plateaued to the point where almost every smartphone looks exactly alike or boasts of the same features as the next device. One way to rise above the noise is to provide excellent customer service and after sales support. It is and will continue to be an important component to fostering customer loyalty and achieve brand definition that is a cut above the rest.
What other customer support trends do you see happening today?