Let’s face it. Almost everyone has gone digital—from businesses, governments, and yes, your customers.
Based on the Ericsson Mobility Report, there were 2.6 billion smartphone subscribers in 2015 around the world and researchers expect the rate to grow to about 6.1 billion by the year 2020.
While your customers are probably online all the time, chances are, this connectivity offers a new challenge on how to deliver exceptional customer service support for people on the go in this digital age.
In this highly connected world, customers know that there are even more ways to connect with brands and businesses. This realization increases their expectations on how companies should reply to their complaints, inquiries, and requests.
For instance, with the advent of social media, customers can connect and “talk” with brands instantly through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social networking sites (SNS). They know that there’s a person—or a multitude of them—behind those SNS accounts, and if they don’t hear from them soon enough, chances are they’ll get frustrated, irate even.
So, why is the demand for good customer service support even greater in this digital age?
It’s because some companies tend to rely on technologies to handle a core business deliverable—human interaction.
Based on the Global Consumer Pulse Research from Accenture Strategy, about 76 percent of consumers in South Africa prefer to communicate with human representatives rather than digital channels regarding customer service issues. While automation can surely improve the way we do things, relying fully on digital channels destroys the value of customer service.
“Human interaction is a vital component of customer services, even in the ‘digital age.’ Companies have lost sight of the importance of human interaction in customer services, and make it too difficult for consumers to get the right level of help, support, and service that they need,” said Accenture Strategy South Africa’s Managing Director, Joost de Haas.
It seems that human interaction has been given more value in this digital era and there is no need to fight the revolution. Here are some ways to improve customer service in this digital age.
Keep them updated.
A blog is one of the easiest ways to keep customers updated. You can also publish these announcements on your news page and share it on social media. Regular e-newsletters, while seemingly old school, still get the job done.
Be more responsive.
In this digital age, customers expect businesses to respond faster. Apart from ensuring online inquiries are handled in a timely manner, improve your business’ responsiveness by publishing up-to-date information on your company website through the FAQ page.
Be more social.
Your customers are all over social media, so it makes sense to be proactive and connect with them through SNS. While it is one of the fastest and easiest ways to connect with customers, social media can also make and break your brand. Keep in mind that social media accounts for brands are representing not just the brand itself, but also the organizations behind it. Use the brand’s voice when talking to the customers.
Create meaningful online interactions.
Remember, for every inquiry handled online, you are generating a follower who will help spread the good customer service support you’ve just delivered. While it is best to stick with your company’s best practices when it comes to handling online inquiries, keep in mind that you are the one adding that key ingredient in the mix—human interaction.
Design the experience.
While every person is different, past data on customer interactions can help you develop future customer experience. For instance, spotting trends and common complaints can help you come up with a better equipped FAQs page to help streamline inquiries and empower users to fix the problem themselves. While human interaction is communication, some people prefer the DIY route.
Level Up Your Customer Service Support
As technology continues to surprise us, make our lives easier, and connect us with more people around the world in an instant, companies should proactively seek more ways to tailor fit and improve their online customer service platform to handle increasing needs and demands. What’s important is not to rely solely on technology to create what matters most: exemplary customer service.