There used to be a poster hanging in offices that showed a man in a suit with a briefcase walking away that read “Unhappy customers won’t say a word. They just won’t come back.” That was the data a company had: did they keep the customer or did they lose them?
In the not-so-recent past, every company had an internal customer service department that was responsible for, well, customer service. Jump forward a decade or so, and the entire landscape had changed to overseas client service outsourcing; a cost-saving measure that worked well for some companies and was a disaster for others.
Customer service trends are driven by data, integrated with technology, and are becoming far more pro-active than ever. The idea is to allow customers the voice that they didn’t have in that poster. Let’s look at some of these new integrations for the near future.
Many online retailers ask for immediate feedback after they know you have received your order. “Your order was delivered, how did we do?” is the fastest way any company can receive the data they need to know if the product, the service, and the price were favorable for the customer.
Attaching a quick yes-or-no survey to the end of an email also provides the same data, perhaps with less speed, but with a decent participation rate. It’s an accurate and cost-effective way to find out how you did.
And it will be interactive. A great example of this innovative technology is Pepper, HSBC’s banking robot. This happy little droid is social, engaging, and draws customers into the bank. It also answers questions, determines customer’s needs, and delivers pertinent information.
Pepper and Pepper’s kin are likely to be the rule rather than the exception as AI technology becomes accessible and socially engineered. Excellent customer service that also drives new business is about a good as it gets.
Nearly everyone in the United States has a smartphone. These devices bring businesses straight into consumer’s homes, and to ignore that opportunity can make or break a company.
By giving customers an app to help them buy, learn, communicate, and yes, complain, businesses can not only listen but can be proactive about their customer service. Allowing ratings, asking for feedback, and rewarding communication is already a baseline for many retailers. Gone are the days of the mail-in postcard. Click the happy face and the send button.
All this technology and speed cannot and will not replace the appeal of speaking to a live person about a particular problem. If everyone were the same that might work, but individuals have distinct needs, and need customized solutions.
Businesses still outsource their customer service departments, but gone are the scripts and queue quotas. Agents that take a personalized approach to a client’s issue play a big part in customer retention, regardless of any other modern customer service trends.
Contact us to find out how our effective and personable customer service will be the key to your company’s future success.