Thoughts: Why Great Customer Service Has Never Been More Important
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that some businesses are referring to this as the ‘Age of the Consumer’ – in a world full of crowdsourcing and loud public opinions, it’s more important than ever to deliver the best customer service possible. But as the barriers between consumers and businesses continues to break down, is it possible to keep a consistently high standard of quality when your customers are only 140 characters away?
Why is Customer Service More Vital in 2016?
It goes without saying that great strides have been made in communication in recent years – more people than ever before now own a mobile phone and platforms such as Twitter have users numbering in the hundreds of millions. The result is a profound shift in the customer-business relationship.
Whereas consumers were once limited to sending a letter, calling a customer service hotline, or emailing, they now have the ability to directly contact a business, bypassing telephone gatekeepers and internal procedures in the time it takes to compose a tweet. Of course the very public nature of social media brings another great vulnerability to businesses: these complaints are visible to hundreds of thousands of potential customers – and suddenly all eyes are on how the business will conduct its customer service.
What’s more, because of this new method of communication, consumers’ expectations have risen to a point where only the best customer service is acceptable. Of course, some firms have capitalised on the unpopular opinions voiced about their competitors, and have acted accordingly to win consumers over – such as moving call centres to local areas, and providing simpler procedures and more transparency.
Is it Possible to Keep Up?
Obviously, businesses have evolved over the last few years to keep up with what customers want so far, but with ever-evolving methods of communication and rising expectation levels, it’s not an easy ride. The best way to keep up with customers in the ‘Age of the Consumer’ is to embrace new communicative methods ahead of what the customer may expect, and to continue to re-train staff members on effective customer service.
What Could Businesses Be Doing to Stay Ahead?
Forbes recently stated that 2016 could see a boom in customer service conducted via video, the immediacy of which is a welcome change to consumers who are no longer interested in listening to robotic answering machines. Similarly, SMS customer service is also a significantly untapped area where businesses could be assisting their customers using the device that’s usually in their hand 99% of the time. By employing a bespoke CRM system that can hook up to an SMS messaging tool, businesses can integrate this method into their current customer service offering with little trouble.
When talking about embracing different technologies, it’s also important that businesses understand what social media could be doing for their customer service offering. Having a team monitoring Twitter for complaints and praise from consumers will not only act as free publicity, but will also mean that your business is addressing customer feedback from every angle, and it would be much less likely that anything – positive or negative – has been missed. And besides, if most of your customers are using social media, it makes sense to meet them halfway!
Interested in boosting your customer service offering with a bespoke CRM solution? Find out more about how Lunar can help you with a free demo – simply get in touch to arrange!