Sign of the Times: How Technology & Social Media Have Changed Customer Service
Customer service has always been a fickle beast. From the unenviable task of firefighting, to keeping in mind that the customer is always right, maintaining customer relationships can be a complex and challenging task.
Thankfully, in the 21st Century that’s not really the case anymore. Yes, there are still angry customers and a multitude of pitfalls, but new resources have enabled businesses of all shapes and sizes to conquer customer service and strengthen relationships with their audience.
The Role of Social Media
Perhaps the most popular of these resources is the omnipresent social media – after all, it was only a matter of time before the social media of days-gone-by evolved into a tool capable of managing a brand’s presence. Since social media’s inception, the gulf between customers and businesses has shrunken drastically, with ordinary individuals able to demand communication instantly.
Admittedly, the power of social media is a double-edged sword. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of not being responsive enough or not feeding back issues to the relevant parts of the company. The result could be a negative review which haunts your brand for all of time, or it can snowball into a huge backlash if lessons haven’t been learnt.
Using social media properly, however, can yield fantastic levels of loyalty and put businesses ahead of the competition, whilst the threat of a penalty for not using what’s on offer properly can provide plenty of encouragement to get started!
Support from the Cloud
Social media is not without its limitations, but other emerging technologies have risen to the challenge of addressing said limitations.
There can sometimes be a lack of specific product or technical knowledge instilled in individuals manning social media accounts. This can lead to some frustration and criticism from the online audience. Compounding the problem is the prevalence of remote workers tasked with engaging customers on social platforms – when confronted with a problem, it can be difficult to get an answer quickly when not sitting with the rest of the team.
The answer to both of these issues came about with the introduction of cloud-based solutions. By implementing the likes of a cloud-based bespoke CRM, cloud storage such as Google Drive, or even just third-party customer service apps, businesses have been able to ensure communication between employees and knowledge-sharing that makes remote working a simpler prospect.
Opening New Channels
It’s not just customer service in social media which technology has supported, either. Where Twitter and its peers have enabled communication between tech-savvy customers and the business, bespoke CRM solutions have targeted new channels and improved on more traditional ones.
One of the best examples of this is text message reminders sent straight from the CRM at an automated time. This creates added convenience for customers who aren’t aware of action required, or who can’t receive updates via social media.
Meanwhile, click-to-call functions have streamlined the calling process by reducing misdialling and speeding up the overall process. Throw in the ability to recruit remote customer service staff and support them with technology, and customer service has become a much simpler affair for businesses in the 21st century.
A Stronger Relationship
Generally speaking, the technology which we often take for granted in our everyday lives has made huge strides for customer service. Now, brands never feel out of reach, and in return, they’ve been granted the opportunity to talk directly with consumers, improving relationships and building a new kind of authority.
It’s now difficult to envision working on customer relationships without these resources to hand, but there are still some brands who haven’t fully embraced what’s on offer. Hopefully, they’ll follow suit in 2018 and show their customers a better way of doing things.
As for further technological developments: we’re excited to see what comes next! VR customer support, anyone?