The future is now when it comes to expanding customer experience through enhanced marketing.
But finding the best route to buyer satisfaction and loyalty may take a paradigm shift to embrace customer service technology.
If that’s confusing, remember when Sears and Kmart merged their 3,500 stores? The stores had a history of outstanding sales but lagged in customer service and forward-thinking. Today only 34 stores are open.
How could such a catastrophic collapse happen while retailers like JC Penney, Nordstrom, and Macy’s held their own?
Customer service and adaptation to new technology might be an answer.
Here is what we will cover in this blog post:
What is Customer Service Technology?
Customer service technology is mandatory for success more than ever in the internet’s history.
The new technology embraces a system of tools and ideas to deliver a great customer experience, from artificial intelligence to data analytics and 24-hour support.
When done right, purchasing and communication are effortless and fall into a straight line for your buyers.
When done wrong, buyers get sent in-circuit loops that frustrate and bewilder them.
The core of customer service technology is nothing more than making your guests’ experience great by providing all the tools needed to spend their leisure time buying your products effortlessly.
What could be better? Adding hands-off search, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), or even AI emotional analytics might be your key to success.
Is Customer Service Technology Worth the Work?
Sears and Kmart might not be fine examples of businesses not using today’s internet technology, but they would be if they had employed linear thinking to better plan their future.
And, if anything is true in the 2020s, more people are finding reasons to buy online, often using previous customer reviews as a springboard to leap into new products.
If those online reviews through the likes of Yelp or a growing plethora of heavily read sites (Amazon Customer Reviews, Choice, Trustpilot, Angie’s List) boost your brand, great! But what if they don’t?
As good as you think your website and sales process might be, a whopping two-thirds of U.S. web buyers indicate that they’ve needed help at one point or another during an online purchase.
How many potential buyers might be lost because they couldn’t understand a confusing purchase platform is hard to say?
A study managed by TARP way back in the 1970s for Coca-Cola found that unhappy customers told 9 to 10 people about their experience.
While that explains why cranky buyers are bad for your business, it didn’t portend the massive damage a few unhappy customers could have to a company in the internet age.
Today, ignoring communication or supply issues can sink an otherwise solid business, since bad experiences go viral. Want to go viral with sales or complaints?
How Customer Service Technology Benefits your Business
Aside from the obvious example above that customer service technology can help your guests complete their purchases, there are several other benefits your business can enjoy.
When buyers see advanced service techniques in use that lead to better satisfaction, they accept the experience as a promise — your brand of excellent service.
Employees want to take pride in their choice of jobs and their business. When you emphasize great service through advanced customer technology, you change your workplace culture for the better and retain key employees.
Brands with superior customer service technology dominate other businesses in the same retail and service niche.
Using proper technology, your business can get immediate, pinpoint feedback on sales channels, service, and the needs of your customers.
Customer Service Technology: Key Trends you Must Know
Putting all the pieces together may seem daunting, but taking any step forward with new technology will improve overall conditions on your website and in your workplace.
Ideally, as each block of technology gets added, results multiply — making the process of improving customer service a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Fifty years ago, buyers either drove to retail or service centers or used their house phones.
Today we’re modern and lucky, so give your buyers a full spectrum of choices for services and purchases.
1. Omnichannel customer service
Buyers increasingly use mobile phones to contact service centers and make purchases, but they prefer to have multiple platforms.
To connect, customer choices should include email, voice, chat, and social media. Ignoring any group means you are offering less service and limiting your chances of connecting with your guests.
Your business may need to identify the specific channels your most active players use, but developing a cohesive experience on all platforms is mandatory. Still, speed is essential.
When the internet first brought us an email, the postal service got referred to as snail mail. Today, however, email is the slowest of all internet connection systems.
Customers want instant gratification, and capturing them with AI-powered chatbot software can make their experience and your service reps’ response time a significant part of your company branding.
Your service representatives can also use AI software with live chat to find the answers your buyers need instantly and search for quick resolutions to their problems.
2. Hands off Help
If your TV clicker has voice command technology, shouldn’t your mobile business interface offer the same?
Mobile use for web-search and internet connection has transformed buyer access, and today nearly 30% of Google users are taking advantage of voice search on their phones.
The analytics used by Google is massive, leading the way towards the expansion of voice-directed smart chatbots to find products, solve service issues, and conduct transactions.
Identifying customer service issues needs to be an opportunity, not a roadblock.
The interface of your website on a laptop, a tablet, and a mobile device are all different. Each needs to be customer-friendly. But fully optimizing your site for mobile access, especially as the use skyrockets, should be a priority.
AI technology can also use RPA to improve your business operations.
Managing back-office operations and creating an efficient flow of information through transforming data entry, billing, and order fulfillment can bring calm to what has often been chaos.
Warehouses and fulfillment centers are often overwhelmed when new products go live.
Using available technology to identify bottlenecks and streamline processes can enhance profitability while improving the business’s morale and customer service culture.
The competitive advantage gained by expedited distribution and lower costs makes implementing an RPA process worth its weight in gold.
3. Investing in Apps
As users have gotten used to employing their mobile devices to reach your website, they’ve also been indoctrinated in the advanced capabilities of apps.
If you don’t have an app for your site, you may miss out on expanded features buyers need.
Apps can tie customers to your products and make them loyal if their interaction is seamless.
This type of customer service technology allows full-service account management while reducing their time-on-device to make purchases.
Quality apps will reduce buyer questions while increasing the interaction and response time to any lingering needs. The apps also blast your “brand” loud and clear.
4. Learning from your Customers
Learning from your customers takes several avenues, but speech analytics technology can give your business a more robust handle on what your guests want.
Although your chatbots, live chat specialists, and live technicians may ascertain key demands, they may also miss some of the subtler issues customers encounter.
If someone isn’t coordinating all the information from website price inaccuracies to downtime to manufacturing issues, your service specialists can’t quantify problems and quality promises to your customers.
Speech analytics technology can efficiently find the answers you need.
To get more anonymous responses to crucial service metrics, direct surveys, and customer feedback is a necessary evil.
Although the percentage rate of respondents to surveys is low, the overwhelming honesty is often shocking and enlightening.
Surveys show a tangible link between customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. And that loyalty has a similarly strong effect on a company’s financial future.
To make sure your company is poised to expand, not retract, take your customer surveys to heart and use the feedback to improve your training and customer service experience for all buyers.
5. Improve the Human Experience
While most new customer service technology is geared towards web applications and the use of AI to improve results, your buyers are people.
You must improve the human experience in all facets of your operation, from a buyer–website interface to customer care agents and your overall workforce.
Breakdowns in any area affect your overall efficiency.
That means that as we rely on computers, software, and analytics to find areas to improve, implementation of those advised parameters must still be done under the auspices of improved human experience, not just profits.
Think about long-term success instead of short-term income, and your workforce and customers will remain loyal over the long haul.
Wrap Up: The Big Wind Up
Customer service technology and competence are all about improving your business.
When it’s done with a touch of human understanding and compassion, your buyers will see improvements, and so will your workforce.
Now that you understand why you need to hear your customer’s voice, why investing in apps for mobile phones is excellent, and how AI can improve your customer service center reaction time, you might also want to know where not fixing bad customer service may lead you!