Digitisation: The Main Driver of Changing Customer Support
Over the last 5 years people have been relying on digital support more than ever. With staff working remotely all over the world, internal processes are becoming digitised. Customers have been raising the bar for customer service, and have been making contactless transactions via mobile the new normal. Digitisation is accelerating, with no signs of slowing down. End users demands are changing due to a monumental shift towards a mobile first economy.
Customer service in the past mostly relied on traditional channels such as email, phone and face-to-face contact. Nowadays, customer service managers worldwide are noticing a shift in communication through multiple communication channels.
A Shift in Preference of Communication Channels
As digital service usage is still accelerating, it’s important to adapt your customer service to this change in behaviour. Since 2016 global usage of smartphones has steadily increased beyond the 3 billion mark, with predictions for this to be well over 4 billion users in the next 5 years. Mobile technology is connecting consumers in a way that has never happened before.
With increased digitization comes a shift in communication channels. In 2019 WhatsApp was the most downloaded mobile app in the world. In fact, not one email app made it onto Statistica’s top 10 most downloaded apps list. However, email isn’t going away any time soon either. In fact, similarly there are over 3.9 billion email users according to Hubspot, with this expected to grow to over 4 billion by 2023.
As channel preference is shifting towards messaging, customers expect a swift response. Customer service managers are facing a huge challenge in managing not only phone calls and emails, but more and more customer service enquiries from different channels.
How do you, as a brand, manage the influx in both channels and workload?
Customer service as you currently know it will change five years from now. But what will it look like?
The Answer: A Blend of Bots and Humans
Standardised questions can be answered by a chatbot. The content can be written in a way that still sounds human enough to satisfy basic queries which saves time for your agents to handle more complex queries. Customers with more complex complaints, problems or requirements will be in need of human agents for the personal touch and to add real value to the conversation.
Although we live in an economy where genuine human contact is more valued than ever, it’s important not to automate every single part of the customer experience.
- It’s about doing more than putting an auto reply on your customer service emails and hoping your support agents can handle the number of queries coming in.
- It’s about working smarter, in order to keep up with demands and expectations from your clients and staying one step ahead of your competitors.
- And it’s about knowing that automated services need a bit of extra help; a human touch is waiting in the wings for your customers.
Blending human contact with bots is the way to stay ahead in the growing mobile-first economy. This allows automated systems to pick up most of the extra work, allowing humans to step in when things get a little too complicated.
Response Time: Don’t Leave Them Hanging
“We’ll get back to you within 24 hours” is simply not enough. Even if you have an implementation which can seamlessly transfer a customer between human agents and chatbots, immediate responses are a very real part of the customer experience. That means faster answers and faster solutions equal happy customers.
More smartphones and faster data transfers, all means people expect faster responses. 24 hours might feel like a month because other businesses will be handling queries in milliseconds. Answers need to be available anytime, anywhere. And, it needs to be right the first time. So combing human and chatbot interactions seamlessly, is the best answer.
Your Customer Service Department in Five Years
It’s clear a drastic change is happening in the customer service industry. In five years from now, companies will rely partly on a chatbot with smart conversational flows and it will probably answer questions on websites and chat apps too.
So, let's imagine your customer service department 5 years from now. You’ve got the perfect service team waiting to jump in at a moment’s notice to deal with the more complex issues, while the bot takes care of everything else. But your customers are not just on your website. They’re engaging via WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook; the list is endless. How would you manage this more efficiently?
It’s perfectly possible to have a team to work on your social media monitoring, another on emails and ticketing, another handling calls, and so on. But how do you keep these teams aligned? How do you connect customer journeys from your call center to Facebook or Twitter? And would each of your team members know the customers by name, as that’s what your customers expects. It’s what makes a company look organised and reliable, compared to one that seems chaotic and makes a customer explain themselves 5 times over to each new department they come across.
With these challenges in mind, CM.com has developed the Mobile Service Cloud. The Mobile Service Cloud offers all channels, products, and features you need to provide superior customer experience, reduce pressure on your customer care team, and even improve business results.
What is The Future of Customer Service?
A good customer journey can always be optimized. It needs to be personalized and connected, or your customer will go elsewhere.
Although traditional channels are here to stay, over the next 5 years we will see customer service adapt and change into something bigger, faster and perhaps a bit more robotic (in the best sense of the word). You can’t keep adding staff to your call center, contacting suppliers in person for issues or handling customer transactions manually.
Your customers expect so much more than that because they’re already used to it. In a world of global customers with a wealth of information at their fingertips in a second, answers will be immediate, they will be tailored to whichever channel customers are using, and humans will still be available to step in where needed.
Say goodbye to the old way of doing things, and maybe double-check your auto replies. We are at a turning point where customer experience has been catapulted into an automated era, one that doesn’t show any signs of stopping soon.