Technological evolution has changed the way customers shop, communicate and acquire various services. Gadgets have become deeply ingrained in our daily routines from personal computers to smart watches to digital tablets and reading devices, customers are depending more and more on technology to make their experiences hassle-free and convenient. Technological advancements have also enabled businesses to deliver better customer experience in a cost effective manner. It also provides customers the choice of various mediums through which transactions can be conducted depending on their preference. Customers are relying more and more on various e-services for their shopping and banking needs.
Businesses must keep up with the technological changes and accordingly adopt the shifting paradigms in customer services. It is essential to plan and deliver, determining the needs and wants of customers, while logistical bottlenecks and hurdles are removed. Instead of focusing on the particular technology, businesses need to see the bigger picture in terms of what those technological advancements can deliver to the customers and make their experience more pleasant and convenient.
The advancement in communication technologies has resulted in customers demanding instant response from representatives, regardless of the medium, whether it is email, social media or website.
It is important for businesses to update their websites and social media pages with all the relevant information on a regular basis. Customers subscribe to these pages to stay in touch with all the latest news about the company’s products and services. This also provides an opportunity to efficiently dispense important information without physically printing and posting marketing material. Websites often enable customers to sign up for email based newsletters, which helps deliver all relevant news right into their inbox.
Another innovative and useful customer service solution for e-commerce websites is Live Chat. This tool allows customers to directly chat with CSRs in real-time and get answers to all their queries. Businesses should also ensure that emails are answered periodically without any delays; ideally, 24-hour reply time is standard which should be adopted.
Businesses must ensure that their online shopping websites are user-friendly, because overly complicated layout and check-out mechanism discourages visitors from actually making a purchase. Technology has increased accessibility for customers, as there are multiple channels for customers to communicate and they want companies to provide customer service across all these channels. Smartphone apps have also changed the way customers shop and manage their profiles with the company. Push notification on the mobile app helps customers stay up-to-date with the latest information about the company and its products.
Customers today want access to services round the clock. Keeping this in mind many businesses deliver 24/7 service to ensure customers have access even at odd hours.
Businesses often deploy technology to ensure round the clock support through promoting a culture of self-service like never before. Although, the importance of personal touch and human element cannot be undermined, but self-service in some cases often makes transactions easier, since it offers a convenient and fast way for customers to make purchases. Automated teller machines have been incredibly successful across the world, as banking customers would rather avoid the hassle of writing cheques and queuing up for cash withdrawals. In the same manner, many businesses offer the facility of kiosks for various services ensuring availability at all times.
Customers expect their experience to be seamless and smooth no matter what channel they choose to get in touch with a company. This means that all the information must be synced for a smooth interaction between the customer and company even when the communication channel is changed. This can be achieved through the use of customer management system, which helps businesses keep all information updated in real-time, which can be retrieved by the CSR dealing with the customer at any given time.
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