The competition between companies over customer loyalty has never been as challenging and driven as it is in today’s era. The trend of rising technology and increasing role of the digital world has changed the dynamics of all interactions, and especially that of customer service.
The last few years have seen a rapid growth in the advent of technologies and the shift to digital marketing and customer service. Companies can no longer stay offline and expect to compete the same way they did over a decade or two ago. Customer complaints have also become more complex and demanding with time. Issues have moved forward from a long wait in the queues to absence of multi-platform compatibility.
Social Media and Customer Engagement
The role social media has played in transforming customer service can never be reversed, since it has tapped into new customer attitudes and behaviors. Customers today are more aware and demanding of their rights. The right to be served a hundred and ten percent, and that too every time. The modern consumer is very unforgiving and can instantly take to the social media to complain.
A research conducted by the Aberdeen Group in 2012, Social Media and Customer service, from Listening to engagement shows findings that
- 17 percent of organizations have lost their customers due to a negative experience on social media
- 36 percent have won back a customer due to a positive support experience on social media
- 33 percent of organizations indicate that positive mentions on social channels have driven new business.
When devising digital strategies for marketing and sales of a company, it is essential to keep customer service as the base of these processes. All processes functioning in a company must be in synchronization to support a smooth customer journey and ensure quality customer service at each level.
Taking the Initiative
Digitalization of business and especially customer service has forced companies to be more transparent and open about their service. This holds true even more for service failures and problems created at the delivery end. Train your team to take the initiative itself and connect with the customers, advising them proactively on the measures they need to take, in order to get the maximum out of the service.
Not just that, but if a service issue is predicted in the near future or a glitch is expected, it is best to inform the customers in advance and provide them with a backup, before it is too late and they take to the social media.
Holistic Mobile Experience
The widespread use of mobiles has led customers to demand customer service anywhere and at their demand.
Focusing on a streamlined plan for a holistic mobile experience should be an essential objective for any organization. Mobile experience is spread over multiple platforms as well as operating systems. Strategic and contextual use should be kept under consideration, to ensure support.
Not only the content used to deliver service or converse with the customer should be looked into, but even the experience the customer has while using the mobile. The interface of the support website or page should be optimized for the customer, depending on whether he or she is using the website or even the interface within an App. Attention to detail should be given to resolution, image sizes and even navigation within the website and App. The more user friendly and accessible your mobile presence is, the more likely you are able to satisfy your customers.
Social Media Platforms and Connectivity
Once started as a means for individuals to connect, social media has evolved into becoming a platform between companies and customers to communicate and connect. The pressures built on companies through social media cannot be ignored. It has become demandingly important for brands to build their presence online and provide continuous support to customers there as well.
Building social media forums for customer engagement is a good way to connect with customers and hear out their positive as well as negative experiences. This comes with two benefits, one, customers get to connect with each other and their complaints and issues can be addressed, by the company representative or/and brand advocates. Second it gives the company more freedom and access to use that data to further enhance their offerings and better understand customer problems. Information can also be collected through other company forums or general platforms, but the company has little control over the content and also in some cases need to purchase the same data, which is an extra incurred cost.
The advances in technology have brought with them many trends and challenges. Companies fear providing a fragmented digitalized experience, where there is lack of coherence between the multiple channels of providing service. Addressing this issue will protect companies from unresolved concerns and poor customer relationship management.