The new age customer is interacting more with brands than ever before, with expectations of support keeping pace. Over 77% of consumers polled in the 2016 Microsoft State of Global Customer Service Report said they favored brands offering proactive customer services. When analyzed carefully, the rising customer service expectations by consumers is a win-win situation for both brands and consumers. While consumers are able to maintain proactive communication, and ensure speedy issue resolution, enterprises get an opportunity to ensure a loyal customer base.
Changing customer support expectations
It is a foregone fact that customers today have higher expectations for various support channels. This evolving consumer behavior is evident from the fact that 56% of global consumers in the Microsoft Report said they have higher expectations for customer service over previous years.
From the use of traditional support channels like email support or phone-in customer support, consumers today are moving towards various Do-It-Yourself (DIY) channels. The use of chat bots backed by Artificial Intelligence modules, Virtual Assistance tools, mobile phone apps, or detailed web page FAQs allows faster grievance resolution.
Why consumers are moving away from conventional support channels
Today, customer support acts as the key brand differentiator, even overshadowing price and products or services on offer. Consumers currently expect their grievances to be resolved in real time, without having to wait for layered resolution. It is no surprise that customer support channels that help consumers save time in problem resolution are now in vogue. The visible result is the increasing use of chat bots, self-service kiosks, and DIY resolution mechanisms that afford accurate responses and timely action—two non-negotiables for discerning consumers.
Most consumers today know what they need—instant activation or deactivation of services. Talking to a chat bot or using a self-service kiosk can ensure consumers are able to get what they need instantly without waiting for human intervention.
Customer needs to define support technology
Smart organizations keep an eye on how they will be able to deliver better services to their consumers. Making the customer’s evolved needs the top criterion for identifying and deploying the right support technology can ensure the right makeover for an above-par customer experience. Discussing service enhancement ideas with employees as well as slicing and dicing previous negative customer experiences can also be handy mechanisms when embarking on an innovative-driven customer service model.
In sum, with morphing customer expectations, the need of the hour is for organizations to rejig their support channel framework to maintain a loyal and satisfied customer base.
To know how customer facing organizations can strike a balance between trending and conventional customer support channels, read Customer Support Techniques: The Classic Versus The Cutting Edge