The following is a guest contributed post from James Ramey, CEO of DeviceBits.
The way brands and retailers have operated their businesses has changed significantly over the years, due to technology such as the Internet, online shopping and mobile devices. However, the way we handle customer questions, complaints and queries has not changed all that much. By and large, your customers still approach brands and retailers by seeking out the customer service desk in-store, or by calling an 800-number to try and resolve an issue.
This is about to change in a radical way.
The consumers of today are tech-savvy, do-it-yourself people. According to a recent survey, 36 percent of consumers now prefer using self-service customer service tools rather than traditional customer service agents. The way consumers shop is changing and brands should be aware of the new tools and trends at hand.
The Changing Shopping Path
It used to be that if a customer had questions while shopping, or a problem after they made their purchase, they would ask a sales associate in the store or call the customer service phone number. Now, customers are seeking alternate ways to get their answers. Customers can simply look up the answers to their questions, compare prices and get other useful information from their mobile devices or laptop computers. This growing trend of consumer self-sufficiency is why brands are looking at revamping their customer service departments and overall customer experience strategies in 2017.
A More DIY Approach To Customer Service
This change in consumer behavior is a natural progression. As technology becomes more readily available in the shoppers’ everyday lives, the need for one-on-one communication with customer service and sales personnel will evolve into different formats. Digital customer service options are more efficient, easier to access and provide a faster response time for customers.
New Tools To Consider
There are a few different tools that are behind this growth in popularity of self-service customer service techniques. Perhaps some of the most popular are artificial intelligence (AI) and self-discovery methods.
AI, in the form of chatbots and other tools, is helping bridge the gap in customer-brand communications. By allowing customers to engage with a brand via SMS messaging, social media messaging and live chat options on a brand’s website, customers can quickly and easily get their questions answered without the complications of sending emails and waiting on hold on a customer care hotline.
Self-service is another rapidly growing customer care trend among shoppers. Self-discovery tools such as interactive tutorials, adaptive FAQ’s, interactive guides and videos contain the simple, DIY answers that customers are looking for. These tools allow the customer to solve most of their problems themselves, putting the power back into the customer’s hands.
The Role of Self-Discovery Applications
Putting these trendy tools to work can be as simple or complex as a brand or retailer wants. The easiest way to get the ball rolling would be to make interactive guides and adaptive FAQ’s for common customer problems and questions. These tools can help customers by providing answer to questions that other customers have previously asked and showing users step-by-step how they can reach a common goal. Other tools such as interactive tutorials and videos can also aid customers in their customer car journey by visually showing them how to resolve a problem.
These tools and technologies are the next big things in the world of customer service. Help your customers help themselves by leveraging the power of the self-service customer care.