With the introduction of new products and services in the market, customer expectations are increasing. Customers of today’s generation are more vocal and do not hesitate in sharing their views – both positive and negative. In the past, customer service used to be all about attending calls and providing answers to the questions of customers. However, today, customer service has changed completely. The major reason forth for the evolution of customer service is because of the growing use of the internet that started from the early 2000’s.
The landscape of customer service has changed over the years. Let’s take a look at how it has transformed to a whole different level:
Number of Channels
In the very beginning, there used to be only one channel of communication. Today, there are multiple ways in which customers can interact with companies. The biggest reason for this increment in communication channels is the advancement of technology. From phones, chat, the web to social media; technology has changed the dynamics of customer engagement and how customers used to give feedback to the companies. The other side of the coin suggests that the advancements in technology have also benefited companies. They are able to answer all the queries efficiently and effectively.
Customer service of this era is more flexible and personalized. With the use of data and analytics, companies are able to provide enhanced customer services. For example, taking into account all the customer information including purchase history and demographics, customer service representatives are able to offer personalized services to customers.
While talking about the evolution of customer service; today, it is much more dynamic and adaptive as compared to the past. Previously, the entire process was linear and static. The process itself was the main reason for delayed answers and bad customer experience. Gone are the days when customer service representatives used to follow a set-pattern to offer solutions to their customers. In today’s competitive and fast-paced environment, customers are not in a mood to listen to scripts. They want instant and straightforward answers to their questions.
One of the core objectives of providing customer services is to establish a good reputation in the market. In the past, the attitude of companies towards the customers was mostly harsh. They were not willing to listen to any complaints. However, with the growing competition and introduction of many new businesses, companies have started paying respect to their customers. Businesses have realized that a happy customer will give referrals by word of mouth.
In the early days, due to lack of competition, companies used to respond late to queries and complaints. But today, there are different businesses ready to grab the opportunity. If customers do not get the answers instantly, they will look for other options.
Businesses need to realize that customers are their biggest asset. As they say, perfection can never be achieved, there is still some room for improvement in the customer services. All this evolution has introduced new trends that businesses can follow. However, it can be difficult to incorporate all these innovations together, but a combination of multiple trends can fetch favorable results. Not only will it enhance the customer experience, but will also help in retaining existing customers as well as making new ones.
Moreover, this evolution is not final, more changes are also expected in the coming years.In the current time and age Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bots and automated generated responses and smart IVRs have made a significant impact on Customer Service. All these are still evolving and only time will tell what the future has in store for us in terms of customer services.