The Increasing Importance of Digital Customer Service

Monday, 19 May 2014

Posted by: Jonathon Little, Strategy Manager, Stellar Asia Pacific

Customers increasingly want to engage with businesses through channels beyond the traditional call centre or retail environment. Given that there is an increasing proportion of non-voice customer interactions, and this trend is expected to continue, is your business ready for this evolution?

Here are a few trends that you need to consider in relation to digital customer service:

  • Customers want to interact with you in their own time, and not be limited by traditional trading hours: increased emphasis on non-traditional working hours and frequent travel has driven a higher likelihood of customers not being able to shop or make a customer service enquiry in traditional business hours.
  • Customers are always online these days: the increased popularity of smartphones and tablets has changed the types of transactions that are done in the physical vs the digital world. Customer expectations of what transactions can take place via a smartphone have evolved substantially in the last few years, for example paying bills, transferring money and buying tickets to events.
  • You need to provide a quick turnaround time for resolving issues, even beyond what traditional channels can offer: more people are turning to non-voice based channels for customer service, both in a self-service and assisted manner – and they expect immediacy, regardless of complexity

Your ability to engage with customers across new channels, such as social and live chat, is a major part of being able to meet the change in this trend.  Having worked with several companies at different stages of their own digital service evolution, we’ve seen a clear correlation between those who take the time to understand WHY the channels are so important, and those who successfully make the change.  Invest some time up front to understand why it’s important to your customers, and it’ll be much easier to understand WHAT you need to do.