According to Salesforce, we are in what they have termed the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’. As the blurring of lines between the physical and digital continues, with further advancements in Artificial Intelligence and technology, great products and services alone are not enough to retain customers.
Customer expectations have grown to such an extent, that 80% of consumers now consider their experience with a brand to be of equal importance to the actual product or service itself. Furthermore, a study conducted by The Social Habit found that 42% of customers contacting a business via social media, expect a response within 60 minutes, and of this group, 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends as within business hours.
For many brands, meeting these increasing expectations is a real challenge. In fact 81% of service professionals believe that their customer service needs to transform, to remain competitive.
For those brands that are able to transform, the benefits are tangible. New research carried out by NewVoiceMedia report that 50% of customers increase their purchases with a brand after a positive customer service experience. Moreover, Hubspot reports that a massive 86% of consumers will pay up to 25% more to get a better customer service experience. So, what does the changing landscape of customer service look like?
Mobile friendly communication channels
As consumers become more digitally focused and increasingly time-poor, brands need to consider alternative communication channels. With 64% of consumers reporting that they would prefer customer service via SMS messages rather than a phone call; this could be a great opportunity to introduce SMS to your customer communication strategy. Furthermore, with SMS Long Numbers your customers can reply to your brands messages in real-time, ensuring the customer service process is as convenient as possible.
The rise in self-serve customer care
According to Zendesk, 67% of consumers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. However, while 72% of customers are searching online, only 52% are finding the answer to their query. So making sure your brand’s website has an extensive FAQ and how-to section, that is easy for customers to navigate is of paramount importance.
Show you value your customers
When customers need to speak to a customer service professional, the conversation should be as positive and informative as possible. For example, Zappos, leading shoe retailer based in the United States, are renowned for their customer service and interestingly, they don’t enforce call tracking. They believe there is value to their company representatives spending that little bit longer on a call with customers to ensure they’re happy.