It cannot be denied that the world of customer service has a lot to celebrate when it comes to new technology. For starters, there is the progress of real-time messaging and video. There is also artificial intelligence and chatbots, as well as the emergence of cryptocurrencies and self-service systems. In a nutshell, technology has made it possible for customer service to be more efficient and successful.
There are those who are afraid that technology will steal their job. Well, in reality, the answer here is no. Newer technologies are rather designed with the idea of helping people do their jobs more efficiently. In a sense, they change the way you handle your job – not replace you.
With that said, there are many ways that technology can affect the entire world of customer service. For now, here are some of them!
#1. Real-Time Messaging Replacing Email
There is the idea that email is dead and that chat will soon take its rightful throne. In reality, email is far from over. There are individuals who prefer to be contacted via email, especially since real-time messaging seems to be a bit personal. The only catch, however, is that more and more people are starting to embrace the utilization of chat over emails. One epitome here is the sudden rise of Facebook Messenger, which has somehow pushed humanity’s ability to connect with people across the world.
Real-time messaging is also starting to be a central element in the world of customer service. Even larger enterprises are starting to shift from email forms to live chats, with the latter providing authenticity one on one scenario with customers. Even software like SysAid is starting to integrate this format, as more tech companies have understood the importance of operating in synchronous time.
#2. Face-To-Face Video Communication
There is no doubt that eye contact is powerful. And believe it or not, customers will soon look at non-video format of real-time conversation as a thing of the past. As a matter of fact, companies who are fond of using video communication are a generation ahead. Some of them use the so-called “video voicemail” or go with a “video conference” setup.
The key thing to remember here is that eye contact, in one way or another, improves relationships, which is essential in businesses of any size. What is more, it can help facilitate openness in an attempt to be more fluid and direct. With its potential, there is no surprise that video communication will eventually become a business-improving tool. This is most especially the case since it has become a growing expectation of consumers.
#3. Bots Or AI And Professionals Working Hand In Hand
Whenever the topic of AI or bots is brought up, a narrative emerges and suggests that they would soon replace professionals. It does not work that way actually. Besides, recent studies iterate that companies would still prefer people to handle different processes rather than completely rely on a set of code. This actually makes sense, as most of today’s “bots” are not in any way synonymous to artificial intelligence. They are rather branched logic developed and presented in a conversational interface, such as Facebook Messenger or iMessage. The problem with most bot applications these days, however, is that they are only good when backed by a good tech.
Still, it does not mean that their existence does not suggest a potential in the future. By essence, bots and/or artificial intelligence offers two important opportunities:
- They can be there when you are not available, i.e. when the customer service team is taking a break or asleep.
- They can boost self-service for customers.
Of course, we are still far from achieving the above-mentioned opportunities. What you are seeing right now is just a portion of an even larger picture. Ultimately, bots can help reduce expenses for businesses by offering a new and inexpensive method of communication. They can really be a game-changer in the world of customer service. Reps will no longer have to answer the same issue or questions over and over again. And instead, they can focus on things that matter the most.
#4. Blockchain’s Role
Another emerging technology right now is blockchain. Cryptocurrency, in particular, may not necessarily change customer success since paying with digital currencies like Bitcoin is quite different than paying with other currencies post-sale. However, blockchain itself offers a deluge of fascinating applications, from contracts all the way to the implementation of transparent payments. In case you did not know, smart contracts make it possible for machines to enforce and even perform contract terms or payments without the need for human involvement.
Now, imagine a customer support setup powered by smart contracts. Managers will be spending lesser time when it comes to bickering overpayments and tracking down money. As such, they can focus more on delivering value in the team.
#5. The Necessity of Self-Service
Self-service is becoming an integral element in achieving customer support success. In fact, more and more customers are expecting companies to implement self-service programs. They just find it more convenient than having to wait for a response from a customer rep. Vendors, on the other hand, are starting to embrace it. Why exactly? That is because it proves to help in reducing the cost of doing business. Even more so, self-service can push the limit and reach more sophisticated methods of customer interaction. With the necessity that self-service is imposing, businesses that do not embrace this technology will not only look like dinosaurs but will miss a lot of opportunities as well.
The first step when it comes to customer service is to help customers help their selves. Self-service can provide a business its own knowledge base, which contains all answers to common customer questions. This is going to help reps avoid repeated questions or requests. More importantly, they can focus on issues that matter the most or those with utmost urgency.
Technology is starting to change the customer service landscape. Back then, it is impossible to communicate with customers via live chat. While there are still improvements needed to be applied, there is no doubt that technology is integral in achieving customer service success.