The Customer Service Experience: Aligning Channels with Evolving Consumer Expectations, Preferences & Behaviour
There is no doubt that one of the biggest challenges in consumer facing industries today is keeping up with advancing technology and ever-shifting consumer expectations and behaviour. The fundamentals of customer support and engagement haven’t changed, but advancing technology affords much more capability to reach and interact with consumers, as well as to listen to and understand them as individuals. Customer service is thus set to change – because technology and consumers are… as are consumer expectations for organisations being available and ready to service them.
Today’s brands must take strides to create scalable, sustainable and meaningful customer service strategies, processes and systems. Ultimately, the future belongs to those organisations who understand and leverage what is possible and employ a combination of both digital and traditional channels to build trusted customer relationships and valued experiences.
Customer service is evolving, which is a welcome development for both brands and consumers. Beyond simply solving consumer problems, customer service offers a unique way to enhance the customer experience, boost satisfaction and contribute to more engaging and cost-effective customer service strategy. Today, a customer service experience should be efficient, in-the-moment and highly personalised.
Customer service is a key differentiator
Now more than ever, companies that are looking to differentiate in this hyper-connected world are reimagining and redefining their customer–brand relationship by investing in a high-quality and differentiated customer service experience.
Multichannel is the new normal
Consumers expect seamless and integrated customer service, regardless of the channel. Offering multichannel customer service, whereby interactions with real people (either on the phone or in person) and digital channels complement rather than compete with each other, enhances the overall customer service experience.
The human element remains crucial to effective customer service delivery
While consumers are embracing digital channels and self-serving, they are still calling for human support and engagement. Within a broader customer service channel mix, consumers want the option to interact with a ‘real’ person and that is unable to be replicated via digital channels.
Consistent delivery of a positive customer service experience is paramount
A positive or negative customer service experience has a profound impact on consumer purchase intentions and behaviour. Excellent customer service is and will remain essential to successful customer –brand relationships.
It’s time to ‘wow’ customers with service
The future of customer service has evolved from a transactional mindset to one that is about deepening connections with consumers, adding value beyond simply providing assistance and resolving queries.
Detailed findings and best practice examples can be found in the full report available to download here.