Whether its social media chatbots, self-serve portals, or virtual agents, more support channels are becoming available for customers to interact with your business. But rather than replacing traditional customer service methods such as contact centers, these act as supplementary support methods.
According to Steve Hurst, Editorial Director at Engage Business Media, the rising number of channels is a knock-on effect of the relationship customers have with technology. While speaking with him at The Customer Engagement Transformation Conference, he said: “Customer service has had to change because technology has driven changes in the behavior of our customers.”.
With so many service options now available to customers, the challenge for businesses is striking the right balance between technology and one-on-one human support. But when the balance is right, 61% of customers say customer service technology is redefining their behavior, while 87% say they would stay loyal to companies that offer a real person to talk to.
As Customer Service Expert Adrian Swinscoe told us: “When things get hard or challenging or customers don’t understand something, they don’t want to talk to a bot. They want to talk to a person, so don’t make it hard for them to do that.”
This is why Adrian says it’s crucial for companies to understand the service needs of their customers and the best channels to meet and exceed these expectations. “Companies get frustrated as they add more channels because they’re trying to give people choice. But they could end up diluting the resources, their expertise and so customers actually get poorer service and a poorer experience as a result.”