Are calls to Customer Service a thing of the Past?

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Digital Screen with happy and sad faces

Sometimes I just want to talk to a real person. I don’t want to have a ‘live chat’ with a bot, I want a human being at the other end of the line. If I’m calling your business, it’s because I need help, and I’ve already tried everything else.

A customer service representative once gave me his direct work phone number and said I could call when I needed assistance. I did call again. He solved my problem, called me by name, and that made me happy. He cared. After that, he was my go-to-guy, and I was forever loyal to that brand. The company made me feel appreciated.

The growing popularity of social media has changed the world dramatically. Today, customers have a more prominent voice than ever before, and that makes it critical for companies to resolve customer service complaints as quickly as possible. A company can have the best marketing campaign in the world, but if customers are constantly complaining about the brand’s quality or offer on public forums, the effectiveness of those marketing dollars will quickly deteriorate.  Companies need to start paying attention.

Hello? Is anyone there?

In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, customers are looking for fast and convenient access to information by chatting, tweeting, texting, and talking.  Companies can benefit from taking part in conversations that are already taking place on digital channels. But they need to be proactive about it.

Today many organizations are employing tools like social listening to pick up on chatter about their brand online. By proactively searching for that feedback from their customers, they’re better positioned to address concerns before they spiral out of control. Many companies are even replacing traditional call center experiences with community management processes that are almost entirely managed via social media.   If done well, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing for customers like me who are still looking for that human connection. It just means that it plays out on a different platform.

The next few years will likely see even more changes in the way we connect and work. New technologies and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) will soon lead to more innovation in the customer service realm. (Can you imagine conversing with a chatbot that can actually understand your frustration? That will be a game changer.)

Bumps along the customer journey are inevitable.  No brand or company is perfect.  Mistakes are made. But a lot of what goes wrong can be quickly corrected if we address the feedback that’s received in a timely and empathetic way.

It’s important to remember that a customer’s journey doesn’t end with a purchase. It continues long after they’ve interacted with your product or service – and ideally transitions into a positive recommendation or a repeat purchase. A lot of that activity is now playing out online. So, the most efficient way to address the concerns is to jump in on the conversation where it’s happening. Don’t reroute it to your call center. But, by all means, do greet your customers by name on Facebook. That’s still a thing.

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