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What does contemporary customer service look like?

Providing customers with the best possible support and helping them with problems has always been one of the foundations of successful entrepreneurship. Even today, e-mail and telephone are still the predominant means of choice. But thanks to the advancing digitalisation that accompanies and shapes the changes in our world, new opportunities are opening up to meet people’s ever-increasing demands and save time and money in the same breath. But what does contemporary customer service look like?

Tools for future-oriented customer service such as live or video chats, chatbots, social media, crowd-based problem solving and self-service services now make it possible to offer customers a customised experience and provide them with a solution quickly and efficiently. Thus, the optimisation of the own customer service is a decisive adjusting screw with regard to the future.


Growing demands require innovations in customer service

Information available at any time and an overabundance of products of all kinds allow consumers today to adopt a more critical attitude towards companies and their range of services. Their continuously rising expectations and needs consequently make them make more targeted decisions and lead to companies increasingly having to compete. These growing demands of customers are forcing companies to become more innovative and to respond to them even more individually. As a result, customer service is increasingly coming into focus as an important success factor.


The future of customer service

For years now, the digital revolution has been making its way into all areas of life, offering the opportunity to meet customers where they already spend a lot of time: on their own digital devices, anytime, anywhere. Methods such as automated self-service processes, live and video chats, chatbots and social media as well as crowd-based solutions are therefore considered the future of customer service. The response time of service agents and the ease and intuitiveness of the service offer are key measures of future service quality and positively influence the user experience in the long term.³


Contemporary customer service is automated

Contemporary customer service aims for a high degree of automation, so chatbots are often traded by many as having great potential. The “computer-based dialogue systems that can support customers, especially with standardised enquiries” (quote yuutel) – also called Conversational Experience – are thus increasingly being chosen as a customer service tool in order to be able to serve customers automatically without a great deal of personnel effort. However, this implementation also harbours dangers, as customer satisfaction is dampened by questions that are insufficiently answered individually or not professionally enough. Furthermore, chatbots have not been proven to prevent customer queries. Accordingly, a complete dehumanisation of the service is not advisable, because even if technology can solve the logistical hurdles of customer care, customer journey and experience management, individual actions and reactions by humans are indispensable as soon as it goes beyond standard problems.

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Optimising Customer Service – Challenges and Solutions

Customer satisfaction is one of the most important metrics in companies. Find out what demands will be placed on customer service in the future.
Optimise customer service whitepaper is being read on a tablet.

Contemporary customer service with self-service solutions

For this reason, companies are increasingly tending towards guided self-service solutions, which are implemented in a service app, for example. These offer an optimised mix of both approaches: On the one hand, guided self-service processes, just like chatbots, rely on a high degree of automation so that they can help customers quickly and without waiting times. On the other hand, they guide clients through their problem solving in a much more targeted way and intuitively lead them through the solution process. Due to the more exact and predictable data, there are far fewer sources of error and especially technical questions can be successfully dealt with. In this way, learning effects are generated with each solution step and the user has a guaranteed sense of achievement thanks to the clear flow path. So if this option is implemented appropriately, everyone wins, as the company can respond flexibly to customers without the need to contact the service employee, while reducing service costs.


Self-service paired with customer service contact options

If such guided self-service solutions nevertheless reach their limits, the path of traditional customer service can follow seamlessly and experts can intervene by phone, because one should not disregard that genuine customer interaction also holds some potential, such as opportunities for upselling and regular customer care.


Self-service is more than self-serve

But here, too, a well thought-out concept should be developed, because self-service is not synonymous with mere self-service. For more complex and, above all, specialised topics, it is not enough to simply provide customers with the information so that they have to find their own answers, as would be the case with FAQs, for example. Instead, structured processes should be aimed at, which are individually adapted to the situation of the customer and guide him specifically, for example, with the help of sensor technology, because he needs precise instructions for his situation, hardware and the degree of technical understanding to solve his problem.


Contemporary (technical) customer service with Conntac!

Would you also like to orient your customer service towards the future and are you wondering how you can use self-service sensibly in your company? Contact us! We support you on your way to becoming a self-service company.

Author: Celina Lein

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