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.