Customer Service: What Will it Take in the age of ChatBots and more?
To build a successful business it is essential to recognize and deliver as per customer expectations. A differentiated service offering valued by customers externally and internally is at the heart of fulfilling customer expectations and customer service.
However, with the present influx of digitization will the face of customer service change? What do you think will customer service look like in the near future, given organizations are moving slowly but surely towards AI, chat bots and more? Do you think an AI assistant will be able to provide better customer service than a real human intervention?
Friendship at the centre of a great business
From time immemorial, any great endeavor has a great friendship behind it and businesses are no different. For any great business to thrive, a sound relationship is the most critical.
Even, nay, especially in today’s world, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 10 times more than it takes to retain an existing customer. This makes it even more essential to maintain and retain existing customers and loyalists. With those statistics, good customer service is not a choice but an imperative – for each employee to do what it takes for the customer to have an experience they will remember – every single time.
While retaining a customer is critical, acquiring new costumers is equally important. It is about treasuring old “friendships” an the cost of acqud starting new relationships to stay younger as a brand. Particularly in the Indian context, where almost more than 50% of the workforce is millennial, it is important to start nurturing those new relationships beginning now, to stay relevant in long run.
Organisations who will act now to complement both acquisition and loyalty through relevant service models, especially given the turning tide of traditional media towards the new faster, snappier, more instant new (social) media will have substantial competitive advantage. The real question to deal with, therefore, is how will this “friendship” continue virtually across this plethora of new, social media? How will “friendship” stand up to digitization – a world that is instantly connected and yet, at the same time, more distant than it was before.
Digitization: Reward or Punishment for customer service
In the fast paced world we live in, businesses are needing to pursue innovation in order to disrupt their own business models before competition does it; and keep up with the pace of change. One way they’re doing this is by exploring digitization. Digitisation has enabled omni-channel customer interactions. Whether customer experiences are good or bad, these are now magnified within minutes through digital media. The internet-savvy customer today uses online portals and blogs more than ever before to express themselves. Most companies are, therefore, striving to cash in on the digitization boom by creating online fora, groups, etc. They are doing whatever it takes to give their customers a great online experience and serve them better.
However, is that enough? With an empowered customer, and one that is demanding and vocal, and accelerated growth of new online media, one cannot always know which media the consumer will turn to in their journey. Yet, organisations need to meet their customers right where they are, so that the customer can feel they are receiving superlative service consistently.the cost of acqui To be a step ahead of customers and pre-empt their intangible service needs, a whole new era of customer service via Artificial Intelligence, chat bots, etc. has begun.
This innovation has indeed empowered the customer like never before. In addition, it has created an opportunity for organizations to plot their entire brand story around their customer, making the customer the hero, the lead that the story revolves around. Most organizations are now finding their footing in creating that hero.
The one critical thing that then remains to be answered is how to marry the ease that digitaization brings in its wake with irreplaceable human connect to make their customers those ‘heroes’ and continue to create a superlative customer experience.
What do you think?