The Future of Customer Service Technology
An insider look at some exciting tech tools for customer service
Providing customers with the attention they demand—and deserve—means not only being available but also being patient enough to address their concerns respectfully.
So, what if 85% of customer service inquiries could be successfully resolved without a single customer service rep’s attention? That’s one of the predictions made for 2020 at the 2011 Gartner Summit on managing customer experiences—and, it’s only a glimpse at the future of customer service.
Amazing predictions for the future of customer service
In recent years the customer service industry has been buzzing with thrilling new tools. From chatbots to the video revolution—the functionality is just as attractive as the seemingly magical technology.
There is, however, a false downer to all this that should be briefly addressed. With so much automation, many are concerned this new era of customer support will come at the expense of higher unemployment rates.
While it’s certainly viable to expect some positions to atrophy, consider the difference between how we thought technology would affect our daily lives and the reality. Inventions such as dishwashers, automobiles, and cell phones were all thought to usher in an abundance of free time for the modern human being. Instead, they changed to how we operated and allowed us to make better use of our time.
Rest assured, the customer service department of tomorrow will still need plenty of dynamic, empathetic minds. Here’s a list of exciting new tools that promise to change the customer service industry.
- AI. Artificial intelligence (AI) driven software will allow customer care departments to multitask, without dividing their agents’ focus. The result is less—or zero—time spent on simple customer issues, and an expanded capacity for tasks better suited for neurons than circuits.
- Integrative software. Face to face interaction is how we’re meant to communicate. Facial expressions express more than we’re consciously aware of—without them misinterpretations can be damaging. While video chatting isn’t new—integrative software is. Customer service-oriented video conferencing, video voicemail, and video messaging services are on course to change the way companies interact with consumers.
- The antiquation of email. First electronic mail replaced letter writing and some phone calls—today, customers prefer to chat. Chatting offers the best of phone calls and emails—it enables customers to multi-task and get real-time service. Messaging services specialize in two-way business communication with useful features such as automated texting and data collection.
- Third-party customer service apps. AirHelp and Service are riding the bleeding edge of customer service. Far from simply being a mitigator, customer service apps voice customer complaints, automatically seek out service contract violations, and issue refund demands. Obviously, there are pros and cons to this for our customer service heroes—love ’em or hate ’em, these apps aren’t likely to fade away.
- New digital colleagues. Customer service departments should expect to see artificial intelligence become as indispensable as the computers they interface with. AI applications are advancing as rapidly as they are expanding. Business owners will almost certainly have to employ an arsenal of AI tools just to keep up with their competition.
How to make sure your customers value your business
Customer service is only a side item—the real value of a business is in how it enhances its customers’ lives. When a product or service fails, it’s up to your customer service reps to prove to their customers that not only are they cared for, but that you’re still worthy of their business.
Fortunately, there are tried and true methods to help keep your customers happy—and, we’ve already done the research for you. Check out our blog, “7 Ways to Show Your Essential ROI to Customers” for tips on giving your customer service department a competitive—and empathetic—edge over your competition.