Customer service companies that fail to keep pace with today’s customer expectations risk being left behind. Customers demand instant responses for any question and an automated experience for routine requests.
They don’t want to wait during business hours for a response; thus leading to customer service becoming what it is today:.
The Industrial Revolution
The 1800s saw an unprecedented explosion of invention and mechanization that revolutionized society and changed it forever. While new opportunities existed for prosperity during this era, pollution increased significantly as did hardships associated with poverty.
Customer service refers to the support people receive before, during, and after making a purchase. It encompasses everything from providing product information to troubleshooting issues. Customers often become angry or upset when having to deal with problems – therefore great customer service representatives must have the ability to diffuse situations quickly and efficiently.
The Industrial Revolution saw many great advancements, including the invention of the first combustible engine and incandescent light bulb. Unfortunately, substandard living and working conditions caused outrage which eventually gave birth to labor unions, child labor laws, and public health regulations.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 as a box-shaped device capable of transforming fluctuating electric currents into sound waves reproduced by a diaphragm diaphragm, providing instantaneous communication.
Before the invention of phones, customers would walk to businesses to lodge complaints or request help – not ideal for either employees nor for the environment. This made customer experiences even less pleasant for all involved.
Customers today demand that brands meet them where they are, providing self-service and support through email, web browsers, text message or even social media platforms. Customers instinctively gravitate toward brands that satisfy these stringent service expectations.
ARPA first proposed the idea for the Internet back in 1969 as a means for computers from different institutions to communicate. Subsequently, in the 1980s it expanded with National Science Foundation Network as its backbone and TCP/IP as its open networking protocol suite.
Today’s Internet allows people to send and receive email, instant messages, files on computers, news updates and entertainment programming as well as shopping services online. All these activities influence customer service expectations; in particular, customers expect organizations to provide smart technologies that will perform customer interactions on their behalf.
The Social Media Era
Now more than ever, the internet is an integral part of everyday life, connecting friends and families, sharing information, and keeping abreast with global events.
Customers also use social media platforms such as Twitter to engage with companies. Customers use these channels to voice any issues with products or services or give praise.
Companies should ensure their customer service on social media meets customers’ high expectations for response times and resolution of enquiries or complaints quickly. Furthermore, companies must make sure their messages remain consistent and engaging – something which may be challenging in some instances.
The Sharing Economy
The Sharing Economy is a new socioeconomic system in which consumers rent or lend out unwanted goods and services to others for use, providing an avenue for monetizing idle resources while increasing flexibility of consumption.
Sharing Economy users are typically younger and more innovative than non-users; however, there remains a substantial segment that does not participate in these activities and this study seeks to understand why and how this segment can be engaged more fully with Sharing Economy activities.
We find that the Sharing Economy induces consumer reflexivity and alters norms, beliefs and attitudes about consumption concepts – creating opportunities for organisations to convert non-users of Sharing Economy services into loyal customers.
Businesses are now adding customer service features into their products, such as Uber and Airbnb’s text-messaging-based customer support and Amazon’s Mayday button that enables customers to log support tickets directly within their product experience. These capabilities allow businesses to collect customer data that enables them to create tailored marketing strategies with seamless customer experiences.
Consumers increasingly expect omnichannel support, meaning they can call, email, chat or post on social media to get assistance for their issues. Businesses that fail to recognize this trend will struggle to meet customers’ high expectations; conversely, those that make customer service an integral part of product experience will win customer loyalty; in fact, proactive rather than reactive customer service may become the future standard for success – but that is an issue for another blog post!