When Customer Service Doesn’t Keep Up with Technology

John Scott
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For many consumers, technology is an integral part of everyday life. Devices from smart phones to tablet computers are changing the way people communicate and look for information. For customer service professionals, it is crucial to keep up with the latest technology to meet customers on their level and make it easier for them to seek support.

When it comes to customer service, easier is always better. A system that enables your customers to reach you quickly and with minimal effort can improve satisfaction and reduce frustration. In the age of advanced individual technology, that often means that you'll need to update your service practices.

In years past, customer service was frequently conducted over the phone in call centers. The process was frustrating because it forced customers to spend hours on hold, trying to communicate with service agents who had minimal knowledge of the product or service. For modern consumers who are accustomed to getting information when and where they need it, this outdated customer service practice is nearly intolerable. To stay relevant and helpful to consumers, it is crucial that service departments invest in the latest workplace technology.

Some of the most useful new service avenues can be found on social media websites. According to a recent story in Forbes magazine, half of B2C companies use social media for service purposes. Modern consumers often use one or more social media sites, each of which enables them to share opinions with friends and the general public. When an irritated customer takes to Twitter or Facebook to share a negative review, it is the digital version of word-of-mouth advertising. The high-visibility platform can have a serious impact on your company's reputation. And, if you're not using social media, you might not even be aware of the problem. By creating social media profiles, monitoring mentions of your brand, and responding immediately to customer complaints or comments, you can demonstrate responsiveness and use the visibility of social media to your advantage.

For many businesses, another customer service problem area is immediate communication. Customers who have a problem do not want to wait; they want an answer immediately. A number of technologies—such as live chat, instant messaging, and self-service software—exist to facilitate immediate communication needs. Businesses that require customers to make a phone call or send an email may run the risk of alienating customers because the customer has no way to predict how much time it will take to get a response. If you must use phone and email, you can utilize workplace technology like callback services or promise to respond to email within a specific period of time.

When companies fall behind on technology, they fail to meet customer needs and expectations. By updating your customer service practices and reaching out to customers where they spend time, you can boost your reputation and create loyalty.



(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)


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