The advancement and development we have seen in technology over the years have had an impact not only on our personal lives but also on the way businesses are run – more specifically in how they interact with the customers. The customer service industry is also not devoid of the impact of technology, since everything is moving digital now. This is the subject of today’s article; how digitization is being used in the customer service industry.
Digital Customer Service
Digital customer service, as is obvious from the name, refers to a type of customer service that is provided through digital means such as website support, and live chat. Social media, messaging apps, email, etc. In fact, every business has two or more mediums online to communicate with customers. Even Comcast Xfinity, which is one of the most widely available internet service providers in the US, has introduced multiple channels of communication for customers to interact with Xfinity customer service.
The era of the COVID pandemic forced people to move their activities online, including their shopping activities. Hence, it would only make sense that digital customer service mediums are open to keeping up with the customers’ demands.
Digital VS Traditional Customer Service
Before the digital means, the customer service industry relied on face-to-face, telephone, fax, snail mail, etc. communication to interact with their customers. Some of these methods are outdated or not even used anymore. The telephone is still the most dominant form of communication, though it was obviously not designed for digital experience. Being put in a queue and its costly expenditure are some of the reasons why it is not an ideal form of communication anymore.
Benefits of Digital Customer Service
This is where digital customer service comes in, and it has plenty of benefits over traditional communication channels, which are explored below.
Convenience. As long as you have a working internet connection, digital communication channels are available from anywhere in the world, any time of the day.
Waiting Times. Digital customers do not have to deal with the frustration of waiting times, that come with traditional customer service experience.
Instead, they can get responses from customer support reps, and both the parties don’t need to be online at the same time, freeing them up to focus on other things. However, if both are online, then messages can be exchanged instantly.
Cost-Effective. The digital customer service experience is also an extremely cost-effective form of communication. Because the customer support agent can deal with one or more customers at the same time, instead of being stuck on one telephone call.
It is also possible to use automated support for easier, repetitive questions, leading to freed-up time for customer support reps to focus on complex queries.
Customer Satisfaction. Digital customers who were reaching out to their favorite brands through digital means had a higher satisfaction level than those who used the traditional method of communication.
By providing easier ways for customers to reach them, businesses will get more competitive as well as gain customer loyalty.
Digital Products. If customers experience any technical issues, it would be a bit frustrating if customer support reps tell them where to click. But through digital means, there are software and features such as Teamviewer, etc. that can be used to solve troubleshooting issues effectively.
Digital Customer Service Channels
Following are some of the digital channels that businesses can use to communicate with their customers.
Email. Although email isn’t the fastest means of digital communication with customers, it is still the most used one today. Companies and customers alike prefer this kind of communication channel due to its low cost and because it is suitable for longer inquiries. Companies can also use email to send updates, promotions, discounts, etc. about products or services.
Website Chat. Customers can reach out to businesses directly through website chats. This option is usually found at the bottom corner of the web page. Website visitors can chat with business reps in real-time.
Knowledge Base. In the digital medium, customers also have the advantage of doing their own research about the brands’ products or services. Hence, knowledge bases are self-help resources that are available on the brands’ websites or other social media platforms like Reddit. They usually contain detailed and specific information about the brands’ products or services.
However, it doesn’t allow for direct communication with the brand agent.
Social Media Platforms. Since many brands have their own social media platforms, customers can reach out to them through the messaging option.
Moreover, there are customer sentiment tracking tools that can be used to monitor the internet if social media users ever mention your brand’s name in their content or posts. That way the brand can decide if they need to deal with the inquiry or commend the user for positive reviews about their products or services.
In this ever-changing world, the customer service industry is going digital, and brands need to keep up with the change as well. Good digital service can start from how brands introduce a persona customer service on the digital medium.