Customer Support in the Age of Technology

Posted   Productivity

“Traditional corporations, particularly large-scale service and manufacturing businesses are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy. Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency…If you fear special requests, if you staff with cogs, if you have to put it all in a manual, then the chances of amazing someone are really quite low.”
Seth Godin, best selling author and public speaker.

Doesn’t everyone want to build an amazing company that truly shines when compared to the competition? Maybe we need to take a step back from over-utilizing technology, codifying everything, and simply cutting costs and start looking at the bigger picture of how to increase a company’s value in the long run.

Let’s take a look at the facts: it costs seven times as much to gain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, yet a recent study by five9 (which incorporated data from groups such as Gartner and Mashable) shows that 68% of defecting customers leave as a result of poor customer service.

Let’s look at the top two ways people want to connect with companies currently: via phone and via social media.

1. Contact Centers Top Complaints: It takes too long to reach a live agent, customers are transferred multiple times, and are put on hold for too long. We have all been that person that just randomly starts punching numbers into that phone to try to be directed to a live agent.

Don’t be that company, folks. Not only will you have a horrible reputation online which will hurt your ability to bring on new customers, but also you’ll have next to no customer loyalty with existing customers.

Also, avoid only putting an email address on your contact page, and simply give customers a number they can call. The five9 study shows that 71% of consumers prefer to have a phone conversation. People still want that human touch.

2. Top social media complaints: Customers report that more than 50% feel ignored or never receive a reply to their complaints on Facebook and Twitter, and assert that they will abandon their purchases if they can’t find a quick answer to their problems. 

If people have a problem, they don’t want to wait for a response. In fact, customers expect an answer to their complaints within one day or less on social media. Valuing a customer’s time is the most important aspect of customer service. Saving their time equals saving your customers.

In summary, you might be thinking that people always prefer lower prices if they have to choose between the price and better customer service, but the five9 study shows that 73% of Americans reported to spending more money on companies that provide good customer support.

People want human interaction even in the age of technology in which we live. If a company can deliver it, the customer will pay for it. So, save yourself a bunch of money and lost customers in the long run, and invest in better customer service today.  

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