The keyword Customer Centricity should have arrived in companies of all industries long ago. The customer is at the heart of all actions. Improve customer service and create a USP that sets you apart from the competition. But how exactly is customer service going in the digital transformation? What do companies need to consider and what is different?
Customer Centricity – what’s the point?
Real value must therefore be created. But how does this happen in times of digital change? For a long time now, it is no longer enough to leave location-based trading only where there is physical customer contact. Through digital change, customer service must go further – in the form of the Internet. However, this does not only mean integrating a contact form or e-mail address on the website, but should go far beyond that if successful intentions are successful.
Customer service and digital transformation
Customer service via e-mail or contact forms is no longer up-to-date. The problem: the asynchronous form of communication. This is usually not effective, but above all time-consuming and exhausting, both for the company and for the customer. The generation of digital natives is advancing and demanding up-to-date solutions. You are used to getting fast and uncomplicated answers through smartphones and instant messaging. If companies can’t offer this with their customer service, dissatisfaction quickly arises. It is therefore important to provide the customer with access that is familiar to him. This is where the live chat comes in. It enables customer proximity and, above all, has the immense advantage of synchronous communication.
Speed has increased in the information age
When customers have questions about a product, service, or the company itself, they are usually already informed. These are usually only small things that could be answered quickly. However, this takes time via a contact form. Live Chat, on the other hand, offers the fastest possible exchange and even stands out from telephone customer service. Why? Employees can respond to multiple requests at the same time. As a result, it is less likely that there will be longer waiting times. On the other hand, the even more personal contact, which can reach the customer positively, is an advantage when telephony or even a video conference.
Live chats as a solution
The language in the live chats can build a more personal relationship with customers. One is used to writing about Instant Messanger in colloquial and not very formal language and then automatically has this expectation when entering the live chat. But beware! If the company is usually more formal and its customers are sieve, it becomes rather difficult. In this respect, therefore, a uniform language and salutation must be chosen in advance, which all employees follow.
Live Chat: you have to reckon with these expenses
The implementation of the chat is very simple in itself. There are many different providers and programs for this. Of course, this must be adapted to the company in terms of design.
- What sounds are heard when used?
- What is the first impression? Is the apparition too intrusive?
- Is the design modern?
Companies must ask themselves all these questions before they start live chat.
Live chat: you have to reckon with these costs
Once this is integrated, the much greater effort begins. Depending on the usage and provider, this can cost several 100€ per month. Personnel costs, which are automatically added, must also be taken into account. This can, of course, be problematic for smaller companies, which often have no capacity for this.
More customer service options
Beyond live chat, there are many other ways companies can best implement customer centricity in customer service in times of digital change. It is essential to find the ideal mix of people and technology. The service experience is to be redefined. When customers contact customer service, they want quick and uncomplicated solutions and be advised as friendly as possible. For this to happen, it is first necessary to start somewhere else.
The service staff need the time to be able to engage intensively with each individual customer. This triggers a kind of “you take care of me” feeling at the customer. In order for employees to have this time, they must be relieved in other places. Many of the requests are piling up and can be answered quickly. For example, detailed and clear FAQs provide a remedy for this, which can answer general questions. As a result, many customers do not have to contact customer service at all. Online forums are also a tried and tested means of doing so. Here, customers can exchange ideas with each other.
Self is the man and woman with self-service offers
This self-service offer is ultimately intended to reduce manual effort. This gives customer service more time to deal with the requests in a more personal way. This is where the aforementioned video interaction comes into play. Face-to-face communication awakens empathy, and exemplary sharing of the screen often makes it easier for the customer to understand problem solutions. The collection, analysis and distribution of requests should also be automated. This saves enormous time.
Conclusion: Digitizing customer service
Customer service in the digital age is expensive, but more than worthwhile. Companies that have set Customer Centricity as their philosophy can’t get around it. It is important to provide the best possible and satisfactory support to the customers. This is achieved through personal and quick exchange via live chats or video chat. In order to create the time required for this, so-called self-service offers such as FAQ’s or online forums must be relieved. If customer service is optimally implemented, this ultimately leads to a significant satisfaction in the customer base and a corresponding increase in sales.