The UK is a nation of smartphone addicts. Deloitte's sixth annual Mobile Consumer Survey reveals that four out of five adults now own a smartphone, with one in three admitting to checking their phone in the middle of the night.
When the smartphone came out, it completely changed the game for digital technology and communications. Suddenly, users no longer needed separate devices for music, the internet, phone calls, photos, GPS, etc. Instead, they had access to all of it in one hand with the push of a button - and the world never looked back.
Just because a web page is popular doesn’t mean that it’s useful. In fact, it could be getting in the way of a more useful page.
“We’ve recently decided to remove Basic rights at work, the most visited advice page on our website,” Hannah Horton from the UK’s Citizen Advice recently wrote. “It gets 70,000 visits a month and is in the top results for lots of queries about work problems on Google.”
Adam Bender from Computerworld Australia recently reported on an event hosted by IPscape exploring the challenges companies continue to have delivering customer service that meets expectations. With exploding connectivity and consumer expectations for instant service one would think businesses would be forced to respond. However fear and other factors have made progress slow.
The internet is growing and evolving quickly - and so are customer expectations. Today, over 40% of the world’s population is online, and these users are spending over $2.2 trillion dollars in the online retail space. On top of that, with new technologies and capabilities popping up every day, these customers have come to expect flawless online experiences where they can find the answers, products, or services that they are looking for quickly, efficiently and independently.
New technology and higher customer expectations are rapidly changing the game for customer service and the customer experience. The short version? Digital is taking over and customers want more, faster. If you want to meet the needs of your customers and stay ahead of the competition, then, you have to prepare for these changes and understand how they will impact your business and your job. Let’s break it down.
From banking to bill paying, self-service is the new norm. Consumers are increasingly being empowered to do almost anything themselves online, from checking prices to checking in at the airport. Where there’s a will, consumers want a way, and that includes procuring their own customer service.
Customer support is rapidly changing. What is next in the world of customer support? In a word – Chatbots. Messaging platforms are already wildly popular for peer-to-peer interaction on mobile. Between Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (both owned by Facebook), there are over 2 billion users on both platforms. Facebook is now developing Messenger as a B2C support channel and already thousands of brands have launched chatbots on Messenger channels.
No surprise, self-service continues to climb in importance. Web self-service use increased to 76% in 2014, up 9% from 2012, Forrester research data shows. But have self-service channels completely removed strain from customer service contact centers? Have they improved the overall customer satisfaction scores?
Self-service is starting to gain further predominance in the service industry. From fast food chains implementing kiosks that allow customers to put in their orders, to stores making apps that allow customers to make quick purchases from the comfort of their homes, companies are starting to shift their business approach from the old assisted service model to the new self-service model.