Customer service has to adapt to today’s technology which delivers much faster, easier ways of shopping for more savvy, digitally-connected customers.
Today’s technology has created a new wave of how business is done. In-store interactions customer experience should accommodate today’s more savvy, digitally-connected, DIY-minded customer. Armed with smartphones and gigabytes of online data for product research, customers today are in complete control of the buying experience. But customer service can still be a competitive advantage in today’s high-tech world.
In his interesting post on winning customers within the first 30 seconds they enter a store, Flavio writes that “you must create an environment that is comfortable for your customer.”
I agree, and I would apply that to every point of contact: online and over-the-phone as well as in-store. I’d also remember that customers are more DIY these days, particularly online and over the phone—good customer service should tailor to that.
For anyone with internet access or a phone, checking an account balance means popping online or calling an automated system. It’s a 30-second process. It’s not an hour getting into your car, driving to the bank, waiting in line and getting your account balance from a teller.
Today’s customers demand more from your customer service experience
Customer-service experts are writing a lot lately about how customers are more demanding than we used to be (I wrote ‘we’ because it’s all of us). We are more demanding. But it didn’t happen in a vacuum.
Fact is, no one drives to the bank when they can make a quick phone call or go online (at their PC or on their mobile phone wherever they are). So, it’s not so much that customers have changed as customer-service options have.
Technology is a key to optimizing your customer service point of contact
Technology certainly is a big part of it. Internet access and automated phone systems make customer-service interactions faster and easier than they used to be. It’s only face-to-face or person-to-person phone conversations that still lag.
But even in-store interactions should accommodate today’s more savvy, DIY shoppers. Honestly, I don’t even enter stores unless I’ve already gone online to see the store’s stock or at least the brands they carry.
Why? Because there are faster, much easier ways of shopping today, while still getting great customer service. Go online, find stores that sell whatever you’re looking for, narrow down the list to a couple stores to visit in person. Then go.
Compare that to the old way of running around for hours from store to store, hearing over and over that they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for until you finally reach the two stores that have exactly what you want and which you would have found online in the first place.
30 Seconds to Win the Customer
Flavio writes in his post that you have 30 seconds to win customers. Again, I agree, and I’d apply that to online and over-the-phone points of contact as well. It’s a must-have attitude if you want to develop a winning customer service experience strategy.
Frankly, today’s customers are savvy. A poorly designed website or automated phone system can turn customers off as fast as a cluttered storefront or an indifferent employee. You have to optimize the customer experience online and in every other customer touch point too.
It’s just something to remember in all our customer service efforts.