Improving customer service generally calls for a few things.
Treating people like people and not ROI numbers.
Ensuring swift problem redressal.
Friendly and efficient interactions all across the board.
But where Millennials – the worlds most rapidly growing buying power are concerned brands feel stumped. These purchasers are:
- Willing to pay more for excellent service
- Extremely conscious of what they want
- Quick to take to social media with complaints
In short they have the potential to be very harsh critics.
Thankfully there are two significant technological trends on the horizon that will reshape customer service in exciting ways and thrill even finicky buyers: the Internet of Things and Big Data.
Improving Customer Service With the Internet of Things
Efficiency is a huge part of good customer service. It’s incredibly frustrating to stand in line for an hour or go through a phone tree and end up on hold for 45 minutes. The Internet of Things promises to help companies proactively recognize and solve customer service problems.
For example, say you buy a laptop with a sensor in it that directly reports to the laptop’s manufacturer. You boot up your computer, but it doesn’t make it past the loading screen. You try it a few more times, and it’s just not working. Suddenly, you get a text message from the company that sold you the laptop asking if you need help with your computer. With a tap, you have a video chat open and a technician ready to help.
Obviously, this is only a hypothetical, but as physical items start to become more connected, it’ll be easier to track and report data that helps companies serve customers better. In fact, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, companies selling products should start switching their mindset from a transactional approach to a more long-term relationship approach.
That’s because the connected nature of future homes and businesses through the Internet of Things will make it possible to deliver ongoing support or additional services like never before. Imagine a retailer that gives you personalised promotions on your favorite food purchases because you’ve been using your crock-pot a few times per week.
Focus on building an ecosystem around your product. Remember the experience economy? That will become even more relevant as the Internet of Things expands to new devices, because remember:
Thanks to the Internet of Things, you’ll be able to exceed their expectations throughout the lifetime of their relationship with you.
Improving Customer Service With Big Data
Big data is already widespread and growing, but it can’t get here too soon! Resources are limited and competition is incredibly fierce among retailers, consultants, and other businesses. Fortunately, you can count on big data to help you pinpoint what customers really want.
Excellent customer service starts with efficient responses. You don’t want any of your buyers to sit around waiting for help. Big data can help by identifying consumers’ preferred channels of communication through software analytics and allowing you to shift resources to meet the demand where it actually is.
While surveys are still one way of gauging customer satisfaction, participation can be spotty and it’s hard to collect and utilize that data on a wide scale. With big data, you’re able to burrow down to a whole new level of detail. Let’s look at it this way, Social Mention is a tool that can identify whether tweets mentioning your brand are positive or negative. Cross-reference the results of Social Mention with internal data you’ve collected from your sales and customer service departments, segment them by region, and you’ve got some solid information to target your improvement efforts with.
As you can see, the data itself isn’t enough — you also need to have an easy and reliable way to access it. You simply don’t have the time to sift through that information manually, and the whole point is to track data that yields valuable insights to improve the customer experience.
These days, if you browse the internet for CrossFit gear with your Gmail account active, and then log back into Facebook later on, you’ll probably see CrossFit ads. Over time, we’ll be moving towards a unified database. In other words, big data is prevalent and its here to stay.
It’s up to business owners to come up with the best way of processing and responding to the available data, in conjunction with the Internet of Things to make choosy Millennials customers for life.