During National Customer Service Week, we asked Echo employees to share their views on the Future of Customer Service. Here, Dinny Harkin, a customer service advisor from Echo Northern Ireland shares his thoughts...
The world is always evolving, with standards getting higher, technology advancing and people's expectations becoming more demanding.
Today's consumer demands impeccable customer service, and with more supplier choice out there, it is in most businesses interests to make the customer happy. But, what do customers expect from us to make them happy? We all wish we had a magic wand to grant our customers' wishes and a crystal ball that could foresee troubles the customer will face. Alas, we don't have these capabilities. We must use what we currently have.
"With the world depending so much on today's digital era, the future of customer service is tied into the advancement of technology."
Most houses in Northern Ireland have a computer or a phone capable of internet access. In the future, I believe it will be compulsory for every person to be linked into a world network. I see an age where world network access is mandatory. Advertisements will be compulsory to view and will be chargeable to not to see.
So how will customer service evolve with this new technology? Besides from advertisement, all buying, social networking, likes and dislikes will be formulated for each individual and will be catalogued into their individual account which will be housed on the world network. Internal diaries will be added to control peoples' schedules, sending reminders and letting you know when you completed a transaction and when you're next scheduled to do so. Customer enquiries will be computerised as all buying will be done online. Sales will be predictive based on what the customer should like given their previous purchases and their interests.
"Complaints however will still have to be handled by humans, as the human race will not accept the answer "no" coming from a computer."
Complaints will need interaction, and in some cases, further investigation. From the first interaction with a customer, an agent will be able to bring up a clear history of that customer according to what the customer means to the business; from simple and basic personal information right through to every interaction they have ever had with the company.
A computerised formula will have predicted where they see the customer's journey with the company and where they want to see that customer journey going moving forward. Every interaction from the customer will impact on and affect the formula, and it will be the agent's job to get the customer back on the right path. Designated scripts will be in place, but each agent will be assessed on their success rate to balance out the customer's path - therefore improvisation will continue to play a vital role in the future of customer service.
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