Magazine article CRM Magazine

Six Customer Service Investments to Consider: Emerging Technology Trends Hold Great Promise

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Six Customer Service Investments to Consider: Emerging Technology Trends Hold Great Promise

Article excerpt

CUSTOMER service organizations often struggle to choose the best applications to invest in, due to the myriad options available and, in many cases, the need to work with a very limited budget. Major advances in recent years, such as the rapid growth in global data, smartphones, social networks, and video content for consumer interactions, drive the need for change. Future planning must consider the shift in customer expectations for interactive cross-channel service delivery.

Still, customer support managers have remained cautious. Adoption of social media customer care requires that customers receive a response consistent with the information provided on the phone and Web. To meet expectations, customer support managers should consider increasing support in six areas: community forums, mobile application customer care, automated chat, real-time analytics, big data analytics, and video support. These investments offer quantifiable business benefits and valuable customer insight.

Customer support leaders need to develop a sound business case that clearly identifies the key pain points of their current operation and quantifies the potential savings from upgrades. When developing a business case, a number of benefits must be considered.

TRENDS TO NOTE

Community forums provide an online meeting place for customers to share information and get peer support. Content includes blogs, interactive chat, timely tips, self-help videos, and major event notification. Such forums engage customers and improve their perception of doing business with a brand. Companies that offer such forums see incoming phone calls decline by as much as 8 percent.

Mobile customer support provides assisted service directly from mobile apps. With the huge increase in available apps, more customers are using smartphones for conducting transactions or requesting information on products or services. Mobile customer support provides faster responses and interacts with customers at the time of greatest interest. It also delivers a seamless experience from the smartphone, as contextual transfer of all information submitted on the mobile app is sent to a sales rep when live assistance is needed. Contextual transfer of information shortens the call duration, as customers do not need to re-enter information. …

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