So much of the early move into digital was concerned with products. The rise of compression moved us from CDs to MP3s, and facilitated the rise of iTunes. eBay and Amazon were built on the ability to connect products to people – and remain popular because of this. But the next phase of digitisation has brought not only products online, but the ability to digitise intangible offerings like customer service – digital servicing. For many customers, the internet is often a first port of call and increasingly, mobile is the channel of choice.
Why is it important?
Businesses that do not offer the always on customer access to digital servicing (through portals, social media and online chat), aren’t just missing out on crucial touch points, but can actually be damaging the opportunity for future interaction.
More customers are likely to vent about a bad experience on review sites such as Yelp, or even leave reviews directly on retail sites such as Amazon. Research commissioned by customer service platform Zendesk has found not only does customer service have an impact on buying habits, but review websites are a major influence in online buying decisions – 88% of respondents said they were influenced by online reviews.
Case in point: Serving the customer anytime and anyplace
Several online business have supercharged their customer and digital servicing efforts by investing in more staff and robust platforms. The rise of online devices means businesses must be ready to deal with potentially unhappy customers at anytime, on any platform:
What you need to know
- The modern customer is able to access information quickly, and therefore demands an equally rapid response – no matter the channel. This means digital servicing must be prioritised.
- The outcome of the digital servicing experience is more critical, especially given the speed and penetration of bad reviews particularly through social media networks. Investing more resources and training into customer service is essential to minimise the risk of experiences running out of control.