Get in Touch

Will customer service lose the human touch? … Author Gemma Baker, Click4Assistance

by on June 21, 2017 in Business, Digital Marketing, featured item, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets

Will customer service lose the human touch? … Author Gemma Baker, Click4Assistance

10 years ago customer service was a very different concept.

Apple introduced the iPhone on 29th June 2007; now in 2017 it is not uncommon that businesses aspire to be as customer-centric as the technology giant.

Customers still expected great service however they weren’t in as much of a hurry as they are today, with demand for instant service growing.  “57% of online customers say they are very likely to abandon their purchase if they can’t quickly find the answer to their question.”[1]

2016 saw the interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Chatbot technology begin to come a reality in customer service, with Facebook leading the way with the release of Chatbots into Messenger, however, consumers started to become wary whether they were speaking with a human or robotic representative, and who can blame them with reports earlier this year that the Chatbots have hit a 70% failure rate!

Technology has grown rapidly from the beginnings of the World Wide Web 28 years ago, it has enabled people to access a comprehensive library of information, purchase goods and communicate with one another and businesses instantly.

Web chat software in the US took off with the UK coming round to the idea of the communication channel more steadily, however businesses that have welcomed the real-time tool are jumping at the possibilities that AI and Chatbots could bring.

Will it be the end of customer service provided by humans in the next 10 years?

Automation

In factories, robotics took over jobs that were too dangerous or less productive for people to do, however, the introduction of automation in manufacturing has created specialist jobs including installation, maintenance and repairing.

A more recent example is self-service checkouts in supermarkets; the option is available in addition to tills operated by humans. There are still faults in the technology and many people prefer to go to a human operated till, as they receive a friendly service and the representative will not have as many variants that can cause an issue as the terminals have. How many times you have heard “unexpected item in the bagging area!”

NCR report in their white paperSelf-Checkout: A Global Consumer Perspective” that in 2013 there were 191,000 self-checkout terminals which will reach near to 325,000 in 2019.

The terminals are coexisting with human representatives who assist when customer experience difficulty and on checkouts. In the 25 years since their initial debut self-service checkouts have not overtaken the customer service provided by humans and are just one of the methods of purchasing available to consumers.

Change of Pace

The demand for rapid growth in technology has been spurred on by the impatience of the consumer, once we would have waited ages for a webpage to load up via dial up connection, now we get frustrated if Netflix takes a moment to buffer. Consumer expectations have changed along with their lifestyles and customer service will need to adapt to offer more channels and ways for customers to engage.

However despite the changes, a footprint is already in place, from landline telephone to the first mobile and now smart phones or from writing on paper to type writers and now computers, everything we do has elements of the past and have grown from those ideas.

Customer service in 10 years’ time may be different but not completely, we are in a digital age of taking an invention that works and adapting it to keep up with the modern customer, helping to exceed their expectations so they purchase time after time.

Regardless of whatever technology is introduced there will always be a human aspect as this in the baseline we are adapting from.

We are creatures of habit and we crave human connections, if we have a problem we want a person at the other end to listen and be able to understand our frustrations, we want to give companies the opportunity to impress us but at the same time we want instant gratitude, businesses are trying to find the best ways to do this and it seems that social media and live chat are the best methods currently.

How do you see technology and customer service evolving in the next 10 years?

Author Bio: Gemma Baker is the Marketing Executive for UK web chat software provider, Click4Assistance, with a range of digital knowledge within PPC advertising, SEO practices, email campaigns and social media

 


 

Print article