Recent research on customer service reveals that “68% of consumers say they are willing to
pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service
Not only are customers willing to shell out the big bucks to retail brands with quality customer
service, but they’re also more likely to become loyal, repeat customers, something all retail
small business owners strive for.
Digital retailers worldwide are using technology to provide fantastic customer service. But is
technology hurting their customer service strategy more than it’s helping it?
As much as technology makes this world a better place, it’s also found itself in the middle of
some of the worst customer service experiences to date. Luckily, if you know common
pitfalls to avoid, you’ll be able to leverage technology to ensure your customer service
experience is seamless.
Before we dive into tips for using technology to improve your customer service processes, let’s
explore three common annoyances that customers have with a business’s use of technology
regarding customer service.
Can’t Talk to a Real Person
One of the worst things about businesses that use technology in their customer service
processes is how hard it is to access a real person.
Technology can’t replace the value of talking to a real person for most customers. If you’re
going to implement technology to optimize your customer service processes, you must still
make real people available to handle more complex issues or just, so people have options.
Also, many businesses that implement technology to help their customer service processes
don’t realize that they’ve made them much longer and more complicated to navigate.
Makes the Process Longer
A lot of the time, technology increases the time you have to interact in a customer service
situation. For instance, someone could engage with a chatbot about a customer service issue
for half an hour, all to get transferred to a live agent in which they have to retell their problem, be
transferred to another department, so on and so forth.
Like chatbots or customer analytics tools, customer service-related technology can make
processes faster, personalized, and cost-effective. However, if there isn’t a straightforward use
for them, they can prolong the time someone has to spend with customer service and even
have you using inaccurate information that slows the process down even more.
Ultimately, people want an omnichannel customer service experience, but you must ensure that
whatever technology you use doesn’t take your customers on a merry-ride to no-resolution land.
Finally, customers can get highly annoyed with how much is asked of them when interacting
with businesses that use technology in their customer service processes.
Asking for Too Much
It seems like companies want just about everything from you these days, including your social
security number, address, and especially your email. They’re even asking customers if it’s okay
that they track their actions on their website to provide them with tailored ads and so forth.
A company’s desire to track a customer’s every move and store as much information about
them as possible in their databases could be hurting their customer service efforts. On the other
hand, if you find a balance with what you’re asking for, it could make or break the success of
your eCommerce business in the future.
Now, let’s look at some tips for using technology to improve your customer service processes.
Four Tips for Using Technology to Improve Your Customer Service Processes
Ready to ensure tech is a help rather than a hindrance for your customer service? Here are four
tips for doing so today:
Before implementing any technology, one of the best things you can do is to brainstorm how it
can help and hinder your customer service processes. Use brainstorming tools and call regular
meetings to ensure your team’s customer service priorities are aligned and to help reveal
opportunities for more efficient use of technology.
Dive into the research phase after brainstorming how tech can help and hinder your customer
Be sure to take your time researching every tool you plan to implement and the discussion
surrounding technology’s role in customer service processes.
For instance, there’s a lot of discussion about using enterprise artificial intelligence in customer
service. From instant access to assistance through chatbots to data collection that enhances the
experience, AI has a lot of potential for improving customer service.
At the same time, just because artificial intelligence has a promising future in business doesn’t
mean it will work for your business and customers. So, take your time in the research phase to
ensure you’re choosing the right tech tools for your business.
Next, test out any technology you want to use beforehand.
Experimentation is key to finding the most suitable tech tools to implement in your customer
service processes. Make it a regular practice to test out any technology you want to use before
making a final decision.
Lastly, be sure you’re ready to make continuous adjustments to your technology as your
customer service process evolves.
Make insightful adjustments
You probably won’t stick with the same technology forever, nor should you strive to. Customer
service is an ongoing project. Therefore the technology you use to support your customer
service processes will and should evolve too. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the
technology you’re using so that you’re providing the best customer service experience at all
Making sure tech is a help rather than a hindrance for your customer service is easier said than
It’s best to take the time to brainstorm how technology can be an advantage for your service
strategy, thoroughly research the tech tools you want to implement, test them out, and make
insightful adjustments to your customer service technology when needed.
Then, you’ll be well on your way to creating a customer service experience that’s supported by
technology rather than outshined by it.