The Future of Self-Service Depends on Technology: Use it Well

The Future of Self-Service Depends on Technology: Use it Well

Kanchi Vasavada

October 11th, 2022

Customer service is the key differentiator. Almost any product or service has reached a certain scale of quality. With the overhaul in technology and the speed and consistency at which any customer can be satisfied, there needs to be something that can put your brand front and center. And customer service can do that heavy lifting.

The best way to prepare for this situation is to depend heavily on technology. So, how will you provide futuristic service to your customers? Here’s how:

1. More video interaction

It is not always possible to meet customers in person; this is where video conferencing can help you solve their queries quickly and in real-time. Seeing you actively work on their queries also provides a layer of trust. If the pandemic has taught us anything, video interaction is just as effective as an in-person interaction, and you can use it to your advantage.

This type of service is especially useful regarding software demos or resolving technical queries. The customer service representative can set up a call based on the requirement and quickly solve the problem to satisfy your customer or even convert a potential customer easily. Video conferencing brings the necessary human touch for global enterprises that can sometimes impress customers so much that they become your brand advocates.

2. Email will (finally) die.

Really when was the last time you emailed your queries to a company? The most I do is send out a tweet, and if the brand is genuinely good, they will have their eyes on the bird app, and my challenge will be gone by the time I send a second tweet.

Emails are clunky and leave too much up to the customer to describe. Often customers cannot describe their challenge; the challenge may not even need one; it might just need a quick resolution.

Email is also insufficient because, at best, what it can do is register a complaint. But there is no way to perform any action except for replying to the customer. At the end of the day, there are simply too many emails in your and your customer’s inbox, with no clarity on whether the issue was solved or not.

The death of email as a way for query resolution will die soon. It is too incomplete and half-baked an option.

Instead, the obvious best choice is to provide self-service and cut down on having to respond to repetitive queries or logistical challenges. A SuiteCRM customer portal can show the customers things like returns, shipment tracking, and so on.

3. Social media as a service avenue

As I said, I tweet my complaints and get resolutions—the future will be exactly this. Customers will increasingly prefer to interact on social media and expect brands to do the same. Brands will have to keep an eye on all social channels to see if anyone mentions them and revert instantly.

Social media is already used greatly as a promotional tool, but it has great potential to be a customer service tool. You can expect even more people to tweet at your brand simply; they will even expect a response from you there. With social media as a service avenue, you will have to be extra careful as it will be public. You’ll have to provide the right solutions efficiently. We will see how that can also be easy in the next point.

4. Omnichannel experiences

Omnichannel customer support is the future. Depending on your industry, you will have to deal with customer complaints from various channels. If you’re an airline, customers will have challenges booking tickets, general inquiries about luggage, meals, missed flights and lost luggage.

With an omnichannel support desk, you will be able to have an inflow of tickets and queries from social media, in-person interactions, live chat, and so on, and you’ll be able to respond to each in the right manner and through the right medium in real-time.

Any time a customer has a question, they can feed it in, and if the answer to that is already in your knowledge base, the case will be deflected, and they will get their questions answered.

If you truly leverage the potential of omnichannel experiences, you can ensure that you are always there for your customers where they want you to be.

5. AI will help, not replace

Everyone thought that AI would overtake our jobs, but the reality is that it is more helpful than a hindrance or a replacement. If your SuiteCRM customer portal were to have some AI smarts, it can surface the right content to the dashboard or in the knowledge base search without having your customers comb through endless knowledge base entries.

6. Self-service >>>

This is where a customer portal comes in. With the SuiteCRM customer portal, you can leave most things to your customer. They should have certain things in their hands, like being able to update their contact information, change their preferred payment method, update their wishlists, and so on.

If the customer has an issue, they can tackle it through self-service or the knowledge base. Not only does this make the service faster for a customer, but it also saves your support staff from repeatedly working on mundane queries and tasks.

7. Customer service training will matter

While the technology can do the heavy lifting for most of the customer service tasks, your customer service team must be trained to operate CRM and other integrated tools effortlessly.

Technology can and will only take you so far. The most critical of cases will still need an actual human in the loop, and they will be expected to be up-to-date with everything without requiring a separate download from customers, which saves everyone’s time and highlights your organization as a proactive one.

Pro tip: Delivering training materials won’t suffice. Go a step further and see your team in action as to how they tackle the problems using tools. This would give you insight into the gaps between your and your team’s understanding of the tool and maybe a window to understanding what is required to utilize the maximum potential of the customer portal and other tools.

8. Customer success will be key

Customer service is just another prong in the universe of things that drive customer success.

So ensuring your team is on the same page as you regarding the philosophy of what encompasses customer success would be the key to delivering a satisfying and holistic experience.

Along with that, you also need to ensure that your technology empowers you to deliver what you have promised to your customers, and a good customer portal plays a crucial part in that.

9. Data-driven decisions

If you are a startup, then you might not be able to take the data-driven route from the beginning. But as and when you grow, ensuring you have the tools that not only track your customers’ behavior, but also helps you pinpoint the major problems your customers are facing.

CRMs and integrated customer portals are designed to do just that, so when you grow your customer base, you are one step ahead of the problems removing hindrances for your customers with data-driven customer service strategies.

These are not necessarily things that are too far in the future; start implementing them now to adapt to customer service demands in the future. Top-notch customer service is the only way to stand out in the crowd!

Consult us for your customer portal needs to learn more about how we can customize our solution for your needs.

 

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