What are some ways technology will affect the future of customer service? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
There’s a lot of excitement about new technology in customer service, support, and success. The progress of video, real-time messaging, chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI), programming and tech, cryptocurrencies, self-service, and even customer success itself, all present the potential for big changes in the day-to-day workings of customer success practitioners. But with new technology come challenges, too. There’s a steep learning curve when it comes to learning to use and adapt to new technologies, they can be costly for businesses to implement, and there’s the looming concern we all feel about some new tech: Will it steal our jobs? The short answer is no. Most new technologies will only serve to help customer-facing professionals to do their jobs more efficiently. These technologies might change your job, however, and that’s where these predictions come in.
1. Face-To-Face Video Communication Will Increase
Eye contact is powerful, and customers, more and more, will look at non-video, real-time voice conversation as a thing of the past. Companies using video — asynchronously, as “video voicemail” (e.g. Loom) or synchronously, as “video conference” (e.g. Zoom with video) — are a generation ahead.
2. Customers Will Expect an Omni-Channel Service Experience
Your brick-and-mortar stores aren’t the only places where customers interact with your business. With social media, ecommerce, and third-party review sites, customers can engage your company through a variety of digital mediums. This increased accessibility will drive the need for omni-channel experiences. Omni-channel support is distinctively different from multichannel support as omni-channel syncs your communication channels together so both your team and your customers can work seamlessly between them.
3. Real-Time Messaging Will Outpace Email
Email is dead, and long live chat. Right?
Well, yes and no. Just like video, customers expect you to be always on — and most of them prefer to interact using chat than phone or email. Facebook Messenger as a channel for support has pushed us ahead light years! Now, you can converse with businesses in real-time, and Facebook will even show you their average responsiveness (and if that responsiveness is poor, forget even engaging at all). This expectation of real-time messaging and responsiveness seeps into other media, too. It’s not just the expectation on Facebook Messenger or Slack (either internally or with vendors), but on-site conversations and chat are all expected to be real-time, 1:1, and authentic. That’s a big change from the world of asynchronous snail mail, and then email.
4. Remote Work Will Become More Normal
The future of customer service will not only push customers online, but it’ll move service reps there, too. Rather than being confined to call centers, service reps will have more tools to work remotely. They’ll field customer inquiries from the comfort of their homes, instead of having to work in an office setting.