What’s Changed with Customer Service?

February 19, 2018

While the methods for contacting a company have changed frequently since the beginning of modern companies, customer service is still the same concept: a company addressing the complaints of a customer about their products or services.

For most of the 20th century, a customer usually contacted the company by either going to the company in person, mail or the telephone. They all have flaws: sometimes a company is just too far away to visit, or complaints via mail would take too long, and phone calls can end up awkward and confrontational if the customer or the customer service representative gets agitated.

Slowly, the rise of computers in daily life, the creation of a ‘global village’ via the Internet and the proliferation of smartphones has opened up new ways for both customers and CS reps to contact each other. Electronic mail is near-instantaneous, can be used to transfer files and can be used by anyone connected to the Internet, no matter how slow their connection may be. Emails quickly became a valuable method of communication, as customers can take their time to describe the issue and representatives can take their time delivering a response rather than putting a call on hold or deferring the issue to a workmate.

Phones have improved too. Modern phones are able to show the caller’s number, allowing the representative to call back rather than hoping the customer calls them again. The commonality of mobile phones also means that you can call a CS rep anywhere, whenever needed.

The triad of the Internet, social media and the smartphone has added new dimensions to customer service that were thought impossible. Chatbots and live chats can now initiate a conversation with a customer on your company’s website. Feedback tickets can be issued and distributed to customer service departments, keeping the process quick and tidy.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter what method customers use, it’s the expectation of good customer service that matters. The feeling that their communication with a customer service rep was worthwhile is a much better feeling than exasperatingly hanging up or closing a browser tab feeling like they’ve wasted their time.

At Soft Intelligence, we’re passionate about gathering feedback and ‘soft intelligence’ from your clients and customers, transforming it into straightforward and accurate data that turns the hassle of feedback processing into a breeze.

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