Many manufacturers assume that good customer service means having a helpline or a service team on the road constantly. And no doubt, these can form a critical part of an effective customer service mix. However, today’s tech-savvy and busy customers are moving away from traditional customer service at alarming rates, and OEMs risk being left to play catch-up.

Non-traditional methods of providing customer service are being enabled by digital transformation projects that redefine how a manufacturer interacts with their customers. These methods of customer service are regarded by customers as being quicker, more effective, and less complicated forms of communication than the traditional communication methods of telephone calls and emails, and the statistics back it up:

  • 60% of consumers aged 18-34 regularly use live chat for customer service (compared to 32% of consumers aged 55+).
  • 65% of consumers have used instant messaging or online chat systems in the past 12 months, and 63% of Millennials prefer to have customer service questions answered via live chat instead of via traditional channels.
  • 81% of Millennials, 63% of Gen Xers, and 44% of Boomers have used social media to interact with a company’s customer service.

This means that customers are moving away from traditional customer service, and they are doing so increasingly generation by generation – even in the conservative industries that you operate in. The businesses that will out-perform their competitors are those that adapt more quickly to these new demands.

While it’s clear that today’s customers prefer non-traditional means of communicating with businesses, it gets even more interesting – they only want to communicate with customer service when they absolutely have to. In fact, many customers don’t want to talk to you at all.

Self-service systems are becoming increasingly popular, and their increase in popularity is being led by customer demand. In Business to Consumer industries, more than 90% of consumers expect companies to have an online customer self-service offering, with 60% having a more favourable view of the business if that self-service offering is mobile responsive.

In the past 12 months, 84% of people claim to have used a self-service system, and market predictions indicate that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their business relationships without interacting with a human at all.

We are seeing a direct correlation if this behaviour happening among your customers when it comes to aftermarket interactions.

Ultimately, customers want accurate and relevant information readily at their fingertips, and they want quick solutions to their problems so they can focus on their jobs which are getting more and more complex.

Poor customer service can have a long-lasting detrimental impact on a business, and it can be incredibly difficult to regain customer loyalty once they’ve had a bad experience. Self-service systems offer an efficient and effective solution for both businesses and customers, with customers having the ability to request direct help from the company only when it’s required.

As non-traditional methods of customer service are increasing in popularity, it’s imperative that your business should first consider how a digital transformation project could be implemented to benefit your customer, and your bottom line. We can help with that.

For more information go to our services page.

1 December 2018 by