Brett Shockley (Avaya) talks about how Customer 2.0 is forcing companies to change the way they provide customer service.
[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2011 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]
- Who is Customer 2.0? They are digital natives who were born with keyboards in their hands. Now that they are graduating from college, they have more disposable income. And they are intolerant of older forms of customer service — they are unwilling to sit on the phone in a voicemail loop. They would much prefer obtaining service directly over the web. Most of all, they just want service via their smartphones.
- Are companies ready for new customer media channels? Are their customer service agents trained to provide the kind of support that Customer 2.0 needs? Does the company have a platform that integrates all the channels that a customer might use so that it is a seamless experience. (This avoids the typical problem of starting a service request via the web and then being forced to begin all over again over the telephone.)
- Smarter Smartphone Technical SupportAllow basic customer data gathering via the smartphone and then pass the information throughout process without requiring rentry. Then provide a knowledge base to allow self-service technical support. If this doesn’t solve the problem, transfer the customer to a service agent, but give the customer credit for the time spent in self-service and move them ahead in the queue.
- Customers are setting the agenda.60% of customers change their method of contacting service providers based on where they are. Therefore, companies need to be prepared to meet customers where they are. Further, 83% of customers say they choose businesses based on the quality of service provided.