2013 Customer Service Trends – High Tech Needs High Touch – Part 1 of 4

Recent research from the American Customer Satisfaction Index studies (as noted in this businessinsider.com article) showed that 3 of the worst 14 companies for customer service were in social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook).  And how do these companies deliver customer service? Not typically on the telephone or face-to-face.  And that tells you part of the reason why they’re rated so low.

The Impact of No Personal Service

Customer service is about responsiveness and attitude and process effectiveness in getting the need met. When customers don’t get an answer via the web, for example, companies need to effectively deliver those aspects of customer service (responsiveness and attitude and process effectiveness) personally.  If they don’t, then they end up looking bad in customer service studies like the ACSI.

We address all 4 Key Trends for 2013 in our Stepping Up Service Podcast, but here’s Trend #1 for 2013…

TREND #1 – High Tech Needs High Touch

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Web-oriented companies will begin to learn the pitfalls of having no personal touch in customer service. They’ll see the bottom line impact of customer churn, bad PR, and viral “complaints gone wild.”  With many web-based firms, there are low barriers to entry by competitors, and that will pull market share and lower barriers to exit by customers.

What’s the Answer?

More and more web-based firms will begin to put a dollar figure on customer service and satisfaction (as well as the cost of poor customer service and lost business).  Once they put a financial figure on it, they will begin to see the value of retention, the additional sales that can come from existing clients, and the easier sales job to upsell and cross-sell when you have those satisfied customers.  They’ll work to minimize the root causes of complaints, and find themselves operating more efficiently and cost-effectively because of it.

In short, once the value of customer service is put into financial perspective, the trend you’ll see is for more high-tech businesses to build a solid, personalized high-touch component.

We’ll be back next week with Trend #2 for 2013.

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