Customer Expectations and How They Are Changing the Way Businesses Operate

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Victoria Penrose 29th February 2016 3 minute read

Customer Expectations and How They Are Changing the Way Businesses Operate

The global economy is changing and technology keeps on advancing. In order to provide that great experience customers expect, businesses must learn how to adapt with the trends.

Today’s customers are device-dependent. Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or iPad, consumers search and analyse products before they make a decision to purchase. Organisations - led by an increasing demand to keep up-to-date with technology - are handing over the purchasing power to the consumer. After all, customers prefer speed, ease, efficiency and convenience above friendly service. An OpinionLab survey found that individuals are more likely to turn to their devices or to social media for guidance, rather than contact a customer service representative by phone or in-person. 

Here are three tips to help organisations meet customer expectations:

  1. Offer self-service where possible

Self-service, which allows customers to carry out transactions easily and efficiently themselves, also allows customer service agents more time to spend on more complex enquiries. Why spend time waiting to speak to an agent about changing your energy tariff or finding out your bank balance when it can all be accessed via a couple of page clicks?

  1. Keep it personal

Just because you’re not having a face-to-face interaction with a customer, doesn’t mean that you don’t have their purchasing history and requirements to hand. The more customer service agents know about a customer, the quicker they can solve an issue. Customer Relationship Management or CRM data provides a customer’s insights, so agents can provide a personalised experience.

  1. Provide an omnichannel experience

Managing customer interactions at all levels or touch points is just as important as the overall customer service experience. If a customer starts a conversation in one channel and then moves on to the next, they shouldn’t have to restart the conversation. For example, if someone fills out an online form about a recent order and then picks up the phone to follow up, the frontline agent must be able to pick up where the online form left off. To offer a seamless service that spans all channels, businesses need to invest in the right tools.

It is now a reality that we can manage our central heating systems remotely. In a short space of time, will our kitchen appliances be able to order our groceries? The technology is there and organisations need to ensure that they keep up to speed with the latest developments to ensure they meet the future expectations of customers. 

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