Technology has made so many major advances over the past two decades that affect the way people live, work and interact with the world. The lifestyle of the past seems a distant memory with progressive innovations. Customer service has specifically taken on a new meaning in today's fast-paced, tech-savvy world, as consumer expectations mirror what's happening with technological advances.
As computer operating systems, phones and other mobile devices become faster, consumer expectations for quick turnaround times when dealing with tech support or other customer service outlets increase. Options such as live chat and 24-hour phone support have led consumers to demand that their customer service needs be dealt with immediately, regardless of the time of day or the complexity of the problem.
Customers in a speed-obsessed world don't like waiting. They expect overnight delivery, express checkouts and ad-free entertainment. If a business doesn't meet its customers needs rapidly and through various means, the customers simply look for one that does.
Consumer expectations for speed are matched by their frustration with and intolerance for inaccuracies in customer service correspondence or communications. Customers expect that with the integration of so many different computer systems, software and the ability to literally cut and paste information between accounts, accuracy should not be tantamount in a professional setting. Additionally, because remedying inaccuracy slows down the process of a customer getting his customer service needs met, frustration becomes compounded and leads to an overall unsatisfying customer experience if the problem is not dealt with appropriately from the start.
With the rise of social media, consumer expectations of corporate formalities have changed dramatically. Customers no longer perceive the stores where they shop and the companies that they do business with as impersonal entities. Many people interact regularly with representatives from these companies via social media and review websites. Consumers expect these companies to eagerly respond to customer feedback and opinions, and to do so rapidly and with versatility.
Businesses can no longer rely on old models of customer service that have rules which are set in stone. Today's consumers expect flexibility and relatability. With Internet access to a huge variety of choices when it comes to purchasing goods and services, consumers are more aware than ever that they have the option to take their business elsewhere if they are not satisfied with the service they're receiving, and they are quick to advertise issues that arise when customer service does not meet their expectations.
Customer loyalty in a tech-savvy world full of smart consumers who know their rights, limitations and power means having companies that keep the changing times in mind. Businesses that know they must not only meet but try to exceed consumer expectations are the ones leading the pack in a new media world.
Photo courtesy of [Dell Inc.] at Flickr.com