Keeping Up With Trends and Tech in Customer Service

John Krautzel
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It's not enough for your customer service strategy to focus on upbeat client interactions and efficient call-center processes. New technology is hitting the market every day, and if you don't keep up with trends and developing tech, your organization will quickly become obsolete. Embracing everything from phones to websites, your customer service strategy needs to grow with the market.

One of the frontiers of customer service technology is the mobile website. Mobile use during the first quarter of 2013 accounted for 25 percent of all website traffic on ecommerce sites, a 200 percent year-on-year increase. If your customer service strategy doesn't take the growing mobile user market into account, then you've already lost a quarter of your potential clients. Your strategy should include developing mobile-friendly sites that allow consumers to find products, make purchases, and access options for support in just a few clicks. Depending on the type of product or service you offer, you should also consider whether a mobile app could improve communication speeds or offer additional value to your consumers.

When developing any type of customer service strategy, it's important to understand how clients expect to interact with technology. As well as being able to access information and functionality on the go, customers also expect immediate attention when something goes wrong. In a 2013 customer survey conducted by Forrester, 83 percent of respondents reported needing assistance at some point when navigating company websites. You need a system in place to respond to consumer enquiries and questions, but you may not realize how efficient customers expect those systems to be. According to the Forrester survey, 71 percent of consumers expect a response within five minutes; almost half will leave the site if they do not get a timely response. New technology allows you to create automated help and response features, and leverage functions such as instant messaging to allow CSRs to offer real-time help when necessary.

In its seven-part series about customer service tech, points out the importance of aligning technology with your existing customer service strategy. While tech has become essential to positive customer experiences in most organizations, it is possible to go too far. Overspending on unnecessary solutions depletes resources that might be better spent on CSR training or bonus programs. Too much automation removes a vital human element from your customer service process. It's important to pay attention to what customers are saying about both technology and the overall experience.

With the current growth in all technology sectors, if you don't start taking tech trends into account today, your customer service strategy is likely to be out of date tomorrow. Review the trends, take note of what the competition is doing, and never lose sight of the big picture, and you'll be ready to grow your organization along with the market.

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