In today’s increasingly digital world, many of our connections are made and generated online. From crowdsourced service to social media mentions, customer service is also done using a keyboard, rather than face-to-face in-person or talking with an actual human person on the phone. But even as every facet of our daily lives and customer interactions go digital, people are yearning for human contact, especially when it comes to doing business, perhaps even more than ever before. It’s important for a business’ success and customer happiness that humans are a part of the digital customer service experience.
Emotional Connections Improve Customer Happiness
Emotions play a crucial role in customer relationships and customer happiness. And as advanced as computers have become, they still can’t project passion and empathy; these are distinctively human abilities and emotions. Digital solutions may be able to help solve service problems, but computers don’t make connections with people and they can’t soothe a frustrated or angry customer the way a person can.
Humans are capable of helping with customer orientation. It’s the customer service representatives and salespeople who set the tone and the standard for the kind of customer service that your customers expect from your brand. Furthermore, human agents make your customers emotionally connect with your brand. Even if your digital channels are all running smoothly and are easy-to-use, according to Steven Van Belleghem in “When Digital Becomes Human: The Transformation of Customer Relationships,” 73% of customers still want contact with a human customer service agent at the companies they do business with. “[…] People can function as a kind of safety-net when problems arise with self-service processes.”
Crowdsourcing Provides the Human Element
Being able to adapt quickly to changing markets is the telltale sign of a successful business in today’s market. If your customer service offerings page is mostly stocked with digital channels and you’re looking to provide a human element outside of a call center 615-544-1028 , building a crowd around your products or services is the best way to go. Members of the crowd can be the ones to give your customers that emotional connection to your business.
Take for example, Mary, a long-time telecommunications customer, who is incredibly frustrated because she won’t be able to get an appointment with a service technician for three weeks. So the customer service representative she’s speaking with gives her the option of logging onto a platform where she can crowdsource her issue and have a person living in the neighborhood come to her house in the next few days to help fix her problem and deliver personalized service. Mary is thrilled– and of equal importance– she is a satisfied customer. Crowdsourcing can help increase customer satisfaction because not only is the crowd faster at times, it’s also more flexible than traditional service that is limited to certain windows of call center hours and appointments. In fact, we’ve found out that our crowd is mainly active in the evenings during the week.
From Self-Service to Crowd Service
If you’re a digital company that only has digital self-service channels, such as FAQs, emails, or live chats, crowd service is the element that would take your customer service offerings to the next level. T-Mobile in the Netherlands got called out publicly by customers for the bad service they were receiving consistently. So to combat this image, the telecommunications company implemented a customer self-service setup that now receives 95% of customer inquiries; the remaining 5% of customer issues are resolved by the crowd via T-Mobile’s online forum. The accuracy and response rates of customers are incredibly high and fast in the forum, respectively, given that 65% of customer questions are answered by other customers. As of 2014, customer satisfaction at T-Mobile was at an 8.5 of 10 and only 1.4% of customers called in for help, instead they utilized self-service and crowdsourced options. This example shows that when crowd service options are implemented, they can have a tremendously positive effect on customer relationships and customer satisfaction.