Today’s market climate requires businesses to look ahead at current trends to see how they will affect the future. According to a report by Walker Intelligence Consulting Firm, to stay competitive, service businesses must create a great customer experience. This will be more important than service price points or any products a business offers. The customer of the future will be more empowered and more able to control the customer experience they get. Thanks to the existence of things like social media and big data, in the future customers will expect companies that provide service to anticipate their specific needs and provide customer experiences that are tailored to them as an individual.
So what exactly will future service look like?
Local and Authentic Service
Businesses should be looking to provide service that is local to a region, city, or neighborhood. When service is local, customers don’t have to question the authenticity of the service since it’s specific to their own local needs. If the service reps are locals too, they will be there quickly, better anticipate the needs of the customers, and also have the expertise to help.
That’s why Mila Friends are vetted and receive certifications for their skills and knowledge of certain products. Mila also uses AI to ensure that Friends are local, and therefore can help customers faster than traditional service. They can even be available at hours when the average service reps are off-duty, such as evenings and weekends. When service reps communicate with customers authentically, not only can the reps find and create more opportunities to show how they can help the customer, but it lets the customer know that your business is geared towards providing a high-level service.
Whether it’s a mobile service app or another type of software, developing technology that is beneficial to both service reps and the customer will be crucial in the future. The app may make customer self-service possible. The technology could also be something that the service technician can use to help the customer or to show the customer what service was completed. The app could also provide a way for new service reps to communicate and collaborate with more experienced members of the service team to help with a difficult customer question.
Crowdsourced service is a way of collaborating that already exists. Customers can get help from a crowd that suggests different solutions or where one member of the crowd provides in-home service on-demand.
The bottom line is customers want to be part of the service process. No longer are people interested in service reps who help without explaining what they’re doing, or how the fix could be done again later, or at least explaining how the technology works. Mila Friends not only provide service such as installations or repairs, but upon request they also will give the customer a tutorial on how to use the equipment. Service collaboration will be important in the future, on a variety of different levels.
Unscripted and More Individualized Service
Human service reps should be utilized in a way that chatbots and other technology can’t be. The service reps should not stick to a specific script, or at least, it should be possible to go off script, unlike a bot. Customers want individualized service that’s tailored to their specific equipment and needs.
There’s no point for customers to have to answer the same general questions they would with a company’s automated telephone service such as “push one for help with your phone, push two for internet, etc.” from a human service rep. At this point, there are many types of FAQs online or bot chat flows to help with generic and common problems. So if customers do reach out for help from a human, chances are high they need help that can’t be received from a scripted machine. Only human service reps can provide high value service that makes customer experience more personal, memorable, and most importantly, useful.
Future service should not only be collaborative between the customer and the service rep, but also between the customer and their friends. Sharing on social media is a great way of marketing your brand of service today. When customers receive service or get a new installation of a smart home system or entertainment system up and running, sharing their enjoyment of their technology that’s now up and running thanks to your service, could help your business see a boost in attention, referrals, and sales down the line.
Creating and promoting a brand hashtag is just one way to engage with your audience online. And given the social media audience’s power in shaping opinions and fueling interest in a brand, it’s key that service business try to enhance their own reputation on social media. To get a handle on what people are saying about your service business, it’s important to engage on social media and encourage sharing about your services.
As more and more companies move toward same-day service, Mila has made on-demand service a benchmark. In the future, customers will continue to expect service that is fast, and received as soon as they want it. The faster a business can provide good service, the more customers will believe that your service is high quality, since your ability to solve problems will be faster. Mila has used AI to ensure that our Friends are local and ready to help on-demand in certain areas where our AI predicts that a high amount of service requests will come in.