It is hardly surprising that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on people’s behaviour. One of the greatest impacts is the development of new ways of working, with expectations of more flexibility in terms of working from home or remotely setting a new benchmark in the professional world.
With that has come a greater reliance on efficient digital platforms – from communication tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and others to file sharing, remote server access and reliable internet access, there has been a major acceleration in the use of digital tools and services.
On the flip side of the coin, from a consumer perspective, expectations have also been raised in terms of customer service, support and problem-solving using digital channels.
In a recent survey released by Macro 4 which examined UK consumer attitudes to household energy and water suppliers as a test category, it was found that 61% of customers have become more comfortable interacting with companies digitally since the onset of the pandemic.
Interactions via the company’s website, App, social media channels or pop-up digital assistants (most of which are AI-driven) have now become the preferred option, with 60% preferring not to use the phone to call customer service lines.
Added to this, an overwhelming 93% of respondents said that “it was important that they are able to contact their supplier in whatever way they prefer”, including by text or messaging Apps, and stressed the importance of getting a quick response regardless of their method of contact.
Consumers also expect to be able to access their accounts online quickly and easily, and to be able to make payments via a multitude of digital payment channels.
What does this mean for you?
If your business is consumer-facing, what this means is that you need to assess your current customer service channels and ensure that you’re offering your clients ways to interact that suit their needs.
You’ll need to check that your support email address is up to date and constantly monitored, and that response times are fast and optimised.
Additionally, setting up and monitoring support channels via your social media pages, a Business Whatsapp line, and online assistant – whether AI-based or monitored by staff – are essential if you want to be on trend for customer service.
Your website (or App) need to be a central information point for all your customers’ needs – new and existing – with clear and easy routes to customer support and service an absolute must.
If you’d like guidance or advice around your digital platforms to ensure that you’re delivering the best customer experience possible, contact Realnet today on 01223 550800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.