The way brands deal with customer service is changing. The emergence of social networks has given consumers more power than they’ve ever had, and brands are struggling to adapt and create new norms.If anyone knows how customer service is changing, it’s Thor Muller, one cofounder of customer community support platform Get Satisfaction.
Here’s what he had to say about the topic in a recent interview with Roland Deal at Forbes:
The rise of social media has shattered the illusion of control and, for many, lessened its desirability. Companies increasingly find themselves revolving around their customers, who communicate in whatever way, is most convenient for themselves. Since many of these ways are public, the line between customer service and marketing has gotten very blurry.
For companies that provide responsive, human support—for those that are OK with things being out of their control—this blurriness can be a huge opportunity to create vocal fans that are the more coveted form of marketing. But for the rest of us, it’s painful and confusing. These changes threaten existing roles, skills and approaches even as they create new ones. organisations and people alike are struggling to figure out how to reengineer for a new normal that’s fundamentally more chaotic.
The human factor is extremely important. Nobody likes calling a company on the phone to ask for help, only to get a robo-voiced automated answer. Then it asks you to press buttons in the hope of someday talking to a person after waiting on hold for 20 minutes. Now, customers want to do things their way.
What should companies do then?
Things will be different for every company, but in the end, it comes down to treating people the same way they want to be treated in real-world settings. The more customer service feels like a regular, everyday interaction, the easier it is to make a positive connection.
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