“By 2017, 50% of product investment projects will be redirected to customer experience innovations.“
– Gartner
The fact is that every disruptive technology that has emerged into our industries, has exploded into a new generation of innovations. Chat is the next disruption.

For example:

The first PABX systems that had ACD technology, which allowed for the development of the call centre that we know today, emerged in the early 70’s. This was an incredibly powerful innovation. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to afford a phone, and even then, most people thought of it as a luxury. We as people still preferred visiting our friends and neighbours face to face. Many businesses saw it that way too, and ignored the adoption trend of hosting a call centre service for customer queries.

20 years later and you suddenly had mobile cellular phones, and not just you; but everyone, in all different shapes and sizes, and with different abilities and those wonderful mono ringtones that we all love so much. This led to some of the biggest advancements in customer service, and ultimately shaped the future of customer service centres, and many of the successful franchises that we see today that adopted the technology in expectation of the future.

In 1995 the first truly publicly accessible ISP’s emerged. Many people did not have an interest or fondness for computers, and they ruled the internet out as something of a fashion. A trend that would soon die down. Unfortunately for them, the internet rapidly infused itself in our daily lives, proving to make everything simpler, quicker, and more available than ever before. So much so that companies began investing billions into an infrastructure that would later prove to be more critical to success than they could have believed.

20 years later, the internet became an everyday requirement. It has become a staple for gathering information regarding almost anything. It has become a means of income for millions, and has helped companies excel their services in ways that are still being discovered. We are gathering data every day that even now we are only beginning to realize the potential of. And again, the companies that adopted early were the ones to excel exponentially.

Each and every time the customer service industry has been faced with a potentially new era changing innovation, the companies that adapted and understood the possibility early on were the ones that came out on top.

“If I were going to “predict” one thing about 2017’s social media marketing trends, it’s that customer service will rise to the #1 spot of “things your social media marketing should be focused on.”
– Darlene McCarty Cohn, D.Cohn communications

The impact of Social Media is undoubtedly that largest influencer in customer care since the invention of the telephone.
“Did you know that over 900 million people use Facebook Messenger? WhatsApp has become one of the largest chat apps in the world. Seventy-seven of the top 100 Fortune companies use Slack. Chat is no longer just used for internal communications, but it’s being used more and more to engage with prospects in a more personalized manner.”
– Margot da Cunha

We as a society rely on social media in our everyday interactions now more than ever. Whether it be to research a product or to chat to our friends, we use social media because it is easily manageable and has been designed in such a way to make our experiences seamless and as near to effortless as possible in communicating to one another.

Whether it be your friends, or your favourite pair of sneakers, or even your own brand, we all use social media to voice our likes and dislikes for whatever it is we experience daily.

This change in the way we communicate is based on one incredibly important factor:

Ease of communication.

Whether you are a busy business person, or an easy going person, we all prefer to spend as little time as possible communicating important information if it can be helped, and more time enjoying our everyday lives without hassle.

Nobody enjoys having to schedule appointments, or wait on hold, and social media has created an environment in which those interactions become just that much easier and simpler. Social media allows individuals to tailor their own information environments to their liking, and provide them with relevant information based on their interests. This means that if a person likes your business, chances are they have looked for you on social media, and if you are available to them in their own environment then you are able to make them that much happier by allowing them to engage you from their own grounds.

An infographic released by GO-GLOBE earlier this month highlights some of the key statistics regarding social media customer service, you can find the full infographic here.

Some excerpts from their infographic show that

1 in 3 social media users prefer to use social media as a means to resolve a customer care issue, instead of telephonically or via email.
An estimated 67% of consumers now use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to seek solutions to issues.
Customers that engage their brands via social media, spend 20-40% more time doing so.
Nearly 70% of consumers have said that they have used social media for issues to do with customer service on at least one occasion.
Customers that are disgruntled almost immediately take to their preferred social platform and voice themselves, and often it is already too late at this point for a company to take care of the damage unless they have been keeping an eye out online to track and assist potential problems from their customers.

Not only are people taking to social media as a common means for sorting out their queries, but companies are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of ignoring a customer over their preferred channel. More and more people are preferring to use chat as a means to resolve an issue when becoming disgruntled, simply because it is easier for them, and takes next to no effort.

With customer satisfaction being a top priority, companies can no longer expect consumers to phone a call centre and be given services that are sub-standard and time consuming comparatively to that of chat based customer service.

“Artificial intelligence (AI) and Instant Messaging (IM) are poised to fundamentally change the service call experience”
– Nicholas O’Connor, hi.guru

While it may be difficult for companies to change their current infrastructure in customer service to adopt chat based customer service, the companies investing their money and time into doing so are enjoying unbelievable benefits. And with so many companies out there, there are of course a multitude of solution experts to every problem. Whether it be integration, innovation, restructuring or even something simple; there is a company with a service that can be offered for a fraction of a price of what it would normally cost to create an entire new department to do so. And to much greater effect.

You can read the full at http://www.geniianalytics.com/2017/0...tomer-service/