It’s not uncommon for long-established organizations to boast about their customer service. Particularly for these organizations, technology is fundamentally shaking up customer expectations on support and experience. With smartphones and computers at the finger tips of most people in North America, there’s a significant change with how customers want to engage with you.

Long story short, if organizations don’t transform their contact model, there’s significant risk of losing favor in the eye of the customer. Those who have the foresight to adapt and evolve the customer experience will be the ones to earn loyalty and ultimately keep the money coming in. Changing the core of how customers want to contact you

While the idea of fundamentally changing how the customer interacts with you sounds challenging, it’s an absolute necessity. Importantly, organizations should align communication to the way consumers prefer interaction.

Traditionally, this has been handled by a call center representative. The customer is unhappy or needs clarification on something, calls the 1-800 number, waits on hold for however long the que is (usually annoyed to do so), hopefully gets the issue resolved and moves on with their day.

The preference we’d argue, has been gradually shifting to a digital interaction, with flexible options, depending on what the customer prefers. Reason being, there’s now a variety of methods of reaching out to the organization, strictly relying on a voice conversation is no longer the only requirement. Especially considering that younger demographics often prefer not talking to a live person. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a good old-fashioned conversation seems like a necessity, this isn’t going away any time soon, we just need to be equally mindful of the alternatives.

The shift in how consumers think

Self-serve options, AI, and mobile apps keep customers demanding more from organizations. It’s no longer a novel afterthought to engage customers digitally, rather it’s a requirement. Getting ahead on the matter will keep your organization relevant, particularly if you’re in a saturated, relatively commoditized industry. If you can’t support your customer how they want to be supported, they’ll move on to your competitor who’s willing to invest.

What are your customers expecting of your support team?

While it may be difficult to digest, customers now expect that they contact you when and how they prefer. Be it a chat box on a mobile app or computer which may transition to a voice call if further clarification is required and so on. Most importantly, there needs to be a constant scrubbing of the communication across platforms so consumers don’t feel the need to explain again what the reason for the outreach is, I’m sure most people can relate to how frustrating that can be.

Hand off and follow up needs to be sharp and your support team needs to have the relevant information presented to them in order to keep your new customer into a long-term business relationship, as we know, retention drives growth.