Call centers aren’t what they used to be. Here’s how to capture the loyalty of increasingly demanding customers.
The customer, so the saying goes, is always right—and these days it’s increasingly evident that customers don’t hesitate to flaunt their power. Assisted by technology, they wield unprecedented influence over the purchase of goods and services, as well as the ongoing care from the companies that offer them. Customers want service now: experiences marked by immediacy, personalization, and convenience. When they don’t receive it, substantial numbers defect, often after just one bad customer experience.1
This rising bar of customer expectations has significant implications for customer-care organizations in all regions and sectors. As channels—in-person visits, telephone calls, web contacts, and mobile platforms—proliferate, customers are demanding seamless and consistent service in all of them, not to mention human interaction and security for personal information.
In short, this added power is posing novel challenges for managers as a new era unfolds. We believe that customer care will change dramatically in coming years around two key dimensions: first, understanding the evolving value and complexity of transactions and, second, choosing the right level of human interaction and automation for superior service.
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