The service industry has seen a massive expansion in the post-industrialized society. Concepts such as “customer service and support” are attributed to businesses operating in the tertiary sector. The service industry has also been at the forefront in terms of introducing and adopting newer technologies. The service industry also serves as the platform where more contemporary technologies get tested for real-world applications. The progress of video conferencing, real-time messaging through chatbots, practical use of AI, and cryptocurrencies have all been tested in the service sector first.
The objective behind service technology is to assist customer service representatives in achieving their stipulated goals. The technology helps provide tools that improve workflow efficiency and make it easier for companies to develop practical solutions for customer service-related problems. Let us take a look at the way technology is set to changing the service industry for the better:
1. Shift Towards Video-Based Communication
The pandemic has already forced people to stay within the safety of their homes. However, it has paved the way for video-conferencing applications such as Zoom to take advantage of this newly created market gap. Companies and people now actively rely on video-conferencing applications as an alternative for real-time face-to-face communication to bridge this gap. Eye contact forms an integral part of any genuine conversation regardless of a professional or personal nature. Such applications only facilitate that feeling and have witnessed a tremendous response in their adoption.
Moreover, it has also become a need of the hour. Especially for businesses, video-based communication has become crucial to tackle the expectations of customers and clients. Suppose you are looking for ways to improve your customer service game in Derby, Hilton, or anywhere in England. In that case, IT Support in Derby might have the service-related solutions your business needs.
2. Instant Messaging Will Make Emails Redundant
Emails may have revolutionized the way communication took place. But innovation and technological improvements have proved that there are quicker ways to communicate than email as well. While emails are still an integral part of professional communication, businesses quickly realized the importance of instant messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger. Customers now have reduced levels of patience compared to those in the past. They expect instant service from companies.
It is partly due to the rise in social media and instant messaging apps that connect consumers to businesses directly. Instead of dropping emails and often waiting for days before a company representative would respond, customers now choose to message the social media handles of firms. It puts a customer and a service representative 1-1 instantly, thereby cutting down on the lag that exists on emails. Although emails will continue to play a role, businesses have discovered that their customer care may now be handled directly through social media and instant messaging.
3. Remote Work Opportunities Becomes The Norm
The E-commerce industry has already seen massive expansion with the rise of giants such as Alibaba and Amazon. It has pushed customer service representatives to adopt online platforms as well. Call centers traditionally handle a substantial portion of customer support. However, the future entails that customer service will become virtual and online-based. For customer service reps, this means that they will shift from office spaces to working from the comfort of their homes. Covid-19 has already pushed several companies to adapt to this new norm while the rest are only bound to follow.
Managing emails, live chats, and social media accounts can all be done from a smartphone or laptop, reducing the need for businesses to invest in office space. Remote work is slowly becoming the future and replacing conventional expectations from an office employee. Instead of putting in hours, meeting deadlines is taking precedence as an employee evaluation tool as remote work replaces offices.
4. Artificial Intelligence Will Assist Professionals
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misconceptions regarding AI and the use of bots. Some argue that they will replace human employees, while others cast strong doubts about technology and its mainstream use. But the truth is that there is a lot of potentials for businesses to utilize AI and Bots, especially in the customer service department. A lot of companies are actively investing in chatbots that are data-driven. For issues that customers frequently face, a chatbot can get equipped to answer typical queries. Unlike humans, bots can be active 24 x 7 and are a one-time investment.
A successful chatbot can generate positive returns in the long run. It can provide an equivalent if not a better level of customer service. However, a professional will always be needed to monitor a chatbot and clear any hurdles. AI is not perfect, but applying AI to real-world scenarios will only polish the technology further. It will become more intelligent due to machine-learning algorithms.
5. Blockchain Will Transform E-Commerce
Several bitcoin proponents believe that Bitcoin will revolutionize the way people make payments. And even go as far as stating that it will replace modern financial systems and banks. We say that it will be pretty unlikely for a currency to replace fiat models of payments. Cryptocurrencies work on a decentralized model. It means all transactions are transparent and cannot be modified without hacking the entire system. Smart contracts will be based on blockchain technology.
Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency, is working on this technology where machines will be able to enforce and execute contract terms and payments without the involvement of humans. This technology is miles ahead of the current models of payments and contracts. Reducing the need for human involvement is bound to speed up transactions and payments. There will be less bickering amongst parties and more focus on delivering value.
There are several other ways as well through which technology is bent on changing the landscape of global commerce. But the trends mentioned above have already started to manifest themselves. Their potential is becoming increasingly visible as more and more companies work on developing and adopting these new technologies. These trends in technology have already started to affect several industries. And customer service will be one of those industries with the maximum potential of integrating innovation to deliver the maximum possible value to customers. Companies are aggressively pursuing newer and innovative ways to improve the overall customer experience. It only goes to show that companies with the best customer experience will dominate the e-commerce world.