While Europe is still discussing whether E-commerce is a good or a bad thing, China is already running ahead with a highly digitalized environment, people’s lifestyle has changed greatly. Look around you: you can get food ingredients delivered in 3 hours, just in time for dinner; Empty taxis are ignoring customers on the street because they are running for the customers who called them through applications; You can pay with your phone in any convenience store, without having cash on you… Higher digitalization brings great benefit, but benefit is not just making payments easier, it’s also servicing those intangible, but still important needs such as customer service.
CHANGE FOR THE NEW TYPE OF CUSTOMER
Traditional ways to provide customer service can be through a face to face contact or by call center, either way communication is the key. Today, we are facing a brand new type of customer: digitalized consumers, who are tightly linked with internet and willing to learn about products and brands through websites and social channels. According to the survey conducted by TNS Global market research company, 44% of adults use the web to share complains about products, and 57% of consumers prefer searching online to solve customer service issues.
Compared to the traditional customers, those digitalized customers have higher demands for good service: they desire a conversation with the brand rather than one-way ad messages, they want brands to listen, engage and respond quickly, and, according to the information provided by Socialbeta, they are also willing to spend 21% more for good service. The following chart shows that digitalized consumers have a much stronger influence power than traditional consumers and they cannot be ignored.
1. INTEGRATION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
In the digital era, social media is changing the landscape of customer service, more and more brands are transforming themselves from traditional CRM to SCRM (Social Customer Relationship Management). Using social media, brands are able to build direct connection with consumers and customize the service according to their needs.
ALCON CASE: Using WeChat to Provide Customised Service
Alcon established a customizable service solution that enables push notifications when the users’ contact lenses or lens cleanser are soon to expire, check the status of orders, provide 1-to-1 online consultation and redeem points to be rewarded.
We observed how Chinese digitalized consumers intend to find solutions online first, when they have a problem related to products or brands. For this reason, companies need to tear down the wall between online and offline to provide integrated solutions in order to have efficient and convenient customer services.
JABSEN CASE: Book Online, Service Offline
Follow-up with your customers doesn’t only mean to deal with their complains, but also carefully listen to the conversation, join the conversation, and smartly lead the conversation. An efficient two-way communication can result in an unprecedented level of authenticity and credibility to the brands.
LEXUS CASE: Create Conversation with Customers to Build-up the Brand Trust
This campaign proved itself successful: 99% of reviewers said that they would recommend their friends to buy a Lexus car.
4. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
In this new era of high mobility of people and information, thanks to the Internet and a sensibly improved global wealth condition, people managed to tear down the barriers of space and time that set them apart. Under this premise, companies found themselves in the need of building the capabilities to track their customers and efficiently communicate with them, borderless and at the right time.
BURBERRY CASE: Create Borderless Customer Experience
The system can record every purchase made at any Burberry store in the world and link it to the specific customer profile. Every store can have access to this information in order to provide a more personalized customer service.
PUT THE CUSTOMERS AT THE CENTER OF YOUR BUSINESS
Yes, it is challenging to provide good customer service in the digital era, but there are also inestimable opportunities: all the new digital tools allow companies to connect customers more directly and more efficiently with a much lower cost than before.
We can argue that today’s economy entered a customer-driven era, so it’s essential for companies to provide fast and good customer service by adjusting their technologies and corporate culture to meet a new generation of customers’ expectations. The key for companies to survive the battle in the digital era is to PUT THE CUSTOMERS AT THE CENTER OF THEIR BUSINESS, and changing the mindset about customer service is only part of this process.
If you want to know more on how to do business in the digital era, we will be pleased to see you at our Digital Transformation Seminar on the 19th of November, hosted by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (Shanghai).
For more information about the seminar please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org