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The future of customer service? In a heartbeat…

Want to know about the future of customer service? If so, a new presentation by Trendwatching is well worth a read. It highlights five key customer service trends that innovative brands are already adopting, with demonstrable success. More of that later.

The really interesting point about the Trendwatching presentation is the key takeaway: “When it comes to customer service, it's not about what consumers think. Great service is about feelings.” Or to put it another way, “… too few brands understand that amid all this rapid change, the fundamentals of great customer service remain the same.”

And those of you who champion customer service will probably not be surprised to discover that when 1,620 consumers were tested under laboratory conditions, 63% said they felt their heart rate increase when they thought about receiving great customer service. For 53% of those tested, receiving great service triggered the same cerebral reactions as feeling loved.

So why does the contact centre industry repeatedly fail to remember that great customer service is about how you make your customers feel? Within a generation we have forgotten the personal service which businesses used to offer as standard and are now prepared to pay a premium for it. And the irony is that technology which promised so much has only served to dehumanise customer service.

Can anything be done about this sorry state of affairs or is the contact centre industry doomed? The good news is that many contact centres are now putting the customer experience at the heart of their contact centre strategy.

But great customer service is created by organisations and should not be left to the contact centre alone. Only by listening to the voice of the customer, truly understanding and then translating this insight into actions can organisations truly deliver exceptional service.

Which takes me back to the five key trends. Each one of them takes the customer seriously, treats them as individual and ensures that customers feel valued and cared for. More than that, they recognise that customer service is a two-way exchange, a factor which is given an interesting twist in the final trend: Politeness Pays. Intrigued? Read more on the future of customer service.