Anybody who studies or manages customer service applications today knows there’s big change afoot. The change is due to a number of factors that have begun to affect the way customers interact with companies today.
Research group Gartner (News - Alert) calls it “the Nexus of Forces,” and it’s the combination of social interaction, mobility, information and cloud computing.
According to Gartner, this Nexus of Forces is the reason consumers today are in greater control of customer interactions than ever before. When they seek out service, they want it on the spot, regardless of the time of day. They’re also extremely informed, often having done research prior to making the contact and expecting that the call center agent who answers their contact will be equally well educated about products and services.
Mastering the Nexus of Forces isn’t easy, and it provides smaller or more agile organizations with the upper hand in customer service. Large, unwieldy companies with long-established customer service procedures are less likely to be able to turn quickly to meet what customers today are demanding, according to an article this week on Business2Community authored by Tricia Morris.
The reason this convergence is happening is multi-pronged. For starters, Americans are still adopting smartphones in vast numbers: IDC (News - Alert) has predicted that more Americans will access the Internet via mobile devices than via wireline computers by 2015. In addition, the number of people using mobile social networking will spike from 58.5 percent in 2012 to 79.1 percent by 2015, according to eMarketer (News - Alert).
Why does this make consumers so powerful nowadays?
New research commissioned by workforce optimization solutions provider Verint (News - Alert) Systems recently found that 32 percent of customers, nearly one in three, are sharing their customer service experiences – both of the good variety and the horror stories as well – with pretty much everyone they know via social media and blogs.
In other words, once upon a time, a bad experience was between a customer and the company that offered the lousy service. Nowadays, it’s between the customer and a few hundred or thousand friends or followers.
Is your company ready to get a grip on this “Nexus of Forces”?
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Edited by Braden Becker