Combination technologies are often particularly interesting to consider as such technologies take one part of a technology field and combine it with another to produce a new whole that is often unexpected in the field. That's got a lot of value potential, and one new point we're seeing is with uRevu, who is bringing together wearable technology with customer service in a new iBeacon-focused system.
With the new uRevu system, customer service employees wear an iBeacon system, which in turn drives a mechanism that allows customers to immediately identify who provided service, and then route information about that employee directly back to the employer. This serves several purposes at once, including offering up a means to rapidly respond to customer issues—in some cases before the customer even leaves the store—and potentially defuse a situation sufficiently early to not only recover a potentially lost customer, but also keep an unpleasant situation out of social media broadcasting, even possibly turning it around into a rave.
Perhaps the uRevu system's greatest strength is in its sheer immediacy. Companies can rapidly respond to problems at the worst, and get a better handle on how customer service is as customer service actually takes place. While customer service surveys are proving to be an increasingly popular part of the overall landscape—the National Association of Call Centers recently suggested that 2015 may prove to be the year of the customer survey—there's some resistance to this tool as customers don't always have the time to fill out such surveys, even with the promise of reward. What's more, time often muddies perception, so separating a customer from an incident by even just a few hours may inflate the negative, minimize the positive, or otherwise confuse or conflate details.
What's more, this has a serious potential for negative backlash. Anyone who's worked in customer service before knows that customers aren't always reasonable when said customers don't get what's desired, even when what's desired goes against certain things like company policy or even certain laws of physics. Handing customers such a mechanism to directly pin blame to a customer service rep could make an already difficult job even worse, and have significant potential to make hiring customer service reps difficult, especially if the business often fails to side with the reps in question. Of course, this can be mitigated by using weighted systems, or even just making a simple mental note to consider the whole situation, but such things need to be done lest the environment become too inhospitable for even the most dedicated of customer service reps.
There's little doubt that the uRevu system has plenty of potential value. Immediate responses to issues can be a very powerful way to defuse problems, and there's commonly room for improvement for even the best of customer service representatives. But any powerful tool must be used with care and deliberation, and the uRevu system is no different. Used properly, it can reshape a store in a welcoming and vibrant customer service environment, the kind that contributes to a great customer experience and keeps customers coming back. Used incorrectly, it can kill a store. So for those planning to use the uRevu system, just remember the kind of power this thing's got on hand, and the end result will likely prove better than expected.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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