The Customer Service Of The Future

Authored by Kayla Brehm
Published on September 24, 2014

Here’s a story for you:

You’re shopping on Amazon, it’s 2020, leisure suits are back in, Grateful Dead style rock and roll is surging back to relevance, and thankfully, Justin Bieber is just a bad memory.

Anyway, you’re shopping on Amazon, and your purchase won’t finalize. You click the “chat now” box on your computer and briefly explain to the agent that your purchase button doesn’t seem to be working.

You see the “...” indicator showing that your agent is responding, but have to close your computer and bolt out of your office because you realize that your kid is getting home from school in 10 minutes.

You arrive at the bus stop and discover that the bus is running late. After a long day of talking to people at work, you’re all talked out, so you click your Amazon app on your phone and the chat you started on your computer opens back up with some updates from the agent. They need you verify your credit card, which you don’t have on you because you left it at work in your panic to get to the bus stop. Feeling too lazy to type this explanation on your small phone screen, you give in and hit the “call” button on your chat. You tiredly tell the person who picks up that you’d like to answer security questions because you don’t have your card on you.

You verify your DOB and the last four of your social. At this point, they ask you what your childhood stuffed animal’s name was (Mr. Koala), and what your childhood pet’s name was (Mr. Golden Retriever - pronounced  GOW-den WAH-twee-vah). As you begin to finalize your transaction with the agent, your phone dies. You’re frustrated, but at this point your kid bounds off the bus and you momentarily forget your purchasing fiasco.

After the rest of your family is asleep, you collapse into bed and pop open your computer to make sure no important emails have come in. You’re pleasantly surprised to find an email from Amazon customer service noting that your earlier call got disconnected and offering to let you finalize the purchase via email. You verify that yes, your first car actually was a 1971 Chevy Vega, click accept, close your computer, and drift off to sleep.

This is a customer service interaction that moves seamlessly between different mediums of technology and operates at the speed of the person in need of customer service.

Easy transitions between service channels and stored interaction history allows for an experience where the customer feels like they’re talking to the same agent every time. Verification is easier and the customer service experience can pick up where the customer left off instead of having to start over again.

The agent is also empowered to act without needing to speak with you. This is where customer service is heading.

What innovations in customer service do you want to see? Tell us in the comments or @helpdotcom.



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