Customer support is a range of consumer services to assist customers in making cost-effective and correct use of a product. It includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product. These services may even be provided at the place in which the customer makes use of the product or service. In this case, it is called "at home customer service" or "at home customer support." Customer support is an effective strategy that ensures that the customer's needs have been attended to. Customer support helps ensure that the products and services that have been provided to the customer meet their expectations. Given an effective and efficient customer support experience, customers tend to be loyal to the organization, which creates a competitive advantage over its competitors. Organizations should ensure that any complaints from customers about customer support have been dealt with effectively.
Automated customer service
Customer service may be provided in person (e.g. sales / service representative), or by automated means, such as kiosks, websites, and apps. An advantage of automation is that it can provide service 24 hours a day which can complement face-to-face customer service. There is also economic benefit to the firm. Through the evolution of technology, automated services become less expensive over time. This helps provide services to more customers for a fraction of the cost of employees' wages. Automation can facilitate customer service or replace it entirely.
A popular type of automated customer service is done through artificial intelligence (AI). The customer benefit of AI is the feel for chatting with a live agent through improved speech technologies while giving customers the self-service benefit. AI can learn through interaction to give a personalized service. The exchange the Internet of Things (IoT) facilitates within devices, lets us transfer data when we need it, where we need it. Each gadget catches the information it needs while it maintains communication with other devices. This is also done through advances in hardware and software technology. Another form of automated customer service is touch-tone phone, which usually involves IVR (Interactive Voice Response) a main menu and the use of a keypad as options (e.g. "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish").
In the Internet era, a challenge is to maintain and/or enhance the personal experience while making use of the efficiencies of online commerce. "Online customers are literally invisible to you (and you to them), so it's easy to shortchange them emotionally. But this lack of visual and tactile presence makes it even more crucial to create a sense of personal, human-to-human connection in the online arena."
Examples of customer service by artificial means are automated online assistants that can be seen as avatars on websites, which enterprises can use to reduce operating and training costs. These are driven by chatbots, and a major underlying technology to such systems is natural language processing.
Adversely, automation has created a need for information that can sometimes harm privacy.
The two primary methods of gathering feedback are customer surveys and Net Promoter Score measurement, used for calculating the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer.
Many outfits have implemented feedback loops that allow them to capture feedback at point of experience. For example, National Express in the UK has invited passengers to send text messages while riding the bus. This has been shown to be useful, as it allows companies to improve their customer service before the customer defects, thus making it far more likely that the customer will return next time.
- Automated attendant
- Customer experience management
- Customer relationship management
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer service representative
- Customer service training
- Demand chain
- Interactive voice response
- Live support software
- Professional services automation
- Public Services
- Sales process engineering
- Sales territory
- Service climate
- Service system
- Social skills
- Support automation
- Technical support
- Help desk software
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