MAM

×

Customer communities: the next-generation customer service model

Understanding the nuances of building communities for millennials and Gen Z.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2019/06/08/siraz_khan.jpg?itok=Mjtdvvse

Understanding human behaviour  is the crux of creating engaging customer service strategies. This is especially true considering the plethora of business-customer interactions along and across marketing, sales, or service. Everyone knows that human beings are social animals, so why not leverage this common knowledge in the next-customer service model, wherein companies dedicate best practices towards building and sustaining online customer communities? In all honesty, it is baffling that this is not being presently implemented on a larger scale.

The 21st-century customer has begun valuing self-service options today along with old benchmarks viz. first-call resolution and accelerated resolution time, and therefore, it would be wise for companies to facilitate and aggregate customer interactions. The power will shift towards their hands, while companies will merely manage the process leading to a win-win situation. The scenario is akin to an architecture (company) designing a building, constructors (dedicated software developers/third party IT solution providers) making the design a reality, all for the wellbeing and usage of inhabitants (customers) of the building. Let us understand the nuances of building such communities for millennials and Gen Z .

Self-sustenance management

Information is at the tip of our fingers today, with credit going to internet access  and advanced mobile technology. This has made customers more knowledgeable and self-sufficient than ever before. This accelerated access to information has inherently lowered customer’s thresholds on patience. They prefer to find their answers online rather than receiving long wound answers from service agents and staying on hold for long periods of time.

‘Empowerment’ is the buzzword wherein customers today do not prefer to seek spoon-feeding. They in fact consider too much assistance a hindrance or irritation. With that being said, the onus lies on companies to facilitate customer service experiences, which empower customers to solve their own problems. A knowledge portal of a company’s FAQs would present a good start, but the end goal must be to create an engaging self-service community.

The merits of such a customer service model include reduced support costs, and empowered and satisfied customers who will inevitably share their experiences and help other customers as well. Devoted and frequent customers develop a deep understanding of the company’s products and services over time and become leaders of an active community. Their participation can be incentivised through gamification involving special badges and leader boards.

Connected communities

Apart from gamification, a company must pull out all stops to ensure that devoted and prospective customers alike remain connected with the brand. For instance, even the most informative self-service portals would be susceptible to certain instances wherein a customer’s query needs more information. It is vital to ensure such disjointed experiences are prevented using on-demand omnichannel customer service strategies.

According to Gartner, about 25 per cent of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020, up from less than 2 per cent in 2017. Instead of risking damage to a brand’s reputation, it would be advisable for companies to invest in a connected company that enables seamless transition between touch points to reduce friction and solve customer queries faster. In other words, the self-service community must have a three-fold ability to escalate cases, i.e., allow customers to create cases; enable agents to create or respond to cases in the feed; and automatic escalation through pre-set rules to cater to unanswered questions.

Additionally, all hands must be on deck to ensure 360-degree view of customers for experiential relationships rather than mere transactional ones. This means that companies must obtain comprehensive views of each customer by leveraging data from various touch points across customers’ journeys. The data would include product/service activity, omnichannel interaction history, recent product views, campaign activity, and process history among others. According to Harvard Business Review, about 22 per cent of repeat service requests involve issues related to problems after the first contact, even if the issue was resolved first time around.  This must, therefore, be addressed through an insight-oriented approach regarding customer interactions.

Parallel community and business growth

Although creating engaging customer communities is a task of its own, sustaining engagement presents a different ball-game. Our hyper-connected world will only gallop in terms of customer expectations, and those creating and managing communities must address the following areas.

  • Prioritising adoption and engagement with internal stakeholders and external customers by obtaining executive sponsorship
  • Ensuring integration of business processes into the community as part of the customer’s end-to-end journey
  • Establishing community managers to oversee community management on daily basis

Launching next-generation communities may appear daunting, but an extendable platform will save both time and money in creating a customer community that is aligned with the growth of the business.

In conclusion

Omni-channel customer communities inevitably pose a win-win situation wherein customers are not only empowered and satisfied to initiate interaction, but the company also continually gains insight on each participant; which will be integral for further personalized customer experiences. The community customer service model ensures an end-to-end journey of the customer wherein they are assisted at each touchpoint while remaining connected with every department of the business, as well as with themselves. Such interconnectedness with engagement written all over the next-generation model leads to only one thing - customer satisfaction.

(The author is founder director of Spicetree Design Agency. The views expressed are his own and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.)

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/dabang.jpg?itok=aW_jbCER
JK Super Cement announces association with Dabang Delhi as Team Title sponsor in Pro Kabaddi League 2019

MUMBAI: JK Super Cement, India’s premier grey cement brand today announced its association with Dabang Delhi as the team title sponsor for the Pro Kabaddi League 2019. Under this partnership, the team players will endorse the brand and sport the JK Super Cement brand logo on their jerseys in all...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/kirti_0.jpg?itok=uhaHo-Gp
Magicbricks signs Ayushmann Khurrana & Kriti Sanon as brand ambassadors

MUMBAI: Magicbricks, India’s No.1 property site, today announced that it has signed up Bollywood actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Kriti Sanon as its brand ambassadors. The two popular actors will feature in various Magicbricks' campaigns in the future. At a time when the brand is delivering strong...

MAM Marketing Brands
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/supr.jpg?itok=AxdzO2Bu
Flying Machine launches F-Lite collection in collaboration with BBoying champ Arif Chaudhary

MUMBAI: Tonic Worldwide, an independent digital agency, has launched a campaign to introduce F-Lite, the latest collection from the popular denim wear brand Flying Machine, in collaboration with the reigning Indian BBoying champ, Arif Chaudhary.

MAM Marketing Brands
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/ipsos.jpg?itok=wM4WhmgU
Consumer Confidence of Indians ebbs in August 2019: Thomson Reuters-Ipsos PCSI

MUMBAI: Consumer Confidence of Indians has dropped by 3.1 percentage points in August 2019, according to the latest India Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI),as measured by Thomson Reuters in partnership with Ipsos. This downward slide in PCSI has been continuous since May 2019, barring a...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/center.jpg?itok=_jo0eELY
Perfetti Van Melle India expands Center fresh brand portfolio with launch of Center fresh 3 Layer Gum

MUMBAI: In 2019, Center fresh - the iconic chewing gum brand from Perfetti Van Melle, celebrates its 25th anniversary in India. And in this milestone year, the brand has launched a new innovative product - Center fresh 3 Layer gum.

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/lodestar.jpg?itok=U-Ebt1dc
From menstrual hygiene to career counselling; Lodestar UM concludes another satisfying chapter of Impact Day

MUMBAI: Giving back to the society is an integral part of Lodestar UM. So every year the agency shuts its offices on a work day and every employee engage in philanthropic work across Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. This year from educating destitute women on menstrual hygiene to helping children in...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/plol.jpg?itok=RILM8z_1
La Pegasus Polo renews partnership with the Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo

MUMBAI: Sanjay Jindal founded and Mumbai based La Pegasus Polo, one of India’s upcoming premier Polo establishments, today announced the renewal of its partnership with the Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo (Argentine Open Polo Championships 2019), and widely considered the world’s greatest Polo...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/oziva.jpg?itok=rOX8FbFA
OZiva, India's first clean-label active nutrition brand launches a #MyPCOSStory Campaign

MUMBAI: OZiva, India’s first clean-label active nutrition brand developing natural, plant-based nutritional products, recently announced the launch of its #MYPCOSStory campaign. The campaign will be on during the entire month of September, which is also the PCOS awareness month. It is aimed at...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/08/22/ayushmaan.jpg?itok=T3PsjYGJ
Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte join Daniel Wellington's global campaign #DWMoments

MUMBAI: Daniel Wellington, the globally renowned watch and accessories brand, known for its detail-oriented and sleek design, recently launched a new brand campaign called #DWMoments. The Moments campaign is based on in-depth interviews with influential people from across the globe, letting them...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories