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Technology today invariably has brought profound changes in the way customers perceive, consume and interact with brands.

Not too long-ago customers had limited options in order to avail any service or product, but with the advent of tech and internet-based businesses, consumers now have a suite of choices and democratized access to brands more than ever before.

The most significant ramification of this change is that companies can no longer compete on price alone; they must now prioritise delivering a best-in-class product and a stellar customer experience across all their touchpoints.

Google cautions against ‘hallucinating’ chatbots: report

When people consume or experience your offering, there is a possibility that in numerous scenarios they feel the need to be heard, seek assistance, and communicate or compile additional information.

While conventional customer service has acted as a transactional help center for customers, the contemporary model adds value to all aspects of a customer's journey and experience. This reflects a critical pivot from traditional to modern customer service which is integral to a wide variety of sectors.

Customer service is one major aspect of the overall customer experience which is foundational for businesses in the current markets.

Realising this fact, customer service is undergoing a transformation all around the world and Pakistan too has been rapidly catching up. Organisations are putting their time, effort, and money into a seamless service design and Pakistan’s tech-savvy youth bulge seems to be ready for the digital customer service revolution.

Recent research suggests that 90% of customers rate “immediate response” as very important when they have a query. Learning from this fact, organizations are replacing call/voice-based support with live chat support. Consequently, live chat results in providing higher customer satisfaction rates in an omnichannel experience.

The biggest reason for higher satisfaction rates of live chat support vis a vis other channels is that it is designed as per the needs of the modern customers i.e. the Gen Z, which is a multi-platform and multi-screen generation and likes to multitask.

They can be discussing their life choices in one window, ranting in another and ordering snacks in the other window – in a nutshell, they’re enthusiastic and they want it all - live chat support works exactly like that.

Instead of waiting in a queue on your phone for minutes, live chats are quicker and allow you to multitask. At the same time on your phone, you could be listening to your favorite music or podcast, or watching Netflix while resolving their concerns all at once. So even if customers have a short wait, they can get on with doing something else.

Similarly, chat support saves you the hassle of communicating the same issue over and over again. Every aspect of the customer journey is live-tracked and recorded.

In fact, a global survey noted that 72% of customers expect an agent to know their details — including support history, order number, and product information — without asking for them.

One prominent benefit between a voice-based contact center and live support is that the latter doesn’t let customers get lost in a maze listening to long IVRs to press the right button in order to proceed to their issue.

In live support, customers can pre-select and categorise the nature of their query to relate to the agent that caters to that certain issue before the chat even begins. In comparison to the traditional contact center, this advancement leads to significant time savings. As opposed to traditional calls, live chat support ensures secure interactions because the chat data exchanged is encrypted.

People have this notion that chat agents are usually bots, which is contrary to many organizations, especially for food delivery companies across the globe, as well as in Pakistan. Chat support reps do have certain guidelines and templates to follow and each organization decides what would work best for their audience, but on the other end of the screen, there is an actual human working hard to answer your queries and resolve your complaints because technology, as advanced as it may be, can never replace human interaction and emotions.

The overall domain of customer service is undergoing a major transformation. The specifics may be blurry, but the future of the customer experience is clear: more efficient, more digital, and more human.

Live chat provides it all and customers today are getting more and more comfortable with it. In order to keep up, companies will now have to accelerate their digital initiatives because live chat is here to stay.

The article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Recorder or its owners

Faisal Ahmad Jafri

The writer is the head of customer operations at foodpanda Pakistan


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