Introducing the Swiss Army Knife of Customer Service Tools – By Holger Reisinger of Jabra
Today’s consumers increasingly demand customer service on their terms. Maybe it’s time to follow the example of Dutch airline KLM and get more familiar with one of the customer service apps that does it all.
We all know that customers have different preferences for how they want to access customer service. Some want to dial a number while others prefer to type out an email, use an app or visit our website.Wouldn’t it be great if there was just one app that could accommodate every possible customer-service preference?
There is, and it can!
WeChat, for instance, is a technology platform that enables virtually any communication imaginable: chat, phone, video conferencing, photo sharing, video sharing… you name it.
Haven’t heard of it? I hadn’t either until relatively recently. It was developed by a Chinese company and is primarily used in that fast-growing market. It boasts an amazing 1 billion accounts and about 700 million active users.
WeChat is a dream-come-true for customer service because it truly meets customers where they are. By offering a wealth of communication channels wrapped into a single application, it enables customers to easily and seamlessly switch from one channel to another depending on their service requirement, individual situation or need to escalate. And they can do it for a virtually unlimited number of companies, not just one.
Exploring the New Frontier
This app – and new technologies similar to it – represents a new frontier for communicating with our customers and may revolutionize the way we provide service.
It’s a good example of how consumers, not businesses, are driving changes to enterprise IT. Consumers are always looking for easier and more efficient ways to get their problems solved, yet one size does not fit all. We need to adapt service to their diverse and ever changing needs.
WeChat does exactly that, while raising important questions about how we should be incorporating apps into our businesses.Take smartphone apps, for instance. We’re witnessing a rapid explosion of them, with virtually every company inviting customers to connect with their brand by installing its app on their smartphone.But how many apps can we legitimately install and still be able to find the one we need when we need it most?
At a certain point, consumers will get tired of the hassle of downloading, updating and maintaining an endless stream of phone apps.Especially when the alternative is to get their every service need resolved, for every company they interact with, from just a single app.
From an organizational standpoint, technologies like WeChat make good financial sense, too. They could eliminate the need for IT to invest a lot of time and money into building homegrown customer service apps. Why bother developing something when a potentially better alternative is right there for the taking?Some western companies, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for one, are already seeing the value in embracing WeChat.
The airline has integrated the app with its CRM platform so that it can more easily and effectively provide and capture customer service interactions. Look for more companies to do the same, using either WeChat or some new equivalent.As our organizations continually look for better, more customized ways of providing customer service, apps like WeChat are ones we can’t afford to overlook.
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