HomeOpinion & AnalysisNew e-disruptions shaping customer service

New e-disruptions shaping customer service

-

Customer service is no longer what it used to be. New realities are knocking on our businesses every day. We have seen the emergence of new tools and consumption trends that are all from new communication technologies.

By JONAH NYONI

What we used to call small boys of business are now the big men because of the internet. They just mastered how to play with their toys in their childhood and they used the same tools of the Internet to create billions of dollars, at the same time disrupting our old technologies and even destroying some jobs.

In the same breath, they created new jobs new ones and that has changed the face of the customer service industry. As a result, consumer relations on the internet should never be left to chance. We are seeing exponential growth in the Internet of things (IoT), virtual reality, social media, and artificial intelligence.

An article titled What happens in an internet Minute in 2017? by the World Economic Forum (WEF) says that Facebook has over two billion active users in a month.

It is estimated that in very minute 4,1 million YouTube videos are viewed, 452 000 tweets are sent, there are 3,5 million Google searches and 156 email are sent.

All that happens in just 60 seconds worldwide! The question is: Are chasing these customers that have migrated to the new realities? This shows that there is so much business happening online and as such companies should learn the skill of treating, retaining and even creating new customers.

Sithandekile Magida a columnist in the Standard Newspaper said: “Old methods do not quite suffice anymore in this new environment. Technological advancements make the Blue Ocean Strategy a must. How many of you still remember listening to music from the vinyl records?

I doubt that my younger son would know what a vinyl record is if he were to see it now. Technological advancement saw music being put on cassettes and later on CDs. If the music companies had stayed put on vinyl, I wonder where we would be as a nation.

“These advancements and continuous improvements have seen supply exceed demand in most industries. Also, what has become clear is that in overcrowded industries, differentiating brands becomes harder in both economic upturns and downturns. This suggests that the strategy of the olden days is disappearing as the new strategists are now gunning for the Blue Ocean Strategy. Companies must no longer compete head-on in a given industry. Strategic moves from this kind of doing business must now take force”

Your customers are getting smarter

Customers now have power as they can use any internet platform available to say their minds. Unlike in the old days where one had to go to a physical structure to voice their concern, now they can do that via a mobile phone. As they get smarter we should level up our game and go where they are — the internet.

John Chambers (CEO of Cisco Systems) in the book E-service written by John Tschohl says: “The internet waits for no one, no company, on country, so if you don’t keep the pace, you will be quickly overtaken”
Senior management support is needed

When training on customer relations management, we usually train the bottom staff and leave our manager or leaders.

The major reason being that they think new technologies are for the younger people. At the end, it is the very top leadership which has not moved with the trends, which thinks upgrading of the system is a shear waste of money. For companies to progress in the right direction, the support from the top is needed. This technological disparity has an effect on the progress and growth of a company.

Re-tool and retrain your important customer

The most important customer in a company is its employees. They have direct everyday contact with the buyers. It is common knowledge that if you train and treat the employee well, it will be easy for them to treat the very person they get in contact with them, who is the customer in this case.

The most quoted saying by Richard Branson in the Customer Service circles is: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

Again, most companies see no reason to train their staff on customer relations management. They would rather
spend so much money on advertising, marketing, buying machinery and cars and neglect the worker. Again, this goes back to the

management which must be very supportive in training on customer relations.

Government is taking slower strides Public offices are taking long to brace up. In Zimbabwe, all government offices need to be trained in customer relations. Our brand as a country can be improved if government offices see the need to properly serve people.

Parting Point: New technology disruptions are bringing new dimensions of business to those who embrace it.

Employees must be trained in internet customer service. Management must support and encourage training of its employees.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading