In the 1970s, CFOs sat with CEOs and devised ways for upset consumers to not be able to get compensation easily. They put up automated phone systems and arcane and inflexible policies and rejoiced at how little the company had to “give up” to complaining customers.
And this system worked… until social media gave every average “Joe” the same power as society’s most prominent citizens to get a company’s attention when they weren’t happy.
Watching F8 last month, one couldn’t help but wonder if the future is truly as simple as opening a chat and texting what you need. Order flowers ✔ Get news ✔ Check the weather ✔ Handle customer service issues?
How many of us who have called our cable company and been on hold “forever” wouldn’t love to chat with a rep and get our issue handled in a minute? How many of us would love to chat with an airline and resolve an issue in real time? While these things sound great in theory, it’s not quite so simple.
Speaking to us earlier this week, Richard Chetty, Director of Customer Services for Samsung South Africa, said, “Samsung’s people-centred focus is what drives the innovative technology we create. With every new product, a novel set of customer service opportunities arise. The IoT certainly brings an exciting dimension to how we will respond to connected products and customers.”
What if your appliance could contact the service centre on your behalf? That’s what the future of customer service looks like. Soon, all home appliances will be connected – to the internet and each other. Smart appliances are already able to self-diagnose. In the future, this self-diagnosis sensor will initiate a service request. All this could happen without the user having to even know about it. With connected appliances, a service technician could access the appliance remotely and assess what needs to be done. Only if a physical interaction with the appliance is required, will the user need to get involved.
“There is an opportunity now for increased skills upgrading – in the future, there will be less requirement for ordinary call-centres and more required for specialised technicians within the customer service space. People won’t have to contact a call centre for information, the appliance will have everything stored – from warranties to service plans and history. We are gearing up for this future with our Engineering Academies and look forward to embracing the new ways we can service our customer’s needs,” concludes Chetty.