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Community Cloud – Empowering Customers with the Information They Need

Customers want quality service from businesses. That’s a given. But they also want the quality of customer engagement from their preferred brands to get better over time.

About 54% of them expect that companies will offer better customer service compared to a year ago. If they are between 18 and 34 years old, they will be even more demanding; 66% of them want to see firms up the ante on their customer service from the previous year.

Here’s what this means — businesses have to continually revise their service strategies to maintain a stable relationship with their customers. The best way to do this is to listen what they say about how they wish to be served.

But What Are Customers Saying About This?

About 73% of customers prefer to solve their product or service issues themselves. Also, 50% of potential buyers of various brands insist they want to be able to deal with product or service issues on their own.

In simple terms, they don’t think they must speak to an agent to get the answers they are looking for. They are demanding companies to facilitate effective customer self-service.

What Is Customer Self-service?

Customer self-service happens when a customer accesses the information that answers his questions about a product or helps him solve issues related to the product, without getting assistance from a customer service agent.

He will be able to do this only if the information he needs is made available to him. Today, most companies provide this information through digital media; many popular brands have come up with online channels designed specifically to provide the information sought by their customers.

The image below lists the digital tools used to facilitate seamless customer self-service.

  • Web pages: The most commonly used self-service tools are pages on companies’ websites. Web pages are very useful to present detailed product information and provide a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about products. Businesses have relied on websites to supply customers with vital product information; this is likely to continue for years to come.

  • Chatbots: Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies are the most recent addition to the list of tools businesses use to connect with their customers. These ‘digital agents’ are programmed to receive and respond to customer queries in a manner that mimics human correspondence. Ground-breaking developments in AI and machine learning (ML) domains have enabled chatbots to capture data from customer queries and use the data to enhance their abilities. As AI and ML technologies continue to develop, so will the abilities of chatbots. Many companies are increasingly relying on chatbots to serve their customers, and this trend will only grow in the foreseeable future.

  • Online Communities: Instead of just relying on websites and AI, companies may also opt to create online communities where customers can ask and answer product-related questions, share information and learn from each other. These answers could be moderated and approved by a team assigned to manage the community platform.