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Some 55% of consumers say that their customer service expectations have increased over the past three years. Additionally, 55% of consumers say that they have moved from at least one company in the past year due to poor customer service.

Have consumers changed their attitudes about customer service that drastically? No, consumers have not changed. We've always wanted to be independent. Technology, however, has finally caught up with us and enabled us to do more than we could before.

Between crowdsourcing, video tutorials, and online communities, consumers arguably know more about products and services than a company's customer service representatives know about them. Moreover, consumers would rather conduct and complete an interaction on their own.

We are in the middle of a transition from preference to reliance for autonomous service. This transition is radically shifting the power of the customer-company relationship from brands to consumers.

To be successful, brands need to make sure every technology investment or process change supports the following new consumer expectations:

1. Know me

Context and data from every interaction should be carried over seamlessly to the next interaction, even if the customer switches channels or switches from self-service to live assistance.

2. Make the customer experience mobile

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image of Joe Gagnon

Joe Gagnon is senior vice-president and global general manager for all cloud solutions at Aspect Software, a provider of customer engagement solutions.

LinkedIn: Joe Gagnon