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Customer Service Week Blog: Technology, empathy, and the importance of customer service in the digital age

9th October 2019

‘There’s an app for that.’ Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? If we’re not Googling, we are asking ‘Alexa’ how to solve a problem. In fact, when it comes to making a purchase, we don’t even have to speak to a person anymore. why, then, is customer service still important? This blog will examine the relevance of frontline customer service and explore why being able to speak to somebody can be the difference between signing on the dotted line.

So, what does customer service in 2019 mean? Is it just keeping clients happy? Or, does it go way beyond saying please and thank you? The Customer Relationship Management giants, Salesforce think:

Customer service is the support you offer your customers, both before and after they buy and use your products or services. That helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you.

Fletcher’s Customer Contact Team Acceptor, Abbie Bidwell believes customer service starts before a client’s case has even been accepted.

Without customer service we wouldn’t have a business anymore. That’s the reality. It’s not just word of mouth, we now have social media to think about. If we make one bad call or say the wrong thing it can be shared to thousands of people instantly.

Whereas, Customer Contact Team Converter, Lynette Worsley believes.

It’s so important (customer service) I can’t even begin to summarise why. One person can leave a bad review and all your hard work is undone.

Both Abbie and Lynette are not wrong.

Moreover, statistics prove that thousands of people use social media every single day as a vehicle to vent their frustrations.

Businesses be wary, there is no escape from poor customer service

In the article, ‘6 key elements of using social media for customer service’, author Sonia Gregory paints the picture of how unlikely it is for a consumer to return after a negative experience.

56% of customers will never use that company again. Whereas 52% will tell their friends and family about a negative experience. 54%, will go a step further and speak directly with that business’ supervisor or manager.  

Because of this, businesses are placing more emphasis on what their customer teams are likely to face.

Abbie explains:

We deal with a lot of delicate subject matters. If you don’t come across empathetic and polite it loses business. The initial rapport with somebody is so important and you have to continue that level of confidence with that person throughout.

An empathetic approach is essential

However, compliance author, Ruby Spencer understands that offering the right solution isn’t always easy:

Training-sensitive subject matters can be tricky… Generating an immediate emotional connection is vital to engage learners with sensitive subject matter.

Whilst, Forbes’ Brent Gleeson believes great customer service is born from effective communication:

Whether you are in Human Resources or not, you will be confronted with the challenge of navigating the “effective communication” landscape. Although we stress chain of command and respecting management hierarchy, sometimes people just feel more comfortable discussing sensitive topics with those they trust the most. Right or wrong, that is the reality.

As well as employing individuals who are fanatical about great customer service, Fletchers continue to invest in technology that will assist the firm in its future vision.

Fletcher’s CEO, Ed Fletcher has seen first-hand the positive impact technology has had in assisting Fletcher’s legal services.

In the last six months alone, a brand-new department has been set up, the Digital and Disruption lab, to ensure Fletchers maintain a competitive edge in this area.

Ed explains:

IT transformation enables speed, efficiency, scale and cost effectiveness – automating manual tasks and streamlining operations to free up resources and fuel digital transformation initiatives.

Whereas, Senior Systems Developer, Sev Manassian recognises the need to simplify technologies use to keep in touch with the demands of a growing customer base.

Customer Service these days comes in many different formats and with the introduction of technology and IT, it can be a complicated beast.

We like to break it down to the minimum, the simpler the system the better it is for customers.

The customer doesn’t want to be sat reading tiny text on a phone screen for three hours, and we can’t expect them to.

Whether it’s an email, a digital signature or an online claim form, these all need to be as simple as possible to provide the best customer journey and experience.

Easier to use tech makes for a better customer experience

In conclusion, customer service remains at the heart of everything we do here at Fletchers. There’s also a belief that the current level of investment in customer service has sparked a period of exponential growth.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said elsewhere. Every week it seems as if a high street name is under the threat of extinction. Established restaurant chain, Pizza Express has become the latest victim in a long list of casualties. For any aspiring business, this is perhaps a timely reminder of why great customer service is so important today.



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