| Aug 8, 2022

The Move Back to Customer Service in the Tech Industry

Customers are still looking for a human touch. Providing efficient and personalized customer service will help your customers feel more valued and understood, but it will also help your company grow.

In my experience, most people would say “tech” is the most important element in creating “tech-driven customer solutions.” But as important as it is for us to get the technology right, we can’t merely disregard the customers who buy and use our solutions. Without a deep focus on customer service, you lose the ability to provide the best experience to your customers and to gather feedback from them about whether you’re truly providing the best tech-driven solution.

At my company, we rolled out a new tech-enabled platform to automate one of our services a few years ago knowing that our customers would be looking for human-facing support. So, we created a product support team to respond quickly to customer questions and concerns. These dedicated customer service agents helped users fit the software to their needs and customers were able to appreciate its value almost immediately.

Investing in human customer support alongside tech may seem counter-intuitive, but the payoff is improvements in both customer experience and product. By making the user the primary focus of our offerings, we can move back to customer service without scrapping the advantages of technology. Services companies that provide customer support with the right mix of tech efficiencies and human compassion will see benefits.

The Tech Disconnect with Customers

Today, the technology and service industries have basically abandoned the customer to a maze of automated decision trees. A computerized support center can be great for providing information about recurring, routine problems or for documenting complaints, but all tech users are not tech savvy and all user problems aren’t routine. Meeting the customer’s needs sometimes requires human intervention. Even when human support is not absolutely needed, customers want it, with 71% of people in one survey saying they’d be less likely to do business with a company that doesn’t offer it. Currently, however, customers have to navigate confusing options before they can reach a human, if they reach one at all. If they make one wrong choice, they get sent back to the start or kicked out of the maze completely. 

Reconnecting with a Human Touch

Fully automated customer support is part of a bigger problem. We’ve known for years that social media makes people feel more isolated instead of connected.  Additionally, the global pandemic caused the number of face-to-face interactions to plummet both internally within businesses and between businesses and their customers. Basically, we’ve become pretty bad at talking to other people. 

Still, people think seeking out customer service for tech support is stressful and want to speak directly to a human who they feel cares about their problems.

Customer support employees are not immune to the disconnection pandemic. They may need to be trained to show customers empathy to clearly communicate that your company wants to help them. Agents who know the product and can imagine the experience from the customer perspective will show customers your company cares and wants to satisfy its users. Customer service employees also need training in de-escalation.


Human-Centered and Tech-Driven Support

Striking the right balance between technology and human interaction has the potential to create better customer service, happier tech support agents, and better products. You can adopt a people-first approach to customer service by using smart automation to steer customer questions quickly to a human. Intelligent use of technology also empowers the human tech support agents to personalize the service, obtain necessary information, and rapidly resolve customer issues.

You can also use technology to track the quality of your tech support and gather customer feedback. Monitoring metrics like time to resolution and customer satisfaction will help you improve the service even more. Companies that cut themselves off from customer input are flying blind to the challenges customers are facing in using their products. Instead of shying away from customer feedback, you can build tools into your product. Capturing information on bug issues, useability, and customer experience, even when it’s negative, tells you where you can change, iterate, and improve. Your most frustrated customers will often teach you the most important lessons.

Serving Customers Yields Results 

We need to remind ourselves constantly that meeting our customers’ needs is crucial to our continued success. Even customers who seek us out for tech services and solutions are still looking for human interaction, especially when they need support.  Quick routing of support issues to caring, capable humans will increase customer satisfaction and may, in turn, drive uptake of your technology and your overall returns.

I’m not just making predictions. I’m describing our experience. After we rolled out our tech-enabled platform with a dedicated customer support team, sales grew at crazy speeds. Our investment in humanizing tech support helped drive our revenues and our company’s growth.

Put human interaction at the center of your tech support offering and put the customer back in “customer service.”

Shelby Carlson
Executive Author

COO, AdCellerant

Shelby Carlson is an accomplished technology executive with 14 years of experience leading organizations, developing products and platforms, and growing companies from start-up to maturity. view profile


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