What Customer Service Will Look Like in the Future

Lauren Krause
Posted by in Customer Service

Over the last 20 years, customer service has expanded beyond the telephone and the written letter. Customers now have many additional communication options if they experience issues with a product or service, including Internet chat apps, email and more. In the future, the customer experience will change even more, as products with built-in sensors continue to emerge. When companies gain access to real-time data, they have the ability to respond to trouble automatically.

Industry pundits believe that in 20 years, many customer service departments will revolve around data gathered from integrated sensors, which are placed inside products before they're shipped to customers. These sensors are connected to the Internet and, in turn, customer service departments. Customer service departments connect to the devices, read error codes, and either offer customers self-help instructions or send technicians.

As of 2015, quite a few Internet-ready sensor-equipped products already exist. Washing machines and dryers with inbuilt "smart" technology make life easier for customers by transmitting error codes directly to customer service departments. Customer service professionals have been able to connect directly to consumer's computers to figure out issues for several years. Smartwatches, which share health information with providers, are also making an impact on the industry.

In the future, experts believe that the number of items connected to the Internet of Things, or IoT, will rise enormously. Estimates vary, but some sources predict that as many as 212 billion items may be attached to the IoT by 2020. Jewelry pieces that carry personal information, clothing that simultaneously charges electronic devices and advanced health-centric wearables are among the more innovative items set to join the IoT.

Larger IoT devices will probably include furniture pieces, a greater variety of appliances, toys and business products. Over the next 20 years, the amount and type of data gathered by the sensors embedded in products will also expand.

Because of the increase in connected devices, preemptive customer service communications will likely rise in frequency. If your washing machine throws an error code while you're on vacation, you may receive an email from GE or Maytag with a proposed tech appointment before you even return home. Data gathered from your machine's sensor might also be used to figure out a time during which you are likely to be available for the tech appointment.

In 20 years, experts believe that human-to-human customer service experiences will be rarer. Instead, products will communicate with humans and machines in customer service departments. Perhaps thankfully, automated telephone systems will become obsolete.

In short, customer service is set to switch from a passive industry in which customers reach out to companies, to an industry in which companies act proactively, sometimes in advance of complaints. Using a variety of tools, many of which are already available in the IoT, businesses will improve their customer service regimens and the overall customer experience.




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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Debra thanks so much for that comment. So true. While you are engaged with that customer, they ARE the only thing that you should care about at that moment. As @Dominique said - customer service will either make or break a company. Personally, if I contact a company for assistance and I get a "could care less" attitude from the CSR, I will not use that company again and I will make sure that my family and friends steer clear of this company, too.

  • Debra D.
    Debra D.

    That is so true customer service used to be one on one, now its over the phone its on as a chat agent but I still think the number one rule of customer service is to build a rapport with that customer so this way they can trust you they will open up more which will make your job easier. You want that customer to feel at that moment that there question or concern is the only thing you care about at that moment and giving the customer straight answer to whatever the question or concern is.

  • Rose Davis
    Rose Davis

    Customer service is making a difference daily to the satisfaction complete

  • Dominique H.
    Dominique H.

    Customer service is the number one thing that makes or breaks a company. Number one in my book.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Mary you are absolutely right. I am the same way. If I can't get anywhere with a customer service rep I will ask to speak to their supervisor. Even then, sometimes, that doesn't work. In that case I will usually sever my ties with that particular company. The customer service rep is your first intro into that company. If they fail, the company fails also.

  • MARY S.
    MARY S.

    I have been in customer service for about 20 years now and I have to say that if I don't receive the same service I provide then I need to speak with supervisor.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Caryl so very true! Just like in an interview you only have one shot to make a good first impression. There are no do-overs. Personally, if I encounter rudeness or any other negative behavior with customer service - whether in person or over the phone - I will not shop at that store again. It's not worth it when I can shop at so many other places where the customer service is top-notch.

  • Caryl Waldorf
    Caryl Waldorf

    You need to cultivate a relationship with a client, You only one chance to make a good impression. and to have that client trust you and be able to relate to that person and achieve his/her trust

  • Paulete D.
    Paulete D.

    Customers Service that's client base and customer worthy

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jackie that is so very true. Not much is secret anymore. Social media certainly has gobbled us up and it's not going away.

  • Jackie A.
    Jackie A.

    Social media has gobbled us all up ... If you don't do your customers right ... Not just the Community knows about it ...but the world can find out also ....

  • Jackie A.
    Jackie A.

    You also don't have to call the better business bureau

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