ПОВЫШЕНИЕ УДОВЛЕТВОРЕННОСТИ ПОТРЕБИТЕЛЕЙ ЗА СЧЕТ ЦИФРОВИЗАЦИИ КЛИЕНТСКОГО СЕРВИСА

Ежикова Юлия Андреевна
Российский экономический университет им. Г. В. Плеханова
студент

Аннотация
В статье рассматривается основной концепт клиентского сервиса, его важность для организаций, и текущие тенденции в покупательском поведении. Наш мир быстро меняется, и компании должны уметь подстраиваться и адаптироваться под новые запросы рынка. Клиентский сервис очень важен для организаций, однако на место привычных способов коммуникаций с покупателями, приходят новые более современные и удобные для потребителей. В статье рассматриваются современные каналы для клиентского сервиса, благодаря которым в эпоху диджитализации, компания сможет увеличить лояльность и удовлетворённость потребителей, прибыль и продажи в долгосрочной перспективе.

Ключевые слова: диджитализация, клиентский сервис, цифровые технологии


IMPROVING CONSUMER’S SATISFACTION THROUGH DIGITALIZATION OF CUSTOMER SERVICE

Ezhikova Yulia Andreevna
Plekhanov Russian University of Economics
student

Abstract
The article analyzes the main concept of customer service, current tendency in people’s online shopping behavior, and digital transformation in client support. The world is changing, and companies need to quickly adapt to it. The importance of customer service was already realized by many companies, however not all corporations are ready to change their communication channels in order to be up-to-date and be more convenient for their clients. The article focuses on the fact that digitalization will increase consumer satisfaction, the success of the business on the market, and boost sales in a long term.

Keywords: consumer’s online shopping behavior, customer satisfaction, customer service, digital transformation, digitalization, online communication channels


Рубрика: Экономика

Библиографическая ссылка на статью:
Ежикова Ю.А. Improving consumer’s satisfaction through digitalization of customer service // Гуманитарные научные исследования. 2022. № 7 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: https://human.snauka.ru/2022/07/50702 (дата обращения: 14.05.2024).

Introduction

In the digital era, the ability to respond quickly to changes has become critical for companies. Customer demands are increasing day by day. The quality of products is important, but now consumers also want to get excellent service and support during the whole customer journey. Placing effort into producing a better experience will lead to more customers, more sales, and increase loyalty. Companies need to understand the value of focusing on the digital customer experience when it comes to achieving their business goals, significantly reducing costs, and creating more satisfied customers. Moreover, due to pandemics, the popularity of online shopping has grown. That is why it is essential to companies focus on customer service, and more precisely on online customer service.

Literature review

Technology has changed the way how companies communicate with their clients, and especially it touched customer service. [1]. According to Karl Pawlewicz  over time, approaches to working with customers have been changed [2], but the concept of customer service stayed the same [3]. Customer service provides support to clients before, during, and after making a sale. It works through information, assistance, and creating a trusting environment [4].

G. Shostack in his work “The service encounter: managing employee/customer interaction in service businesses” (1985) classified how companies can contact clients into three types: face-to-face, indirect and remote contact [5]. Later Froehle and Roth (2004) proposed a new classification, that contains 5 types of service contact: technology-free, technology-assisted, technology-facilitated, technology-mediated, and technology-generated. In the article, Froehle and Roth forecasted that the future sales and communication with clients to a greater extent will be with a help of technology and through e-commerce, where it is possible [6].

Yingzi Xu et al. in the article «AI customer service: Task complexity, problem-solving ability, and usage intention» discussed the possibility of income increasing by the digitalization of customer service with a help of AI chatbots. AI chatbots have a great potential for future development, as it can be used to gradually reduce the interaction between the customer and the employee, that will save extra expenses and increase customer satisfaction due to fast response time [7].

Methodology

Secondary data has been collected through articles, research reports related to customer service and digitalization. In order to gain a better insight and more data about online customer service and its importance for companies, primary data was also collected, through the survey, that was conducted among 28 people. Most of the questions were aimed to identify consumers’ attitudes to online retail and online customer service. All participants of the survey are adults who have ordered something online at least once.

Purpose – To prove that customer satisfaction level might be increased by the digitalization of customer service.

Methodology – Theoretical methods: comparison, analysis, generalization, explanation, classification. Empirical methods: Study of the information source, analysis of the received information

Object – company. Subject – Recommendations of implementations of new communication channels for customer service in company.

Hypothesis – online customer service will boost sales, customer satisfaction, and in the nearest future retail companies will be able to switch to almost automated methods of communication with their clients.

Findings

The importance of customer service

Nowadays, more and more companies understand the importance of customer satisfaction and loyalty. The success of a brand on the market is mainly determined by how consumers perceive it. According to F.Kotler the shortage of goods has been replaced by the shortage of consumers [8]. The continuing growth in the number of products and competitors on the market led to the wide variety of goods and it made the customer the center of the market universe.

From this point, well known 4P marketing mix is losing its relevance. This concept is focused on in-house processes, and not on the customers. Therefore, the 4C marketing mix (consumer wants and needs, cost, convenience, and communication) is becoming more popular among companies that are working with consumers. This method is a customer-centric alternative to the 4P, it focuses on the people who are buying products or services rather than on the brand. 4C model is a foundation of the customer-service orientated approach, in which the company is focusing on helping customers to meet their goals.

Therefore, the quality of customer service support is essential for the company because now consumers have a wide variety of choice, a lot of products in one range have almost the same quality, price, design, etc, that is why customer’s decision more often is based on the overall impression of the company.

Focus on more digitalized customer service channels

Customer service includes traditional channels for communication such as a hotline, e-mails and more digital such as website, social networks, instant messengers and chatbot. In recent years due to digitalization, growth in the popularity of online retail, and changes in customer behavior, the demand for more digital and automized methods of communication has been increased.

According to the survey that was conducted by the author of the research paper – 35,7% of respondents prefer to send a text message with a quick response in order to contact a company, 28,6% usually call to hotline, and the equal percentage (17,9%) of respondents use chatbot or email to communicate with the company. However, if there is a problem with a product, 40% of the respondents chose to call to hotline, 23,3% would go to the store directly and only 16,7% would use text with a quick answer. These statistics represent that in case of critical situations people prefer to talk with a real person to get answers. The line between personal communication and communication with brands is erased: consumers want to solve their problems by sending a couple of messages in a convenient to them communication channel and have an ability to call or to go the store if there are some problems.

Digital technology has changed customers’ habits. Now consumers expect to get a product or a service in a short period. Customers are comparing the prices of products, checking reviews, making research etc. Throughout this process, consumer may have problems and could need support. And the best source for this support is the company that is selling those products. In order, to provide a quality and convenient service for clients, a company should add new digital tools and communication channels. The costs of the development and implementation of such tools are offset by the automation of customer support processes, which helps to attract customers and increase the efficiency of staff.

Omnichannel. Interaction with a client in one channel is often not connected with possible requests on the same issue in other channels. For example: asking a question by e-mail, and then clarifying the status of the request via WhatsApp, the client is forced to tell everything again. That is why integration of the omnichannel system will allow combining all requests from a client in one place. Thanks to this system company will be able to add more channels for communication with clients such as Instagram, telegram, WhatsApp, and others. 

Personalization. The Omni platform can transmit the necessary data about the client to the operator during the dialogue. Such a combination of an omnichannel solution and CRM will allow a company to create an aggregator of all the necessary information for personalized communication between a business and its audience in real-time.

Chatbots. A customer service chatbot is a bot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to answer basic customer questions via a business messenger. AI chatbots use your existing information and resources, like FAQs or knowledge base articles, to help answer and resolve customers’ questions. It can recognize and answer multiple forms of the same question and can be trained to give instant responses using your preferred voice and tone.

Discussion and conclusion 

Quality customer service is one of the most important indicators that can increase the success of the business on the market and boost sales. Businesses that understand and respond to changes in customers’ lives will increase loyalty, value, satisfaction and revenue in a long term. Companies that are able to support their consumers and listen to their opinion during the whole customer journey will be seen as valued partners in life and business.

In recent years the tendency to more digitalized world has grown. Consumers want to communicate with brands in a convenient way and get a response quickly. Nowadays customer service is not only support of the clients in case of problems, its support among the whole customer journeys. And digitalization of current processes and channels will help a company to satisfy their clients, increase loyalty and sales.

However, for the nearest year, a complete switch to atomized and digitalized systems and channels in customer service is impossible. Consumers still need real human support in case of an emergency situation. That is why the hypothesis of the article is partly proved. Digitalization will increase sales and customer satisfaction, but in the next 8 years, companies will not be able to automized their processes by 100%. People still need time for digital transformation, especially the older generation.


References
  1. Bitner, M. (2017). Integrating customer focus across the firm, Services Marketing, 7.
  2. K. Pawlewicz (2020), What does it take to provide the best customer service in the UK? – URL: https://blog.olark.com/trends-in-uk-customer-service
  3. Eventus, The Complete History of Customer Service Operations, 2014 -URL: https://eventusg.com/2021/10/26/the-complete-history-of-customer-service-operations/
  4. Mattson, J. (1994). “Improving service quality in person-to-person encounters: integrating findings from a multi-disciplinary review”, Service Industries Journal, 14, pp. 45-61.
  5. G. Shostack. (1985). The service encounter: managing employee/customer interaction in service businesses
  6. Froehle C, Roth A. (2004).  New measurement scales for evaluating perceptions of the technology-mediated customer service experience, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 22, pp. 1–21
  7. Yingzi Xu (2020). «AI customer service: Task complexity, problem-solving ability, and usage intention» – URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341561736_AI_Customer_Service_Task_Complexity_Problem-Solving_Ability_and_Usage_Intention
  8. Kotler F. 300 Key Marketing Questions


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