The increasingly online and digital world we all live in has altered the reality of doing business. Not just how we do business, but what we expect from companies in terms of customer service. And when a company doesn’t meet those expectations? Take cover. Thanks to social media every customer now has a soapbox, and the businesses that don’t measure up are bound to get blasted.

If you’re in business in this age, you’re already dealing with the downside of digital life in the form of these heady expectations and wide-reaching consequences. So why not capitalize on all the opportunities the digital world offers for increasing customer satisfaction?

Digital age customer service demand: fast response

It used to be that customers were willing to wait on hold for an agent to come available, or check their email for a few days waiting on a response to a customer service query. Those days are long gone. Customers now have more buying options than ever, and with 73% of customers saying the most important factor for customer service is a company valuing their time, according to Forrester Research, customers aren’t going to choose the option that has them watching the clock. The clock on their smartphone, that is.

Digital age customer service answer: an intelligent chat bot

Today’s leading chat bots are instantly available, infinitely scalable and can be positioned right where your customers are: not just on your website, but also in popular messaging apps including WhatsApp, Kik, Slack, the all-important Facebook Messenger and on regular old SMS. These chat bots are equipped with leading artificial intelligence and natural language processing that enables them to converse with people the way people actually converse, leading to easy and unbeatably fast customer service experiences.

Digital age customer service demand: a seamless experience

If a customer has to contact customer service, that customer has already gone out of their way, and if he or she is contacting customer service due to an issue or complaint, they’re already annoyed. This is not the time to bump a customer from one customer service channel to another – say, from customer service chat to a telephone agent – and expect that customer to start again at the beginning when it comes to explaining the situation and waiting for a resolution.

Digital age customer service answer: the cloud

The key to providing a seamless customer service experience across all channels is storing customer information and data in one central place – the cloud. As long as relevant information is immediately saved to the cloud, it will be instantly accessible to any employee involved in the customer service experience.

Digital age customer service demand: actual improvement

Believe it or don’t, not all customers lash out about companies on social media, other forums or in surveys and feedback forms simply because they’re angry. Customers now have more avenues than ever for having their voices heard, and many expect their opinions to not only be heard but respected and acted on. If a customer is giving your company a chance to rectify a situation and demonstrate an improvement, you need to take it. According to research from the Gartner Group, 80% of a company’s future revenue stems from just 20% of its existing customers, and customer satisfaction is essential for retention.

Digital age customer service answer: CSAT scores

CSAT or customer satisfaction scores provide an overview of, you guessed it, your customers’ level of satisfaction, both on the whole and individually. These scores provide efficient insights, but as digital customer service solution providers nanorep say in their guide to how to improve customer satisfaction, it isn’t enough to monitor these scores, you have to act on them.

Digital age customer service demand: self-service

According to Nuance communications, a whopping 67% of customers prefer self-service customer service options to interacting with a real live human. You could bemoan the death of pleasant human interaction, or you could recognize this as a tremendous opportunity to save time and money and go with it. Self-service it is.

Digital age customer service answer: self-service

Forgive the glib answer above, but you have a few options when it comes to self-service. The aforementioned chat bots make for a great self-service solution, as do dynamic FAQs that use natural language technology to quickly provide relevant, helpful answers to specific questions instead of making users scroll through lengthy static FAQs, as do discussion forums and social media communities where users answer each other’s questions and provide helpful information.

Living by the sword

When it comes to digital technology, companies die by the sword daily, so they may as well start living by it too. Digital customer service solutions will easily and efficiently increase customer satisfaction and reduce just how many consequences a business suffers thanks to this online and always-connected age. With the right tools, a company can capitalize and reap nothing but benefits.