Businesses that ignore the customer are doomed to fail. Paying attention to the services your customers see – such as your website, social and knowledge bases – will help you partner with your customers.
Customer service is the last great frontier. It’s the one thing that an algorithm cannot yet duplicate. Yes, big data can analyze your purchases and make recommendations, but those recommendations are still superficial at best. The human touch – the human mind – is still far superior. People can best relate to people. Computers aren’t social. They can only imitate interaction.
I found a great example of algorithmic service losing to the human touch cited in Big Data Now, where Mark Johnson, CEO of Zite, visited the Strand bookstore in New York and asked for a recommendation of Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The clerk suggested “a brilliant but far-fetched” novel: William Falkner’s Absalom Absalom. Amazon suggestions returned similar books by Morrison, which the customer had probably heard of and may have already read. Whereas The Strand provided a valuable service to the customer and deepened the relationship – and it also made a sale. The algorithm could only offer the obvious.
Zappos – which was purchased by Amazon in 2009 – is often cited for its outstanding customer service. It boasts famous stories of phone support going to the extent of helping customers for hours at a time just on a single sale. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said part of the reason he was purchasing Zappos was to learn from it and create a better customer experience.
Developing relationships with your customers requires one thing: Service.Tags: Business,Strategy