With the onslaught of the digital era, many businesses have crumbled, commerce being one of them. I did not find anything wrong; that is how innovation happens. Now coming back to e-commerce, as much as it has made our life convenient and much cheaper, a downside is slowly emerging. Customer support!
Personally, apart from Amazon, I have found the customer support to be horrific for the purchases online. My two recent experiences with a particular laptop brand and the mobile brand were so frustrating. The industry has found ways to reduce their overhead by bringing in bots to automate customer service. But what about the impact it has on the customers. It’s so hard to get a human being on the other line nowadays. Pre-determined chat responses and email replies bombard us. Getting a human to talk to our problem is starting to become a privilege.
This got me thinking, what if there was a service, which helped customers deal with customer support? Something on the same lines of gadget insurance. As soon as we buy something online, we register our device, along with all the details. Whenever you face a problem, you let the service know that, and they will take care of the rest. An initial inspection if required, and then they deal with the customer support team. The companies are automating the responses, why can’t we do the same? It is not that hard to compose an email depicting the problems. Can’t we leverage the same technology they are using to automate the initial stages? Pressuring the company in social media handles has become the go-to method to get things done, and nowadays, even LinkedIn is leveraged for the same. These are automatable. And in the later stages, the conversations can be handled by the service agents on both sides.
What started as to bring delightful customer experiences has become a source of frustration and wastage of customer time. I have spent hours trying to get in touch with customer executives, and a quick look at the consume compliant websites, and product forums show that it is not just me. But the real question is, is they are business opportunity there? Will people spend money to get their issues sorted out, and to get a peace of mind? Will this encourage more people to use e-commerce? What do you think?