Skip to main content

The need for speed in customer service

Mike Buhagiar, Head of Business Improvement at BT Global Services, discusses how speed can help build trust and improve consumer confidence in your customer service.

We’re living in a fast-paced digital world. Whether it’s watching films, buying groceries, booking taxis or choosing accommodation, your customers are inherently opting for online. In fact, research has found 88% of consumers are using digital channels at some point in their shopping journey, and two fifths (41%) want even more digital options.

But as our lives become 'digital-first', organisations across all industries are quickly discovering that customer service expectations are following a similar trend. That means customers now want digital relationships with brands and service providers; they want to contact companies on the channels that work best for them and at the time that works best for them too.

At last week’s Customer Engagement Transformation Conference, we discussed the trend with Mike Buhagiar, Head of Business Improvement at BT Global Services. He told us the thirst for digital interaction comes down to a "need for speed". Speed in query recognition, speed in response time and, most importantly, speed in the problem resolution process.

According to Mike, when done right, this helps build trust between the customer and the brand: “Over the course of five years, we’ve seen an increase in digitisation, with our customers going online. That immediacy is much more welcomed by the customer. They feel confident because they’re using the same channels we are and it builds trust.”

With research by Zendesk finding 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless customer service experience, it’s clear that there’s still some work to be done. Mike though, remains optimistic that the industry is moving in the right direction: “I’m increasingly confident that customers in this digital self-service world are building a better rapport, getting a better understanding of their own requirements, as well as how quickly we can deliver it. They’re raising alerts and issues that we can respond to - it’s great and it’s this feedback that drives everything in the right direction.”

To hear more from Mike about the need for speed in customer service, watch the video below.

How can technology improve customer service?
Listen to the highlights from the Customer Engagement Transformation Conference 2017 and learn more about how technology has shaped our customer interactions.

Looking to make a start? Here are eight ways to improve your customer response times.