The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Customer Service

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we live, work, and communicate, whether you’re ready for it or not. Between trust, artificial intelligence, and the future of work, organizations must adapt to customer expectations in this quickly evolving landscape.

Our team sat down with customer service leaders at the first-ever Service Excellence Forum, to discuss how they are innovating and providing exceptional service to their customers. Below are some insights:

Bridging the Trust Gap

Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff believes putting trust at the center of business can help transform technology leaders to be better company advisors. The Edelman Trust Barometer, for example, indicates that trust levels in the US dropped 37 points from 2017 from global averages.

The rapid growth of smart tech and artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the global economy — and with that, customer service. Companies can use these tools to provide unique experiences to their customers. But still, customers are concerned about the implications of their data being misused.

So how can we build trust with customers?

We can start by letting them know how their information will be used. 85% of customers say they are willing to share relevant information about themselves in exchange for proactive customer service.

Building trust with your customers, to provide connected and personalized service, will be a key differentiator between you and your competition.

Enhances to the Agent Experience

Much like the customer experience, service agents want tools that give them a better view into the customer. A lot of this can be done by streamlining the information presented to the agents using Salesforce Lightning Experience (LEX). For example, Case Flags for Salesforce uses a component for LEX that puts the priority of a case front and center for your support agents.

A screenshot showing how Case Flags can visually help customer service agents know what case is a priority.

Balancing Artificial Intelligence and Human Interactions

As AI-led systems like Salesforce Einstein make smarter predictions for our day-to-day tasks, and chatbots initiate customer service inquiries, customers still want their interactions to retain a human touch.

Many of the attendees agreed that their businesses weren’t quite ready for this evolution – even though there has been a significant shift from call centers to immediate support over text/chat. Right now, chatbots can only do so much and leave customers frustrated if their issue is too nuanced and they can’t be handed off to a person.

Finding a balance between personalized service for the connected customer and enhancing the productivity of your service agents (so they can have a better view of the customer) will be the challenge that organizations have to compensate for. Salesforce’s latest offering, Customer 360, hopes to break up the siloed view of the customer that will help improve every interaction of your team.

The Future of Work

Team structures are beginning to change. As AI allows agents to have more presence, they are free to focus on building customer relationships instead of triaging support cases.

Why is this important?

For customers, being treated like a person - and not a number - is very important to win their business.

Organizations can rethink their recruiting efforts. Instead of the highly specialized technical skills, there’s been a shift to finding candidates who have higher empathy, strong values, and who are great communicators.

November 7, 2018