The Functional and Emotional Benefits of Digital Customer Service

Remember Maslow? Of course you do. The American psychologist had a big crossover hit with his “hierarchy of needs,” which has been foundational not just for psychology, but for business as well. Thinking about what every individual (and therefore every customer) needs is clearly a good move for any company that regularly interacts with customers, from banks to retailers to telecoms.

We’ve blogged before about the emotional side of customer experience and why it’s vital to know how your customers are feeling. The importance of inspiring positive emotions in customers speaks to the mental and emotional rungs in the hierarchy of needs. But there are also functional benefits that companies can provide, in their products and especially in the way they communicate. Combined with a holistic view of customer needs, providing customers with the right combination of functional and emotional benefits will lead to more customer loyalty and higher revenue.

Is there a single most valuable benefit for a customer? Time comes to mind, though that’s only one part of the picture. But let’s start there, and think about how digital customer service can increase revenue by giving customers what they want — and what they need.

Why time is of the essence in digital customer service

Time is uniquely important in customer service because it fulfills the needs of the customer and the company in both emotional and functional ways. From the business point of view, time is money because more customer queries answered more quickly saves money. In customer service, saving customer time also means saving company time.

  • Saving customer time — One of the biggest complaints that customers have about communicating with companies is the time they waste entering personal information multiple times or waiting for a response. Saving time makes customers feel better because it appeals to this pain point.
  • Saving company time — When agents work more efficiently they increase productivity without increasing the size of the team. That saves the company money while ensuring more revenue from happier customers.

How to save time: It is essential to give customer service agents tools that allow them to work more efficiently across digital channels. Powerful CRM is invaluable, as it lets agents draw on data about the customer and saves the customer from re-entering information.

How to fulfill customers’ emotional needs

Time is but one rung on the hierarchy of customer needs. Other benefits of digital customer service appeal to emotional aspects of the human personality. Fulfilling these needs improves customer experience and leads to loyalty and revenue growth. Two of the most important emotional needs are reducing anxiety and providing entertainment.

  • Reducing anxiety — Anything that reduces anxiety inspires positive emotions. Companies can reduce customer anxiety by being easy to get in touch with, transparent in regards to service and expectations, responsive and results driven.
  • Providing entertainment — Everyone wants a little entertainment to brighten up their day. That’s why brands with the biggest reputations for excellent digital customer service show a sense of humor on social media. They know bringing a smile to the customer’s face is invaluable.

How to do it: Digital customer service gives brands a presence across digital channels so they can be proactive in connecting with customers. When the right soft skills and priorities are in place, it’s easier to provide results-driven service that’s also centered around human connections and positive customer experience.

The entire hierarchy of customer needs is complex, but companies don’t have to fulfill them all. They simply have to provide a holistic combination. Doing so leads to more loyal customers and higher sustained revenue.

The customer data provided by an omnichannel digital customer service solution like Brand Embassy, combined with the way we streamline the service process for both customers and agents, ensures that your customers will be more satisfied from the moment you get up and running. Then, our business services program will give your team the soft skills they need to take full advantage of our powerful software to provide digital customer service your customers love.

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