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The Changing Consumer: Staying Connected to Buyer’s Needs

two people working on computer

There is no need to step foot into the local mall for holiday shopping. Consumers don’t subscribe to “patience is a virtue,” never having to wait in a line to return an item or in a telephone queue to speak with a company’s agent.

In a constantly advancing technological world where gratification is truly almost instant (hello, Amazon Go), is personal customer service still mandatory? Still important? Still competitive against a robotic internet chat window? The answers are yes, absolutely, and unquestionably. Customer service can no longer take a backseat in an era where the willingness to pay delivers aperfect product solution straight to your door, sometimes in mere hours.

Consumers may find loyalty where fair prices, ease of use, and excellent products exist. Computers and mobile devices place these factors in the palm of a buyer’s hand. Notably, these digital devices lack the human connection, or that part of the deal emphasizing care and concern for client objectives, needs, and available resources. The part that takes the burden off the consumer to say, “Hey, let me help you figure this out to achieve the best product possible. You are my priority, and I’m invested in making sure you are satisfied.” Digital options must remain accessible for those consumers preferring the route. But, whenever possible, seize the opportunity to gain loyalty in the human connection, highlighting the buyer’s importance and particularized satisfaction.

In 2017, the average customer is intelligent, demanding, and sure of what they want. Consumers write more publicly available product and service reviews than ever before, and 88% of consumers rely on reviews of others. At their convenience, customers can communicate with their sellers via email, online chat, and comprehensive webinars and demonstrations. Lightning fast response time is no longer the gold standard, but rather the standard. Channel Partners must make the very most of his or her limited interactions with the customer by being focused, efficient, and sensitive to what the consumer is expressing.

An April 2017 publication of Entrepreneur predicts that the one-stop-shop of live chat will grow 87% in the next 12-18 months. This shift in communication preference will require added digital support, as well as mandate that frontline selling staff be engaging, knowledgeable about the product, and if nothing else, utterly responsive. The key is utilizing all available tools to pay careful attention to the buyer’s needs to create a consistent focus on and positive experience for the customer, while the seller remains dedicated to professional growth.

Channel Partners need to consider the expectations and preferences of their customers when choosing which solution providers to push. A seamless experience during and after installation is a reflection on the Partner. Knowing if your clients like to communicate via phone, email or chat and how much assistance they will need throughout the installation and as they expand their services should be a factor in the decision-making process. Providing an Amazing Experience at Broadvoice is part of visions and keys to success. We continually examine our internal processes by soliciting feedback from our Partners, Customers, and Staff to ensure that we are meeting the demands of a changing industry. We expect our customer support platforms to match the superiority of our product offering and are making significant investments into people and technology to offer all of the platforms that will meet the demands of the “now” consumer.

About the Author

George Mitsopoulos is a performance-driven technology and telecommunications executive with more than 10 years of management experience growing recurring revenue for leading industry brands. As Chief Operating Officer of Broadvoice, a telecommunications provider specializing in broadband access, hosted voice and unified communications. His success is derived from his focus on driving organic growth through strategic marketing partnerships and providing a first-class customer experience through innovative product development and customer care to reducing costs, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.

Mitsopoulos joined Broadvoice in February 2015 as part of its acquisition of IKANO Communications and DSL Extreme. He played an integral role in establishing DSL Extreme as thelargest independent Internet Service Provider based in California, as well as both AT&T and Verizon’s largest wholesale broadband prtovider. Prior to Broadvoice, Mitsopoulos held key executive management roles at cloud service providers, including DNAmail and Virtacore.

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