By Brad Tornberg
Innovation in Customer Service is the next frontier. Yes products evolve and get easier to use, more efficient and streamlined but what do they do to make the customer experience better?
People will use anything that makes life more efficient and are willing to pay for ease, convenience and offerings that cater to their needs, work to fit their lifestyle or circumstances and looks and feels like a personalized experience.
Some hotels for example now let you check in and out on a 24 hour rolling basis making it an innovation that directly impacts the customer experience. If the customer can change their buying patterns to make things easier for themselves then any service offering like this will be successful.
A supermarket chain allows you to call ahead with your list so that when you arrive your order is ready and you can just pick up the items you forgot saving you the long time you spend in the supermarket but still allow for the experience of shopping. They also provide home delivery which is an old model but felt that many of their customers still like the shopping experience to be able to select key items such as fruit, meats and other personal choice items. They are growing at an amazing rate because they offer services that bring innovation to the customer experience and meet multiple needs depending on their customer’s circumstances.
In the mobile world now that the platforms are becoming more widespread and used as everyday tools (iPhones, Droids, Tablets) the success of the appliance will be judged going forward not just based upon the applications that are utilized on the device and for what purpose. The device themselves will gain or lose market share depending on the ergonomic likes and dislikes (style, size, color, ease of use, availability of applications, etc.). However the devices that can bring consistent innovation to the customer experience by changing the way the consumer behaves will rise to the top. Users of these devices will see the utility as something that improves customer service and is a must for their lifestyle.
The monetization of Customer Innovation can be quite large. It will come from repetitive use and mass adoption from consumers which originates from social media acceptance and approval. After all how they bring innovation to the customer experience is always a great story to tell!