Customer Service Is Dead – Alternatives?

  • January 14, 2023
  • 3 min read

In an era dominated by evolving business models and technological advancements, the landscape of customer service is undergoing a significant transformation. If you’re a consumer, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of trying to reach a real person over the phone, only to be met with automated systems or voicemails. The latest example of this shift comes from Frontier Airlines, as they announce the cancellation of telephone customer service, urging customers to connect through tech platforms, social media, and WhatsApp.

The Extremes of Change

Frontier Airlines’ decision to eliminate phone-based customer service highlights a broader trend in the business world. Many companies, regardless of industry, have already adopted a model where phone calls are discouraged or directed to automated systems. Even if a phone number is provided, the likelihood of reaching an actual person is diminishing.

The Why: Efficiency and Cost Reduction

The driving force behind this shift is efficiency and cost reduction. Phone-based customer service demands one-on-one interaction, limiting the number of queries a representative can handle simultaneously. In contrast, channels like live chat, email, and social media enable customer service agents to engage with multiple customers simultaneously. According to CNBC, a call center agent may take substantial time to research and answer a specific question, whereas a chatbot can provide a quick response.

How Does It Affect You?

Given this evolution, consumers face a challenge: how to obtain effective customer service. Here are two primary options:

  1. Embrace Automated Platforms:
    • Many companies now rely on chatbots, AI-driven systems, and comprehensive FAQ sections on their websites.
    • Utilize these automated platforms to find answers to common questions or issues.
  2. Consider Paid Consultation Services:
    • Recognize that undivided attention from a real person may come at a cost in the current business landscape.
    • Some businesses offer paid consultations, where you can get personalized assistance without the pressures of a sales pitch.

The Paid Consultation Model

While the idea of paying for customer service might seem distasteful, it comes with distinct advantages:

  1. Unbiased Advice:
    • You’re less likely to encounter biased responses geared towards making a sale.
    • The focus is on providing you with accurate and unbiased information.
  2. Undivided Attention:
    • With paid consultations, you have the undivided attention of the service provider.
    • This ensures a more personalized and thorough response to your queries.

Industry Examples

  • Legal Consultation: Many attorneys offer paid consultations, providing legal advice without the pressure of a sales agenda.
  • Financial Services: Fee-based financial advisors prioritize your interests without relying on commissions.
  • Tech Support: Some tech support services offer paid consultations for personalized assistance.

Closing Thoughts: Adapting to Change

As customer service continues to evolve, consumers must adapt to new models and explore available options. While the disappearance of free, one-on-one customer service might be a challenge, recognizing the reasons behind this shift can help you navigate the changing landscape effectively.

Whether you choose to embrace automated solutions or opt for paid consultations, staying informed about the evolving customer service landscape empowers you to make strategic decisions in your interactions with businesses. Share your thoughts on these changes and how you approach customer service in a phoneless world.

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