The new normal

As you probably know, social media and its related technologies are changing consumers' customer service expectations. Consumers are demanding more information more quickly than ever, and your company must adjust to remain competitive.

A recent article in Business News Daily, an online news source, says large companies have made it possible for people to immediately interact with them via social media, live chat applications and text messaging. As a result, consumers have become accustomed to expecting such treatment from all businesses—even small businesses.

Kirstin Ogilvie, vice president of corporate marketing for, a customer engagement solutions provider, told Business News Daily: "Customers are living in a real-time context. They expect real-time responses and answers. …"

Maybe your company cannot match the technological resources of a large company, but there are ways in which you can improve the customer service experience.

For example, including FAQ or help pages on your website can satisfy a consumer's need for immediate information. According to the article, "a thorough, easily accessible explanation of common issues and questions can greatly reduce the number of customer inquiries and eliminate some of the frustrations customers have with spending time reaching out to and speaking with your company."

Of course, hiring competent customer service representatives remains a priority. But now, these employees not only should be trained to respond appropriately to a customer who calls but also to a customer who sends an email, participates in a live chat, or posts a message on your company's Facebook page or Twitter account.

Jon Lal, founder and CEO of, told Business News Daily: "You're not always going to get happy people. It's your job to try to handle that. With live chat and social media, your responses are on the record, so pay attention to how your customer service reps are presenting the image of your company."

To read the Business News Daily article in its entirety, click here.

Ambika Puniani Bailey is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's associate executive director of communications and production.


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