It’s time to make customer support more personal for older adults
03 May 2021 | 0 Comment
For a decade we have been moving towards a predominantly digital world; online banking, online shopping, remote working powered by video conferencing and the convergence of wearables and healthtech to name but a few.
And then along came Covid-19. Suddenly, change that would have taken years was forced upon us in a matter of months; a true catalyst for a hyper-acceleration in the digital revolution across almost every sector.
Whilst many younger and more affluent citizens were able to embrace and even benefit from this shift; the pandemic has created even greater inequalities in society, including disproportionately impacting the poorest in society, and the oldest.
The speed of change has had an adverse impact on older adults., Whilst the over 70s as a demographic has not only been overwhelmingly impacted by the virus, Covid-19 has resulted in soaring rates of loneliness and digital exclusion caused by shielding.
At the same time, retail and services have followed guidance and moved many customer support functions to home working. This has meant in-person customer services have been replaced by fewer telephone call handles, incurring longer waiting times. In many cases telephone services have been discontinued altogether and replaced with recorded messages telling you to look online for answers or to only contact them via email.
A generation of older adults who had lived their entire lives surrounded by physical connections were suddenly cut off from friends, family, communities and routine.
Loneliness and digital exclusion has become a national crisis. It’s now the responsibility of every business to rethink how they deliver services and customer support to ensure that t they cater for older adults. If we don’t we risk fueling the loneliness epidemic and further excluding the fastest growing population demographic.
Take for example the relationship of trust that customers used to have with their bank manager. In 1989, Britain had over 17,831 bank branches, by the end of 2015, this had fallen by nearly 50% to around 9,500 and by 2030 it is expected to halved again, driven by the adoption of mobile and online banking. But, in the UK alone about 2.3 million people aged 70 or above don’t have an internet connection at home. Older adults are also more likely to feel that having a convenient local branch was, either “essential” or “very important”; especially for those who do not use internet banking (74%), and for those with no internet access (76%).
Whilst the younger generation may prefer digital platforms like twitter and chatbots, 83 percent of those above the age of 55 prefer calling or talking face-to-face with a live customer service representative.
So, in a world with fewer physical stores and branches – how can we make customer support more personal?
How can we re-invent the face to face conversation with our bank manager, or lawyer or utility provider?
One of the easiest ways is by democratising the delivery platform. Not all older adults have a smartphone or are comfortable with new technology or using a small screen
That’s why the future is clearly a delivery of services through the TV – the biggest and brightest and most trusted device in the home. With Konnect, Users can opt for either a Wifi or 4G Hub, overcoming the challenge of getting an older demographic online and reducing digital exclusion.
Our core telehealth service already enables healthcare professionals to conduct care calls and diagnose routine complications such as a blocked catheter.
So, why not take service delivery a step further and move from call centres to video call centres? At Kraydel, we’ve already started delivering customer service calls and feedback sessions with Users from the comfort of their sofa. Being able to have a face-to-face conversation with our Users via their own TV is critical to our mission at Kraydel to make meaningful human connections. With TV video calling via the Konnect, our support team can demonstrate functionality and diagnose technical issues – all whilst respecting those shielding.
This model of TV-based customer service scales across sectors and business models. People trust people. So, why not replace a distant voice on the end of a telephone call, with a friendly face on your TV?