First Person: Pros and Cons of Digital Customer Service

Yahoo Contributor Network

The world is changing. Communication has developed to the point where a huge amount of correspondence has shifted to digital platforms such as email, smartphones and websites. This includes customer service , which may eventually be an entirely digital experience. As a consumer that is comfortable with technology, I am perfectly happy to email, tweet or text my problems to various companies as long as they can actually solve my problem. The difficulty is that digital is not automatically better. Some technology actually slows things down.

Direct me elsewhere?

There have been times that I have emailed issues to certain companies. This is certainly convenient, and it saves the hassle of sitting on the phone for quite some time. The problem that I have experienced is that sometimes I get an automated email that does not really address my issue. There seems to be a hesitancy on the part of companies to put any information pertaining to my issue in the email. I appreciate this sensitivity, but sometimes I have been directed to pick up the phone and call someone in order to resolve my issue. Had I known that I would have picked up the phone in the first place.


It can be a hassle to sit on hold with a customer service department. Time is precious in a fast-paced society, and waiting in the queue is not always desirable. Still, there are times when it is necessarily, particularly when there is problem that are somewhat urgent. The challenge with digital communication is that certain companies may use those tools as a way to manage return messages. Again, I have contacted organization via digital avenues but sometimes messages are not returned for 24 hours or more. This is generally an acceptable amount of time in business, but if the problem was not solved a day was just lost and there is still an issue.

Complicated questions

One other challenge with customer service in a digital world is that problems are not always simple. The answer to one question will impact potential follow-up questions. Therefore, talking to a real person is sometimes much more helpful than an ongoing digital dialogue that may require several messages back and forth. Ultimately, I am in favor of having customer service shift into digital realms if the process actually turns out to be faster and problems truly get solved. Isn't that the point?

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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