The world of customer service is increasingly adopting a paperless approach.

How customer service is going paperless

Paperless is the future, with traditional paper driving licences, utilities bills and now even shop receipts all being replaced with digital, more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Customer service in particular is becoming an increasingly paperless sector, as consumers are moving on to digital platforms to register their satisfaction or complaints with shops, local authorities and even the methods they can pay for goods or services with.

So, what exactly is changing in the world of customer service as it becomes more digital and what are the benefits of the industry going paperless?

Faster response times

Paperless communication methods are both changing and improving customer service at the same time.

Research published by AIIM in 2012 found that companies that had gone paperless were able to respond to customer queries an average of six times faster than their counterparts using old-fashioned filing systems, as they could find information much more quickly and easily. One-third of organisations were able to get back to customers ten times faster thanks to going paperless.

With platforms such as Twitter and Facebook frequently used by customers to register their grievances with brands, this can lead to immediate widespread reputational damage for a business, so it is in their best interests to have a dedicated team or member of staff to respond to these messages as quickly as possible to prevent further, potentially irreversible damage.

Digital payment

Paperless is also improving the way that customers pay for products and services in the first place.

Cash is being used for fewer transactions than ever before and chip and pin is also being turned down in favour of new digital payment methods, such as contactless.

The uptake of contactless has been huge, with 74.5 million contactless cards currently in circulation in the UK, according to statistics from the UK Cards Association. This marks a 41 per cent increase from last year, showing just how rapidly this digital payment method is catching on.

In September 2015 alone, some £758.6 million was spent via contactless cards in Britain.

Apps such as Apple Pay are also changing the way consumers pay for goods, meaning cash is becoming somewhat obsolete.

Digital receipts

What's more, some shops are now offering their customers the chance to receive a digital receipt for their purchase rather than a paper one, improving their environmentally-friendly credentials.

Argos began a trial of this in the run-up to Christmas 2014, which saw staff in all 750 of its UK and Ireland stores required to offer customers the opportunity to receive their receipt via email instead of on paper.

At the time, Argos marketing director Stephen Vowles commented: "We are very excited about this initiative, especially as trials have been well received by colleagues and customers alike.

"Customers love it because they feel reassured that they have a record of purchases without cluttering up their wallets and colleagues appreciate the benefits which enable them to provide an even more convenient service to customers."

Other stores, including Topshop, have since followed suit, recognising the benefits to both business and consumer that paperless customer service can bring.

Get in touch with Storetec today to find out more about how paperless can benefit your business.

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