We’ve identified at least five major trends that we expect to shape the customer service experience in the years to come. Here they are:
1. It’s Omnichannel Time
Customer support is already held through the variety of channels. With social media narrowing the distance between customers and brands taking considerable steps to enhance their business roles, you can expect this trend to grow even more. The major change will be the adjustment of software managing relations with customers. It needs to be able to manage all these channels simultaneously to both make agents’ work more efficient and customers’ experience streamlined by increasing the speed of service.
2. Personalization to the Fullest
Development of new-era software for customer service management is also crucial to gaining more and more information about customers’ preferences. Thanks to this information, brands can operate more efficiently not only in sales but also on the field of customer service.
Moreover, this approach allows companies to adopt to expectations their customers manifest. They no longer want communications with brands to be generic, pursuing distance reduction instead.
3. Further Increase of the Speed of Service
Regardless of what channels future customer service will be based on, considerably shortening the response and handle time of customers’ cases is a must. Customers don’t expect to be waiting for your response to their inquiries anymore. Of course, the trend can diminish the importance of some tools that customer service currently uses (e-mails and phones for example). Our Customer Service Report for 2015 confirms the importance of this trend. It indicates that customer satisfaction directly depends on the response time of support agents. The fastest the response, the highest the satisfaction.
4. Power of Self-Service Tools Unveiled
Self-service is the key. While companies will continuously develop omnichannel software to provide complex management of their communications with customers, consumers themselves are expected to be given even more tools to reach out to brands they fancy.
But the quantity of these new tools is not important, but their quality. By 2020 more and more of them will be tailored to help customers solve their problems themselves. Self-service solutions (live chats, social media based support, online communities of engaged customers) are predicted to provide more consistent and personalized customer support, answering all the needs of more demanding customers.
What’s more, according to Forrester’s research, self-service based customer support has already outperformed phone agents in user preferences in 2015, so you can expect it to grow more and more over the years.
5. Data Driven Customer Experience
This trend is directly connected to the use of self-service solutions. Self-service tools are able to take the burden of customer support from brands. Partially at least. Fostering the development of communities around them, brands empower their members to support one another. To do so, they need to be provided with complex data that will drive their customer support.
This is why the emergence of knowledge bases that companies share with their users is highly anticipated. With access to a wide knowledge about the product or service they use, communities of devoted consumers can reduce the number of customer services cases companies have to be directly involved in.
Evaluate your customer service plan and ensure that your strategy incorporates these trends, keeping you ahead of the curve and full of happy customers.
Read Pawel Halas’s comments on, “The Five Biggest Customer Service Trends for 2016 and Beyond” on Quora.