8 Customer Service Trends That Will Boost Success in 2020
If you want your business to grow at an unprecedented rate, the one aspect that you need to work upon is customer service. The adage ‘Customer is King’ has never been truer than in the current competitive era – if you don’t look after your clients, they will switch to rivals.
Customer experience is and should be a top priority for companies across the globe. After all, 86% of customers are willing to pay extra to receive better and personalized service. Such a scenario demands product marketers to make an effort to understand how service standards are evolving and keep up with the latest trends to provide a seamless customer experience.
We have entered 2020 with a bang. It is a time that is marked with digital disruption in all fields, and hence it has changed the playing field for customer service channels. There has been a sea of change in the way organizations communicate with their customers, and everything is faster, more flexible and agile. It’s important to keep up with the innovations in the playing field so that your organization can satisfy customers beyond their expectation, and provide them with a delightful journey.
Customer Service – Why It Matters?
It’s the perfect time to transform to new thought processes from the old ones and implement the latest customer service trends. A survey by Microsoft in 2017 has revealed that 54% of customers have higher expectations than the year before, and it is expected that the focus on excellent service levels will continue in the time to come.
So, what’s the big fuss about customer service? Since we live in a hyper-digital era, customers don't want to spend long hours waiting to solve their issues and complaints. They want instant support, round the clock, and they expect a personalized approach when they contact service representatives of any company.
Responsive service is a great way to establish a credible brand reputation, and it also increases the rate of customer retention. Since it costs five times more to attract new business customers, it’s a safe option to work at retaining the old ones.
Data is crucial, and businesses need to make it work to their advantage. Remember, your business needs and innovate and your strategy constantly to maintain a competitive edge.
Customer service trends of 2020
Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots:
The business world is evolving from traditional computing towards artificial intelligence-driven technologies. There has been a surge in automated IT solutions to meet the changing user demands.
In the customer service sector, AI-powered customer chatbots are making waves by replacing the need for human intervention. They are programmed to answer all basic customer queries, without the need for an actual customer service agent.
Interactive voice response technology promotes self-service, and customers can direct themselves to the required department for faster assistance of their queries. Automated voice systems help to reduce the time spent by clients waiting for service. They are redirected to available agents who are ready to provide instant support and resolve their problems, thus reducing average call waiting time.
Chatbots are a real-time support system for customers – this means no waiting time, even during peak hours. They provide accurate responses from a knowledge base where content is constantly updated through user feedback. Chatbots are the ideal tool for helping clients deal with simple issues, and are a must-have asset for your customer support team.
Virtual and Augmented Reality:
Many companies are now offering virtual and augmented reality techniques in their customer service. This means the capability to overlay visual images on physical objects and environments through mobile devices.
The integration of virtual and augmented reality is a novel concept that can help customers interact with brands and comprehensively understand their products.
For example, the popular furniture brand IKEA has an innovative application called IKEA place through which users can check out how furniture items will look at their home via a mobile smartphone camera.
With the aid of virtual reality technology, businesses can give clients a firsthand experience so that they can familiarize themselves with a product. It is a smart way to help customers to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ a product so that they are completely aware and overcome their buying hesitations.
Rise of Machine Learning:
There is an increase in the use of machine learning. In simple terms, this is the utilization of artificial intelligence-driven applications to gather unstructured data and understand more about customer behaviour and preferences.
With the right technological platforms, companies can track customer calls and past interactions with agents so that they are better prepared to solve their issues and problems. Machine learning applications ensure that businesses build a knowledge database about customers, hence it becomes easier to predict their future moves and provide personalized service.
Machine learning enables organizations to build analytical models through data computations, that provide repeatedly reliable results. For example, marketers will be able to understand what kind of content motivates customers to stay loyal to a brand. They will be able to use this information to drive the content creation process and deliver relevant content for stronger customer engagement.
Machine learning may seem to be very intimidating, however, techniques such as predictive analysis and intelligent routing can make agents’ lives easier. It helps in increasing the chances of positive business outcomes and ensures client satisfaction due to preemptive action.
Responsive customer service through data-driven support can be the prime differentiating factor that leads to ultimate success. If your customers are ready to make a purchase, your organization has to be available to provide real-time information by keeping multiple channels of communication open.
According to a survey by Hubspot, 90% of customers give high importance to ‘immediate’ response when they have a question, and expect an answer at the earliest. Hence, live chat representatives and automated virtual assistants are the need of the hour as they aid in quick problem resolution.
The modern customer is digital savvy and expects lightning-fast service. This is the reason that providing real-time support has become a buzzing trend for the customer service field, and organizations are employing remote workers to cater to various global time zones so that customers from any part of the world receive speedy resolution.
Customers nowadays prefer to endorse companies that make an effort to nurture personal connections. Research conducted by Accenture has revealed that 75% of customers are more likely to purchase from an organization that knows their name, purchase history, and product preferences.
With the explosion of big data, companies have the required information to customize their client experience. They can deliver targeted content and marketing campaigns that guarantee better outcomes.
It is important to provide relevant information to customer support agents so that they can personalize their recommendations, and make them customer-centric. This will make it more likely that clients will return to your site, and enjoy specific shopping experience.
There has been a remarkable surge in the use of IoT devices in the field of retail, online shopping, and E-commerce. Inanimate objects, powered by the Internet can turn into potential sales channels, and aid in smooth customer experience.
IoT refers to a diverse array of devices that are connected to high-speed internet and can capture real-time customer information. One great advantage of implementing IoT for customer service is that it provides a steady stream of important customer data from several diverse channels. This can help in enhancing the quality and speed of support that is provided by a business, ultimately resulting in happier clients.
Companies can use IoT devices to monitor the usage of products by clients, and send them reminders for further purchases. IoT can also be used to enrich the quality of customer communication, as their devices have internal sensors that capture feedback on product usage and this information can be leveraged for targeted client interaction.
Though IoT is a new trend in the customer service domain, it promises to hold tremendous relevance in the coming years. Digital technology will enable marketers to maintain a real-time customer profile by information derived through connected devices, and develop intelligent solutions for all unique client requirements. This will enhance all vital performance parameters, and increase the quality of support provided to valued customers.
Nowadays customers can reach out to business firms on any mode they prefer, right from using traditional models such as phone calls to utilizing fast-paced digital media. One of the most widely used trends to provide a seamless customer journey, omnichannel support removes boundaries between various sales and marketing channels to create a unified front.
In simpler terms, utilizing an omnichannel approach means that companies do not distinguish between various mediums such as instant messaging, email marketing, social media posts, and online web campaigns. All channels are viewed in an integrated manner, keeping the satisfaction of the customer as the final goal.
Utilizing an omnichannel strategy keeps all customer representatives well informed and on the same page. They have real-time information on all previous client interactions, irrespective of the device, platform or channel used for communication. Companies can align their final goals, strategic objectives, and communication agenda consistently across multiple channels to deliver a powerful customer experience.
Harness Social Media For Communication:
Social media is a raging trend all over the globe, and businesses need to leverage its power to provide a holistic service experience to clients. Everyone is on social media, and customers often find it easier to connect through platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, instead of making calls or sending emails.
Companies need to provide responsive service on social media to show customers that they care about their problems. It gives their brand positive publicity and builds a positive online image. The best part about social media is its transparency – this means that if a customer has liked something about your business, they will not hesitate to leave a positive comment or review for the online community to witness.
Social media can help companies to level up their engagement game – after all, customers are sure to receive instant responses from support agents on a public forum, and this leads to companies nurturing genuine relationships with clients in the long run.
The face of customer service is dynamic and is changing every minute. Companies need to keep abreast of the latest developments in the business arena so that they can compete with rivals and provide a stellar experience to their clients.
As customer expectations have matured, organizations have to work harder to keep up the level of support and service provision. Swift response time is not the prime requirement, rather customers also want agent expertise, digital integration, and a unified approach across all channel touchpoints.
The fundamental premise of customer service remains the same in 2020 and the end objective is to exceed client expectations by providing a delightful journey. It is time for marketers to arm themselves with the knowledge about the buzzing customer service trends so that they can plan wisely, and ensure lasting success for their business firm in the future.