7 Customer Support Trends for 2016

Who doesn’t love making a good prediction? From fantasy sports lovers trying to predict the best players in an upcoming game to stepping into the dark smoky room of the funhouse fortune teller, everyone wants to know: what’s going to happen in the future?

You’re no exception, not when it comes to customer support. You want to ensure that you don’t get left behind in adapting to your customer’s support needs. So where is customer service headed in 2016? Let’s gaze into the crystal ball as we explore some of the customer support trends for 2016:

Mobile first

The smartphone continues to increase in importance to customer service, with an estimated 63% of US adults using mobile services several times each month to access customer support. This still hasn’t translated to offering a better customer service experience, as 90% of customers report having poor experiences after seeking support on mobile, meaning that companies in 2016 should place a lot more emphasis on providing a better mobile experience by providing quicker mobile service and supporting the channels your customers use.

Omnichannel support

Omnichannel support will continue to grow in importance to the customer and become one of the primary ways to improve the customer experience. Customer service tools such as Happy Fox will be key in unifying multiple support channels, making it easier for your customer as well as your customer service agents to interact with each other and create a seamless customer service experience.

Self-service support

At the end of the day, most customers prefer to help themselves rather having to contact a customer service agent for help. Customer service agents are only contacted because there are no other resources for customers to help themselves. 2016 will signal a shift in companies providing information so that their customers don’t have to go to customer service agents to troubleshoot issues, but can do it themselves. Self-service information such as FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions), community forums, knowledge bases, and video tutorials should be added to your site help your customers access the information and help that they need.

Customer experience and empathy training

In 2016 companies will look to train customer service employees in areas they thought were previously “untrainable” and help them to develop important emotional intelligence around concepts such as empathy in order to provide a better customer experience.

Collecting and using big data

Collecting data and using will become one of the focal points of company’s efforts to improve the customer service experience. In particular, companies will focus their efforts on using the data being collected in a more effective manner. And with 96% of companies not fully satisfied with the use of the data they collect, there’s still a huge scope for this to be improved.

Proactive and predictive customer service

2016 will be the year when customer service becomes truly proactive and predictive. With the rise of advanced predictive analytical tools and the large amounts of data available, companies will have a better understanding of their customers and be able to proactively offer them solutions to problems without them having to engage the customer service agent. By providing proactive support through proactive live chat, keeping track of customer actions while they’re on your site, and contacting customers post sale, companies will be able to increase the satisfaction of their customers.

Social media treated as a customer service channel

It’s estimated that by 2020 90% of customer service enquiries will be handled via social media such as Facebook and Twitter as customers increase their usage of social media as a customer service channel. This will necessitate companies integrating their social media channels into their customer support system to streamline the process of providing better customer service.

Do you have any premonitions of hot trends in customer support you see with the potential for taking off in 2016? Give us your predictions in the comment section below.

Now that we here at HappyFox have helped you to see into your future as a customer support Director or Manager, learn about how HappyFox can truly benefit your team and business! Get a one-on-one live demo today!

Daryl George

Daryl George is a freelance writer and blogger. His areas of expertise include business blogging, inbound marketing and freelance writing. You can catch him at freelancewriterstartup.com if you'd like to know more about him.