The world is changing, and so is customer service.
You do your best to offer exceptional customer support, but the truth is that with the ever changing expectations of your customers, what may be adequate now may be outdated within a few months. Now, more than ever, good customer service is important: people are willing to spend more if you provide excellent customer service, will purchase more if they receive good customer service, and are more likely to remain loyal to your brand.
But if you aren’t meeting customer service expectations, then you’re falling behind. And if you’re offering a lower than optimal customer service experience, then you may end up losing customers.
Trends That Mark the Future of Customer Service
So what do you need to do to address the customer service issues still on the horizon? Thankfully, we here at Happy Fox will gaze into our crystal ball and tell you what customer service trends are currently taking place and how your company can begin to prepare. So sit back, clear your mind, and listen as we foretell the future of customer service.
The mobile experience will take priority. By 2016, there are estimated to be over 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, and 65% of the entire population of the US will have smartphones by 2017. As a result of the increasing ubiquity of smartphone coverage, your customer service experience must be centered around the mobile experience. So what will be important to offer a better mobile customer service experience?
- Customer service-centric mobile apps
More and more businesses encourage their customers to make purchases through their own apps. Apps have the benefit of building your brand and recognition, cultivating customer loyalty, and improve customer engagement. If your company offers a mobile app, then it is important that the app also includes integrated customer support. In one study, it was found that 80% of respondents needed help while interacting with an app while 25% of respondents reported that they were unlikely to purchase a product if they had to leave the app for customer support.
- Mobile integration, catering to multichannel customers
Customer service should be easily accessible through whatever channel is available through mobile devices, whether that means telephone support, text, social media, live chat, or other means. You should treat every customer as a multichannel customer who may switch channels on their mobile and create a seamless experience for them if they decide to do so.
Social media support
Far from being a fad, social media usage worldwide is still growing. By the end of 2015, 80% of the US population will be on one or more social media networks while by 2017 it’s estimated that a quarter of the world’s population (2.5 billion persons) will be social media users. Not only is social media huge, but it’s importance to customer service is growing, with 37% of customers reporting that they prefer using social media for customer service inquiries over other channels, and over 67% of customers reported using social media for customer service at one point or another. So how do you prepare your social media channels for customer service excellence?
- Personalized responses
With customers demanding more out of customer service providers, it’s important that every customer receives a personalized, relevant response to their inquiry. This means responding to all customer comments, whether good or bad and efficiently offering them a personalized solution to their issues.
- Quick responses
With customer expectations higher than ever, your business will need to be responsive to your customers. Customers seeking support over social media will expect responses in times measured in seconds, not minutes, so you will need to meet the challenge of reducing the time it takes to address and solve customer issues.
- Social media integration
You will need to integrate your social media with other customer support channels. One great example is the ability to use Twitter to send the customer a personalized phone number that will take the customer directly to the agent who is handling their issue.
Self Service Customer Support
Many customers don’t want to have to contact customer support – they would much prefer to have the information to troubleshoot the issue themselves, and expect to have information that tells them what to do to have their problems solved. However, they may not have the technical knowledge or may not be able to find the necessary information to do so. So how do you address these self-help customers?
- Automated how to content
Technology is rapidly being developed so that when a customer is having an issue with a particular page or product, a helpful how-to troubleshooting guide can be automatically triggered to be sent to them, freeing up your customer service agents and making it easier for your customer to get the help they need with minimal hassle.
- Additional self-help information
Why not use your blog to educate your customer on the ins and outs of your products? Or maybe a YouTube channel to demonstrate how to solve common issues with your product or usage? By doing so, you will not only deliver an added customer bonus but also educate and empower your customer.
Proactive customer service
The most difficult customers to deal with aren’t those who are unhappy with your service, but those that don’t access your customer support at all. Whether they don’t want to go through the hassle of contacting a customer service agent, or can’t figure out how to, these concerned customers never get a chance to work their issues out. This can result in a higher level of unsatisfied customers and even lower sales. So how do you tackle customers who don’t come to you with their issues?
- Targeted proactive chat
Using proactive chat can be a great way to proactively offer exceptional customer service. Proactive chat allows companies that offer live web chat the opportunity to reach out to consumers. Not only does this help to improve customer service, but there are other benefits to your company including a reduction in customer service costs and helping you to upsell your products, making it a win/win for you and your customers. Proactive live chat is can be targeted to specific problem areas of your site or areas that may help to increase conversions.
- Data and analytics
Businesses are using data to predict customer needs, and so should you! Using your data to offer proactive customer service can result in more efficient responses and a more personalized customer service interaction.
These are just some of the trends that will affect customer service in the future. Do you see anything else trending that you’d like us to know about? Let us know in the comments below!
Don’t let your support team get left behind in the stone age, learn about how HappyFox can help you reduce the chaos and manage all of the newest trends in Customer Support. Schedule your one-on-one live demo today!