“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
The nature of the customer service industry is changing rapidly. To become a customer-centric will be the goal of most of the businesses. Companies who provide great customer service and experience will only have benefits over companies that don’t.
The new trends in customer service are emerging day by day and one cannot simply overlook it. You need to get prepared, update the skills and knowledge of your reps, and use the latest tools and technology in order to provide best customer service to the customers. We have brought you some interesting statistics and customer service trends that will rule in this year.
1. The new’ factor will rock
When you read ‘M’ factor, typically the word ‘Money’ comes to your mind. But here we are talking about ‘Mobile’ factor. The power of Smartphone is rising day by day. Numbers of Smartphone users are increasing rapidly. According to Outerboxdesign.com, 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside a physical store to look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.
“Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations — it will transform your entire business.” - Thomas Husson, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research
Have a look at some interesting stats below:
- Mobile web adoption is growing 8 times faster than web adoption did in the 1990s and early 20002. (Source: Nielsen)
- There are around 1.2 billion people accessing the web from their mobile devices. (Source: Trinity Digital Marketing)
- 58% of all US consumers already own a Smartphone- (Source: ComScore)
- Not having a mobile-optimized website is like closing your store one day each week! (Source: Google)
It clearly shows providing customer service via mobile will be an advantage for the company because of their uses and current trends.
2. Customers will contact you on social media
“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into sales people.” –Seth Godin
Social media is one of the best channels to connect with your targeted customers. In today’s time, it is essential for an online store to have a presence on social media.
According to ValueWalk studies, “63 percent of customers expect companies to offer support via social media, and 35% of customers prefer it over other channels.
This numbers will only rise in 2018. So if you’re not doing yet. Do it now. Integrate your customer service support with Facebook and Twitter, while other may require custom integrations.
Below are some interesting stats about social media customer service:
- Implementing a social customer service program can increase your annual customer satisfaction score by nearly 20% (Source: Aberdeen)
- Once social customer service interaction costs around $1 and one call center interaction costs nearly $6. (Source: NMINCITE)
- Companies that approve their customer experience on social media platform from average to ‘wow’ can see a 30-50% improvement in key measures such as likelihood to repeat purchase, upsell, recommend your product to others! (Mckinsey)
- Engaging to customer service request on social media can bring 20% to 40% more revenue per customer! (Source: Bain and company)
- 33% of users even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone. (Nielsen)
3. Intelligent self-service tools, AI (artificial intelligence) based Chatbot will replace manual query
Self-service tools will be the new customer service trend in 2018. If you still thinking why to emphasize on self-service tools then let me give you more reasons.
- Constantly changing business needs 65%
- Inability of IT to meet business user demand 57%
- Need to be a more analytic-driven organization 54%
- Slow or untimely access to information 47%
- Business user dissatisfaction with IT BI capabilities 34%
- Existing environment is too complex to use 28%
- Lack of IT budget or need to reduce IT budget by 28%
- Lack of IT BI/DW skills 21%
Business intelligence delivers significant performance analytics and insights to employees, empowering them to make better business decisions. Enterprise-wide penetration of Business intelligence is surprisingly low. According to the statistics of The BI Survey 13, published by BARC, an average of just 15% of employees use Business Intelligence in locations in which solutions are installed.
This is somewhat due to the misperceptions that business intelligence is expensive, difficult to use and organize, and not capable enough to deliver real business value. So ultimately with AI chatbot, you will be able to provide seamless customer service in real-time.
4. More Customer Service Reps Will Work From Home
“A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees.” – Shep Hyken
In 2018 and beyond, companies will see the rise of a freelance workforce. Expect this trend to increase particularly for customer service jobs as the job can easily be performed from anywhere. Moreover, it is difficult for companies to find and retain talents to fill these roles.
If companies desire to add new customer service reps in NYC or San Francisco, the real estate cost alone is astronomical. Hence consider listing the job as a remote opportunity. You may be amazed at the number of qualified applicants you find.
5. Machine learning can change whole customer experience
Machine learning is a technique of data analysis that automates analytical model building. By using algorithms that iteratively discover from data. Machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being clearly programmed where to look.
The iterative aspect of machine learning is important because as models are exposed to new data, they are able to independently adapt. They learn from previous computations to produce reliable, repeatable decisions and results. It’s a science that’s not new – but one that’s gaining fresh momentum.
Below are some advantages of machine learning
- Intelligent Customer-service Chatbots
- Improved Product Search
- Dramatically Better On-site Merchandising
- Market-right Pricing
- Fraud Detection and Prevention
- Better Business Decisions
6. Real-time support
Marketing and technology provide innumerable opportunities to reach the consumer and let them know about the product or service. But what happens when the potential customers is already interested and is browsing your website – right before he makes the purchase? This is the moment when you need a live chat, through which they should be notified that you are there for them – by giving them the chance to contact you in real-time.
Below are the advantages of real-time support:
- It helps to solve customer’s problems very quickly
- It reduces response time
- It increases the conversions and sales
- It is convenient for the customer,
- It boosts customer engagement and satisfaction
7. Live video streaming is going to boom
“Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your existing marketing efforts.” –James Wedmore
The new generation is going crazy behind the live video streaming. Your ecommerce site should take the advantage from that and use this latest trend in customer service to drive more success. Have a look to some interesting statistics below:
So take advantage of these trending media to communicate with your customers
8. Providing hybrid supports - Chatbot, messaging, etc.
Below are the reasons why you should opt for hybrid support like Chatbot, messaging, etc.
Bots will change everything! You can still be among the first adopters:
Chatbots — the conversational agents are capable of carrying out intelligent conversations with human users. From changing the way kids learn in schools to pick you out the perfect meal this evening, here are the seven of the most interesting chatbots doing the rounds at the moment.
(Courtesy: Letzgro )
Messengers have beaten social networks:
- Chatbots are more human.
- Speak the real language.
- Better interaction with your users.
- Lower acquisition costs… for now
9. Personalization to the fullest
Personalization isn't new. For decades retailers have been personalizing offers in order to entice consumers to buy. However, as more retailers have turned to selling their products online and as the internet marketplace has become more crowded, the need to evolve their personalization tactics in order to reach today's time-strapped and overstimulated consumers has grown.
- 59% of online shoppers believe that it is easier to find more interesting products on a personalized online retail store
- 56% are more likely to return to a site that recommends products
- 53% believe that retailers who personalize the shopping experience provide a valuable service
- 45% are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations
- 57% of online shoppers are OK with providing personal information as long as it is for their benefit
- 77% would trust businesses more if they explained how they use personal information
With 59% of marketers experiencing good ROI after personalizing their online store, there are clear benefits for both the shopper and retailer. When done right, there’s no real reason for e-commerce sites to avoid personalization.
The availability of virtually infinite amounts of information makes web search not just a useful tool but a necessity. A web without search would be as useless as an encyclopedia without an index. The need for fast and effective search tools is increasing with the mass adoption of always-connected smartphones. The possibility of searching the web on mobile phones is becoming so ingrained in our everyday activities that users would feel lost without it.
However, using the keyboard to enter query terms is not always practical –- mobile devices have tiny keyboards, making it difficult to type. Furthermore, speaking is undeniably always faster than typing.
Keeping this in mind, researchers figured out a way to collect speech on smartphones and stream it digitally through the Internet to a remote database running computationally demanding voice-recognition algorithms that return corresponding text to the user’s search box in mere seconds.
In a research report conducted in 2014, Google found that 55% of teens and 41% of adults in the US are now using voice search more than once per day.
With the growth of voice search, which uses natural language, there's an increase in questions as part of the search phrasing. In fact, Search Engine Watch reports the use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where” and “how” has increased by 61% year over year. This makes sense because many people are now using their voice and asking for their phones.
11. IOT can fuel proactiveness
If there's one aspect of our lives the IOT era will impact more than any other, it is online shopping and ecommerce. IOT devices, from connected cars to smart home appliances, will change the shape of ecommerce by turning every day, inanimate object into potential sales channels for retailers. Does the fridge run out of milk? Don't worry - it has probably already ordered replenishments via its internet connection.
The world of ecommerce continues to grow rapidly, with analysts suggesting that the number of global online shoppers will see a 50% increase by 2018. Similarly, the IoT is finally shaking off any lingering doubts that it is more hype than substance by becoming genuinely useful for consumers and a source of increased revenue for businesses.
It is predicted that, by 2020, there will be at least five IOT connected objects for every smartphone user.
How will the Internet of Things positively influence ecommerce?
With the Internet of Things already taking over, there are a vast number of connected devices bridging the gap between user and tech. From health-tracking Fitbits to smart TVs, the potential impact of IoT devices on ecommerce is huge. Here's why that's a very good thing indeed:
- Inventory can be better managed
- Increased marketing opportunities.
- Enhances overall efficiency.
- More perceptive websites.
The last word:
Now that you are aware of these customer service trends, then why should not make a plan for your ecommerce site? And start implementing on it? Also, take a look at whitepaper on chatbots.