New customer service trends seem to emerge every day, so keeping up can feel like quite the challenge. Get prepared. Make sure your customer service agents’ skills and knowledge are up to date and combine this with the latest tools and technology to provide the very best customer service possible.
Read on for the customer service trends that will rule in 2020.
We’re talking M for ‘Mobile’. Smartphones are growing ever more powerful, and every day their ownership increases. According to Outerboxdesign.com, 80% of shoppers use mobile phones in-store to check product reviews, compare prices or find other 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
Here are some stats to illustrate his point:
As you can see, providing customer service through mobile is very much in the interest of any company aspiring to keep up.
“You can use social media to turn strangers into friends, friends into customers and customers into salespeople.” –Seth Godin
Social media is a great platform for connecting with customers. These days, an online store and social media presence are absolutely essential.
According to ValueWalk studies, 63 percent of customers expect companies to offer support via social media, and 35% of customers prefer it to other channels.
These numbers will surely rise. So if you’re not already, it’s time to get onboard. You can even extend customer service support through Facebook and Twitter. Just be mindful with other solutions that may need custom integrations.
Check out these fascinating stats about customer service in social media:
Self-service tools will be the new customer service trend in 2018. If you still thinking about why to emphasize on self-service tools then let me give you more reasons.
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Business intelligence and performance analytics provide crucial insights, empowering employees to make better business decisions. Adoption of business intelligence enterprise-wide is surprisingly low. According to BI Survey 13 published by BARC, just 15% of employees use business intelligence in places where it’s available.
Perhaps misconceptions around business intelligence being expensive, difficult to use, and failing to deliver real business value is fueling this situation.
“A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees.” – Shep Hyken
In 2020 and beyond, companies will witness a marked growth in their freelance workforce. Customer service jobs in particular are easily performed from home. Having this freedom may even help companies find and retain talent for these roles.
If companies need new customer service reps in NYC or San Francisco, the real estate cost alone would be astronomical. It’s a perfect chance to list the job as a remote opportunity. You could be amazed by the influx of outstanding candidates.
Machine learning is a data analysis technique that automates analytical model building. It does this using algorithms that iteratively discover from data. Machine learning allows computers to discover things without being 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. The science isn’t new – but it’s still gathering momentum.
Some advantages of machine learning are:
Marketing is great for giving information about a product or service. But what happens when potential customers are already interested, browsing your website and ready to purchase? This is a perfect time for live chat. Let them know you are there for them by giving them the opportunity to contact you in real-time.
Real-time support is helpful because:
“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 for live video streaming. If you’ve got an e-commerce site, it’s a great opportunity to communicate with your customers in a new and exciting way. Find strategies of weaving live video streaming into your operations, for example when launching new products or by running Q&A sessions, and drive forward your company’s success.
Check out these stats:
Chatbots are conversational agents capable of intelligent conversations with human users. From changing the way kids learn, to picking your perfect meal, find out about seven of the most interesting chatbots around right now with our whitepaper.
(Courtesy: Letzgro )
Messengers have now surpassed social media networks. Companies should bear this in mind when designing their customer communication strategy.
Hybrid support brings together the best of both worlds, the real-time efficiency of chatbot automation technology, paired with the human ability to deal with complex queries. Working in tandem, flipping between approaches as needed, keeps service levels high while minimizing customer frustration with bots struggling to deal with difficult issues effectively.
Personalization is nothing new. For decades, retailers have been enticing customers to buy through personalized offers. But as more and more retailers sell online and the marketplace becomes increasingly crowded, personalization tactics need to evolve to reach today's time-strapped and overstimulated consumers.
With 59% of marketers seeing good ROI on the back of personalizing their online store, the benefits for both the shopper and retailer are clear. Get it right and performance will improve.
The easy availability of seemingly endless information makes web search tools an absolute necessity. With the mass adoption of constantly-connected smartphones this becomes even more pertinent. Mobile web searching has become second nature, to the point that users would be lost without it.
But using a keyboard to type out query terms is not always practical – tiny keyboards often make it difficult to type. In any case, speaking is much faster than typing. With this in mind, researchers figured out a way to collect speech on smartphones, sending it to a voice-recognition algorithm that returns the corresponding text in seconds.
In a 2014 research report, Google found that 55% of teens and 41% of adults in the US used voice search more than once per day.
With this growth in natural language voice search, there's an increase in the use of questions in search phrases. In fact, Search Engine Watch reports the use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where” and “how” increased 61% year on year.
If there's one aspect of our lives the IoT will impact more than any other, it’s online shopping and e-commerce. IoT devices, from connected cars to smart home appliances, will change the shape of e-commerce by turning every day inanimate objects into potential sales channels for retailers. No milk in the fridge? Not to worry, the fridge will order some more for you.
The IoT is finally beginning to live up to the hype, creating genuine value for consumers and providing a legitimate source of revenue for businesses.
Predictions indicate the total installed base of IoT connected devices worldwide will amount to 75.44 billion by 2025.
With the Internet of Things taking over, a vast array of connected devices are bridging the gap between user and tech. From health-tracking Fitbits to smart TVs, the potential impact of IoT devices on e-commerce is huge.
Here's why that's good news:
According to Salesforce, the insurance claims experience will impact renewal rates. Insurance companies are, and will increasingly be, employing location-based technology to automatically initiate the claims process, using chatbots, along with visual tools like cobrowsing to educate customers on submission, inspections, and documentation as well as updating them on their claim status.
FIS made the point in its report that “Smaller banking providers can no longer delay digital transformation.”
Small and medium scale banking services really have no choice but to adopt digital tools aiding online transfers, speedy deposits, account opening, digital payment and making transactions using specialized digital finance products, like mobile wallets, easier.
Retailers will be using AI to personalize customer service. 55% of retailers plan to fully implement AI in their daily retail operations within 3 years - Boston Retail Partners (BRP).
Among the many potential applications is the ability to provide merchandise recommendations based on a customer’s responses to a short survey.
Now that you know all about these customer service trends, it’s time to make a plan for your e-commerce site and start implementing it to ensure your lasting success for the future.
If you feel like exploring more tech, why not have a look at our whitepaper on chatbots.
Founder and CEO of Acquire. Passionate about AI, machine learning, chatbots, NLP, neuroscience, and meditation.