Customer service remains the make or breaks factor for most businesses irrespective of the size of the running time of a company. Add to that the continuously changing tastes and trends, as well as the unending addition of newer brands every day, and we have on our hands a highly sensitive yet equally significant part of doing business. The manner in which companies interact with current or potential customers defines the brand image, customer loyalty, growth potential, as well as competitive strengths. Therefore, it is imperative for any business eager to prosper to stay on top of customer service trends. Today we will discuss the top five such trends and how to excel in following them.
Technology in general and smartphones in particular
Smartphones are increasingly taking over the buying and selling world, as well as marketing and customer relations. This not only means more and better e-commerce websites but also appropriate layouts and user-friendly mobile applications. At the same time, this shifting focus does not absolve businesses of the responsibility of maintaining multiple channels of communications with customers. While you need to maintain a presence on mobile and social media, do remember that all other businesses are thinking of doing the same. Therefore no emails, websites, text messages, and even conventional calls can be said to be off the table if you want to remain in the lead with the latest customer service trends
Blurring distinctions between different demographics
Smartphones are increasingly taking over the buying and selling world, as well as marketing and customer relations. This not only means more and better e-commerce websites but also appropriate layouts and user-friendly mobile applications. At the same time, this shifting focus does not absolve businesses of the responsibility of maintaining multiple channels of communications with customers. While you need to maintain a presence on mobile and social media, do remember that all other businesses are thinking of doing the same. Therefore no emails, websites, text messages, and even conventional calls can be said to be off the table if you want to remain in the lead with the latest customer service trends.
Blurring distinctions between different demographics
Only a few years ago, one could use social media to target younger generations and keep emails and letters for senior demographics. Perhaps the same was possible in terms of field marketing, whereby cafeteria and clubs could have been said to be more frequented by the younger diaspora as compared to parks and recreation centers. With time all these distinctions have become less stark, and are now blurring away altogether. For customer service, and more precisely for business strategy making, this means that the previously simple messages now need to be tailored to attract and communicate with a wider group of customers.
Artificial intelligence is probably your most intelligent option
Self-service tools are already becoming the big thing for customer service segment, and it is only expected to grow further. While some businesses still prefer and perhaps need, to maintain human connections with their clients, it is only going to remain possible until a said company reaches a particular number of customers. In that case, self-service tools and AI is much more efficient as compared to prerecorded messages or automated responses. That said, AI is not only more helpful for your customers, but business intelligence and performance analytics that come your way in the form of feedback can also make a lot of difference in governing your future strategies.
Real-time support is the only form of support required
Gone are the days when two to three days for complaint resolution meant “good” customer service. From a faulty toaster to a new car loan, now consumers want instant services and businesses all over the world are racing against each other to be the fastest in providing those services. Even when it comes to marketing, you might be able to create a need for your product but unless your real-time guidance or after-sales support matches your competitors, you might as well be marketing for other brands for free. You need to send a message, follow up on response, deliver the product or service, take feedback, and resolve complaints all in real-time and preferably before your competitors do.
Personalize your business and your brand
This is an enjoyable shift in the customer service department, especially from the perspective of a company. While all other major trends are about spending more money and getting into competitive spirits, the trend of live video conferencing has come as a savior on costs as well as boredom. Videos are quickly replacing texts and plain audios already and now they have also started to make their mark on marketing and customer services. The good part here is that you, as a business, can manufacture, nurture and constantly improve your brand image for your customers, and communicate with them over live conferences in a manner focused on them. From music concerts to sports events and from educational seminars to explainer videos, you can tailor your messages according to your attendees, and provide them a face for your company to improve their bond and therefore loyalty to your products.
All of this discussion means more expenditures and the efficient team running is required from a company’s perspective for its customer service department, which when coupled with the aforementioned factors also mean a team that works around the clock, is familiar with several demographics and is an expert in running multiple channels of communication. Heavy expenditure on appropriate technology is another essential part of running a modern-day business. The good news is that all of these services are much more cost-effectively available through outsourcing without any company needing to compromise on the quality of its services.