By: Michael Gilmore
Customer service is an essence of modern business. It surpassed prices and products as the most important brand differentiator a long time ago. According to the recent survey, almost 100% of global consumers claim that customer service is crucial in their choice of the brand. That’s why you need to stay up to date and learn about the key customer service trends in this article.
The Importance of an Outstanding Customer Experience
The biggest companies in the world are investing more and more budgets into customer service strategies because target audiences are not broad groups anymore. Instead, they are micro-segmented into smaller fractions, so the brands have to approach them all in a different way.
Christine Gagnon, a Customer Service Executive at ResumesPlanet, explained it simply: “Contemporary consumers don’t buy products or services – they buy unique experiences. Only those companies which are able to provide their buyers with perfect customer journeys can count on long-term success.” However, this is not easy to achieve. You need to follow state-of-the-art principles of customer service in order to attract more buyers. Let’s see the 7 most important trends in that regard.
Personalized customer experience
Generic communication and messages don’t make a difference in modern business. Consumers demand customized approach and you need to indulge them in order to make a profit. Some studies showed that more than 85% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. In such circumstances, you need to make use of all available data and analyze target audience carefully. Using advanced analytics, you can determine your average buyer profile and decide how to approach him. But keep in mind that you need a strong database about each buyer – it will help you to make the communication more personal and thus more productive.
Today’s consumers are well-educated and they know exactly what they want. For this reason, self-service is becoming one of the most important trends in customer service. Before buying a product, contemporary buyers will probably dedicate a substantial amount of time to online research, which is why you need to prepare data and make them accessible. Of course, comprehensive FAQ pages are inevitable but you should also write blogs and make an in-depth analysis of your services or products. At the same time, be aware that online reviews also make a big impact on your brand, so try to handle poor comments as elegantly as possible.
Offer multi-channel support
Customer services don’t rely exclusively on one channel of support. On the contrary, you need to provide purchasers with a multi-channel communication to cover all potential inquiries. That includes SMS service, phone, mobile apps, website, instant messaging, and face-to-face communication. Be careful to make the multi-channel support consistent and well-integrated. Namely, almost 90% of customers claim that companies should put more effort into providing a consistent experience, so don’t allow one channel to be much better or much worse than all others. Keep them aligned and you’ll set the foundation for a good customer service.
Social interaction is one of the crucial trends of customer experience. There are many reasons why consumers want to establish a two-way communication: they want to know more about the product, they ask for suggestions, file complaints, or need additional explanations. In each case, it is necessary to offer them the possibility to address you and satisfy their curiosity. Your response in that regard is essential – if you treat customers with due respect and give them the opportunity to express their opinions, you will win them over and create a solid base of loyal buyers.
Customer service is not only about how you solve problems and communicate with consumers. Timing also plays a major role in this field of work and you need to provide customers with a speedy delivery. For instance, a research proved that quick responses to a social media complaint increase customer advocacy by as much as 25%. It suggests that you can’t leave your buyers waiting for the answer for too long. Time is money in many areas of business, especially in customer service.
Analyze customer satisfaction
Successful customer services don’t believe in pure chance, so they analyze all activities thoroughly. If you want to get your foot in the door and stand out from the crowd of competitors, you should analyze customer satisfaction and find out what they like about your brand and your customer service. Of course, it is also the opportunity to detect shortcomings and make necessary corrections. The easiest way to conduct such analysis is to organize an online survey. Digital tools like Survey Monkey can be your logistic support and all you need to do is to come up with a nice set of questions to analyze the attitudes of your customers. But you can also ask them through live chat or a regular phone call – just don’t be too pushy.
AI is on the rise
With the demand for more integrated and around the clock support, companies are embracing AI technologies as a great mean of customer service. Tools like chatbots are getting more popular nowadays because a lot of brands use them to answer the most common questions. Chatbots give you the best model to reduce workforce costs and introduce a 24/7 customer support for the buyers, which is a win-win situation for your business.
Customer service is the crucial brand differentiator nowadays. It has the power to skyrocket your sales but also to ruin it completely, so you need to be careful and embrace only the best practices. In this article, we explained the 7 most productive customer service trends. Give them a try and let us know in comments if you have more inquiries about this topic.
By Micheal Gilmore
About the author
Micheal Gilmore is a blogger and entrepreneur from Dallas, TX He specializes in building high-performance teams and delivering great products in the least time. Micheal is also a passionate career advisor and facilitator. His life is fully dedicated to the people. You can catch Micheal on Twitter.