With a rise in online shopping popularity and an increase in social media use, customer service trends have steadily shifted from traditional, in-store interactions to more automated or computerized self-servicing modes of customer care. The cost of these customer service alternatives has often come at the expense of personalized customer engagement and sometimes offer an unclear path to resolving a customer's unanswered questions. That being said, the hottest new tools in customer service are multi-media platforms that try to address this concern by creating engaging, personalized experiences for each customer. Let's take a look at what is hot and what's not in customer service today:
1. Proactive services: Many companies are using proactive services to anticipate customer needs. Billing, payment, and outage alerts for many utility and other service industries are already in use. Commonly asked questions and answers to most service questions will soon be available on any smartphone and continued use of data analytics helps determine reasons for avoidable call center inquiries.
2. Easy-to-access online information: An attempt to make information to company policy's and FAQ's understandable and easy to find online is now in use. Billing and shipping information is also readily available, as is secure and timely shipment of merchandise. Live messaging to answer simple questions is prevalent from most major companies now.
3. The extra touch: Companies are also adding extra touches to customer purchases. Personally written thank you notes or unique and tailored packaging, or sometimes an incentive gift are often included to personalize a customer's experience.
4. Fast and frequent customer communication: Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are also growing as aids for frequent and timely responses to customer communication requests. Customers now expect quick responses to questions and concerns from your business.
5. Virtual Assistant's: With the trend towards customer self-service on the rise, so is the need for easy, proactive, yet personalized customer engagement opportunities. With advances in virtual assistant programs comes our ability to rely on them for our business needs. As their capacity to retain, analyze and integrate past and current purchasing trends expands, the faster, more accurate personalized customer service care they provide. Eventually these virtual assistants will feel less like computerized information receptacles and more like authentic interactions with real customer service professionals.
1. Telephone use: As self-servicing modes of communication advance, telephone communication declines, relegating customer service phone use to a secondary, less optimal form of customer service interactions.
2. Email: Emailing potential and current customers has fallen out of fashion, giving way to social media communication instead. We all do email triage to get through the day. More than likely your email will fit into this category so don't waste your time.
While in store customer service experiences are still in important and critical to your business, the trend towards non-traditional, multi-media faceted customer service continues to grow. Consequently, you should look out for ways to create online and computer-generated service options that still maintain personalized, easy and accurate customer service care. Customers now expect to reach you on their preferred platform.
Are you on top of these trends?