5 Customer Service Trends That Can't Be Ignored
It's no secret that good customer service increases loyalty, gives you a competitive edge and ultimately influences your bottom line. At a time when customers expect to get their questions answered, and their issues resolved quickly and easily, creating a quality customer experience is vital to the success of your business. To ensure that you are meeting your customers' expectations for great service, you should consider following these five major customer service trends.
Today's customers have little patience for navigating cumbersome interactive voice response (IVR) menus and waiting on hold in queues to speak with phone agents. Nor do they want to wait for someone to reply to an email or return a phone call when they are looking for a quick answer. More and more customers are looking to find answers to their questions online rather than picking up the phone. A recent Forrester report identified customer self-service as the #1 customer service trend for in 2016.
Having self-help solutions available does not mean you stop dealing with customers personally, especially in situations involving complex questions and sales support. It just means companies need to have helpful information available on their websites. Consider posting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and instructional videos on your site.
As the mobile-first trend continues, buyers are increasingly likely to communicate with your brand using their smartphone. They are using mobile devices to look at your website, compare products and services, live/video chat and more. In fact, mobile customer engagement is more than a trend; it is a must! Now more than ever, it is important that company websites be responsive across all devices in order to ensure that customer service inquiries can be appropriately fielded in a timely manner.
In 2016 and beyond, customers will be turning to Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and other social channels for more than just sharing their thoughts, this will also be their go-to place for information, customer service, and support. Overwhelmingly, recent studies are finding that businesses are taking too long to address social media questions and complaints. Companies need to resolve this problem by building social media customer care teams that respond to social service needs and stop relying on marketing staff members to respond to these types of posts. Corporations like Disney and Delta who recognized this growing trend, already have dedicated Twitter handles specifically for answering questions.
Omnichannel is the new favorite buzzword for the customer service industry. It is the term used to describe the customer’s journey as they navigate between devices and service channels. Consumers appreciate the ease and flexibility of having multiple avenues of communication available when they need service. Omnichannel calls for the integration of all channels, creating a seamless experience for the customer. Businesses are turning to providers like Segment to unify communication channels and consolidate data into one central place.
Live chat is also becoming more prevalent on business websites. A recent WDS report states that live chat will emerge as the most common channel for customers to interact through over the next few years. Live chat enables your customers to receive instant feedback to their inquiries, while also helping to capture inquiries from visitors who may not otherwise send an email or pick up the phone.
Whether you choose to use social media, live chat, email or telephone, you need to ensure that you are addressing your customers' questions and concerns in the channels they use most. Looking to get started now? One Firefly’s Lead Concierge service is a terrific way to help boost customer service while helping your team capture more leads.