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2016 saw a lot of innovation in customer support. Omnichannel was the talk of the town, with brands who were in the know striving to offer seamless service across multiple channels. So what does 2017 hold for companies who want to deliver top-notch customer service?
Here are some customer support trends that will shape 2017:
- New benchmarks – Customer support will keep getting better, and companies will continue to take it to the next level in an effort to build customer loyalty. As a result, customers’ expectations will rise. “Good enough” won’t cut it; customers will want no less than stellar service from start to finish.
- Value and customer experience – Price will become less relevant as value and experience take center stage. Companies will strive to add value to their products by providing excptional service and designing positive customer experience (CX). This will let small to medium-sized companies compete with the larger and more established competitors.
- Personalization – There’s no reason not to provide personalized service, given the availability of technology that lets you track and store customer history and preferences. Companies will do their best to meet customers’ individual needs.Big data will give them insights with startling accuracy.
- AI and IA – Artificial intelligence will assume a bigger role in designing better CX. Machines are interacting with humans more than ever, and AI in the form of IA or Intelligent Assistant will be used to assist customer support representatives and even assist customers directly by offering them self-service options.
- Chatbot support – As with AI, online text conversations between customers and the company won’t have to go through live agents. The most advanced chatbots respond to requests and questions, as well as intuit when the customer is starting to get confused – at which point they will seamlessly turn the conversation over to a live agent.
- Customer success – Customer success programs ensure that customers have success with the company’s products, particularly the ones that cause high levels of frustration or necessitate a certain amount of customer support. While these programs aren’t new, they will be gaining more popularity in 2017. For instance, companies will offer free coaching sessions on the proper use of their products upon purchase in a bid to keep customers’ frustrations to a minimum and make them less likely to make follow-up calls.
- Proactive customer service – Companies will spot problems and fix them before customers notice and start complaining.Software programs that alert companies to issues will help them become proactive in mitigating problems. This in turn will help build trust and confidence.
- Alternative channels – Alternative channels for customer support, such as chatbots, social media, and self-service options will gain more popularity as customers figure out how to use them more effectively. Customers will use mobile less, though of course it’s not likely to disappear altogether as a means for customers to connect with companies.
Complex problems will still require human-to-human interaction, but alternative channels will become the norm for companies’ first line of support.
How will your company respond to these trends in 2017? If you want to raise the bar for your customer support, consider outsourcing. Offshore hubs likes Customer Support Philippines are known for their technology and live agents. Call us today to explore your options.