Customer Service Innovations: Building a Next-Generation Customer Care – Part 2
Innovation is at the core of any successful business. And in order to make your company innovative, you will need to explore new ideas that help you grow your business. And what better time to look for innovative ideas than now, at the beginning of a new year.
In my previous article, I talked about some of the latest customer service innovations being utilized in the call center industry. Now, as part 2 of my “Customer Service Innovations” series, I collected some further significant trends that most likely will gain even more popularity this year. Check them out and get ready to hit the ground running with the most promising innovations around!
Everyone is going mobile
Over the last decade, mobile usage has significantly changed the ways companies provide customer service. While 10 years ago mobiles were mainly used for phone calls and to send SMS messages, in today’s smartphone-defined world, we can pretty much do anything we want with our phones.
As already mentioned in a previous article, research has confirmed that the majority of customers, 70%, use their mobile when contacting customer service departments. This increasing trend towards widespread smartphone usage is one reason why businesses are pushing to level up their customer experience.
Utilizing mobile phones for customer service purposes has great potential, considering that smartphones make it possible to combine phone, chat, email, video, social media and self-service on one platform.
With most customers looking for companies via their phones, providing a customer-friendly mobile experience has become an absolute must for businesses.
Furthermore, more and more mobile applications are being integrated into call center processes, meaning that, while using their smartphones, customers can, for example, request a call-back or be transferred to live chat.
Proactive customer service
In recent years, providing outstanding customer support has been the main focus of innovative businesses, and not without good reason: if customers leave an interaction with your business satisfied with the service they have received, they are more likely to return and make further purchases.
Providing seamless customer experience, however, is these days the bare minimum expected of a business. And although call center agents may already have enough on their shoulders simply handling incoming customer queries effectively, the idea of proactive customer service is increasingly becoming the norm.
But what does proactive customer service mean? As its name suggests, proactive customer service means identifying and resolving customer issues before they become a problem. In other words, companies are increasingly aiming to offer solutions to customers before those customers even notice that they need a solution.
Companies can do this, for example, by monitoring customer interactions and notifying customers about relevant promotions, contract renewal issues or service expiry dates. This can make all the difference between good customer service and great customer service.
Another popular form of proactive customer service involves providing customers with gamified support experience. In fact, customer-focused companies are already exploring the concept of gamifying customer service by rewarding their customers for their efforts, for example, giving them tokens if they leave a review on the company’s website.
Self-service taken to the next level
These days, businesses rely on self-service portals to empower their customers as well as their agents. Having a self-service portal is clearly a win-win situation for your business: your customers can resolve simple queries themselves, allowing your customer service agents to use the resulting additional time to handle more complex issues.
One thing is for sure, self-service portals have great potential for businesses: they can help not only increase the quality of customer service but can also be used to allow businesses to create communities around their products and services.
Having a web community, for example, is an excellent way of increasing customer loyalty and word of mouth for your business. A forum, for instance, can greatly help your business build a community by allowing your customers to engage on a daily basis with fellow customers.
However, as customer service is evolving at lighting-speed, customers are now beginning to expect even more. And it is becoming clear that the next step businesses need to take in order to improve their self-service experience is to implement chatbot solutions that can answer simple questions, instead of requiring customers to find information on their own or wait until a forum member replies.
By implementing a chatbot that is capable of answering simple questions, you’ll be able to take your customer service to the next level while also personalizing the self-service experience you offer to your customers.
So, there you go, a further three significant innovations currently happening in the call center industry. I’ll bring you part 3 of our “Customer Service Innovations” series in the next few weeks, so watch out for it!