The Future of Customer Service: Predictions For the Next Few Years
Increasing levels of customer expectation is forcing companies to constantly focus on innovation and look for new ideas.
The last few years have seen the rise of AI, machine learning and automation in customer service, bringing major technological advancements to the industry.
These are just a few of the amazing technologies that have been developed in the recent years. And, in fact, the age of new technologies is only just beginning. While we may not know what the future will bring, here are a few of my customer service predictions for the next few years.
Integrated customer experience
As I’m sure you’ll be aware, if you want to sell effectively, you’ll need to support your customers through their customer buying process.
And while companies have already started to leverage customer data to support the various stages in the customer journey, just a small minority of them integrate their data effectively, with only 17% of companies using fully-integrated customer data across their organization.
Integrating your data will allow you to get a 360-degree picture of your customers and thus provide them with an exceptional and integrated customer experience.
Call centers, in particular, store a huge amount of data, so why not synthesize your business and customer data to offer your customers a more satisfying journey when engaging with your brand?
Customer data can come from customer service data, sales data, marketing data and so on, each of them highlighting a specific part of the customer experience. Sales data, for example, can tell you about purchasing history, marketing data will show you your customers’ preferred channels, while customer service data will inform you about recent issues. Ultimately, by combining this data you’ll be able to target your customers in the right place at the right time with the right offer.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, organizations storing personal data have become a major target for cybercriminals. As a result of the increased number of data breaches in recent years, secure customer identification is becoming more and more important, especially in the service and banking industry.
At the same time, customers are increasingly expecting companies to provide them with an as convenient as possible customer experience. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the demand for remote services is firmly on the rise.
In the banking industry, for example, until recently, because of the need for personal identification, customers usually needed to physically go to the nearest bank to get their issues resolved. Thanks to the latest technology, however, it is now possible to identify customers using video chat.
This new technology, already available as part of VCC Live’s solution, identifies customers by requiring them to look into their device’s camera, holding their identification card next to them. And while for now only a few businesses leverage video identification, I believe it will become a major trend in the next few years, determining the future of customer service.
Measuring agents’ psychological parameters
Working as a call center agent is not easy. Agents spend most of their time on the phone talking to customers, and resolving complex issues with often angry customers. It’s no surprise that they commonly experience high levels of stress.
And while call center agents are trained to effectively handle stressful situations, they may also lose their nerves every now and then, especially if they have to deal with a seemingly never-ending line of difficult customers.
But what if you could measure your agents’ emotional state by leveraging body measurement sensors? Several studies suggest that using technological tools to measure agents’ physiological parameters could greatly benefit call centers in terms of customer satisfaction as well as agent retention.
The tools work by detecting when an agent is experiencing extremely high levels of stress due to difficult customers, and as a response directing subsequent calls to other agents. Indeed, by measuring agents’ stress level, supervisors will be able to take action real-time and thus reduce the number of angry customer calls.
Call centers are notorious for being extremely stressful work environments, and agent retention is an important consideration. However, by allowing stressed agents to take a few minutes to calm down can not only help you keep agent retention levels low but also help guarantee high agent quality, with the resultant increase in overall customer satisfaction.
We’re entering a new frontier of technology that will change the customer service industry for good. Will these trends determine the future of customer service? Only time will tell…