Customer service is more important than ever, as your level of service serves as a key factor in acquiring and retaining customers. In this post, we will look at the five top customer service trends to look out for in 2021. Staying on top of these trends will help your business strengthen its customer relations and your branding efforts!
Remote work is definitely here to stay!
Whether like it or not, the recent trend of remote work caused by the pandemic is definitely here to stay. As we have written in a recent case study, even companies that previously used on-premise systems had to quickly shift their operations onto cloud software. This helped them confront the challenges of a global lockdown and build a steady base of remote agents. This rapid change made employers realize the benefits of remote work, including happier and more productive employees, cost efficiency, as well as long-term operational sustainability.
The ongoing pandemic has forced companies to create contingency plans. In today’s infrastructure, businesses need to be able to respond and adapt to wide-spread issues. Additionally, they need to be able to communicate these changes to their customers as soon as possible. The most essential part of crisis communication in customer service is transparency. When unexpected issues arise, customers want to know how it is going to affect your business and how your decisions are going to impact them.
Recent trends have shown that customers prefer to troubleshoot basic issues by themselves. According to a recent study, 67% of customers try to solve issues by themselves before reaching out to an agent. If leveraged right, this trend can be beneficial for businesses both in terms of cost efficiency and branding. Offering self-service means that companies can considerably save on human resources, as customer service agents do not have to spend time on simple, one-off issues.
Additionally, well-designed and systematic customer self-service can increase customer satisfaction and help your branding efforts. With automation technologies, such as conversational IVR and webchat, your customers can experience a seamless self-service that is able to process their personal data, their previous call history, and answer over 75% of their inquiries.
Personalized customer service and omnichannel solutions
Expectations in relation to online customer service are changing in light of increasingly sophisticated data analytics. When talking to an agent, customers expect them to know the latest status of their inquiries and previous communications, regardless of what channel was used. This means that agents need to be able to backtrack comprehensive customer information.
In order to solve these customer service demands, your business can take a data-driven omnichannel strategy. Omnichannel communication aligns the channels utilized with the help of contact center automation technologies. With omnichannel features, agents can easily switch between several channels (such as phone, SMS, chat, video) along with accessing comprehensive customer data. This way, you customers can use their preferred channels, without having to repeat themselves!
Streaming and video options
A relatively recent trend, video and streaming options are increasingly used in customer service, with its popularity expected to increase considerably in the next year. Video and streaming is a highly effective method for strengthening your brand while it allows you to communicate complex issues in a digestible manner. Video and streaming can be used for Q&A sessions, webinars, short explanation videos for software features, or even authentication. VCC Live pay, for example, uses live video to identify customers, allowing them to make real-time payments while they are speaking to an agent on the phone.
2021 is bound to bring new trends and changes in customer service, as the field evolves along with other areas of business. Staying ahead of these trends is vital for companies to stay afloat. Understanding popular trends, such as remote work, crisis communication, self-service, personalized customer service, and video streaming trends is bound to get your business on a steady footing in the coming year!