With many companies putting experience at the top of their priority list in recent years, it’s time to take a look at what the hottest customer service trends in that category will be for the next year.
As expectations continue to rise, customer service departments must stay on top of the latest customer service trends in order to provide their users with the best possible experience. Following a tumultuous couple of years, during which the world experienced significant market shifts, economic changes, and technological developments, the bar keeps getting higher for businesses that want to provide an exceptional experience. Now, customer service IS the brand.
What will be the biggest game changers in the coming year? What should brands be looking out for when planning their next move and devising strategy? Keep reading to see our predictions for what customer service trends will matter most, and what that could mean for your business.
We’ve spoken a lot about befriending the bots in the past, and this year will be no different - in fact, it may be the case that we have to tighten our bonds with them even further.
Automation can mean anything from streamlining incoming calls via an IVR or call deflection system, to using virtual assistants such as chatbots to provide quick responses and gather data that could be useful in forecasting and real-time analysis. It can also help customer service teams process customer requests more efficiently and accurately, saving time for agents.
Additionally, automation can provide customers with 24/7 customer support and personalized customer experiences. Finally, automation can help teams collect customer data to gain insights into their needs and preferences and provide more meaningful customer experiences.
The biggest benefit of automation is that teams can automate inquiries and customer service processes in order to improve customer experience.
On the other hand, there are some challenges associated with automation such as customer data privacy concerns, accuracy of processes, experience consistency across channels, and customer sentiment analysis.
Additionally, teams need to ensure data is secure and customer privacy is respected in order to prevent misuse or abuse. Finally, operational teams need to ensure experience consistency across channels by leveraging automated technology such as chatbots, virtual assistants, segmentation, journey mapping, customer understanding analysis, sentiment analysis, and more. Which makes it even more clear that brands have to look at this customer service trend as a high priority for them.
Everyone knows that data is king, but how you use it to rule your kingdom will be the differentiator between your business and the competition. When you know not just how to gather information, but also how to glean insights from it and apply that to your operations, you can improve the customer journey from top to bottom.
Looking at customer service trends in 2023, departments will be expected to have a deep understanding of their base in order to provide personalized experiences. Through predictive analytics and AI-driven insights, businesses can gain a better understanding of needs and preferences in order to deliver more relevant services.
The best way to gain insights and apply them is through feedback programs, surveys, customer events, data analysis, and listening activities. Additionally, leveraging customer data across all channels gives you a more comprehensive view of how they are experiencing your brand. Finally, using these insights can help inform CX strategies and improve the user journey over time.
The use of applied insights can help teams gain valuable data and insights. This data can be used to improve customer experience, anticipate needs, provide personalized experiences, and create a seamless journey across different channels. Proving once again, that this is a customer service trend which demands attention throughout 2023.
One of the biggest challenges with using applied insights is ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations and that customer data is secure. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure sentiment analysis is accurate and consistent across all channels.
In 2023 CX departments will be expected to not only understand customer preferences, but also provide tailored experiences based on those preferences. Through personalization, your user base will receive more relevant content and offers which will make their interactions with your brand more meaningful.
There are many different ways in which you can tailor solutions to suit both your organization’s needs and those of your users. From creating personalized offers, to saving transaction history and communicating new promotions, all the way to simpler solutions such as using your customer’s name when speaking to them - all of these activities help your user feel more connected to the brand and cared for on an individual level.
The benefits of personalizing customer experiences include increased engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction. Personalizing helps your teams create more meaningful relationships that can lead to increased retention. Additionally, it helps your operational teams deliver tailored journeys that cater to each individual’s needs and preferences.
The challenges of personalizing customer experiences include data privacy, segmentation, and consistency. CX teams need to ensure that data is secure and not misused. Additionally, your teams may find it difficult to effectively and appropriately segment customers if they do not have access to the right insights or data. You also need to ensure consistency across all touchpoints in order to provide the same experience regardless of which channel is being used, to make sure that this customer service trend doesn’t spell disaster for your business.
Sudden breaks in service or jarring switches from one mode of communication to the next need to be a thing of the past in 2023. Customers should be able to switch from one channel to another without having their conversations disrupted and operational teams should have access to data across all channels for a more comprehensive and seamless experience.
All of this also means your people need access to the right tools and systems. Having an experience platform, data management system, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and surveys, will help your teams provide an improved omnichannel solution for those who need it.
The benefits of an omnichannel approach include improved service, increased satisfaction and loyalty, reduced frustration caused by inconsistencies and errors, and improved retention rate. Put shortly, you can greatly impact and improve how quick and easy it is for someone to get in touch with your brand and resolve an issue without constant repetition of information or redirects to other sources.
The biggest challenge associated with an omnichannel approach is maintaining the same level of consistency across channels. By leveraging automated technologies such as chatbots, virtual assistants, customer journey mapping, understanding analysis, sentiment analysis, and more, your operational teams can better monitor each channel and make real-time decisions that improve the overall journey.
More and more, customers are searching for their own solutions to issues that they may be having with a service or product. They reach out to community pages, self-service sites, and try to exhaust all available options before actually getting in touch with an agent.
Providing self-service options such as online help centers and FAQs can help CX teams handle queries more efficiently. Customers will also be able to find answers to their questions quickly without having to wait for an agent to respond.
The benefits of self-service include quicker support and increased convenience. Customers can find answers to their questions quickly without the need to dial the phone, wait on hold for someone to reply to their query, then speaking to a representative. Additionally, tools such as online help centers and FAQs can help reduce the workload of your teams, giving them more room to handle complicated enquiries.
On the other hand, your base may not always find the answers they are looking for in self-service tools and your teams may not have the capacity to provide a high degree of expertise and personalization in a pinch. Additionally, self-service solutions may require customers to enter their personal information which can lead to privacy concerns.
Your people are your greatest asset, and they should have all of the tools they need to do their job as efficiently and expertly as possible. By providing them with access to reporting platforms, business intelligence tools, customer relationships management software, and integrating these solutions into easy-to-use and -access interfaces, they’ll be happier at their job and significantly less stressed. Which is arguably what makes it one of the most significant customer service trends to look out for this year.
Improving agent experience can be done in a few ways. First, your teams should have access to customer data across all channels, as well as to the right tools and systems. Your priority should be to give them the space to focus on retention and loyalty by providing customers with personalized experiences and engaging with them on a more personal level.
With this focus in mind, you’ll also find that you reduce agent turnover, improve their satisfaction, and reduce the costs you have to dedicate to recruiting and training new talent, particularly in an ever-increasingly competitive market.
The obvious benefits of improving agent experience are a higher satisfaction rate amongst your employees and less stress and workload. This will have the effect of reducing turnover rates, as well as hiring and training costs. And for your operations, happy agents mean happier customers - by giving your team time to focus on nuanced topics, they’re able to provide more of their expertise and create a positive experience for your customers.
Some of the challenges of improving agent experience include added costs when implementing new digital tools or training your people to use these kinds of platforms. It can also be difficult to engage with all employees, particularly when you have a hybrid or remote work setup, which requires a different approach. You also need to ensure constant communication and strong leadership, which will help you resolve potential issues before they become big headaches.
In 2023, CX departments should focus on customer retention and loyalty by providing customers with personalized experiences and engaging with them on a more personal level.
Retention and loyalty are so important because they help retain existing customers and increase lifetime value. By creating meaningful relationships and providing a personalized experience, you can increase loyalty and engagement which will lead to higher retention, more time spent with your brand, and ultimately, more revenue for your business. It also helps you reduce the cost of acquiring new customers.
Keeping your base with you for longer means they’ll be more likely to come back to your brand, and therefore more likely to spend more, become ambassadors for your services or products, and thereby increase their lifetime value. Stronger loyalty levels can also make customers a little more forgiving for the occasional error or miscommunication that might otherwise be the tipping point for an individual to switch to a competitor.
The challenges associated with improving these factors lie in many fields, but mainly when it comes to personalization of interactions with each individual. During times of peak volumes, or product promotions, it may be difficult to provide a tailored experience for everyone, and the feeling of being neglected or even betrayed by a brand can cause additional frustration for both your ambassadors and your CX teams.