In 2015, customer service will become more complicated and compelling than ever. Brands will often find themselves forced to adapt not only to new technology and the good old competition, but also to the ever-evolving needs of customers. In addition, many trends that were born in 2014, will continue to develop at least over the next one year.
Social Media Support Focus on Improving Customer Experience and Interactions
Social media interactions between a brand and its customers will enter a new phase in 2015. Over the next one year, social support vendors are expected to introduce many new tools. Through them companies will, for example, easily transfer the online conversations outside the virtual world. In addition, there will be more focus on the individual client, like custom links that only a specific consumer will be able to open. While all of that sounds revolutionary, it is more than natural. Many of the most popular social media support vendors were already acquired by some of the biggest social media companies. That leads to the introduction of much more advanced features and services for customer support. For online retailers and digital marketers signing up for program like the one here, will result in a significant increase in revenues.
The Challenges: Nevertheless, not all brands will decide to take advantage of these innovations. Still be some companies would prefer to stick to their old practices out of lack of knowledge and experience in the field.
Self-Service Reaches New Heights
According to a recent report, in 2014, for the very first time in history online self-service has enjoyed greater popularity compared to the voice channel. This only proves that in some cases, customers prefer the job to be done without wasting time on interactions with the company. Take for example games digital downloads vs. buying a packaged game for which you have to also pay delivery charges if you order it online.
The Challenges: However, brands should be very careful when it comes to self-service. Having high-quality automation software is not the key to good customer service. Instead, it is the choice companies provide to their clients. In other words, it is best if clients are given the chance to select between self-service or direct contact with a representative of the brand.
Multichannel Customer Experience Becomes a Must
This is one of the trends that will not be started by companies or technology, but by the customers themselves. Today, more and more people already rely on various methods for communication, which makes them multichannel clients. In order to offer customers a good experience in 2015, companies will have little choice, but to expand their channels. That, of course, is not as easy as it sounds. The good news, however, is that cloud technology can make that a little easier to achieve.
The Challenges: This new customer service is also tricky. That is due to the fact, that over the last year or so, companies were too busy shifting their entire attention and most of their resources towards mobile technology and smartphones, in particular. Now, they will again need to rethink their strategies.
CEO Prioritize Customer Service
Chief Executive Officers will finally start to see customer service as part of a company’s key priorities. This means that they will increase the customer service budget and invest in more advanced equipment. Most importantly, however, CEOs will also start hiring specialists whose main task will be customer service.
The Challenges: As a matter of fact, in 2014, many CEOs across an impressive number of countries and regions, decided to hire Chief Costumer Officers for that purpose. This suggests that this customer service trends will be the least challenging in 2015.
Mayday for Consumers
What happens when a consumer experiences difficulties using a certain product or service? In most of the cases, people look for help through search engines like Google. Next year, however, companies will start to realize that they need to provide customers with the so-called how-to content. These are simple guides or frequently asked questions about a product or a service that can help customers to gain better understanding on how to best use it.
The Challenges: Amazon is already one step ahead here. The company’s Fire tablets are equipped with a Mayday button that instantly connects clients to an assistant whenever they need help or have any questions concerning the product. Still, not many companies can afford such an option. Yet, this does not mean that they should give up on the idea of providing how-to content to their clients. There are many affordable ways in which this can be done. For instance, a company can dedicate an entire blog or YouTube channel to how-to content. But remember, all content, regardless of its purpose and audience, has to be mobile-friendly in 2015.
The Bottom Line
Although these new customer service trends will come together with many challenges, most brands will be able to adjust to them. The reason for that is simple – the customer will continue to be a king in business.