Exceptional customer support will always be essential for the growth of any company, the focus on personalized service and fast resolution of queries determines the business’s overall success and influences customer loyalty.
Customer service and support are also fundamental pieces of business processes since, in the long run, satisfied clients and high customer retention directly correlate with the company’s financial results and market recognition.
That said, let’s analyze 9 trends that you need to follow in 2022 to take your customer support to the next level.
1. Omnichannel customer support
With the current technology available, it has become essential to implement a customer care strategy that covers all possible channels. It’s not just about answering your phone, those days are long gone. Now, the latest trends in customer service allow the support agent to connect with clients via different channels: live chat, SMS, email, social networks, live-video, among others.
Including these not only facilitates the tasks of the agents but also guarantees seamless communication and, therefore, a consistent customer experience. An omnichannel strategy allows you to cover all stages of our clients’ lifecycle and detect needs or problems through multiple touchpoints.
In addition, it’s essential to remember that your clients are already active in each of these channels. To achieve and maintain engagement, organizations must adapt to these consumption and navigation habits. In summary, the main benefits of adopting this type of strategy are:
- Customer satisfaction and company growth thanks to a service without interruptions,
- Real-time assistance through voice and chat,
- Rise of agents’ productivity,
- Getting valuable insights about the profile of existing and potential clients.
Read more: Customer Service: What Makes It Great?
2. Personalization to the fullest
We’ve just discussed the omnichannel communication strategy. So, if contacting clients through various channels is something so obvious, personalization is our most powerful ally, it’s one of the most vital customer service trends. Personalized customer care is a synonym of customer engagement, loyalty, and trust.
75% of clients are more likely to buy from a company that communicates with them using their name, purchase history, and/or recommends products based on their purchase history.Accenture
One of the most critical parts of personalization is to know your client. We realize that it may be difficult to meet each of them in person, so you need to create a buyer persona profile to facilitate this process. Once you have defined the main interests, needs, and challenges of the clients, you can move on to the second step.
Communicate with your clients as you communicate in real life, that is, address them by name, create an atmosphere of trust, and do not forget to focus, at all times, on their needs. With the help of an appropriate CRM and the right customer support management system, you can access the history of your clients’ requests so you will be able to provide the most appropriate solution.
3. Mobile first
Mobile devices are considered as the most common and efficient means of communication. It keeps us connected all the time, with a variety of applications at our fingertips. So it’s not surprising to see more and more companies deploying their services and adapting them to this fast-paced environment.
From responsive websites designed only for mobile, apps to offer great customer support on the go to a line of direct messages, organizations can use this medium to provide immediate answers or as quickly as possible.
According to the Pew Research Center, 2.5 billion people globally owns a smartphone.
Outerboxdesign.com reports that 80% of use smartphones in-store to check product reviews, compare prices, find other store locations, or ask questions about products.
There are some aspects to take into account to carry out adequate customer service via mobile:
- Take advantage of mobile functions: for example, the use of geolocation that allows the client to know where to find branches of your business in case they require assistance,
- Always be ready to give your clients immediate response,
- Responsive Design: This aspect is vital for customers’ seamless experience with your website or online store. Poor design and low-quality user experience may hurt your customer’s loyalty.
4. Real-time support: Live Chats
Imagine that a client or a potential client is about to purchase in one of your online channels (website, online store), and they have a question about your product or service. Wouldn’t it be amazing to help them right away?
Live chat plays a vital role in the process of automating your customer service, as your agents can offer your clients and potential clients resolution of their queries in real-time, with full personalization included. The client has access to this tool during all stages of the purchase process. These are just a few of the advantages of having a live chat available on your website.
Let’s have a look at some benefits of implementing a chat as a part of your support and customer service:
- 100% human attention: live chat depends on the support agent’s work. It empowers your sales process because agents can formulate answers based on the context, at the same time analyzing the feelings of the client in each stage of the purchase. Nothing beats human connection 🙂
- Immediacy: this is especially useful when the customer faces problems when making a purchase (e.g., payment process) or specific doubts about a product arise, Without a doubt, it’s impressive that a support agent is there to help potential clients.
- Knowing your clients: Live chat software has data collection tools that allow the agent to anticipate the needs of users. This knowledge of the public allows a fluent and empathetic conversation.
5. User experience (UX) optimization
The user experience determines an increase in lead generation and supports conversion. Over the next few years, due to the growth of online interactions, an appropriate UX will be essential for successful customer service and support.
To put it simply, the user experience refers to the ease of interaction of every customer with your product/service in all your digital channels. This is achieved primarily by an intuitive design and a neat and easy-to-use interface.
Having an optimized UX means:
- It’s easy to find information on your website, RRSS or any other channel and it takes less time,
- Potential clients are encouraged to follow sales and marketing funnels,
- Satisfactory browsing experience and,
- Good recommendations from your clients!
Don’t forget that the user experience (UX) must be aligned with the customer experience (CX) to achieve all your marketing and sales goals.
6. The power of automation
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing customer support. This is one of the most powerful customer service trends since it speeds up the resolution of queries. It’s possible thanks to clients’ data storage: preferences, main issues, frequently asked questions, and context.
With these databases, agents can offer more detailed and accurate answers faster than before. In addition, the initial investment in a CRM that manages the first support-related queries releases other expenses related to the hiring and training of extra staff.
The AI-based customer service is active 24/7 and can be configured to provide support in various languages, allowing you to cover a larger geographical area and give your company greater visibility.
Implementing automation software backed by artificial intelligence does not mean losing the human touch, in fact, agents can use the information collected by the bots to close higher sales since, with the exact knowledge of their client, they can mitigate any difficulty during the purchase process.
7. Machine learning
With automation comes machine learning, another essential part of customer service trends. It refers to a data analysis technique that, based on algorithms, allows computers to find accurate information without having to be programmed by a human. Machine learning depends on computers accessing data that they can learn from and use on their own.
Similarly, navigation data, interaction with the site, time spent in each section of the website, purchase history, reference sources, channels used by every customer to visit your websites, and other online behaviors are collected. Because of this, the level of personalization and attention is quite advanced.
Some of the advantages of Machine Learning for your customer service:
- Customization of the offer and recommendations,
- Real-time support,
- Solving product problems before they arise,
- Helping the client throughout their buyer’s journey,
- Getting to know the clients’ points of view to improve the delivery/user experience.
As you have seen, you can harness the full power of technology to optimize your service and customer support and, in this process, the data will be your best ally.
8. Social media
They have become one of the most vital channels for contacting companies. For this reason, the presence on the main platforms is essential: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn lead the list. In recent years, we have seen that social media contact can build better relationships between businesses and clients. Not only is the image of the company strengthened, but satisfied users will be more open to promote services or share the content of your organization.
63% of clients expect that they will be offered customer support if they contact a company via social media. 35% of them say social media is their preferred channel to contact brands.ValueWalk
Customers want to contact you from various places, that’s why you need to offer them this possibility by using social customer service software as a part of an omnichannel communication strategy.
Some of the facts that will influence customer service via social networks are:
- Preference towards the RRSS due to the speed of response and comfort. That is why a telephone call will, for the most part, be replaced by a direct message in any of the organization’s profiles,
- Reviews will be on the rise. Companies are forced to provide the best customer care as this will directly affect their reputation and consumer confidence,
- Users will give more value to the transparency and honesty of the company. Empathic treatment with the client and information available at all times will be the key to the recommendation or a positive review.
Our recommendation: take advantage of the data of the analysis tools to know who your clients are, in this way you can 100% customize your answers.
9. Say “Hi” to the home office!
With the implementation of all these tools and customer service trends, it will be increasingly common for support and customer service agents to perform their tasks from home. This will result in the reduction of costs, and with the saving of hours spend on commuting, the number of handled user queries can be increased if necessary. And, importantly, companies will put more focus on offering a flexible work environment.
Hopefully, this compilation of customer support trends will inspire you. Now you have a fixed list of things you need to take care of while designing or rethinking your customer service strategy for 2022 and beyond.
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