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5 Customer Service Trends You Need To Follow In 2021 And Beyond

Organizations worldwide will agree that customer service and the customer experiences that arise from their customer service effort determine the growth and expansion of their business. As a result, customer experience or CX is a buzzword that’s currently shaking the business world like no other. And as the customer experience in the digital era is constantly evolving, businesses need to make a solid effort to keep up with the latest customer service trends in order to satisfy the people who evaluate their actions each and every day—their customers.

Nevertheless, with so many businesses prioritizing to transform and adjust their customer service efforts to the latest customer service and experience trends, those organizations that will fail to do so will undoubtedly be left in the dust. Let’s take enhanced and personalized customer service experiences that drive better customer satisfaction as an example. They are now considered the highest priority for over 55% of all companies. And do you know why? Well, because providing poor customer support can cost a business losing its customers because 33% of surveyed customers state that they would definitely consider switching to a competitor after just one bad customer support experience.

Photo from Certainly

Because of that, companies of all sizes are supposed to be up to date with the most recent customer service trends in 2021 and beyond. The main cornerstones for having effective customer service in place include a skillful combination of processes, systems, tools, and technologies like artificial intelligence to convert your customer service strategies into customer satisfaction.

So, as we’re closing the gap in 2021 and slowly rolling into 2022, let’s check out the five customer service trends every company needs to follow in 2021 and beyond, to help them stand out and up their support game.

How Organizations Can Make The Best Out Of Customer Service Trends?

Organizations of all industry backgrounds are heavily investing in improving the quality of their customer support efforts. Companies can no longer remain profitable by simply being reactive, so presently, innovation in customer service has become as equally as important as innovation in products as services.

Photo from IBM

And in order to be proactive instead of reactive, organizations must utilize all emerging trends regarding customer service in the market. This step is easier said than done though. Anyhow, some of the customer service trends that organizations can presently rely on include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Cybersecurity to keep customer’s data safe;
  • Data analytics and particularly predictive analytics;
  • 24/7 live chat customer support;
  • Augmented reality to make things more fun;
  • Omnichannel customer support.

By utilizing the prevailing customer service trends, many businesses are indeed taking giant steps in customer experience. At the end of the day, the chances are those happy customers will never leave your business, and customer service is a simple yet powerful ingredient for business success. So, to make things easier for you, below, we’ll showcase the five customer service trends you should focus on to get ahead of your rivals.

Customer Service Trends To Follow In 2021 And Beyond

Providing Omnichannel Customer Service

In 2021, being multichannel and providing omnichannel customer support is perhaps the most significant trend in the customer service industry. Long gone are the days when customers stayed in contact with the companies they used to do business with only via phone or email. Instead, the latest customer service trends are “all-in” on allowing customers to select their own way to connect with a company regarding a customer support issue—email, phone, live chat, video chat, SMS, social media, etc. By grasping this omnichannel customer service trend, organizations can now create more advanced, beneficial, seamless customer experiences and gain maximum CX rates in return.

The most significant benefits for companies of providing an omnichannel customer service experience to their clients include:

  • Providing real-time assistance via different service platforms;
  • Granting high business performance with on-the-go customer service;
  • Fetching in-depth insights on customer profiles;
  • Making them available across various channels and providing unmatched convenience for their clients.

The bottom line is that streamlining customer information and messaging across multiple support channels will make your business provide exceptional service to your customers and allow your team of support agents to handle the conversations across different channels from one roof and more efficiently.

Photo from Pixabay

Personalization To The Fullest

Although personalization isn’t an entirely new concept, it has undoubtedly reached the “buzzword status” in the last several years. As time passes, people want more personalized online experiences and are willing to pay more to get them. Moreover, hyper-personalization is also trending nowadays as many organizations have tried their hand at it. Of course, the success of different personalized tactics dramatically varies. Still, they generally bring benefits like increased open rates when we speak about email personalization and an average increase of 20% in sales when discussing personalized shopping experiences.

Photo from Freshdesk

Nevertheless, when we speak about personalized customer support service, it’s about knowing beforehand who each client is and their interaction history once they contact customer support. Just try to go through this situation from the customer’s point of view. A significant source of annoyance and frustration for customers is when they have to repeat information that they’ve already shared with a given company’s customer service department, like re-confirming their telephone number or having to explain their issue over and over again to different customer service representatives.

To address this issue, thriving companies are adopting artificial intelligence-powered solutions, which, thanks to conversational AI, machine learning, and natural language processing, can help your agents connect to conversation histories, previously stated intentions, and other data so that the customer support related interactions they have with your clients seem far more personalized than ever before.

Self-Service Portals Will Get Even Bigger

In the words of Mr. Shep Hyken, celebrated customer service and experience expert: “A self-service solution doesn’t mean you don’t offer customer service. Conversely, self-service is a way to enhance.”

Having an online self-service portal means that your company will essentially have a virtual storage space with all helpful information in the form of FAQs, self-help articles, how-to-videos, and more. So why do we think that self-service portals will dominate in 2021 and beyond? Well, self-service portals offer customers an effortless way to get their answers, and modern-day customers are independent and willing to resolve their issues with the least interactions possible and in the shortest amount of time. Self-service portals satisfy both factors.

Photo from StartUp Guys

According to a recent report by Statista, 88% of respondents from the U.S. expect brands to have their own online self-service portal. Following this customer service trend and organizing a dedicated knowledge base can assist you to put your foot on the pedal and expedite your customer service means moving into 2022. Nonetheless, many users still find such self-service portals challenging to use. So, to make this customer self-service trend a reality, rather than just overflowing your knowledge base with content, you need to focus on employing natural language processing software to improve the quality and searchability of your portal.

To get the most out of your self-service knowledge portal, ensure that you include quick links to FAQs on the homepage, check if all your self-help articles titles contain the search keyword, regularly take feedback from your customer service representatives and update your support content, and make it easy for your clients with the help of a designated button to demand further assistance from your customer service team.

Emphasis On Agility

AI-powered, sophisticated chatbot solutions are just one way to process customer service inquiries, though not efficiently. After a volatile year like the previous one, organizations need to build greater agility into their customer service teams. As a matter of fact, managers cited difficulty of adapting to change as their most significant pain point last year.

So, to become more agile in their customer support efforts, companies that tend to stay one step ahead of their competitors need to promptly scale their support operations, streamline workflows across support teams, and reduce the demand on their agents. To achieve this, the omnichannel approach is a must to essentially integrate all of the company’s available channels into one streamlined workplace.

Workflow management software and tools are other good places to start. From built-in responses for agents to automated email updates and more,you can  help your agents free up precious time for solving more complex problems than answering dull, repetitive customer service queries. Another way for your support team to become more agile is to train your agents to work across multiple channels and deflect would-be tickets to your knowledge base or self-service portal.

Data-Driven Customer Service

Is there an entrepreneur who doesn’t want their business to be well-liked and recognized in today’s social world? The answer to this question is relatively simple—no. However, having a positive brand image doesn’t always mean that the customers are actually buying the company’s product or services. In this case, there must be something improper with how the company is using the customer data. For this reason, data-powered customer service has become one of the most notable customer service trends to follow in 2021 and the years to come. It simply involves comprehending what your clients want from your business and acting on it.  

Photo from Medium

Data-powered customer service is the key to enhanced customer experience. And to offer the best one possible, you need to have the technological tools to generate actionable insights for your organization. Afterward, you can utilize these data-driven insights to drive more informed customer service decisions. If you’re willing to achieve the best results and know your clients inside and out way before they reach your customer service frontline, you should consider investing in customer experience management software to boost your analytics capabilities.

How Is Customer Service Changing?

The bottom line is that organizations and companies of all sizes had to adapt in ways that they never thought were possible over the past couple of years, at a time when customer service and experience have only grown bigger and become more critical than ever. Modern-day customers want convenience and speed, but they’re also seeking personalized experiences, omnichannel support, and evident dedication to the core issues that they care about.

The bar is set pretty high at a particularly challenging time. This could mean all the difference in the world between loyal and lost customers. Organizations that continue to invest in solutions and follow the latest customer service trends to help them work smarter and adapt quickly to the ever-growing customer preferences will be well prepared to handle any uncertainty that lies ahead.

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