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It should come as no surprise to customer service professionals that 2018 will be a year of innovation and change in the industry. Customers continue to demand more from companies and the role of the customer service agent has become more important than ever before in keeping satisfaction levels high. In an industry that moves so quickly, staying ahead of the curve can be important to exceed expectations with customer service and make it a competitive advantage during the sales process.
Without further ado, here are 6 customer service trends to watch in 2018…
1) Increased internal and external automation in customer service – This is one of those “hot topic” issues people are always talking about but, in the past, was easy to dismiss or put off. However, according to Forrester, it’s now time to set expectations around automation and AI for your business. In the B2B (business-to-business) industry, some companies are starting to utilize external chatbots for simple requests like addresses, hours of operation, and phone numbers. On the back end, complex automation rules created in customer service software are enabling agents to work more efficiently as applicable tickets and information are routed directly to them with little effort.
2) Budget increases and reallocation for customer service teams – With this new emphasis on technology in customer service, companies are now investing more financial resources into their customer service solution. Led by increasing technology investments in general, many companies have come to the realization that customer service is not “just a cost center” but a team that can efficiently curb customer retention rates AND upsell customers when appropriate. Globalization is also a key factor in these technology investments, with companies needing technology to communicate seamlessly with off-shore customer service assistance to provide extended hours. Having a cloud-based customer service software solution in place lets agents around the world help customers anywhere, any time. It provides a full history of all past communication and detailed “notes” (i.e. top customer, demanding personality, etc.) so all team members can be in a better position to be successful. All of this information makes agents smarter than ever and better equipped to find the right answer quickly and deliver it in a manner the customer will accept.
3) Reliance on self-service solutions will become stronger – Another reason so many companies are investing in customer service technology is because of the strong customer demand and response for self-service solutions. Now that these solutions are included automatically within customer service software, there is little reason for companies to not have an online support presence. What will take self-service a step further in 2018 is the ability for companies to create a more personalized self-service experience for their customers. For example, many solutions now grant a substantial amount of power to customer service teams so only certain content is shown to customers based on the products they have. This prevents confusion and ensures customers are trying to solve their own issues with the Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community