We are in the era of customers.
Companies don’t decide how customer-centric they should be. Customers do.
We all can see that the nature and role of customer service is changing day by day. We made a list of top digital customer support trends to follow in order to keep your customers satisfied and loyal to your brand.
1. Customer support trends from Real Time to Right Time
The focus of customer service moves from time to time.
More specifically, from real time to right time.
We are becoming more and more efficient using specific process and tools but it can be humanly challenging to provide good customer service at all times. Managing expectations and communications becomes the key. Customer service organizations which set, communicate AND meet expectations turn out to be the most successful.
You will for example observe much better customer satisfaction rates if you clearly state your customer service opening hours, or the wait time before you can provide an answer to customers’ inquiries.
If you let your website visitors set their own expectations, there’s a good chance lots of them will be disappointed.
Look at what Adobe does for example:
Note that it is also a good idea to provide an alternative like sending an email when your agents are not available.
If you are using a live chat software like ours, people will be directed to an email form when none of your agents are available.
2. Customer Service as a Marketing Opportunity
When looking at customer service data it becomes clear that the size of the data you have doesn’t really matter. It all comes done to how you use those data!
Companies often look at the KPI of their marketing campaigns and at how much customer they acquire.
What they are missing is that a big part of their business comes from returning customers.
Marketing and customer service have to work together on customer retention.
For example, information collected by your customer service department can become really useful to improve your marketing copy. Alex, CEO of the customer service software Groove, wrote an amazing article about how listening to their customers helped them more than anything else.
Not only did it help them find out about new issues, it also helped them improve their marketing copy. Actually asking their customers how they use their product and what they love about it gives them valuable pointers as to what they should focus on to sell it to new users.
In their case, lots of users appreciate the simplicity of the software and how it’s perfectly tailored to smaller teams. For you it will be something else. That’s what everyone likes to call your Unique Selling Point (or USP).
You can try defining it yourself but in the end, your customers will help you finding this USP and you might realize it is not what you thought about in the beginning.
3. Multichannel to Customer centric
The time when we were satisfied with having single channel customer service is over.
Now the integrated multi-channel customer service experience has evolved so much that customer service organizations have to create a real strategy around it.
Consumer trends shifted.
Customers still want simple access to customer service but they are not happy with unique access. People are using multiple devices in multiple situations. Make sure your company does too because they won’t go looking for you.
Going even further than digital multichannel, online store are looking at more and more ways to integrate their digital experience with their in-store experience. New tools like Beacons allow stores to perfectly merge their customers digital and physical experience.
Amazon even recently announced the opening of their first brick-and-mortar store, proving to everyone that customers still enjoy shopping in physical stores.
4. Adopting a Mobile-First Mindset
More and more companies are now focusing on their mobile marketing and ecommerce mobility strategies. As a result, we see our favorite online stores releasing iPhone apps or Responsive Design websites.
But the mobility trend goes far beyond smartphones and tablets. It has changed completely the way people shop and you need to take into consideration a new type of customer journey.
We find mainly 2 types of support nowadays:
– pre-sale support just before the purchase. Mostly to advise the customer or answer its last concerns. This is what has been done in stores for decades and what is done now with live chat online.
– post-sale support if the product if deficient or the customer wants to return it. This one is essential and most stores know that and offer easy return policies and call-center numbers for assistance.
What most brands fail to take into consideration is that customer journey is more complex than just going in a store or on a website and buying a product.
People search information beforehand and that’s when they make decisions.
A big part of this searching is going to be made online and on mobile devices. Your pre-sale customer service needs to be there during that phase if you hope to influence their choice.
5. Personalized shopping experience
One of the key trends for this year is MORE CUSTOMIZATION.
The combination of presenting personalized up-sells and cross-sells will be a key to many organizations.
The tricky thing is that you don’t want to seem pushy. Customers hate it when they feel like companies are trying to push products on them. Fortunately this won’t happen if you customize your product suggestions.
Another great tip is to use other shoppers as a reference.
Look at Amazon for example, they present suggestions saying: “What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?”.
This way they don’t sound like they are trying to sell you something you don’t need.
Even better, they add a real value suggesting products you might genuinely be interested in.
Another way to create a personalized bound with customers is to use tailored welcoming message for your customer service. This is very simple to do with live chat as you can tailor chat invites to fit each customer.
On to you! Any customer support trends you noticed and would like to add to the mix?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Latest posts by Aurelie Chazal (see all)
- Building The Future Of Live Chat Support. Our Journey Into Innovation. - 19 August 2015
- Must-Have Customer Service Skills According To Experts - 30 July 2015
- How To Build The Absolute Best Customer Service Team For Your Business - 16 July 2015