The Future of Customer Service Technology: 7 Trends to Consider
In the digital world where tech-savvy consumers expect only the best, your customer service offerings need to be top tier. As the user experience across multiple devices becomes enhanced by technology, the ability to implement tech into your customer service operations is also enhanced.
You might be thinking, ‘But I don’t know much about future technology trends.’ Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered in this post. By getting ahead of the game, you’ll be able to ensure top customer service that keeps customers coming to you and not your rivals.
So, read on for the future of customer service technology: 7 trends to consider.
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The rise of customer service technology
Technology has become synonymous with customer service. Without technology, it’s challenging to offer good enough customer service to survive in today’s markets.
The customer service landscape will be increasingly driven by further innovation in technology. The aim is to improve the experience of both customers and support agents. These technologies will also improve key business metrics, including revenue, expenditure, and customer satisfaction.
Too many businesses rush into tech solutions without fully understanding how to maximize the potential. The result is broken and messy customer support options, which are complicated and disappointing to use.
Customers demand simplicity and efficiency when getting queries and complaints handled. With technological affordances such as artificial intelligence, automation, and analytics, there are many ways to optimize the customer service process.
Seven Future Customer Service Trends
Now let’s take a look at seven trends to consider when it comes to the future of customer service technology.
1. Omnichannel customer service
Omnichannel customer service is a must in 2022 and beyond. Most businesses today operate across several digital mediums. For example, social media, eCommerce stores, websites, video platforms, etc. This increased presence across different mediums will benefit from an omnichannel customer service experience.
Omnichannel support merges all of your channels to optimize your customer support service. In offering a seamless omnichannel experience, customers should find it easier to find the assistance they need no matter where they reach you from; it’s why customer retention rates increase by 90% for omnichannel over single-channel.
For example, perhaps you have a social commerce store that lets customers purchase directly from your social media pages. However, a new customer has an issue with their order and needs to get in touch. Easy. Your omnichannel customer service lets them resolve their issue through your social media page rather than navigating elsewhere for support.
If the issue cannot be solved through the current channel, the case can be easily transferred to another channel, i.e., emailing, a call center, or support pages on your website.
A good help desk needs to be the central inbox for all your inbound customer service inquiries. Plenty exist online. A help desk lets you support customers using the same centralized interface no matter which channel they contact you from.
2. Focus on customer success
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer. Would your experience be successful? Would you feel satisfied and likely to recommend the service to others?
One of the best ways to guarantee top customer service is to focus more on customer success (CS). Nailing CS is all about preventing problems before they manage to affect customer service.
Plenty of CS tools online will help you collect and leverage data on your target audience to optimize the customer experience. These tools can help shift toward a more customer-oriented approach to building relationships with your customer base.
CS tools will integrate with other business software like CRMs to collect and analyze data for better-informed decisions that place the customer first. A good CS tool will also let you add all customer interactions from phone calls, live chat, emails, face-to-face interactions, etc.
3. AI and chatbots
While not quite the same as those from imaginative sci-fi movies, we now have AI-driven chatbots to help improve customer service. A chatbot operates using pre-programmed responses or self-learning artificial intelligence to answer customer queries without the need for a human advisor to be present. In addition, Chatbots can be deployed 24/7 to provide customer support at any time.
Chatbot implementation has already made waves in customer service. And with their easy setup and access via cloud services, you can start using chatbots today. You should look no further when considering time management techniques; having a chatbot will save plenty of time for your business and its customers.
AI-driven customer service chatbots can independently resolve any queries and issues. For example, a chatbot for a business offering cloud-based services could be asked ‘what is VPC’ if a customer wanted to know more about virtual private clouds. From here, a conversation will flow with the chatbot as more options emerge.
Essentially, the chatbot becomes your frontline support agent, helping customers without human intervention. If the customer does need to speak to an actual human, an AI chatbot should be able to connect them instantly, provided it’s within business hours.
Bonus: AI-driven chatbots can utilize machine learning to grow more intelligent over time.
4. Remote service agents
With agent-based cloud computing allowing customer service reps to do their job from home, the future of customer service will see a dramatic rise in remote work.
Working from home has clear benefits for providing top customer service. If your reps feel happier and more relaxed working remotely, they’re more likely to do a good job and satisfy the needs of your customer base. Then there are the costs saved from not having to operate large office spaces with expensive infrastructure and rent costs. Remote work is a win all around!
There are plenty of tech tools for remote customer service tasks, including:
- Help desk software.
- Live chat tools.
- An all-in-one inbox for support across multiple channels.
- Self-service knowledge base for FAQ sections.
- Social media monitoring tools.
- Video and phone calls.
- Customer survey tools.
The right selection of tools will depend on your customer service goals and agent ability. Spend some time researching to find what will work best for you and your customers.
5. Self-service capabilities
Self-service occurs when a customer can complete specific actions independently without the need for assistance. Self-service options give a sense of independence and satisfaction. Self-service can take many forms, but the goal remains the same, helping customers achieve fast solutions on their own. The following are common self-service trends.
Examples of knowledge bases include FAQ sections and searchable databases. A knowledge base is a searchable repository containing the answers to the most common questions asked by your customer base. Implementing a knowledge base into your website or other channels removes the need for support agents and lets customers find answers quickly.
If your products or services are difficult to use, a tutorial might be necessary to help users without them having to contact you for extra support. Examples of customer tutorials include setup guides, onboarding workflows, and training content. In addition, customer tutorials are great for troubleshooting common problems and mitigating the need to speak to each customer individually.
Bonus, not only do tutorials help customers, but they also show that your business cares about going the extra mile to support users by making it easy to access helpful content.
Forums offer an excellent platform for your customers to support each other online. You only have to look at popular forum sites like Reddit to see the power that forums can have.
Forums are great for finding answers to even the most tricky of questions. This is because you’re speaking to a community of real people with experience. So, for example, if you want to know something specific like what frame-relay is, search it on the forums.
If customers can find answers in the forums, they won’t need to contact your support options. Instead, to help things run smoothly and provide the best advice, you can employ moderators with expert knowledge of your services and products.
Automated prompts provide quick solutions when users come up against common problems. On many websites, users will be taken through multi-step processes where they have to input or remember information. For example, if it’s common for users to forget their passwords, you could deploy an automated password reset button after a failed attempt to avoid prolonging the frustration.
Automated pop-ups also present the perfect opportunity to display referral programs for small businesses.
6. Data-driven customer service
Customer service technology brings deeper insights to help formulate data-driven customer service decisions. The best customer service places the customer first. There’s no better way to do this than using real customer data to build a better picture of who your ideal customer is and what their needs are.
The smarter you are with data, the more benefit it can be for businesses and customers alike. Today’s analytics tools go beyond collecting customer feedback and ratings to encompass many key business metrics to keep relationships with customers on solid ground.
Once integrated with your CRM, analytics tools can be the key to unlocking a higher level of customer service.
7. Mobile optimization
We live in the age of mobile devices, so your services must be optimized for mobile. Whether it’s an e-commerce store, a blog, a forum, a training program, or anything, your content and chosen platforms need to be optimized for mobile. When considering mobile optimization, make sure to:
- Have clear customer service contact buttons visible on your mobile website or app.
- Ensure your help guides, FAQs, and support videos are mobile-friendly.
- Integrate one-click contact options such as dial-for-support or a live chat option.
- Ensure customer service links are sensitive to single clicks.
- Track all mobile interactions for key data.
If users have a good online experience with your business, this will only be enhanced by mobile accessibility. The speed and ease of mobile customer service should make it one of your priorities going into the future if you aren’t up-to-speed already.
Providing top-tier customer service in 2022 is made easier with various tech solutions. Hopefully, this guide on ‘the future of customer service technology: 7 trends to consider’ has got you thinking about the future of technology and how you can use it to boost those customer satisfaction rates and increase revenue.
About the Author
Patty Yan is the EMEA Product Marketing Manager for RingCentral Office, the leader in cloud communications solutions. Patty is passionate about creating value and differentiation, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners. She gained a wealth of international product marketing, product management, GTM, and market development experience, across a range of high-tech SaaS including data breach prevention in a fast-paced, hyper-growth environment that assumes both strategic and tactical execution. She is not new to UC, starting in Tandberg, then Cisco, driving the launch of video collaboration and services, and Enghouse with global responsibilities for hosted CCaaS. Patty Yan also published articles for domains such as MGID and Storyblok.