5 min read5 Essential Customer Service Trends for Your Business in 2016
January 15 2016 | Customer Service
Your customers’ expectations towards your company constantly evolve from one year to another. You will make the difference by understanding how they will change in 2016. For one more year, it will allow you to react effectively, and to provide a high-quality solution to the problem your customer asked your help for.
Last December, French Customer Service expert Thierry Spencer held a conference and then said: “Customer Experience is the portmanteau word of the year.” The meaning was not to underestimate the importance of this aspect before, but rather to highlight that it acquired a fundamental role in every company. According to a poll from Opinion Way, no less than 86% of customers are ready to pay more today to get a better customer experience.
So here are 5 key trends that give you the ability to deliver a better customer experience in 2016.
1. Your customers wish to use several channels to contact you
They are naturally more and more likely to use their smartphones to communicate with you. It means phone calls, social networks, FAQs, mobile apps or e-mails, as all of these are now part of the mobile customer support. About 95% of customers use more than one channel during an exchange related to Customer Service, as shows an eBay study. Your company thus needs to ensure a complete and featured customer experience by prioritizing an omni-channel communication.
If you wish to diversify your Customer Service channels, then you will need to build up a relevant system, including a content adapted to each channel. Your customer will be satisfied if you give him the opportunity to browse through well-structured and homogeneous supports. It will reflect how efficiently you will be able to help him.
2. Your customers wish to find their answers by themselves
In 2016, most of your customers would like you to enable them to solve their problems on their own. So that they are 70% to suggest the implementation of self-service assistance options on companies’ websites.
As you learned above, your customers might complete their experience with these assistance options by using their phones, in order to find exactly the answers they need. People who have little habit of the Internet because of their age or living place will call you to get the information. In such a case, a voice self-service solution can be very helpful to lead them to the answers they are looking for.
Self-service is also about releasing regularly updated FAQs and tutorials on the Web. Eventually, developing customer communities of ambassadors can be very helpful, so that they can advise other customers and give them a customer experience based on human contact.
3. Your customers wish to feel unique
This is not big news, but about 9 out of 10 customers still estimate that personalizing customer support can generate a huge influence on their buying behavior. In order to solve their problems as fast as possible, you have to match your customers with the man or woman that will be the most qualified as regards these problems.
When your agent answers your customer’s phone call, he must deeply understand the situation with as less explanations as possible. Your agent has to remain professional by the words he uses to address the customer and by showing him that the call he made is essential and very interesting to him.
You can also make the choice to personalize the voice service of your company by integrating it with your customer database, and then to deliver them a natural and tailored experience during their calls.
4. Your customers wish their time to be respected
If the customer has to wait during a call, he will estimate you do not treat him the way he deserves, according to the promises you made him. Thus the customer experience will undoubtedly be affected negatively. Your customers are in a hurry, so be sure to show them how aware you are about this. Helping them solving their problems quickly is in their interest as well as in yours.
It sometimes happens that your agent is unavailable to answer a call, despite your wish to help your customers in the best way. Then make the call being immediately redirected to another person, or make sure your agents can call back your customer later, rather than making him wait now. According to Kate Leggett’s blog, 73% of customers think that respecting their precious time is the most appreciable thing a company could offer them.
Your company’s or your brand’s image is also tightly related to your customer support’s accessibility. Today, the best customer experience is given by the supports that are available 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year.
5. Your customers wish you to anticipate their needs
You proved them that you were able to react efficiently to the problems they concretely told you about. Now it is time to go further by showing that you can also bring some answers even before the question has been arisen by the customer. It will allow you to optimize your offer’s knowledge database, and thus answer the point 2 above more easily.
To anticipate your customers’ expectations, make sure they send you a regular feedback, so that you can realize some relevant analysis based on your Customer Service data. You can also visit blogs and chats on the Web to find a useful piece of information. Customers often gather there to talk about their problems or their experience.
Eventually, what could better help you to deliver the most valuable customer experience, if not becoming yourself a customer for a few minutes? Ask yourself how he could react and what kind of questions could arise in his mind as regards your company and your offer.
Then it would be so much easier for you to start a healthy and robust Customer Service for this year that just began!