The customer service industry has definitely been put into the spotlight in the year 2020, businesses saw a surge of calls from distressed customers. On top of that the disruption of operations due to the lockdown. Customer service teams were facing a huge challenge like never before, having forced to quickly adapt to the new uncertain situations.
The fact is, the year 2020 has definitely has reformed customer service as we know it, it has brought in long-lasting impacts on business and customers alike. As we look ahead to 2021 customer service trends, we can expect businesses to continue ramping up and adapt their customer service approach ahead and beyond.
Here are the following top 2021 customer service predicted trends:
The only constant is change
A vast number of businesses changed their business models in midst of the pandemic, resulting in new challenges and expectations towards customer service. Processes and technology are put in place to provide effective and efficient support from a remote environment. According to PWC, a mass 82% of their office workers prefers to continue working from home as they reported to have more flexibility in their schedule and businesses can cut back on in-office perks and potentially downsize office space, ultimately saving cost. While some businesses adopted temporary ways through the pandemic with their temporary business continuity plans, a long term cloud engagement solution is required to enable smart remote work.
Booming of e-commerce
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to temporarily close their brick and mortar and shift to e-commerce. Creating a massive pool of customers experiencing the shift towards online shopping. With the recent announcement of the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, the year 2021 will see commerce slowly shifting back to brick and mortar once everything gradually goes back to the new “normal”, the massive new pool of customers that are comfortable shopping online is here to stay. Customers can perhaps walk into the store and ask questions, or call customer service for assistance, now customers may find it more convenient for them to chat or read the FAQ while browsing your website. The online customer experience will be a huge significance when it comes to brand loyalty for 2021 and beyond.
Omnichannel Customer Service
Today, you can basically order almost anything online with just a couple of clicks. But to retain customer loyalty, you need to make sure they can easily connect with you whenever they need assistance through their preferred channel, be it by phone call, email, website chat or social media. Each customer might have their own preference to ways of contacting and all of these serves as a channel for two-way communication with your customers eliminating the hassle. Omnichannel customer service is no longer something that is new, but we foresee that an omnichannel customer service solution will be considered a basic requirement to stay relevant in the competitive space for years to come.
With artificial intelligent technologies like machine learning and the Internet of Things, companies can automate routine tasks like ticket organisations, giving your customer service more time to focus on value-added interactions. Automated recommendations help find the right answers and solutions, shortening resolution times and improving the service experience. IoT enables predictive maintenance and even remote service, saving a lot of time and cost.
This is also where the self-service options can be adopted for customers to get quick answers to easy questions. Chatbots pose as a virtual assistant to provide a personalised customer experience. There are still lots of untapped potential uses in artificial intelligence, and we’ve only seen a glimpse of possibilities that it can bring to customer service. We can only expect to see them get better and better adopted into businesses.
The year 2021 and beyond…
As customer service takes on an increasingly vital role, having the proper technology and tools in place can go an extended way in helping organizations and agents deal with long-term changes and challenges. Organizations should search for technology that permits for collaboration between remote team members, freedom to manoeuvre between channels, and brings all the info a few customers into one place to assist deliver a more efficient personalized experience. Additionally, counting on AI and chatbots can save significant time for patrons and agents helping arm agent with all the knowledge they have to quickly and accurately service their customers.
Are you ready to take your customer service to the next level?