Marketing and sales platform Hubspot found that 68% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from a company known to offer customer service experiences. That means providing a good customer experience is still at the heart of customer service.
However, the world is quickly changing and becoming more digital. How will customer service look like in a hyper-digital world? In this article, we’ll discuss some customer support trends you should look forward to for the rest of the year.
Customer Service is Becoming a Brand
To many people, customer service was initially meant to complement sales. As people buy products or sign up with services, customer service was always there in the background to assist in inquiries and complaints and provide occasional upselling.
With many product and service purchases happening online, customer service is becoming the face of companies. E-commerce has allowed customer support agents to fill many critical roles, ranging from virtual receptionists to digital clerks, due to fewer in-person interactions.
A 2020 study found that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer service experience, overtaking price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Customer service is becoming the primary way customers engage with brands and is now a key driver of brand loyalty. This means it’s more important than ever for businesses to prioritize customer experience by improving their customer support process or partnering with a competent customer service company.
People Turn to Social Media for Support
Social media is a fantastic platform for connecting and interacting with customers. Having an online store and a constant social media presence today is essential.
Customer service is also starting to embrace social media as another important channel. Research shows that 63% of customers expect companies to offer support using social media.
Another significant factor is the rise of instant messaging. As customers sheltered in place due to the pandemic, they turned to instant messengers like WhatsApp to reach out to businesses. With the fast, personal, and convenient support social media and messengers provide, it’s no surprise that consumers prefer them over other mediums.
If your business hasn’t started supporting customers in networks like Facebook and Twitter, now is the time to get on board.
Greater Focus on the Agent Experience
We’ve seen how important customer experience is and how companies are fully embracing it for the past couple of years. But customer experience is only half the equation.
Agent experience is defined as the holistic view of how efficient, effective, and empowered a company’s customer service agents are. Agent experience is slowly becoming an essential part of any customer service strategy and a company’s overall success.
Companies investing in their customer service agents and maintaining morale find it beneficial. According to the career website Glassdoor, they found a connection between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. In short, happy agents may result in satisfied customers.
Companies are already starting to compete with each other in the field of customer service. Eighty-one percent of companies are expected to compete based on customer experience entirely. This makes customer service agents all the more critical in the coming years.
Facilitating excellent agent experience can be done in a variety of ways like:
- Enhanced training
- Investing in tools and software
- More accessible customer data
- Clear process documentation and flexible guidelines that empower agents
There’s no doubt that 2021 and beyond is going to change customer service in many important ways. Customers want speed and convenience, but also empathy. Customers will be expecting seamless and personalized service from a wide variety of channels.
Companies will have to adapt in ways they thought impossible. For businesses that can deliver these expectations, success could be waiting just around the corner. Is your company ready?
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