It’s estimated that by 2021, 85% of customer service interactions will be automated. And the need for automated tools will rise to perform simple customer support tasks.
From waiting for days for an email response to getting your query resolved in a matter of minutes, the area of customer support has evolved massively.
Over the past few years, two things have grown instantaneously; The customer support delivered and customer’s expectations.
The growth in both the above verticals was possible because of the ever-growing technology. Which is super-advanced today.
Given how our homes have become smarter or how we can talk to our cars or devices, customers are not wrong to expect the same level of innovation from the area of customer support.
So, let’s see what’s in store and what changes can we expect within customer support, one year from now.
1.Voice Chat for Customer Support
A lot of us have used voice assistants like Alexa or Google to get by our day by asking questions like “Alexa, what’s today’s weather like” or “Okay Google, play the song Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles.”
It’s easier when we have the news update or our favorite song played in a few seconds, without even maneuvering through our phones or laptops.
Similarly, conveying our queries through voice or conversing with the customer support agent by voice, saves a lot of time for both parties. And, it also helps in streamlining the customer experience.
It’s predicted that by 2021, more than 50% of the queries on Google will be searched by voice. That means in general, people will expect voice-based searches and responses to ease the load of monotonous texting.
2.Everywhere I Go, My Mobile Follows
We use our phones for a variety of purposes. We use it to search for recipes, click pictures, speak to our buddies and family, or even search for an immediate resolution to a problem.
And so, with over 5.20 billion smartphone users, it’s obvious that people would prefer a seamless customer experience on their mobiles more than any other platform.
Thus, a customer’s reliance on their phone is only expected to shoot up over the next year.
For example, while shopping, a customer would search for online reviews, product comparisons, or even nearby branch locations, etc. on their phone.
Hence, providing support on mobile devices would actually lead to providing support wherever and whenever. This becomes a huge necessity. As, we’d have our phones handy, no matter where we go.
3.Social Media Customer Support
Businesses have realized the power of social media. Social platforms are no longer just a platform to increase engagement and awareness. They’ve become a hub to talk about issues, reach out to companies, and ask for assistance.
Resolving customer queries straight on social media shows how much the business cares about its customers. And that it’s on a mission to resolve their issues at the earliest.
Thus, you must immediately respond to the customer as and when they drop a query or even a compliment. You can monitor these with social media management tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Hubspot, etc.
It’s a given fact that businesses that use social media to deliver great customer support tend to have more likes than those who do not.
4.The Rise of Self-Service
77% of consumers report having used a self-service support portal. –Microsoft
A lot of customers prefer addressing an issue on their own. They want quick results and answers. Hence, using AI-based platforms such as chatbots or accessing ‘how-to’ videos, allow them to resolve their query on their own, without depending on a human agent.
Self-service portals like ATMs took the world by storm, allowing the customer to withdraw cash from these smart machines, wherever they were.
“8 out of 10 customers will try to take care of their problem themselves before reaching out to a live rep.“
Thus, chatbots allow customers to get their matter resolved within a few minutes. Plus, it’s suggested that by 2021, 80% of businesses would want to invest in platforms like chatbots.
And, with chatbots driven by Machine Learning and NLP, they are equipped with understanding the user’s intent. Hence, providing users with the exact possible answer. Also, they help in proactively reaching out to the customers and eliminating the need for a human agent’s involvement.
And so, providing a full-blown knowledge repository, filled with staff notes, helpful articles, tips, etc. – either automated or in the form of a knowledge center, can be super helpful.
Suggested Reading: Customer Support Automation: Benefits and Results
A customer never sticks to a single platform. For example, Ms. A might find out about a service on Twitter, inquire about it on Instagram, and make a purchase on the company website through her mobile.
Thus, it becomes important to provide service on multiple platforms. This allows customers to reach out to you from whichever platform they’re comfortable with.
This may be via social media or through mobile, web, SMS/text, email, or voice. As, in the end, it’s important to understand what platforms your customers are familiar with rather than restricting yourself to just one platform.
A recent survey says that customers expect “companies to provide a seamless experience when moving from one platform to another, such as from phone to text or chat to phone.”
Let’s Get Ready for a Much More Evolved Customer Support
“70% of consumers say they have already made a choice to support a company that delivers great customer service.” – AE
While these might be just a couple of trends, there’s no doubt that these trends will surely uplift the current customer support experience. And, if businesses fail to realize the need to implement either of the trends mentioned above, they’ll surely lose out on a handful of happy customers.
Thus, understanding what your customers need and implementing the same will get you the “trendy business” tag and help retain your customers and improve loyalty.
Suggested Reading: Call Centre is Dead. Automated Customer Support is the Future.