Robots or living people? How customer service will change in the next decade
Elena Stolyarskaya, business coach, customer service expert, talks about the main trends in customer service development in the near future and lists 7 key changes that will affect the online and offline sales
Our life, the world around us, is changing at an incredible speed. Over the past 10 years, humanity has made a quantum leap in the development of technology. What seemed like utopia not so long ago is reality today. Smartphones, social networks, Wi-Fi. For a couple of clicks on the phone, we call a taxi, choose a place to live in another city, order food at home, communicate with friends from anywhere in the world. Everything moves in a spiral of continuous development. Technologies, geopolitics, economic conditions, business formats are changing.
People are also changing. Their expectations as consumers, their customer experience is also undergoing changes. The one who calculated these expectations earlier than others and was able to realize them in his business received a serious competitive advantage. The best brands, companies are those who completely control all client experience. They are “on the wave” of the client, they feel the peculiarities of the market and know what customers expect from them. Obviously, taking into account constantly evolving technologies, providing high-quality customer service is becoming a priority for the development of modern companies.
In this article we will talk about the main trends in the development of customer service, which will set the development vector for the coming years.
1. Maximum personalization of customer service – a leading trend for the coming years
Thanks to new technologies of artificial intelligence, personalization of service reaches a new level, becoming more complex and authentic. First of all, of course, these are “smart” automation tools – CRM systems that provide a complete set of tools for analyzing customer information, accounting and effective implementation of tasks. A highly personalized approach provides the necessary information about the client (names, preferences, previous purchases, actions on social networks and so on).
There are new ways to recognize customers, analytics of his speech and emotions. Technologies for biometric identification of customers appeared on the market: by face, voice, fingerprint. Yes, in practice, these technologies are just beginning to be introduced. This is due to limited budgets and the fact that the business does not always see the connection between the use of new technologies and the commercial result. But this is only a matter of time. In any case, the client base, client books that collect (even manually) customer information is a powerful tool for building a personalized customer service.
Trendsetters in the world of service claim that one of the main trends in the near future is a return to a personalized approach to the client and the service provided by real people, backed up by the latest technological advances. Therefore, it is very important to be able to communicate with the client, to develop ways of motivation to provide personal data, information about purchases, preferences, websites visited and so on.
2. The speed of providing goods or solving customer problems
“Here and Now” is the main motto for the coming years. Customers are no longer ready to wait. Today they want to get what they want immediately. According to a survey conducted by Forrester in 2018, more than 80% of customers call a quick solution to their question / problem the best indicator of service quality. 55% of users will refuse to buy online if they are not satisfied with the delivery time. 81% of respondents agree that they are tired of waiting for a response from a support service. 25% of loyal customers will go to a competitor if they get tired of waiting.
What to do? It is important to make sure that the client receives prompt feedback, sees your reaction to their requests on all communication channels, and also that your solutions to their problems are effective. It is important for the client to know that his request has been accepted into the work, you are solving his problem right now.
3. Customer support 24/7
An obvious trend in the near future – customer support should be around the clock and operational. More than 60% of consumers believe that the company should be in touch 24/7. And an effective solution to this problem are chat bots. Already now, with the help of chat bots, customers can find the necessary information, important data for them, receive answers to questions, get acquainted with new offers and much more. This technology is constantly being improved, increasing its efficiency due to artificial intelligence and speech recognition. Using the well-known examples of Siri and Alice, we see that the more active the communication, the smarter they become.