Nowadays, businesses don’t flourish by merely having a solid idea and money in the bank. It takes more than that to ensure success. Believe it or not, excellent customer service can make or break a business, and it needs to be a part of your company DNA from the first day. Customer service is precious for a business as it is directly linked to the company’s sales. According to a report published by Salesforce Research, 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer experience. Not only does good customer support encourage people to continue purchasing, but it helps companies find new opportunities, improve products and services, and make better business decisions.
Over the years, customer service and support have improved manifold all around the world. Gone are the days when people used to wait hours to receive a response from a customer support agent. Reduced attention spans and instant gratification make it imperative for customer support representatives to resolve queries in a matter of a few minutes. Technology makes the job more straightforward. If you’re wondering how we’ve listed a few ways technology will benefit customer service in the years to come.
1. Integrated channels will increase sales
More the 50 percent of the world’s population now shops for products and services online. However, they’re not all concentrated in one place. Fortunately, with the help of smart tools and widgets, companies can integrate all of their different channels to provide a seamless customer experience to online buyers. These channels include the company website, third-party e-stores, social media platforms, online forums, mobile apps, etc. With the help of chatbots, customer support reps will be able to gather queries and respond on time. An HBR survey published in 2017 suggested that integrated-channel customers spend more than single-channel customers, with an average spend of 10% more online.
2. Face-to-face interactions will boost customer loyalty
Even though the traditional way of customer support through voice calls and messaging is still popular, face-to-face interactions still have a superior impact. They help build a stronger human connection in an age of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robots. During the pandemic, platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Loom became popular, making customer support possible through live video and video voicemails. This mode of communication will increase in the future as video gives a more personal feel and helps build stronger relations with the customers, leading to higher customer loyalty. In turn, customer loyalty aids a business in the long run by increasing repeat purchases by the same customer, thereby increasing profits and reducing marketing efforts.
3. Better analytics available for customer support
We all know that technology makes collecting data all the more easier. Data gathered via different sources, including surveys, web and social media analytics, and sales data, etc., can help customer support reps provide improved service. By analyzing various trends in the information, customer support reps can identify existing problems in service and rectify them before it becomes a problem for the company. For example, if initial online reviews of a new product suggest it is faulty, the customer support team can quickly step in and reassure disgruntled customers. Meanwhile, the product development team can quickly make improvements and re-launch a better version. In this way, consumers won’t have to face trouble over and over again.
4. Real-time messaging will become more popular
Nowadays, people want answers quickly- they want their queries solved in minutes rather than hours. Although some people will always prefer contacting via emails, the vast majority are edging towards receiving help in real-time. Many social media platforms have equipped themselves with chatbot servers that use algorithms and AI to help a customer in a matter of seconds via automated responses. For example, Facebook Messenger has revolutionized the concept of real-time messaging. Customers can view the average response time of companies, helping them decide if a brand is worth their time or not.
5. Chatbots will assist humans
And to facilitate real-time customer support, it is safe to say that chatbots will outgrow human intervention when it comes to customer support. If a customer support member or team is asleep, chatbots can actively answer customer queries. In the future, chatbots will be an inexpensive addition to the support team, improving on the concept of self-service for customers, which brings us to the next benefit.
6. Technology will drive self-service
In a “utopian” world, customers will want answers to their questions without interacting with another person. How-to and DIY guides on the internet have already popularized the concept of self-service, whether it’s info on how to fix your sink or increase your garden’s productivity. In the future, chatbots and AI will take the concept of self-service to the next level. Self-service makes customer support more accurate and on time. It also reduces the cost of running a business by replacing the manual workforce with automated bots to serve customers.
7. Customer service knowledge base
With the help of SEO and content creation tools, companies can create a detailed knowledge base with all the answers a customer could need. A customer service knowledge base lets the customers self-serve their answers to FAQs by reducing the workload for the existing support staff. This way, customers do not have to wait for someone to answer their questions; they can ask Google. However, companies will have to invest in creating relevant content optimized content for text-based and voice search.
8. Social Media will improve customer service
According to Backlinko, 4.48 billion people use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. People constantly share their opinions, whether it is about a movie they enjoyed or feedback for their favorite brands. It won’t be wrong to say that social media bolsters customer service and will become a standard tool for customer support reps. One bad review can impact sales. Therefore, customer support staff will have to adapt to social media tools for customer service situations. Many marketers are now using chatbots such as Facebook Messenger and Alexa for Business to build a relationship with potential customers.
The future of businesses and providing good customer service, in particular, depends on digitalization and technology. A recent study suggests that 45.9% of companies are prioritizing customer experience over price and product to drive sales in the coming years. Without good customer service, it is difficult to provide a rich experience to online users. By integrating the latest trends in the digital medium, companies can answer queries within a heartbeat. This article mentions a few benefits of tech integration in helping online users with their problems, leading to more sales, customer loyalty, and higher levels of customer satisfaction.