According to Groove, engaged clients spend 60% more per transaction and buy 90% more often than non-engaged customers. Going into 2021, the spotlight for businesses is on engaging with clients and improving the service experience.
An integral part of succeeding at this goal is to understand the most important service trends for 2021. With that in mind, this article will discuss the top areas your company should address to better engage with your clients.
The COVID-19 pandemic made us change the way we do business. Going into 2021, companies must ensure that they’ve got a clear crisis management plan in place. They must then communicate the details of the plan to the clients that it affects.
Having a clear crisis management plan reassures clients that the firm is doing its best to keep them safe.
Enabling Remote Teams
According to SupportYourApp, one of the most important service trends is to enable remote teams. With modern technology, it’s simpler than ever for your team to work from wherever they’re most comfortable.
According to Forbes, allowing consultants to work from home may improve productivity levels by as much as 47%. It may take a little shuffling to get the service mix correct for the client, but having a happy team is well worth the effort.
Companies may even allow their customer service divisions to work remotely. For those firms without the resources to do so, outsourcing client support is a viable alternative.
Artificial Intelligence and Customer Service Chatbots
The start of the pandemic saw a rapid uptake in customer service chatbots. We can expect this trend to continue as businesses increasingly streamline their operations.
While artificial intelligence cannot match human interaction yet, it comes close. Close enough, that is, to answer simple queries. Chatbots may become valuable service representatives, on-call twenty-four hours a day.
For those more complicated queries, firms will continue to rely on live support instead. Our new normal will be a hybrid of human and bot support.
In 2021, we’ll see the rise of more independent clients. These are customers who prefer to find the solutions themselves before contacting client support. Providing your clients with a robust set of self-service options is one of the most important service trends because it helps your customers save time.
Interactive menus, automated responses, and a comprehensive knowledge base work together to provide your clients with the self-service support they require.
Customer success is not a new concept. It is, however, one that’s becoming increasingly important. Clients are becoming increasingly intolerant of companies that don’t help them reach their desired outcomes.
Companies must reach out to their customers to ensure that they understand the product features and get the best use. Such communications must be kept distinctively different from sales calls, as the focus is on providing service for the client.
Customer Service via Social Media
Businesses must provide support where its most convenient for their clients. Today social media assists them in doing that. While many companies balk at the idea of allowing the public to lodge complaints on an open forum, the benefits outweigh the risks.
These benefits include:
- Publicly answering complaints demonstrates your commitment to customer service.
- Improved engagement with clients as you may answer queries and share resources with them.
- Taking proactive steps to deal with confusion about a new product or service.
- Acknowledging positive reviews leaves a positive impression on the client’s mind.
Until now, video has been primarily reserved for marketing. Going into 2021, brands will look for ways to harness this tool for customer service as well. We’ll go beyond the typical tutorial video and move into:
- Live streams where clients may pose questions
- Courses that explain features
- Troubleshooting videos
- Face-to-face support via video chat
Live Client Support
While more customers are willing to try self-help options, they also want to know that live support is there if they require it. Consumers today expect companies to provide 24/7 support, even if it’s through a chatbot.
It’s beneficial for the business as well. When a client has a query that they cannot resolve with you, they’ll find someone who may assist them.
Again, the lines between the marketing and service worlds are blurring. Going forward, businesses should start to look for ways to personalize the service experience.
It starts with full access to the customer’s interactions with the company. Service consultants should be able to see the client’s purchase history and what they’ve browsed through online. Agents must also be able to access all the relevant data pertaining to queries, complaints, and returns.
Issues that the client experiences today may well be due to this past data.
Firms may simplify the process by categorizing clients in terms of buying behaviors and demographics. It may be helpful to create personas for the customers and see where each client fits.
The benefit of doing this extra work is that agents may then provide personalized recommendations based on past purchases or service issues. Where, for example, the client was unable to grasp a particular feature, consultants may provide simpler alternatives.
Consultants may also see which promotions spurred clients to take action in the past and offer similar ones.
Today’s client is far more tech-savvy. They understand the risks of sharing their data and look for ways to protect their information actively. This, and the increased propensity for businesses to allow remote working, means that firms must ramp up their cybersecurity efforts.
They should review their cybersecurity protocols and physical security protocols to ensure that there are no gaps.
2021 promises to be an interesting year. The service trends that we see coming to the fore are nothing ground-breaking. As in most other years, they’re items that have been developing for some time. The difference this year is businesses must be proactive in adopting the trends.
COVID-19 has made the business environment even more competitive, and firms cannot take the chance of falling behind.