Every industry goes through a number of changes every year. Some of them become benchmarks and eventually form the top trends for the particular industry. Just like all industries the Customer Service industry has also undergone a number of changes, for example a completely voice based process where the only means of reaching the customer care executives was by either visiting the company’s service centers or telephoning them to pay a visit, eventually evolved to become a non-voice e mail based process.
After the evolution of social media, the world shrank to become a connected whole and almost all forms of communication went online. Companies started owning profiles on social media and considering the real time era that we are in, customer trust shifted to these online spaces, as a means to reach the companies for faster resolution.
Here’s a list of 5 trends of 2015 that needs to be kept in mind during 2016:
1. Real-Time: The fast paced world demands responses at the speed of lightening. Customers today demand an almost immediate action for any query or complaint made by them on social media. Companies have deployed CRM initiatives to take care of these issues, as according to a particular study less than 42% of the people complaining online expect a reply within the first one hour of posting.
2. Unlimited Options: Today’s generation is always up for some change. They are constantly itching to switch brands and try something new. In today’s date, customer loyalty is much harder to earn compared to times when there were lesser brands. The market monopolies have broken and now every brand is craving for consumer attention. According to a research done by Accenture, 66% of the customers leave a brand due to bad customer service! Also if your competitors are providing better customer support than you are it is likely that your customers would prefer them over you. (40% of customers shift to a competitor brand due to bad customer service)
3. Word of Mouth Works: If you were starting to assume that word of mouth is old school, here’s what you need to know. On an average 58 million tweets are sent out daily, which generates more conversations and hence more word of mouth. People are constantly communicating with their peers and taking advice before making purchase decisions. Another important platform is review sites, where people are looking for feedback from customers who have used your product in the past.
4. Repetitive complainers: Customers wish for instant resolution to their problems, meaning they do not wish to post repetitive complaints to get their problems resolved. This is precisely the reason why most companies today press on the “First Response Time” factor. More than a problem getting resolved, your customers are looking to be acknowledged that their problem will be solved. Most customers are ready to wait for some time once they are assured that their problem has been recorded and is taken care of.
However, this walks hand in hand with the actual customer support team and the field service team for most companies, which needs to be in sync with the online customer service team and provide faster resolutions.
5. The human touch: Although the world is turning into a machine dependent one, customer service still remains one industry where customers expect a good human response. While there are people who prefer to reach a brand using a digital platform and others still prefer the traditional “telephone conversation”, in both the cases people wish the responses to be human.
For example, people do not wish to go through the entire process of automated responses before actually talking to an executive. Similarly, people also do not wish to receive canned responses on social media, which are automated and triggers as and when people complain.
Considering the above mentioned Social CRM trends in the coming year, brands can provide better customer service and live up to the customer’s expectations in 2016.