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9 Latest Customer Support Trends & Predictions for 2020 and Beyond

Category: B2B News

You need to up your customer support game and you need to do it now. Consumers’ expectations of customer service have reached new heights. This resulted in organizations to either heeding the call or risk business failure. Consumers have also been putting greater stock in customer service. And as we all know, customer service has become a major consideration when choosing a brand. Companies have been turning to top customer support programs to improve customer service. This can is evident in current customer support trends

If you are a customer support executive, planning your next move would be a good idea. Businesses should revisit key support areas and anticipated early in the planning process. You only need to look at the latest customer service trends to confirm this. Companies must focus on factors like technology and agent skills. if they are to improve customer service. Here, we have compiled some of the latest customer support trends. These will help you in your drive for better customer support.

customer support trends main web

Customer service has become a focal point for many companies. This reflects the emergence of a new breed of consumer. These days, people tend to be a bit more demanding when it comes to customer service. For example, many customers prefer to have a warm body on the other end of the line rather than talk to a recording. Many consumers are willing to pay more for good customer service.
 

The Most Important Aspect of Customer Service According to Customers

Friendly and knowledgeable agent

%

Resolving the issue in a single transaction

%

Not having to repeat myself

%

Getting response and information without contacting support

%

Other

%

Source: microsoft.com

Designed by
 
Many companies have recognized the demand for better customer support. As a result, many businesses have been stepping up to meet the challenge. 81% of consumers in the US say companies as either meeting or exceeding customer service expectations. But customers’ impatience with poor customer service makes customer service improvement hard.

More challenges ahead

And then there are the consequences of rendering poor customer service. Increased connectivity also poses a threat to businesses. A report said that 40% of consumers will tell others to not support a company with poor customer service. More trends highlight the need for greater customer support as you’ll find out below. Now, it’s up to you to decide if whether your customer service needs an overhaul.
 
There is no denying the increased importance of customer support among today’s organizations. It has come to a point where customer service will define a company’s future. Also, new technology has been reshaping the face of customer service. New tech has imbued customer support with the gift of automation. The most common example of customer service tech are top customer support tools. You’ll find that more customer service trends are on the horizon. These developments may very well end up becoming the new acid test for corporate success.
 
So what are the new trends in customer service? Let’s proceed to discuss each one of them.

There’s No Replacing Humans

First on our list is the use of chatbots. Chatbots have become very popular but will not replace human agents anytime soon. Artificial intelligence has been making strides in business applications. There are a variety of ways by which companies use chatbots in customer service. But, the notion of AI replacing humans is too far down the road to actually matter at this point.
 
You can program chatbots to provide swift answers to simple queries. But only a human face would do in cases requiring empathy. This applies in cases like when a customer expresses disappointment over a product. In the case of AI, the technology is only as good as the information it is being fed. Again, unlike humans, AI does not consider factors that are not part of its programming.

Key Takeaways

  • Chatbots can only speed up customer service.
  • Chatbots cannot address problems such as customer disappointment.
  • AI is only good as the data it is being fed.

Control Quotient

What makes a great customer support agent? Neither intelligence nor emotional quotient helps an agent excel in the job. CQ allows a person to better control a situation. A study has found high control quotient (CQ) to allow agents to render great customer service.

Yet, companies cannot recruit and deploy controllers. Businesses should train nurture people with high CQ, preferably in a CQ-charged environment. As it goes, controllers cannot do things by the book but rely on personal judgment to resolve issues.

pleasant representative is key to their recent positive service experiences

Key Takeaways

  • IQ and EQ do not help support agents do their jobs.
  • Agents with high CQ excel in customer service.
  • Agents with high CQ rely on personal judgment when dealing with customer issues.

Multichannel Support

A vast majority of today’s consumers make purchases using different devices. Single-channel support cannot track a customer’s journey. This is true if that customer keeps on jumping from one device to another. Only by offering omnichannel support will one be able to serve a customer at all stages of the journey.

Offering omnichannel support will give your customers a high-quality experience. This is regardless of the way they make contact. An example of this is if a customer calls your customer service and later sends an email. Omnichannel supports eliminates the need to ask for the customer’s data again. This is one of many key customer care trends,

Key takeaways

  • Consumers contact customer support from different devices.
  • Omnichannel support offers customers high-quality experience.
  • Omnichannel support eliminates the need for customers to refurnish agents with their data.

Proactive Customer Service

The day of customers having to contact customer support may be coming to an end. Companies will reach out to consumers. This is to resolve issues that customers may not even be aware of. The secret to becoming proactive lies in evaluating customer interactions. This is in the hope of pinpointing the source of their sentiments. 
 
Businesses’ drive to inform customers has been driving the shift in customer service. Proactive customer service is bound to become the new norm. Organizations’ move from providing good to excellent customer support will drive proactive support.

Customer Reactions to Quality of Support Services Offered by a Business

62%

Customers shared bad experiences with others

57%

Customers stopped buying from a business because a competitor offered a better experience

72%

Customers shared good experience with others

67%

Customers willing to pay more for a great experience

Source: Salesforce Reseach, 2018

Designed by

Key takeaways

  • Proactive customer service is anchored on pinpointing the source of customer sentiments.
  • Companies are seeking to resolve problems that customers have yet to be aware of.
  • Businesses are responsible for informing customers of problems.

Spotlight on Customer Success

There is more to customer service than just processing tickets and providing canned responses. Good customer service should be built around the notion of achieving success for every customer. By customer success, we mean the achievement of successful outcomes from the customer-vendor relationship.

Customer success can be realized by using all resources available to ensure that customers remain happy. More and more companies are focusing on customer success, which has led to the reduction of customer churn and increased feedback from third parties.

Key takeaways

  • Good customer service should be aimed at customer success.
  • Customer success is built around successful customer-vendor relationship outcomes.
  • Focus on customer success helps cut customer churn.

Customers’ Use of Social Media

Social media has emerged as a valuable business tool, finding its way into companies’ bag of marketing tricks. But as the social media pendulum swings both ways, these platforms are also seen to be effective in customer support well. The only difference is this time, customers will be the one to contact businesses through social media. This is but one of the most notable social customer care trends.

Studies conducted by ValueWalk have reported that 63% of customers expect businesses to offer support via social media. This number is expected to further increase as social media use continues to burgeon. This is why it may be a good idea to integrate your customer service with social media platforms this early.

customers expect companies to offer support via social media

Key takeaways

  • Customers are seen to contact support through social media.
  • 63% of customers expect companies to offer support through social media.
  • Businesses should integrate support with social media platforms.

Remote Work for Agents

More customer service agents will be working from their homes in the next few years. Companies will be enlisting the services of freelancers as many customer service jobs can be accomplished virtually anywhere. The fact that finding people to fill these positions is a challenge in itself, not to mention retaining them.

In the United States, the prospect of relocating entire families as part of the recruiting process can greatly impact companies’ coffers. So if you need agents but are having a hard time hiring them owing to geographical problems, you may want to give remote work a try.

Key takeaways

  • More agents are seen to work from home.
  • More agents will be freelancers.
  • Freelancer recruitment and retention are seen to pose a challenge to businesses.

Going Real-Time

The use of chatbots and messaging in customer service has been gaining traction among companies. These technologies provide businesses with the opportunity to offer support in real-time. Live chat, for example, effectively puts an agent on standby at all times. Customers, in turn, get the impression that your customer service is always available. 

Real-time support has distinct advantages that other support types do not have, including increased conversions, reduced response time, and quick issue resolution. This type of support is one of the most highlighted b2b customer service trends. One good way to provide real-time support is by adopting ways to provide good online customer service.

Technologies that Transformed Customers' Expectations of Businesses

Cybersecurity

Internet of Things (IoT)

Cloud computing

Voice-activated personal assistants

Artificial Intelligence

Chatbots

Virtual/augmented reality

Source: Salesforce Research 2018

Designed by

Key takeaways

  • Chatbots and messaging allow for the real-time provision of customer support.
  • Live chat puts agents on constant standby.
  • Real-time support results in more conversions and decreased response time.

Personalized Customer Experience

It would be great if all the information about your customers is stored in a single and accessible hub, wouldn’t it? Customer data are valuable tools when it comes to mapping the customer journey. The only problem is, customer information is usually stored in different compartments, making customer experience management a bit difficult right now.

Customer service software such as Freshdesk can help boost customer experience through automation.

But despite the customer data clutter, many companies still manage to track the customer journey. Being able to do so gives them the opportunity to improve customer experience on a scale that’s previously unheard of. Attracting customers is one thing, but retaining them is another. It is only through personalized customer experience will you be able to build brand loyalty.

Customer experience will surpass both price and product as the key brand differentiator

Key takeaways

  • Tracking the customer journey is easier when all customer data are in one place.
  • Businesses can use customer information to track the customer journey.
  • Customer journey tracking leads to personalized customer experience.

What to do with these trends

The customer support trends discussed above are all currently happening and choosing to ignore them will result in you missing out on opportunities to make happy customers. Bear in mind that developments such as the use of social media, focusing on agents’ control quotient, pursuing customer success and using new tech to provide real-time customer service are but some of the trends that you should watch out for. And don’t forget, not all these trends may apply to you.

Coming up with sound customer support ideas should be centered around what your customers need. If you feel that many of your customers simply come and go, focus on boosting customer experience. Are you having problems with agent productivity? Maybe it’s time you let them work from home. And if some customer service requests are being left unaddressed, go for multichannel support. This way, you have them all covered regardless of what communication channel they use to get in touch with you.

Today’s customers should be nurtured and nurtured well. Don’t get left behind in the customer support game. Consider these trends and learn for them. This way, you can establish long-term relationships with your clients, who may also help expand your business by recommending your brand to others. Also, check out the latest customer support statistics to get a clearer picture of what’s happening on the ground. 

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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