Technology has changed the way we connect with customers. Regardless of your industry, there are a number of tools and platforms you can use for answering customer queries and delivering valuable experience across their journey, from initial contact down to re-engagement.
As digital transformation continues to shape the world of business, it's important for entrepreneurs to stay current with the latest tools. In fact, the bulk of operational budgets will go towards updating current platforms and adapting to the latest methods for delivering excellent customer experiences.
For business owners, there’s the matter of keeping an eye out on the current trends that make an impact on their customer outreach efforts. Here are a few you might want to watch out for this year and the next:
The need to develop custom apps
With most e-commerce transactions being done using mobile devices, you may have to consider building an app for your brand. This allows you to bring your business closer to your audience and creates a more intimate relationship with the people who need your products or services.
With a custom app, you can provide real-time communication and enhance the time it takes to respond to customer issues and queries. You may have to invest a lot in developing an app for your business, but you will find that it's worth your while knowing that it leads to greater customer satisfaction.
Using data analytics to deliver personalized messages
In this day and age, you wouldn't get far without knowing how to make your customers feel they are being taken care of. The key here is personalized messaging and it requires generating insights about customer behaviors and preferences.
For this, having a good grasp of data analytics tools helps you gather relevant information about your customers and use this information to enrich your approaches in handling customer concerns. It will take time for your customer service team to apply data analytics, but you will eventually realize the importance of knowing what people expect from your brand and using this knowledge to encourage repeat purchases.
Setting up key metrics and benchmarks
How do you know if your current customer service approaches are performing effectively? Better yet, how do you measure customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction so that you will have a clear understanding of what you need to tweak? Along with data analytics, you should also determine specific metrics that show the effectiveness of your customer outreach efforts.
Most businesses would focus more on increasing their first contact resolution rate. Still, when picking a metric and setting a benchmark, your business should settle for what's workable and realistic. Whether you are focusing on faster resolution speeds or better customer experience scores, you should only look towards those metrics.
Voice technology is becoming a norm
Voice technology has entered the realm of customer service and businesses should be prepared to incorporate it into their processes. With voice search, you can provide customers added convenience as they look for walkthroughs and proceed to the next steps in dealing with specific issues by themselves.
On top of that, voice technology can also help you analyze the efficiency of your 24/7 customer hotline. Using the right tools, you can capture valuable insights about common queries, the volume of tickets your team handles each day, as well as the optimal time it takes to resolve an issue. This, in turn, allows you to improve your customer service workflows and develop appropriate responses for every scenario.
A world for contactless transactions
The pandemic may have disrupted the business landscape in very significant ways, but it also led to innovations that allow for seamless customer transactions. As the e-commerce industry continues to grow, consumers are relying more on contactless payment systems.
These allow customers to pay for goods and services straight from their bank account or an e-wallet using different methods, from QR scanning to e-transfers. When it comes to verifying customer identities, on the other hand, businesses can also use ID scanning software that captures relevant data from scanned documents and IDs. If your business requires customers to show proof of identity, you can use such a software so they won't have to submit their IDs themselves.
The use of multi-channel touch points
Consumers today rely on more than one channel to get their queries across. Apart from calling your customer hotline and sending a message to your official email address, you can also consider a social media API that lets you engage with customers across different social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or LinkedIn messaging.
On top of that, you can also provide customers with a text hotline in case they have a preference for text messaging. Providing your audience with a variety of options for sending out queries creates more valuable opportunities to reach out and maintain high levels of satisfaction wherever, whenever.
Using AI to develop canned messages that resonate
Artificial intelligence or AI has done a lot in helping businesses streamline repetitive processes and reduce workloads by a significant margin. Then again, it’s still important to ask whether AI can help out in providing authentic exchanges with customers. Although businesses are still divided on the issue of using AI for customer service, the technology has in fact helped brands deal with repetitive customer inquiries.
Machine learning can help with addressing common customer issues. In place of a 24/7 live chat support team, you can simply set up an AI assistant that’s programmed to guide customers in dealing with minor technical issues. On top of that, using a chatbot helps you gather valuable insights about each customer it engages. This helps you gather and analyze rich data that are crucial for optimizing other customer service processes. By using an AI-powered chat assistant, not only will your business generate more savings, but it also helps you optimize your messaging in a way that keeps your customers engaged.
Technology provides businesses with numerous opportunities to deliver excellent customer service. They just need to invest in the tools and approaches that are shaping the future of customer service as we know it.