Customer service plays an integral role in growing a business, and implementing customer service best practices and good strategies will help your company reach its goals.
According to recent reports, 90% of American consumers consider customer service a primary driving force when deciding whether or not to do business with a company, with 89% of consumers choosing to do business again with the same company after a positive customer experience.
Customer service has evolved through the years, especially now that many companies have gone digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With new technological advancements constantly arising, businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest customer service trends to accommodate consumers’ ever-evolving needs and have a leg up on the competition.
With that in mind, let’s discuss the various customer service trends expected to dominate 2022.
11 Customer Service Trends to Look Forward to this 2022
By exploring new and emerging trends, you could find solutions to address some of the issues your company is facing.
1. More mobile-optimized customer services
Towards the end of the past decade, smartphones have been the preferred medium by customers to conduct business. In fact, mobile accounted for 65% of all e-commerce traffic and 53% of sales in 2019, and the mobile commerce industry is expected to surge at a 25.5% CAGR, hitting $488 billion by 2024.
With the continued rise of mobile, businesses should make their customer services options mobile-optimized. Realizing that mobile is not a trend but the future, companies can calibrate their online customer services to improve their overall performance.
2. Social media as the main channel for customer engagement
Nowadays, most consumers discover brands, products, and services online. Currently, 58.4% of the global population uses social media, translating to 4.62 billion users, while 91% access social media platforms with smartphones.
Social media is no longer just for the younger generation. These platforms are necessary for businesses more than ever, as they are the new primary tool customers use to engage with companies. Being active on social media can build brand loyalty and trust, providing an avenue for your company to interact with customers regularly and easily.
3. Higher demand for real-time support
The need for immediate response has risen through the years. With smartphones providing consumers everything they want and need at the palm of their hands, having real-time support can prove beneficial to your company.
In terms of satisfaction ratings, real-time support such as live chat is favored by 85% of customers, coming second to phone support with 91%. However, 41% of consumers say they prefer live chatting over phone support (32%), email (23%), and social media support (3%).
4. Added self-service options for customers
Modern consumers tend to be more independent and look for answers before contacting the business. A Statista survey supplements this, with results that show 88% of U.S. consumers expect organizations to have online self-service portals.
Having a FAQ page, community forum, or mobile application set in place can help optimize your operations and urge customers to inquire about your products or services further.
5. Video call integration
Video calling has been around for some time now. However, the pandemic made this fundamental feature essential. During the second quarter of 2021, 38.5% of Internet users worldwide have used video calling apps with their mobile devices in that specific examination period.
With the global health crisis still ravaging the world, this trend is projected to continue even after the pandemic. Now, more than ever, people realize video calling’s potential as a more convenient way of conducting business while companies have the opportunity to address issues remotely.
6. Rise of chatbots and artificial intelligence
Per a Juniper Research study, chatbots could help businesses cut costs by $8 billion every year by 2022. It also projects that between three-quarters and 90% of queries related to healthcare and banking will be resolved by chatbots within a five-year time frame, resulting in up to $0.70 of savings per interaction.
Implementing chatbots can help businesses with round-the-clock support by providing solutions to frequently asked questions, automating routine questions, aiding lead generation, and enhancing agent experience by prioritizing customer requests. With the advancements in technology seeing a steady increase, artificial intelligence like chatbots will continue to evolve and be more potent in recognizing user behavior.
7. Added focus to personalization
According to a report by Accenture, 91% of customers are more likely to do business with brands that provide offers and recommendations tailored to their preferences. Personalized customer care adds value to customer experience, increasing the chances of consumers’ loyalty and retention.
Hyper-personalization can be achieved by investing in customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Their primary function is to unify and organize all interactions from various touchpoints, giving businesses insight on how to customize each offer for a specific customer.
8. Increased focus on proactive support
The norm for multiple companies has been reactive customer support for the longest time. However, with the business world being more competitive than ever, consumers appreciate companies who practice proactive support—when they take the initiative to follow up or seek feedback from their consumers.
Proactive support urges companies to assess the status of a consumer before they reach out. This allows businesses to identify possible problems and necessary improvements before it materializes. In a survey by Gartner, only 13% of 6,000 customers surveyed received proactive customer support.
9. Establishing omnichannel
According to a study, businesses with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their clients, contrary to the 33% rate of establishments with underdeveloped omnichannel customer engagement.
By definition, an omnichannel is a lead nurturing and user engagement approach that unifies all existing social media channels of a business, streamlining all its processes to result in consistent service.
10. Increased outsourced customer service work
With the pandemic’s unpredictability on businesses, companies enlisted the help of third parties to accommodate the sudden shift in their work volume. This makes outsourcing a new commodity for enterprises looking to accomplish and achieve quality work.
Outsourcing has been around for decades. However, with COVID-19 causing delays and shutdowns to industries across the globe, outsourcing has been helpful for those seeking a sudden workforce injection without sacrificing output quality. Based on research, 300,000 jobs are outsourced by the U.S. yearly, with 70% of the reason being a significant cut in cost.
11. Small Businesses Communicate With Their Outsourced Teams Daily for Maximum Results (UpCity)
To maintain consistent, open communication, 53% of U.S. and Canadian small businesses reported that they correspond with their outsourced teams on a daily basis. This allows them to ensure that day-to-day tasks are running smoothly and that roadblocks are quickly resolved. Overall, businesses still want to contribute their input to outsourced projects.
For Consistent Customer Service Today and Beyond
Customer service has evolved exponentially through the years due to the ever-changing trends in the business world. As such, your company needs to keep up and formulate new plans that would fit the wants and needs of your customers. Let this serve as a guide when considering customer service best practices that correlate with your company’s vision and help your business meet its goals.
If you’re looking for a trusted company to help you enhance your overall customer service with these practices in mind, consider Executive Boutique Call Center. Our team ensures that you have the best customer experience possible with our pool of highly skilled agents and state-of-the-art technology. Check out our various services, or contact us today to learn more.