If you’re looking to achieve uncharted areas of success in 2020, then providing quality customer service must be an area of focus for your business.
Providing customers with an exceptional experience ensures that they will remain loyal to your brand, and refer their friends and families your way as well.
While it’s clear that providing top-tier customer service is vital, it’s not always as clear how to go about that.
Trends in the customer service world are constantly evolving, so to keep you on top of the most cutting-edge updates to the industry, we have compiled a list of the top customer service trends for 2020.
1. Social Media Interaction Is More Important Than Ever
The fact that customers are interacting with businesses via social media isn’t new to 2020, but it’s a trend that is still growing, and not all businesses have entirely mastered these interactions.
More and more customers are using social media as a means to make direct purchases (more than 70% of Instagram users say they have made a purchase from the platform in 2020), so it’s not surprising that 67% of social media users say they also use these platforms for customer service.
2. Chatbots Are Becoming Commonplace
When it comes to online shopping in any venue, a chatbot is a low-cost sales associate that puts no pressure on potential customers but offers a great deal of value. In fact, more than 40% of online shoppers said they preferred to communicate with a chatbot while completing online purchases in 2019.
As global e-commerce is expected to become a $4.2 trillion industry in 2020, it seems only logical that businesses boost their virtual shopping platforms with the help of AI and invest in a chatbot.
3. Personalization Will Continue to Grow as An Industry Standard
As unrealistic as it once seemed to be able to address each customer seeking support with personalized details, assessment software has now made it possible in the customer service industry.
Not only is personalization possible, customers actually expect it—more than 60% say they believe personalization is something they expect at all touchpoints with a business, so 2020 is likely the year that businesses should research and invest in some sophisticated software.
4. Mobile Edges Further into Mainstream Customer Service
In the last few years, it seems that everything has moved to have a mobile app or mobile-optimized website—it’s no longer enough to provide a phone number or email address—and that trend is certainly continuing in 2020.
With such a massive proportion of consumers using their smartphones for virtually everything, it’s no surprise that customer service is being offered more and more on mobile platforms as a result.
5. The Work From Home Trend Takes Hold
Remote work was already rather popular in the customer service industry before 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has likely expedited what would have been a natural progression: the majority of customer service representatives will be able to simply complete their jobs from home.
After all, an employee is capable of providing the same superior service from an office or from their own apartment.
6. Hybrid Support Will Enhance Customer Experience
While chat is a standard method of customer support, it’s likely that things will continue to become more fluid in 2020. Rather than having to simply describe a problem with words, a customer may be able to add a photo, or even initiate a video call.
All of this is intended to improve the overall customer experience, leading to a more satisfied client.
7. Real-time Support Remains An Important Offering
The concept of offering customer support right when someone needs it isn’t novel to 2020, but it’s as important as ever, and often overlooked. The overwhelming majority feel that immediate support is crucial, so live chat functionality is important to a business’ overall success.
8. Self-Help Is Welcomed Rather Than Frowned Upon
Though some companies are wary of offering too many “self-service” options where customers try to navigate to answers on their own, one survey found that over 60% of online shoppers prefer this method to speaking to an agent.
This saves companies time and money, and it actually appears to be what customers are looking for in 2020.
9. Quality Training for Live Customer Service Staff
There’s a lot of talk about the rising importance of AI, but another exciting customer service trend in 2020 is the emphasis on providing genuinely helpful training to live representatives. When trained properly, these employees can provide a great deal of value to the customer experience.
10. Shifting Strategy Based on Feedback
In the digital age, it’s never been easier to get a large scale of customer feedback about the support interaction they have just had. Companies in 2020 are realizing they can use that feedback to their advantage and build their support strategy around it.
By genuinely listening to the answers customers provide in surveys, businesses can make sure that their support is truly exceptional.
Follow These Trends and Grow Your Business in 2020
Clearly, customer service trends in 2020 are all about utilizing technology to provide the most highly customized experience possible. While these trends are a great way to build your strategy for now, you’ll need to keep an eye out for new ones in the coming months.