Advanced technologies are changing the way brands and consumers connect with each other. Aside from improving the quality of customer support, these innovations increase companies’ productivity and efficiency.
If you want to outshine your competitors, you must be able to adapt to the successive transformations brought on by tech advances. This means mastering new customer service techniques and embracing them. But of course, every strategy you deploy must be based on your target market’s preferences. This way, you get to use technology to amplify and highlight the voice of the customer.
These are the biggest call center trends that will dominate this 2017.
1. Omnichannel support
“Omnichannel” has been emerging as a massive buzzword in the customer support field. Mostly, it’s driven by the proliferation of digital devices in the mainstream market. These days, consumers own mobile gadgets like the smartphone and tablet, and they expect companies to be present in multiple channels. This includes the phone, email, social media, SMS, and others.
When we talk about the omnichannel strategy, however, it’s important to differentiate it from the multichannel approach. The former is all about integrating several communication channels to provide one seamless, continuous customer experience. The latter, on the other hand, is an approach that makes use of multiple but unconnected channels.
Noting these differences, entrepreneurs should clearly identify which of the two strategies they’d need. In the process, however, they must consider:
• the needs of their customers
• the size of their customer base
• their budget and resources
• the skills and expertise of their workforce
In many cases, a well-conceived omnichannel strategy is preferred by customers. For one thing, it ensures that cross-device conversations take place without interruptions. This way, customers don’t need to repeat any information they’ve previously given to an agent via a different channel. Agents also gain a full view of a customer’s entire transaction history. This leads to faster issue resolution and a stellar customer experience.
2. Cloud-based contact centers
Keeping your infrastructure and resources on your premises can possibly become a thing of the past. In fact, many call centers have begun moving to the cloud. This may not be an entirely new trend, but it presents the perfect opportunity to provide 24/7 customer support, cut costs, and build remote teams.
When your tools and resources are accessible and deployable via the Internet, you’re also able to avoid business interruptions brought on by hardware malfunction or natural disasters. This results to higher productivity and efficiency.
The biggest danger here, however, is that cloud-based providers are exposed to more cybersecurity risks. For this, you need to strengthen your defense against digital threats.
3. Social media customer service
Almost all businesses now have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, they aren’t as easy to handle as they may seem. In these platforms, customers have stricter demands. For one thing, they expect you to respond to their messages or comments instantly. Naturally, you won’t be able to do this if you’re receiving thousands of queries everyday.
It’s also difficult to build the right team to handle your social media services. In fact, it’s still being debated whether social pages must be handled by the marketing or customer support department. As such, it’s also a challenge to build a solid quality evaluation system for brands’ performance on social platforms.
It would thus take a lot of planning before you can launch an effective social strategy. But if you can make it work, you’ll be able to maximize the opportunities waiting for you in this area.
Armed with their smartphones, more and more customers are seeking solutions to their issues on their own. It’s become increasingly common for them to look up information online, browse product discussion threads, or look for FAQ sheets on brands’ website. For them, accessing these materials is much more convenient than grabbing the phone and dialing a customer service hotline.
With this growing demand for self-service portals, companies are expected to provide the right resources to customers in the right format. Aside from those mentioned above, you can also make use of how-to videos, product manuals, and knowledge bases to ensure that customers can find the information they need.