Customer service and customer experience (CX) plays a vital part in every growing business in the recent years, as opposed to the basic ‘acceptably good product’ in a traditional market. CX determines the break or make of a business especially with the enhancement brought by an evolving technology and therefore is an expected component in all global businesses. Besides the ‘Customer is always right’ saying, now we have ‘What Customer thinks and feel is always important’.
Customer’s expectations of an experience derived of a brand will shape the level of their satisfaction in any product and service.
10 main Customer Service and CX Trends in 2018* according to Shep Hyken.
- The customer continues to get smarter.
Customers have more avenues to gather details and information to make sound judgements over their purchases and commitments. Thus, it is only natural that with suffice information they are smarter and more knowledgeable. Having experience in crowd sourced information, besides reachable market information made available by suppliers, customers are usually armed with knowledge when communicating with suppliers or businesses prior to making purchase and after sales.
- Self-service customer support continues to rise in popularity.
Improved systems, applications and tools enhances customer self service support to a greater level this year. This eases up customer support agents’ functions with better automation whilst first level support being managed and handled by customers on their own and directly. ‘How-to’ videos are helping customers with answers where they do not even need to pick up a phone.
- AI continues as one of the hottest topics in the customer support world.
Similar to 2017 trends, AI continues to be the hottest topics amongst experts and thought leaders of the industry as it continues to look for improvement on CX. AI is the forerunner in technology where enhancements and updates are driving to improve performance of human tasks.
- AI will not replace humans – at least not in 2018.
Even though AI is in the spotlight of many conferences and budgeted improvements, it will not replace the functions of human at least within a year’s time. As customers are getting smarter, so is the challenge of ever improving the features of AI to match its expected deliveries. Higher level of intelligence are required to keep CX at its top notch.
- AI will not only support the customer, but also the employee.
AI doesn’t only improve customer experience (CX) but ultimately the functions of employee when serving customers. It eases and simplifies tasks, enable the fulfilment of generic mundane functions whilst breaking down complex issues for employee when it comes to customer service.
- Amazon will move to brick-and-mortar retail. Brick-and-mortar retail will move online.
Amazon has already moved to retail brick and mortar retailing. More companies recognise the synergy created by both the traditional and digital retailing as it is spurred by consumer’s market and the importance of convenience. Traditional retailers had thrived in the digital world to survive by embracing and leveraging on technology.
- Personalization will help drive customer loyalty.
This is a similar trend forecasted in 2017, as personalized product and services give customer higher level of satisfaction and acknowledgement. Consumer wants companies to know them well enough to create, propose and market to them the right product and solution.
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will become more and more common.
Technology enables companies to create virtualised reality to their product for consumers. Consumer doesn’t just hear, read or see advertisements but there is deeper engagement to the brands behind it.
- The mobile phone is the best way to connect and interact (other than human-to-human) with your customers.
Mobile phones are the fastest and easiest tool to connect with customers, being supported by unlimited access to mobile networks and applications around the world. The interactions are seamless and readily available across the globe with ‘touch-screen’ response time.
- Convenience is the new customer service and CX strategy.
Convenience is a value embedded to excellent customer experience. Without convenience to use and to connect with business, customers might rate the particular product or service below satisfactory in this breakneck business delivery era. Besides delivering basic workable products, convenience in the whole chain from procurement, delivery to after sales service holds the key to excellent CX.
This article is adopted from Forbes, trends written by Shep Hyken who is a customer service/CX expert, keynote speaker and NYT bestselling author.
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2017/12/31/ten-customer-service-and-cx-predictions-for-2018/#75614b45352a