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Here are 6 customer service trends to look out for in 2022

Customer service transforms into a brand.

When was the last time a company’s customer service employees were so important? To begin with, they’ve been dealing with a 30 percent increase in support tickets compared to last year. They’ve also become the most popular way for customers to interact with brands as they shop more online.

Customer service agents have stepped in to cover numerous critical functions as a result of fewer in-person interactions. They’re now the greeter at the entryway,  the register cashier, and the attendant in the dressing room. They’ve even offered a sympathetic ear to cry on in other situations.

It’s no surprise that customer service is now one of the most important factors in determining brand loyalty. Furthermore, half of the customers believe it is more significant now than it was a year ago. As consumer expectations rise, the stakes become even higher: after only one unpleasant encounter, 50 percent of customers will transfer their business elsewhere.

Accelerate your digital timeline

Forget about multi-year plans for a digital transformation now is the time to take action. The global epidemic has shortened the timescale for obtaining new technologies to reach clients and link scattered support teams, according to 75% of CEOs:

  • Digital adoption has accelerated by 1-3 years, according to 50% of respondents.
  • According to 25% of respondents, digital adoption has accelerated by 4-7 years.

All teams, not just the digitally competent, now have access to innovative ideas and technologies. Over half of organizations anticipate boosting their investments in customer experience in the coming year. Those who do not evolve risk becoming obsolete. The global pandemic has sped up the digital adoption timeframe, according to 75% of business leaders.

Companies want to invest in technology that will help them improve the customer experience by doing the following:

  • Adding new channels
  • Increasing the security of information
  • Increasing agility
  • Internal collaboration improvement 
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Business Process Automation
  • Making the switch to cloud-based solutions

Customers want businesses to lead by example

As a global epidemic transformed the way we live, collaborate, and connect, customers were compelled to reconsider their values and what they expect from the firms with which they do business. Customers were also compelled to reconsider their beliefs and what they expect from the companies with which they do business as a result of economic and social shocks.

It is no longer sufficient for businesses to just deliver quick and convenient service.

They must now, more than ever, communicate with their customers on the subjects that matter to them:

  • Customers want to buy from socially responsible companies, according to 63% of customers.
  • 54% want to do business with businesses that value diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities and workplaces.
  • 49 percent want to talk to a friendly customer service agent.

Placing clients at the center of everything you do is one method to develop closer relationships with them. Don’t know where to begin? Customer data could provide some crucial information. If you take the time to learn more about the issues that matter most to your customers, you’ll have a better knowledge of them.

The Evolution of Messaging

Customers went to traditional channels like WhatsApp and text as they sought refuge at home in their favorite pajamas. In 2020, roughly one-third of customers will send a message to a company for the first time, and 74% of those who do will do so again.

During the pandemic’s course:

  • Tickets for WhatsApp increased by 219 percent.
  • Tickets for SMS/text have increased by 30 percent.
  • Tickets for a live chat have increased by 27 percent. 
  • Tickets for social media have increased by 26 percent.
  • Tickets for email/web forms have increased by 16 percent.
  • Tickets for the phone have increased by 8 percent.

It’s no wonder that customers and organizations are turning to text for rapid, personal, convenient, and secure service. Social messaging apps gained in popularity faster than any other medium in 2020, especially among the younger generation. As a result, messaging was added to 53 percent of organizations that launched a new channel last year.

Last year, 53% of organizations that launched a new channel added messaging.

Messaging channels are not only easy to set up and utilize, but they also deliver a better agent experience. Agents are 50 percent more likely than regular live chat to desire to message with a customer. Why? They can work on multiple tickets at once, and interactions aren’t lost when the chat window closes.

Customer and agent experiences are enhanced by automation.

As the number of messages sent has increased, so has the use of automated chatbots. In 2020, automated bot interactions climbed by 81 percent, and they’ve fast become an important part of any communications strategy. Bots enable responses to be provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers don’t have to repeat themselves because of quick handoffs between bots and human agents.

In 2020, automated chatbot interactions increased by 81 percent.

Chatbots, according to customers, are more useful for less complex tasks such as tracking an order or checking the status or balance. This is especially true when a customer requires assistance after regular business hours. Chatbots can also provide useful self-service content that can address questions while agents are unavailable.

Bots can mark tickets with human agents when they return to the office for more sophisticated concerns like receiving technical support or filing a return.

Socially responsible companies have one approach to speeding up the ticketing process. Businesses also want their support teams to be more adaptable after a turbulent year. Responding to change was the most difficult component of managers’ jobs last year, they said.

Support leaders must be able to do the following to become more agile:

  • Scale-up their business quickly
  • Workflows should be streamlined across teams.
  • Reduce the number of agents needed.

Teams should consider implementing an omnichannel approach, which merges all of a company’s various channels into one simplified workspace if they haven’t already.

Last year, the most common complaint among managers was the inability to adapt to change.

Another good place to start is with workflow management tools like automation, macros, and triggers. From automated email updates to built-in responses for agents, these technologies can help free up time for more difficult tasks. These solutions are also twice as likely to be used by support employees with the fastest response times and happy clients.

What are some more ways that support teams can become more agile?

By preparing agents to work across channels and using their knowledge base to deflect potential tickets.

Over the last year, the number of so-called “blended agents” has increased by 30%, allowing teams to be more responsive to changes in consumer demand. In addition, knowledge base articles are up 20% internationally, assisting with proactive self-service answers to typical consumer questions.

The benefit of data transparency

After one terrible customer service experience, half of the customers are likely to go. But it’s not just an unhelpful support agent, a delayed order, or a complicated return process that has them abandoning ship.

In any customer-company connection, transparency in how organizations gather, use, and even exchange personal information is now expected. According to a 2020 McKinsey survey, 71 percent of customers would abandon a company if it disclosed their data without their permission.

It’s a delicate balancing act. Customers expect a personalized experience, but they are less ready to allow companies access to their personal information. Government rules, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, have offered some safeguards, but businesses must explain clearly what data they gather and why.

In any customer-company connection, transparency in how corporations collect, use, and even exchange personal data is now required. This could mean the difference between keeping or losing customers. Those who move quickly will almost always have a competitive advantage in terms of trust.