Overall, smarter and more plugged-in consumers are changing the way customer-support teams function. To meet these customers’ expectations, you’ll want to give your team the knowledge and tools to address these growing trends in customer service.
1. Mobile is a dominant force
There’s no denying it at this point: Mobile is massive. Creating a support experience that’s painless on mobile is important to consumers today. A study by Software Advice shows that 63% of adults use mobile devices to seek customer-support or sales help several times a month. Today’s consumer is extremely plugged in, and having a poor support channel ends up hurting the company not just once but multiple times in just a matter of weeks. Well-trained and flexible support teams are engage customers comfortably through email, live chat, social media, and so much more.
2. Omnichannel casts a wider net
A smarter customer base increases diversity in support channels. Consumers want to engage on the platforms that they use in their daily lives. Customer-support teams are growing to meet them there and look to continue that trend. These new services can seem daunting, but so far they produce results for those who try. Forrester reports, “U.K. footwear retailer Schuh reported lifts of 4 times in conversion rates and 10% in average order values for sessions involving video instead of text chat.”
3. The reemergence of self-help
One trend surprised us most: how strongly customers want access to information before they ever contact your support team. Self-help articles and knowledge bases that serve consumers’ problems are quickly becoming a staple of customer-support teams everywhere. In a Microsoft poll of more than 4,000 people, 90% stressed expectations of self-help options from support teams, and Forrester respondents agree, stating that self-service pages usually outperform support agents in solving the problem. Investing time into that old FAQ page could greatly increase customer satisfaction.
4. Social media continues to demand attention
Numerous, very public customer-support fiascos over the past few years prove that social media provides a key piece in the support puzzle, but the medium rarely serves as a good place to solve issues. In today’s world, you really can’t get rid of your support team’s Twitter and Facebook, but make sure to steer the conversation somewhere more helpful. A NICE survey showed that 30% of consumers believe social media takes too long to address issues. The survey notes that of all support channels, abandonment on social media has risen from 32 to 42% over the past few years.
5. Do more with more data
Connected devices are continuously reporting information back to companies and, most importantly, letting support teams see when problems arise. Analysts predict that by 2020 30 billion connected devices around the world will give you data to work with. While we’re currently trending toward making the most out of the numbers we have now, soon support teams will know when and how to engage the customer to keep satisfaction as high as possible.
6. More data leads to proactive engagements
What good is all that data if we don’t do anything with it? These first few months of 2016 have shown support teams using their information to reach out to customers before a problem even occurred, and results have been promising. Forrester reports that Sears saw a 20% lift in revenue with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 90% when support teams reached out to customers they identified as having a propensity for buying. Proactively providing relevant information, like Amazon does with its shipping times, can greatly improve customer satisfaction when you do it correctly.
7. Phone support will never die
A simple phone call presents the counterpoint to the complexity of social media support tickets. Polled customers respond that social media isn’t “feasible for complex tasks,” so your support team’s person-to-person skills are critically important. Preparing customer-support teams to handle omnichannel conversation methods has included — and will continue to include — better sales enablement for phone calls. Forrester notes that this trend is a sign that customer-support teams are being graded with less focus on efficiency, and more on customer satisfaction at the end of the day.
If you’re curious how Lesson.ly can help enable your customer-support team to do their best work, try our 15-day free trial.