Customer Service trends are changing with the change in the level of empowerment given to individual consumers. Organizations need to adapt to new ways of reaching out to their customers. Deploying the latest tools to improve customer service is imperative along with inculcating a customer care culture within the organization. Let us delve into top trends that modern companies need to adapt to ensure they do not only survive but thrive in providing better experiences to customers.
Measurement of Customer Service Experience
Increasing competition among different industries makes it indispensable to measure the actual customer experience. For example, social media engagements can be measured in terms of likes, shares, retweets, mentions, and pluses. Similarly, for a call center, call records can be helpful in measuring the quality of customer service delivered, making improvements and determining the level of success achieved. Website traffic on the other hand can be measured through different tools. Google Analytics and Hi-Stat are two free tools which can help determine the most liked content of a website, bounce rate, levels of engagement and achievement of set conversion goals. Therefore, next time you talk about customer service, you must have a definite measure of things before and after an effort has been put in place to make a comparison.
Modern customers connect to companies using different means. Some may use social media, others would like to call. There will be another group who would prefer using email. A centralized database of all customer complaints with the access given to the complaint handling staff would be ideal. Customers expect companies to know about their previous interactions. Similarly, whenever the company intends to communicate about anything like a new service, updates or offers, it must utilize all its communication channels.
Development of Mobile Phone Applications
More and more organizations are developing smartphone applications. These applications can help businesses achieve multiple benefits. There are numerous examples where mobile applications have helped businesses increase customer base as well as revenue. A report by eMarketer’s Global Media Intelligence revealed that there will be an increase of 39% in smartphone penetration within the Middle East by 2015. The report also indicated the current 73% penetration of UAE to grow further. Besides market growth, UAE government is taking a keen interest in encouraging use of smartphones by introducing over 100 smartphone applications. These are some of the indications which strongly suggest the need for businesses to build intelligent smartphone applications that would add to excellent customer experience.
An example of how smartphone apps are helping businesses improve customer service experience is the recently launched Emirates app. The app will not only help Emirates airline provide better connectivity to customers but would assist in gathering information required to further enhance quality of service delivered. Customers can use this app to book flights, select seats, and choose from given meal options.
Similarly, Bayt which is a leading job site in UAE has a smartphone application for its customers or job seekers. The app helps customers use all the utilities that the website offers and new job opportunities can also be found. Job alerts can be setup to send newly announced jobs of your preference into your email inbox.
Intelligent use of Email and SMS notifications
Technology has changed a lot of facets of doing business. One important aspect has been the cost effectiveness brought into communication. Email and SMS notifications may not be an overwhelmingly big thing to add to customer service experience. However, when customers need to remain updated about the status of an action performed regarding a product or service, they become important. For example, getting an email or SMS alert every time money is deposited into or withdrawn from your bank account will keep you informed. Using cost effective ways to remain in touch with customers will keep them happy. These communication means can also be used to make important announcements like service outages, special offers, and other information that needs to be delivered to customers on urgent basis.
24 / 7 Multilingual Support
Gone are the days when office hour support of 9 to 5 was considered enough. 24 hour customer support has become a necessity. This is particularly true for industries involving ecommerce or global audiences. Companies which have a multilingual support staff with a multi-global presence are surely tuned in with the future.
In a survey conducted by the Gilbane group in 2008 about the impact of multilingual communications, the findings showed that 37% of the survey respondents believed it would help increase revenues. The other 37% said that it would help improve relationship with customers while 21% advocated that it would help companies materialize significant cost savings, 3% said that they expect higher profitability as a result of multilingual communications with their customers and 3% were of the view that multilingual communications would help resolve compliance matters.
Businesses need to adapt to changing customer service trends because of increased customer awareness, magnified consumer voices and more competition. Following the latest trends will help companies remain viable, relevant, and competitive in the longer run besides being able to continuously grow in size and revenue.