Increasingly digitalized interactions between brands and customers continue to change customer service expectations and the way that companies engage with customers. Not only will the trend of online shopping continue to grow in the coming years, companies will have to integrate technology in their customer service and sales processes. Similarly, social media will continue to be used by customers and by companies to market their products and offer online customer support. Taking this into account, digital technologies are likely to continue transforming customer needs, demands and behavior in the near future. Thus, companies hoping to maintain a competitive edge must do two things; revolve their business activities around initiatives that genuinely matter to customers, and facilitate customers by boosting investment in digital technologies. Here are some more trends that are likely to be prevalent in 2020.
Many experts believe that with the rapid progress in technology, the use of mobile devices, apps, social media, video, chat, and personalized solutions will continue to increase. These predictions give a whole new meaning to personalization in the world of customer service, as they indicate that customers demand speed, convenience, accurate information and specifically tailored responses. Keeping this in mind, brands must realize that the customers of 2020 will not only have more advanced requirements, they will also be better informed. Hence, in order to create a personalized experience which they will truly enjoy, your business should conduct extensive research to further understand customer requirements, expectations and emotions. Empower your employees, sales force and customer service teams to involve customers in activities such as product innovation, co-creating services and support solutions. It is also essential to understand that engagement is not merely taking place between customers and companies, customers are increasingly involved in providing each other with information and assistance. For example, customers frequently post content on social networking sites and ask for other customers’ reviews, experiences and evaluations. It is likely that this trend will pick up pace in several digital channels as the industry evolves. Embracing these changes and adapting to them accordingly would enable businesses to engage effectively with customers and enhance the quality of service and support.
2020 will see a drastic shift in current customer habits and behaviors. With smartphone technology and the range of web applications, solutions, social networking sites which customers could choose from, they would expect companies to increasingly reach out to them via digital channels. A study by PwC titled ‘Retailing 2020: Winning in a Polarized World’ reveals that the rate of technological innovation will increasingly gain momentum and hence, knowing these platforms inside out would allow organizations to succeed in 2020. Also, with the number of brands, products and services to choose from, customers are more likely to take note of minute details and exercise more caution in their buying decisions. This means that they will take more time to evaluate their options and consult before making informed buying decisions. Furthermore, in case there are any queries and complaints to be sorted out, customers will expect quick or immediate frontline resolution in not only brick-and-mortar outlets, but also at every digital touch point. Therefore, speed, convenience, seamless services and support that require minimal effort on their part will be their key demands in 2020.
According to PwC’s report ‘Winning in a Polarized World’ managing a brand in 2020 will require companies to create fresh and innovative tools, skills and modes of communication that are different from the ones we have today. Thus, ensuring that your staff and customer service teams make an orchestrated effort in interacting with customers on the channels they prefer creates a memorable experience and entices them to shop at your brand. Businesses should emphasize on continuously becoming tech-savvy. For instance, develop a mix of digital analytics to improve the customer service experience, prevent customers from having to go through long and complex processes at every contact point etc. Customers will expect businesses to offer multichannel customer experience to them.
Another big question is how to sell to tech-savvy customers in 2020. This can be done by using technology which will enable your business to obtain relevant customer data that can be used for purposes such as making effective product recommendations, offering customized services etc. This can also be used to create a proactive support strategy that reduces long wait time and allows customers to get the details they need at the time and place they prefer.
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