The expectations of your customers will always evolve with the times. But over the past few years, the speed at which clients expect enhanced customer service features is somewhat surprising. Perhaps the pace of expectation is in line with current technological trends such as AI, which is also powering many UX and CX dynamics. Whichever the reason, you must invest more in core services and diversify the customer experience to keep up with these trends.
Media, Data, and Invoices
People today love graphics and other media. And as a service, it can help your customer satisfaction to use multimedia as a tool by which to communicate more effectively. For example, you can use a field service platform such as BuildOps to generate invoices on the fly with all the data a customer needs. This is great. But how about supplementing this with audio notes, videos explaining data, or infographics about how your service will proceed after payment?
More Investment in Core Services
Setting aside a budget for customer service is, of course, a part of a modern business. But as customer expectations increase, they will become more expensive. However, rather than predicting cost, factor these expenses as vital investments into core services. This could include outsourced contact centers, staff training, and of course, new technologies. Investing in your CX offers massive rewards. But generally, don’t keep anything that hasn’t earned a three times ROI.
Enhanced Customer Service with Zero Party Data
What is zero-party data, you may ask? Well, do you know how cookies gather data with permission from a customer? Well, zero-party data is information that people, such as customers, voluntarily share with intent. Then this valued data could be used for improvements:
- You have a much deeper understanding of exactly what a customer wants.
- You can engage with customers across platforms of their choosing.
- Customers can also exclude any preferences they do not wish to see.
Zero-party data aims to improve their personal experience with your brand. This includes things like the types of products they want to be shown, for example. However, this is vital because it is extremely effective for getting to know your target audience on a much deeper, personal level.
Engagement Is Its Own Reward
Rewarding customer loyalty is an ancient way of trying to get repeat business. But it is becoming somewhat outdated, even in a world where most of us need to save. However, It isn’t only rewarding that can drive customers to your business, especially younger Gen Zones. This specific generation enjoys being a part of the conversation and will proactively go out of its way to engage with your business, mostly online, for something of a more tailored experience.
Proactive Customer Support
Further to being proactive, this is a necessity on your end too. There is only so much that solid data can tell you, and it is never really an accurate representation of the voice of your customers. Customer interaction data can offer a far more rewarding solution if you are willing to venture down that path. For example, reacting to real-time interactions, such as how long a customer has been waiting, can prevent them from becoming frustrated and hanging up.
Employees as Part of the Experience
Your employees also factor into the overall customer experience, not just the ones that take calls. All your staff must be trained in proper customer service methods to meet the modern expectations of a business. A good employee often means a happy customer and vice versa:
- Train all employees to engage in every interaction in a polite and positive manner.
- Understand that some customers can come across as difficult by their nature.
- Thanking a customer and apologizing throughout an interaction is always positive.
- Teach employees that talking to a customer should always be a privilege.
- Assess what each customer demographic requires and adjust accordingly.
- Work hard to establish an ongoing professional relationship with loyal customers.
- Educate staff on how to engage with customers and when to leave them alone.
- You can learn what customers want and need simply by speaking to them.
- Of course, we all know that a smile really does go a long way in diffusing a situation.
Making your staff a part of the entire customer engagement process creates something of a relationship between customers and employees. And the data you can acquire because of this is invaluable, such as preferences, times, and dates for a more customized experience.
Improved Reactive Customer Support
Proactive customer support is mentioned above. But what about reactive customer support? This is the standard type of customer support that all businesses engage in. It is trying to resolve an issue after it has happened rather than trying to limit issues beforehand. Being proactive is an enhanced feature. But you must continue to invest in legacy services such as email, phone, and ticketing systems to resolve any issues as and when they might arise.
AI and Virtual CX Agents
The capabilities of AI in customer service are getting better all the time. Many customers not only expect AI when they try to contact a modern business, but one study has found that 73% of consumers believe it is a positive feature. As such, AI is becoming something of a trend across all sectors, including retail and industrial, in the latter half of 2023. Commonly expected AI capabilities include automated phone switching and email and one-to-one live ChatBots.
Enhanced Customer Service Requires Personalization
One of the biggest trends in customer-focused services over the last couple of years is personalization. Huge companies like Amazon already use this system to ensure you are offered goods you are interested in. But this requires a huge amount of data to introduce:
- At the very least, you will need a pretty accurate demographic of customers.
- To make things like suggestions more relevant, you need preference data.
- Frequency and monetization data help you identify the best customers for products.
These data are invaluable for personalization features. The most basic method is to offer similar products based on past purchases. However, using more captured data such as those mentioned above, you can also personalize based on browsing history across your site.
Deeper Customer Cybersecurity
When offering personalization, you must store a large amount of data about each of your customers. Some are private and confidential. And there is also compromising data. For example, women may buy lingerie or marital aids from your online store. This data can be just as damaging as bank details in the wrong hands. Therefore you have a huge responsibility to offer critical cybersecurity, and you must be proactive in preventing data leaks and breaches.
Diversity in the Customer Experience
Just as in any other setting, diversity in customer service and experience is wholly important. You will only alienate a large segment of potential customers by not addressing specific needs. These include multilingual services, a diverse communications team, and services that appeal more to various audience segments. International support is a great place to begin. Yet your efforts should also include gender, those with disabilities, and age groups for an inclusive experience.
Enhanced customer service is not easily achieved, given the immediate requirements and overhauls to existing systems. You can offer clear consumer engagement with more media, such as videos, infographics, and audio messaging for customers. Yet a proactive approach to catching any issues before they are made into a big problem helps you and the customer. Additionally, an investment in a diverse system will be more inclusive of every customer.