It’s no secret that customer service protocols will be intrinsic to success, but many businesses are set in their ways with utilizing solutions.
A modern audience requires a cutting-edge approach, so as 2024 is well underway, it’s time for many to consider customer service trends in order to stay ahead in an rapidly evolving online landscape.
The good news is that there are plenty of fantastic solutions and methodologies to be leveraged for success – and brands will be able to grow sentiment and boost ROI with the right selections.
Top customer service trends to watch out for in 2024
There are so many innovations in tech and new approaches to reaching consumers that it can be worthwhile to understand the top trends in customer service and define the right one for your business.
- AI implementation
Understandably, there is a significant focus on AI due to its vast applications, functionality, and utility, but exactly where is the landscape going this year?
There has already been a surge in the use of chatbots in the last few years, and as these provide fast and easy access to low-level interactions and solutions, they are going to continue to be an intrinsic part of the customer service process.
A chatbot will act as the preliminary port of call for consumers with more basic issues or inquiries, and consumers can still be passed on to real representatives when they need a human touch. So when that representative is connected with a consumer, it’s critical that they have the best skills in order to provide exemplary service.
As tickets can quickly build up, leaving smaller tasks to automation can free up time, resources, and even cash that can be better spent elsewhere within the business.
- Customer service essentials
Customer service essentials is a methodology that prioritizes best practices across the support landscape. Its focus centers more on empowering teams, to bring top level services to consumers. The right practices will enact positive and friendly human interactions that are structured, while promoting empathy and positivity.
Soft skills are becoming a growing necessity for the customer service workforce and essentials is an approach that will help employees and businesses alike build upon the most sought-after requirements.
- Personalized services
While automated solutions have their place, they can’t quite replace human interaction.
Sentiment is falling when businesses employ basic tech, as consumers are looking for a more personal touch. Of course, the right automated solutions can be built with brand and consumer needs in mind, tailoring experiences that will better blend with the personal experience offered by real representatives.
The aim for businesses should be to combine the two; leveraging the information given by consumers and derived from customer data and analytics, such as determining and contacting individuals via their preferred social media channels, using names, and sharing personalized content at specific points of the consumer journey.
- Self-service support
As the digital landscape is fast-paced and online services are at everybody’s fingertips, it should come as no surprise that there is a growing need for a more self-service approach to customer support.
More and more consumers are now looking for well-established and maintained support channels, which can include highly functional chat bots as well as building a knowledgebase such as FAQs and blog posts. One trend to watch is live databases, where content can be consistently uploaded, including short, standardized macro responses and wider reference systems. The fantastic news for businesses is that self service support can diversify approaches and provide unique and actionable consumer analytics.
- Omnichannel customer service
The internet has fostered a highly connected modern lifestyle. As there are simply so many ways to reach people in 2024, customer support protocols that stick to phone calls and emails alone are going to be significantly setting themselves at a disadvantage. An omnichannel approach will ensure reach, boost consumer sentiment, and even improve conversion rates. Some of the top methods to incorporate include:
- Phone support
- Live chat
- Digital learning resources
- Social media profiles and direct messaging
- Text messages
- Integrating instant messaging services to apps such as WhatsApp and Viber
It can be worthwhile for businesses to select the most impactful methods as opposed to offering all of them. Interestingly, there is an array of software and services out there that can help keep omnichannel support all in one place.
- Proactive customer service
A proactive approach to offering important information is one of the newer emerging customer support trends. This relies on understanding what consumers are likely to need and offering support before questions are asked. For example, if you know that your business is going to be experiencing system updates or bug fixes that could potentially lead to downtime, alert customers ahead of time to negate the likely influx of queries.
This is a fantastic solution for businesses in B2B SaaS, finance, and e-commerce niches in particular, as these are more likely to experience issues that can be addressed before complaints are made.
The benefits of outstanding customer service
When you want to maximize brand potential and ensure you properly cater to your consumers, customer service trends have the unique ability to cover a broad spectrum across the business landscape.
The advantages of staying on top of the latest trends include:
- Establishing a trusting and actionable rapport with consumers
- Promote brand loyalty
- Gain deeper insights into consumer needs and sentiment
- Boost customer satisfaction
- Staying one step ahead in ever-changing landscapes
The benefits don’t stop here however, and rewards can be felt on a business level, as the most relevant customer service trends can improve company culture, streamline communications internally, and simplify workflows for better team morale.
Why update approaches and meet customer service trends today?
Staying on top of the latest trends will mean setting yourself ahead of the competition.
There are many aspects of business that will be imperative to success, so fully utilizing opportunities at every level of business will only have its advantages. Whether you decide to opt for AI integration or to work with a professional customer service training platform, be sure to find the best approaches for both your employees and your target audience for the most worthwhile results.