As consumers continue to spend more time at home, maintaining an effective online customer service presence is becoming more necessary than ever for businesses. Today’s customers have a lot of questions and expect a fast, first-class experience and personalized answers. Agents who aren’t using modern digital channels like SMS/text, web chat, and social direct messaging or leveraging the power of chatbots will struggle to keep up with multiple requests.
It’s not by chance that smart communication technology exists that can improve your customer service and provide greater convenience for your company and your customers. This list highlights the top customer experience trends for 2020 and how businesses are modernizing and improving customer service.
1. Offload Expensive Phone Calls to Messaging
It takes significant time and resources for a human agent to answer calls. As talented as humans are at multitasking, it’s impossible to juggle multiple, simultaneous phone calls. By offering options for text and live chat on your website, your business gives a caller the option to switch to a digital channel and engage with an agent immediately instead of waiting on hold.
Both messaging channels allow customers to respond to the message at their convenience. The end result is a more seamless experience for the customer when their needs aren’t put on hold.
2. Utilize Chatbots
Chatbots are automated programs that deliver information in a conversational way, like a human agent. Unlike a human agent, chatbots can handle countless requests simultaneously with almost instantaneous response times.
Chatbots can step in for agents experiencing over-crowded queues and quickly resolve basic requests — like scheduling appointments, collecting feedback, troubleshooting an issue, or answering the age-old question: “What is my order status?” But don’t think chatbots are simply used in place of human agents. Think of it as chatbots alongside human agents.
It’s true, chatbots, in many cases, can resolve customer inquiries without the intervention of a human agent but chatbots can be introduced at any point in the conversation to augment the work done by humans. For example, a chatbot could greet customers and collect important information prior to handing the conversation over to a human agent.
In another scenario, the human agent could transfer a conversation to a bot to collect information in the middle or end of a conversation. Once the bot has completed collecting information, the conversation is transferred back to the human agent. Bots can quickly handle the routine and repetitive tasks, like collecting order information, freeing up human sales, and service resources to focus on the more high-value tasks.
3. Transform Messages to the Richest Format
The easiest way to modernize your customer service to keep up with customer expectations is to send messages that match the sophisticated digital experiences they’re familiar with (think emojis, videos, photos, and memes). With rich communication services, businesses are able to send rich messages (cards, carousels, suggested replies) that exemplify the brand across all of the supported channels in the more modern ways customers are already using today, with their family and friends.
4. Adopt Mobile Messaging & On-Demand Service
The majority of Americans own a smartphone and carry around the capabilities to research, shop, and purchase products wherever they go. Optimize your website for mobile viewing so the answers customers want are just a tap away. With mobile messaging and on-demand, real-time service, contact with a representative from your company is immediate through text rather than dialing a number.
5. Implement Live Web Chat
Live chat is already a popular alternative to traditional calls, evidenced by expanding presence in business plans and rising satisfaction rates among customers who use it. In the same way your website is live 24/7, your customers expect agents to always be available. On-demand agents solve the challenge of your business’s schedule having to align with your customer’s. For organizations that do not have agents around the world in different time zones, a reliable chatbot offers around-the-clock messaging.