As technology evolves and consumer demographics shift, customer service trends have a tendency to either grow quickly, or fall by the wayside. But that’s not ideal for many businesses who are looking to stay up-to-date with those current customer service trends. At this point, knowing what’s coming is half the battle. So take a look at some of these customer service trends that we can expect to see in 2017.

Chatbots

Chatbots are going to continue to be a trend in 2017 as the technology behind them gets better, and businesses get better at using them to help customers.

It’s a plus for everyone when a machine can chat online with a customer and resolve their issue. But we also know that there are still plenty of limitations on what a chatbot can do and how far they can go before it becomes necessary for the customer to speak with a real person.

In a perfect scenario, the chatbot would recognize that it could no longer help, and would give the conversation over to a human representative in a smooth, seamless transfer. This is part of an overall push towards AI that also shouldn’t be ignored—both in terms of helping the customer, and assisting the representative providing customer service.

Omnichannel

Bringing to bear a comprehensive omnichannel strategy is an ideal proposition for customer service, but if you’ve researched it for your contact center, you know it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Allowing customers to use several different channels of communication for customer service can be difficult to implement.

Still, having quality customer service on all channels—and providing customers with the ability to switch seamlessly between those channels—is worth it in the long run. Customers want to have their questions answered quickly, no matter what channel they happen to be using. It’s a challenge, but it’s more important than ever in 2017.

Self-Service

This is partially driven by changing consumer demographics and attitudes, and self-service is going to keep trending in 2017.

That’s in part because of the attitude that Millennials—now the largest living generation in the U.S.—have towards customer service and problem solving. Most would rather attempt to figure out a problem using web resources on their own, before they make a phone call or send an email.

Providing the resources consumers need for self-service is a win-win, as it empowers them and increases satisfaction when they are able to figure something out on their own.

You can use that to your advantage, as well, by monitoring your FAQ section and any other self-service resources you provide. It will give you valuable insight on recurring problems and what information customers find most helpful.

It certainly seems like technology is pushing into the realm of traditional customer service and turning some aspects upside down. For more information on what the future may hold for contact centers, check out our post, “Are Social Media and Digital Tools Making Traditional Contact Centers Obsolete?”

 

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