Customer service and support expectation trends have undergone extensive changes. Learn more about 2021’s trends and stay ahead of the pack.
The e-commerce space presents unique challenges for business owners. Without personal interaction in a brick and mortar store, companies must work harder at maintaining the client relationship.
Keeping ahead of the latest customer service and support expectation trends is one way for businesses to differentiate themselves. Knowing what the top customer support trends for 2021 is essential for any e-commerce project.With that in mind, based on the statistics and customer behaviour research in Support as a Service company SupportYourApp, I would like to share some interesting insights into what we can expect 2021 to bring.
What are the Top Customer Support Trends?
Top of the List of Customer Service and Support Expectation Trends
This one may come as something of a surprise, especially as our “new normal” entails avoiding people. 47% of consumers, however, prefer to deal with human support. Some believe that it’s easier to have their queries resolved during a live consultation with a human.
90% of clients value high-quality service above all other factors when determining brand loyalty. They don’t believe that emotionless bots are capable of delivering the empathetic service they deserve.
Be Clear About When You Use AI
That’s not to say that consumers aren’t interested in AI-based solutions. 62% of clients are amenable to the idea when it improves service delivery. Firms must implement such solutions carefully and let clients know that they have.
39% of clients are nervous about AI because they don’t believe companies are honest about deploying the technology. Considering the various data harvesting and fake news scandals underpinned by AI, that’s hardly surprising.
Video Chat is About to Become One of the Major Customer Support Trends
While only around 6% of clients choose video chat for support, 47% feel that it’s highly useful for first contact resolution. The Oracle study that uncovered this information concluded before COVID-19 began.
With the rapid uptake of video apps, the pandemic was made necessary; we can expect video chat to move to service channels. Being face to face with the client makes it easier for consultants to connect with them. It’s also reassuring for consumers to see that they’re dealing with a person.
Not all clients will be comfortable with video chats, so firms should provide alternatives.
Move Toward a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
Going forward, 91% of consumers expect companies to provide a consistent experience across every touchpoint. As an e-commerce provider, you’re at an advantage. You don’t have to coordinate your online and brick and mortar efforts.
You’re able to create a single contact point for client contact. At this center, clients may query everything from stock availability to technical difficulties on the website. The ideal setup draws together all modes of communication, such as:
- Social media remarks
- In-portal requests
Why not Create Separate Departments?
The conventional approach doesn’t work for the modern consumer. 59% of clients feel that companies are failing to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience. Clients want to experience unity within the company, no matter what department they’re contacting.
Service Through Social Media
Clients spend much time on social media. They share and like your posts, but they want a bit more from you going forward. Consumers often find it easier to communicate with your firm via social media.
Businesses must put more effort into managing their pages. They need to acknowledge all comments by clients, particularly the good ones. Making their fans feel appreciated pays dividends in the long-term.
Support Goes Mobile
A little over half of the global population uses mobile devices to access the Internet. Companies that ignore that fact are making a grievous error. Firms should consider adding messenger apps such as WhatsApp to their support options. If they haven’t already done so, they may also create an app for their clients to use.
Customer Success is 2021’s Buzzword
Companies conventionally provide reactive service. In other words, when the client has a problem, they initiate contact. With 60% of consumers willing to look elsewhere after just one bad service experience, reactive service is a luxury you cannot afford.
Going forward, companies will need to seek out potential sticking points for clients actively. They should also reach out to the affected clients and ensure that they understand the workarounds. Where no issues exist, firms should still contact the client as a courtesy.
By doing things this way, firms ensure that they get the best possible use from their product. They’ll neither need nor want to look for an alternative.
We most often associate co-browsing with IT support. Going forward, we can expect it to become a useful service tool. Your support consultants may shop websites with your client, showing them items that might be suitable.
It’s the online equivalent of having a salesperson in a store. Your client gets personalized service, and it becomes easier to close the sale.
Top Self-Service Customer Support Trends
One of the top self-service customer support trends we see going forward is that clients want to find their answers. Forms must make it simple to do so by providing a knowledge base that’s easy to search. Incorporating an AI-based search tool to interpret client queries might be helpful here as well.
Customer portals should increasingly be able to handle more complex tasks. Firms should also consider simple messenger systems and self-service menus that allow clients to call up the information that they need in a hurry.
Clients should always have the option to escalate queries to the support desk within every system. By providing a good combination of self-service and professional real-time support, the company wins.
Client expectations going into 2021 are higher than ever. Firms must focus on delivering support in a manner the customer finds convenient. Those that miss this opportunity will soon fall behind their competition.
Customer loyalty is no longer a safeguard against poor service delivery. If you disappoint your clients, they’ll find a more reliable firm.