Today’s customers are more informed and connected than ever before and the balance of power has shifted. When it comes to conversations between customers and businesses – the customer is in control. The number of channels that customers use to engage with businesses is increasing. Providing top-notch customer care is more important than ever and according to Microsoft’s annual U.S. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, 98% of U.S. consumers say that customer service is very important or somewhat important in their choice of or loyalty to a brand. Let’s take a look at some current customer service trends.
A large percentage of customers are looking up solutions to issues on their own before picking up the phone. Mobile capabilities have allowed customers to easily access the information they need while on the go. Currently, web self-service has passed the phone channel as the most popular resource. So what does this mean for customer care centers? Well, as this trend continues, it is becoming increasingly important for organizations to provide an updated and streamlined knowledge approach to their customers’ needs.
2. More Knowledgeable Agents
When customers are unable to solve issues with self-service, they will escalate these issues to live agents through various channels like phone, email, chat, among others. It is now very important for agents to be ready to answer questions that are more complex when self-service portals don’t cut it. Customers are demanding quick answers to questions and a poor live agent experience can be a detriment to building a positive customer relationship. This trend is highlighting the importance of agents having quick access to their own knowledge database in order to provide accurate solutions.
3. Personalized Experiences
Customers want the agents they interact with to have access to their information– such as location, history, recent purchases – in order to understand their needs quickly. Empowering agents to deliver these personalized experiences are necessary, as these interactions are major drivers for customer loyalty. This means agents will need access to accurate customer data that will help provide a personalized and proactive experience.
Customers are reaching businesses across many different platforms. Whether by phone, live chat, or social media customers are expecting to receive a consistent experience across these different channels. Customers also expect to be able to start an inquiry with one channel and be able to transfer this interaction to another channel—without having to restart the entire conversation. This means that businesses need to ensure that knowledge management is accurate for all channels. Agents must also be trained to handle these omni-channel inquiries efficiently and they must have access to customer information regardless of channel type.
So how do businesses meet the changing needs of their customers? It is very important for customer care centers to begin adopting omni-channel service capabilities, to empower agents to handle inquiries that are more complex, and to prioritize personalized service. Stay tuned on Thursday to learn more about common customer care complaints and how to solve them. In the meantime, download our CRM for Customer Care: 9 Successful Deployment Strategies eBook to help you get started.