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TOP 5 customer support trends in 2021

World-wide changes have turned upside down the boldest expert forecasts. Challenged by ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic it has never been harder to predict what we all may expect in the world of consumer trends and customer service. 

 

Cutting costs, changing employee work environment, scaling customer service leaves little room for mistakes in your customers’ journey. Any misleading actions can lead to a loss in potential revenue thus giving the head start to your competitors.

 

Luckily technology is also adapting to change rapidly to deliver a truly seamless customer experience which means the businesses are striving hard to keep up with a constant change in consumer behavior.

 

So what are the major trends we’re heading in 2021 on our way to winning customers’ hearts? Let’s dig deeper.

1. Proactive service, sales support

 

The digital era of communication brings a new type of customers who are mobile, always online, and armed with the information as ever before. For businesses of any size, it means no matter who the customer is talking to he\she wants to be treated as if you know everything about their purchasing history so that their sales and service wishes meet in one place. It’s possible due to cross-functional collaboration when sales and service teams work on one platform.

 

The customer-centric approach becomes a strategic growth engine where cross-departmental collaboration is the key part. With the right technology tools enabling a single customer view, service agents have the possibility to solve issues faster and sales teams - to gain more leads and close more deals. Sales reps demand customer service to be integrated into their sales process so they don’t miss any potential deals. 

 

If you would like to be among the top performers in your excellent customer service strategy make sure you use the right tool to connect your service and salespeople on one platform. 

2. Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots


Nowadays more and more businesses consider artificial intelligence as an integral part of successful customer relationship management. Chatbots and AI-enabled communication are a new normal now. 


Artificial intelligence automates many processes which help to reduce the workload of many team members and allows companies to deliver the service faster and smarter.

Yet AI still needs to be trained to make it smarter in the customer service experience. So there’s no need to be afraid it will substitute people in their workplaces. They can work hand to hand in the future.


Chatbots in their turn can handle multiple customer queries at once which isn’t possible to make by a human. It’s especially handy for businesses that have super busy call centers. Chatbots driven by a knowledge database can manage FAQ easily. When the issue is too complicated for a chatbot it’s been addressed to a live agent.


In the time of scaling customer service (that we observe right now) technology, artificial intelligence, and big data become absolute must-haves for any business. With the right CRM platform equipped with AI, you will make your employees more productive and efficient enabling them to concentrate on more complex customer issues.

3. Convert voice to text

 

Call-centers used to be overloaded with writing down the calls as it was demanded by the customer service interaction policy. It took time and decreased agent productivity. 

The current trend shows that more and more speech-to-text software appears on the market to make customer service smooth and more automated. And here we’re talking about the solutions embedded into the CRM platform and not just about applications for various messengers.  Service Cloud Voice is one of them as an example. 

 

Working from one integrated CRM platform agents can use intelligent cloud telephony, IVR, call routing, and storage to close cases faster and more efficiently. With the help of voice transcription powered by AI inside Service Cloud Voice, agents can reduce time spent on the phone call handling. AI analyzes customers’ written conversations and offers the best articles from the knowledge database hereby arming the service agents with the right tools to serve issues faster.

4. Personalization of support towards the client

 

We know that loyal customers deliver value and drive growth for your company, but, the reality is that you're not dealing with just a few customers at a time. You're dealing with thousands and sometimes millions of them. 

 

Personalization has become a top trend in the world of customer service. To achieve your personalization approach on the top level you need to follow the next steps.

  • Make sure your customer service data is easily accessible to your service agents.
  • Provide constant updates of your customer database and segment it accordingly. Tailor all possible information to your buyer persona and make sure you adjust this information in real-time mode.
  • Use the analytics that demonstrates relevant ROI-generating insights.
  • Equip your service team with smart technology customer service software to meet the customers’ expectations and increase added value to your company.

 

In other words, if you’ve made your customers happy in outperforming their expectations means you have full control over their buying decisions. What could be better, agree?

5. Omnichannel


Due to the Covid pandemic, many businesses closed their shops and transferred themselves completely online. Many of them are still adapting to the digital customer service model trying to satisfy customers’ expectations virtually.


Consumers tend to demand a personalized approach while interacting with different brands on various digital sources. And no matter what media they use they want to be treated smoothly and holistically. And it’s the moment when omnichannel steps forward. 


Omnichannel means seamless customer interactions via any channel preferred by the consumer: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, chatbot, SMS, email, phone, or IoT. And if you still don’t focus your efforts towards omnichannel  – now it’s the best time to do it. 


Solely offering a service isn’t enough anymore. Customers demand new types of conversations and it’s not about the live chat only. They want to connect with you via their preferred communication channel and immediately. 


With such a tendency we’ll observe more and more businesses transfer their customer service approach to omnichannel in 2021 and further on.

In the conclusion 

 

Delivering exceptional customer service obtains a different meaning in 2021. Companies need to be super proactive to keep customers’ loyalty and provide satisfying customer service. Above mentioned trends show that even more focus will be made on technology-driven tools enhancing automated customer support. 

Make sure you know your customers’ communication preferences and have the right tools that can simplify a digital approach to customer engagement and remote service efficiency.