Top 5 Customer Service Trends for 2013
The changing landscape of the consumer experience means that businesses must to adapt to new ways of reaching their customers. Even customer service is changing, becoming more dynamic and interactive as time goes by. Here are five customer service trends that businesses should consider for the coming year.
People expect to be able to find their favorite brands on social media sites, and these channels give businesses a way to interact directly with customers in real time. That means staying on top of social interactions and being consistent with responses. It’s not enough to set up an account; in order to meet customer expectations, companies need to be active participants in social media.
Faster speeds and better connectivity continue to contribute to the growth of mobile consumerism. People are already using Smartphones and tablets to make purchases and gather information. Smart businesses will make it a priority in 2013 to improve the mobile experience by allowing customers to contact customer service from anywhere, offering mobile-friendly service solutions such as video chat and adapting marketing methods to take advantage of location-based data.
In order to deliver the best possible customer service, it’s essential to know what customers are thinking. Gathering customer opinions using social media, customer feedback receipt surveys, online polls and other tools allows businesses to see what strategies are working and what needs to be changed. Active customer feedback management gives a clear picture of consumer attitudes and can help companies improve overall customer experience.
Between social sharing, mobile “check-ins” and past purchase behavior, there’s a wealth of customer information available for businesses to tap into. As long as people are willing to share personal information with their favorite brands, it will be possible for companies to tailor the customer service experience to each individual and create highly personal interactions.
Speed and Availability
When a customer posts a query on a social media site or visits a business website looking for answers, they expect to find what they need as quickly as possible. Changing customer service channels and the shift to a customer-centered model means that businesses should be prepared to handle customer questions and concerns at all times.
Meeting customers where they are, providing timely responses and listening to customer feedback are all invaluable parts of today’s customer service strategies. As consumers begin to come to companies through new and different channels, it’s important for businesses to adapt to achieve optimal customer satisfaction.
Hayley is a business consultant, author and blogger residing in Portland Oregon.