With the hope and foresight of a new year now here, many executives are now proactively looking at new ways to grow their business in 2021, drive profitability, and improve the satisfaction and loyalty of their customer base.
So, how exactly can they achieve all of that? Investing in a superior customer experience (CX) is the most powerful move your organization can make this year.
In fact, companies may already be well on their way to achieving high-quality customer experiences. A recent study from McKinsey found that mose C-suite executives have led their companies to digitize at least some part of their business to protect employees and serve customers facing mobility restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 crisis - which could have saved five years on the adoption of digital tools.
With that in mind, Advantage Communications has listed the five most important customer experience trends to address in your business strategy this year.
#1 - Invest in the digital experience
There’s no doubt about it, the customer journey has changed dramatically in the last few years - and this change has been accelerated even further in 2020. In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers now want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods (UC Today).
You can no longer expect your customers to solely want to contact you through a traditional phone call (but don’t get us wrong traditional phone customer service is still hugely important). Instead, your business must invest in the digital experience and provide multiple touchpoints that allow your customers to contact you on the medium, and time, that they prefer.
#2 - Be scalable and agile for seasonal demands
In 2020 we all learned that to keep our customers happy we had to move fast. Customer service departments had to find ways to meet new demands from customers, they had to reach out to customers on new communication channels, and they had to deal with significant fluctuations in buying demand.
The lesson? Successful customer experiences in 2021 rely on customer service teams being agile and flexible in nature. This improved agility will help businesses meet new customer demands quickly, as well as improve their scalability to rapidly meet seasonal buying patterns.
#3 - Find a strong balance between human and automation
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the future, but that doesn’t mean it’s replacing humans. Actually, it means the complete opposite. Contact center AI should be used to enhance the performance of highly-skilled and experienced customer service agents.
Artificial intelligence can be used to dramatically improve your CX by providing your customers with round-the-clock care, reaching your customers on their favourite devices (such as through the use of chatbots), taking simple tasks away from agents so they can focus on high-value queries and reducing human error.
#4 - Use real-time data to improve customer service interactions
Artificial intelligence also has its place in providing real-time feedback to customer service agents that improve their interactions with customers.
Technologies such as live call guidance and operational intelligence are AI tools that provide real-time data and advice to customer service agents to help guide better interactions with customers. These technologies enhance agent performance and significantly improve the customer experience.
#5 - Don’t forget to keep investing in your phone customer service
67 percent of customers hang up the phone in frustration when they cannot reach a customer service representative (Glance), and this can destroy your relationship with a customer.
But what if you had a strategy in place that ensured customers were dealt with in a timely and effective manner? Well that would certainly help drive customer satisfaction in your brand, especially when considering a staggering 48 percent of customers still want to interact with your company via a phone call (HubSpot).
We hope these customer experience trends give you an idea of what your organization should be looking to achieve as you move into 2021. If you have any further questions about your customer service strategy or improving your CX then please contact us today. Our team of customer experience professionals would love to answer any questions that you may have.