Today, businesses know that their relationships with customers serve as the lifeblood that keeps their venture alive and kicking. With that, different industries now make an effort to offer solutions, inventions, products, or services designed to make life better for people in some way or form. The power is with the people, making customer service one of the biggest drivers of gaining long-lasting customer loyalty.
After all, what is a brand without the support of its audience? While it’s true that businesses from different sectors have been pushing their efforts to create better customer experiences, the pandemic took a blow on the economy in ways that emphasized the importance of establishing meaningful connections.
Customer Services Today: A Glimpse After the Pandemic
An influx of troubled customers grappled with reaching out to businesses, but the COVID-19 outbreak was so new that service teams faced challenges that had no formula to fall back on. With no right answers to offer and satisfy customers, this puts a greater demand on training so customer support teams can meet needs no matter the situation.
Post-pandemic also increased expectations; 59 percent of consumers are now more critical about a company’s customer service before extending their support. So, it’s no surprise to see businesses everywhere doubling down their strategies to make their services more approachable, accessible, and adaptable for a vastly diverse society.
As brands strive to become more agile to adapt and increase the service team’s visibility in the company to give them more resources to do their job better, we take a look into the future of customer service in 2021 and beyond.
Exploring the Trends Dominating the Customer Service Industry in 2021
Trending #1: Greater Care for the Agent Experience (AX)
Even before the pandemic, companies know to put customers first to earn their loyalty. But to achieve a truly lasting, meaningful, and strong customer experience falls on the shoulders of the agents who execute your brand’s strategy. They are the vessels that make it possible to have deeper relationships with customers, and now businesses understand that making customers happy is a two-way street.
Before customers can be given the best quality service, companies need to prioritize their teams by empowering them through holistic support to boost their morale. After all, a happy employee is more willing to go the extra mile and work hard, creating a positive domino effect that boosts your customer experience.
Trending #2: Seamless and Omnichannel Communication
Customer service is all about communication, so it makes sense to take the experience to greater heights by ironing out inefficiencies in your company’s internal processes. Instead of relying on a channel-by-channel approach, an omnichannel strategy allows you to have better control and management over all the available communication lines you have.
Live chatbots, and automated emails no longer cut it—now, what’s best for people is to contact you in their preferred platform and receive the same level of quality, response, and effort as other methods. So be it answering queries on Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, email, or your website, customers now expect and demand a seamless, omnichannel communication where they can instantly open conversations with your business.
Trending #3: Greater Transparency from the C-Suite
Brands nowadays can put up a caring facade by hopping on topics that people are passionate about. However, if you look behind the scenes, many executive-level managers still treat employees and customers carelessly. Transparency has recently become an important factor for brands, but now, it’s no longer limited to how the customer agents act.
Consumers want greater transparency up to the c-suite in order to feel a stronger connection with your brand. While that doesn’t mean executive leaders and your CEO should hop on whatever bandwagon they find online such as making viral TikTok videos, consumers want to see more heart and humanity in how C-suite directors run their business.
People no longer want to support businesses that only aim to make money. Nowadays, it’s all about revolutionizing the industry by putting c-level strategies back on the drawing board so businesses can take on more empowered and thoughtful leadership. This means CEOs need to be more open to making difficult conversations, accept accountability for their actions, and hopefully join the effort to provide better experiences for everyone.
Trending #4: Next Level Personalization
Businesses have been working on providing a more personalized experience for customers in the past few years, but now it needs to evolve into hyper-personalization wherein consumers can reach out to brands in the most efficient and tailored way possible. Some ways to improve your personalization strategy involves the following tactics:
- Provide comprehensive customer data that allows your customer service team to instantly access and personalize their approach;
- Constantly update and organize customer data with the help of a unified system. Automated tools and a dedicated team can help keep your customer persona database up-to-date and adjustable in real-time;
- Improve analytics by making it more accessible and easier to understand so your customer service team can track their progress. With a wider overview of their performances and other metrics, they can gain more valuable insights to offer more actionable solutions to improve their services.
The Bottom Line: Reaching For the Golden Age of Customer Service
Customer service decades ago looked like personal interactions between the consumer in question and the company, but now the internet and people’s increasingly digital shift opened the stage for everyone to join in on the conversation.
There’s no doubt that customer service is now taking charge of how businesses handle customer relationships. The list above hones in on the different ways brands can achieve this industry-changing shift.
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