According to research by Gartner, 89 percent of executives are betting on customer experience as their primary mode of competition before the end of 2016.
However, over the last few decades, customer experience and service delivery veered away from personalized support and adopted a “call and wait” system while companies cut costs and installed voice-activated phone prompts. Today’s trends are all about personalization with a twist.
We want our personalized customer service to encompass a wide variety of platforms from social media to mobile while still being easy to use with lightning-fast responses.
At the end of 2014, Forrester reflected on current and rising trends in customer service including omni-channel support. The ability for customers to file a help desk ticket, call in or go to customer chat and still have a seamless experience became paramount during 2015. We’ve also seen more companies use preemptive service to resolve our issues with minimal interaction like when smartphones tell us a bug has been fixed and to update our operating system to resolve it.
Customer experience continues down a path of rapidly advancing technology with trends pointing to a virtual experience. From augmented shopping experiences to completely virtual call centers and agents, the future of customer service is already here. It’s a matter of when companies are ready to roll out a new system where customer experience rules all.
Augmented Shopping Experiences
Shopping experiences are poised to become increasingly augmented experiences with Lego blazing new trails. Its digital box interactive terminal lets customers hold up a box of Legos and see its contents fully assembled. Similarly, De Beers allows people to slip on virtual diamonds and jewelry through their computers to see how it looks and moves as they wear it in a 3-D environment.
Virtual Call Centers
Call centers are increasingly embracing a virtual environment where agents can be stationed anywhere around the world. This gives customers in Australia the ability to get routed directly to a customer service agent in their own country rather than in a call center in the United States. But there’s more to virtual call centers than just existing in the cloud.
Virtual call centers also need the ability to provide the seamless, omni-channel support customers want, along with the ability to highly personalize the service experience. Aspect Zipwire already offers omni-channel self-service and a cloud-based workforce with inbound, outbound and blended voice interaction. They opt for complete redundancy across every channel and the ability to personalize service to meet demands.
Advanced how-to content
Savvy consumers already Google how to put together products and troubleshoot issues. They also already take to social media to figure out how to make things work or complain directly to the company’s social media pages. More advanced companies develop robust YouTube pages to walk customers through high-end tutorials.
Tomorrow’s how-to content will become increasingly virtual with brands developing agents to analyze and digest complex information. With the help of rapidly advancing voice technology, these virtual agents can then respond with complex answers instantly and accurately via online or chat to duplicate what a virtual call center would respond with. Soon our products will quietly call in support, fix themselves and adopt to new trends without us being the wiser.