The role of the customer service professional has never been more important to the growth of revenue, loyalty and market share as it is today, and will continue to be year over year. The importance of the customer experience is not new to most of us. For the most part, we have been aggressively reading up on it, planning our strategies, implementing, and testing–its hard work!
As we continue to understand the customer experience and its effects, this blog will highlight the top 6 customer experience trends as predicted for 2016. You can download the full guide here. Enjoy!
1. Integration of Digital and Traditional Channels are a Must!
A robust customer service strategy must assume a holistic online-offline perspective. With the proliferation of communication channels and devices, customers expect to be able to start an interaction in one channel and complete it in another.
In 2016, the customer service industry will continue to think about ways to create customer-centric, omni-channel experiences. The end goal is to focus on the user experience and create one-to-one relationships with customers integrated across all their favorite channels – email, SMS, video, chat, social media, and phone.
2. Understand Obstacles that Hinder an Effortless Experience
From multiple call transfers to slow systems, there are numerous causes to an increase in customer effort. These obstacles are not always easy to identify, making them difficult to remove. To begin to reduce customer effort, you need to understand the customer journey and the obstacles that get in the way of an effortless experience.
3. Balance Emotional Vs. Operational Measures
Traditional measures such as Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS) and First Contact Resolution (FCR) seem to be the common measures to understand the customer’s perception of the support they receive. Are these the right measures for your business? Maybe, maybe not. Most organizations are trying to solve for (or should be trying to solve for) reducing customer effort, increasing the customer experience and increasing brand loyalty, but we have operational needs to consider as well like cost, handle time and adherence to schedule. How do you balance both without hindering the experience?
4. Employee Engagement
The customer experience is nothing without customer-oriented service, and customer-oriented service is impossible without people. Consumers 2020 reports that by the year 2020, the customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. If this is true (and as customer service professionals, we are already seeing this upward trend), we need to treat our employees as we want them to treat our customers.
5. Follow The Data: Proactive And Predictive Engagement
Customer engagement strategies are fueled by customer data. Understanding what customers have done, what channels they’ve used, what products they’ve purchased and what service interactions they’ve had are all important data sources that can be used to build predictive models. Leverage cookie data and past-purchase data to help develop and train models. These models are critical in helping service teams understand which customers need your attention, which customers are about to churn, which customers are most likely to purchase again or buy more frequently, and which customers are likely to call in and check the status of an order, claim or billing issue.
6. The Rise of the Integrated Marketing Journey
We see the lines that separate marketing and customer service blurring. As marketing and service teams integrate, they can more easily formulate and execute a personalized approach to targeting and engaging with consumers using combined analytics and customer-driven insights. Full funnel marketing requires dynamic scripting and disposition strategies to assist with multi-channel, multi-touch streams that are relevant and meaningful to the consumer. It is important to nurture the consumer along their journey in a way that resonates at the right buying points.
In 2016, it will be about learning to communicate with customers not just during the purchase process, or during the reactive customer service call. Instead, it will be about learning to have a proactive dialogue with your customers, before the purchase and in-between purchases.
Get the full details of each trend, along with eye-opening data and statistics to help you with your 2016 planning by downloading the full guide here.