With technology continuously revolutionizing each field and customer expectations constantly growing, it is vital that the customer support industry also evolves and keeps up to date with the latest developments. The customer support industry is on the cusp of a major transformation due the rise of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR). Smart companies are already looking ahead and trying to predict what the future of the customer support industry will look like. In this article, we will go through five pivotal trends that are likely to shape the future of the customer support industry and provide insights into how you can incorporate them in your organization.
1. AI-Powered Solutions
Tremendous strides have been made in the advancement of artificial intelligence over the past few years. It is already being used by a number of companies in some capacity, but with recent developments its use is sure to become ubiquitous, revolutionizing the customer support sphere as we know it. AI systems, such as chatbots or voice assistants, can significantly lessen wait time, offering support 24/7, 365 days a year. Through machine learning, these systems will also be able to analyze customer interactions, foresee their needs, and provide instant personalized responses, further enhancing the customer experience and optimizing customer satisfaction.
AI-based solutions will also help free up human agents to focus on more challenging issues by handling the more repetitive routine customer requests.
2. Omnichannel Support
With the rise of social media and other communication mediums, customers want more than just the options of phone calls and email when it comes to contacting customer support. By implementing an omnichannel approach, you give customers the ability to contact you through their preferred medium, improving customer satisfaction. However, it is imperative that you maintain a consistent presence across all channels, whether it be social media or emails, live chat or phone calls, customers will expect the same level of service from each and every channel.
Omnichannel support doesn’t just help improve customer experience, but it also makes it easier for you to track customer issues, manage relevant information, monitor customer interactions, and collect valuable customer data, all of which can be used to further improve the level of support provided. A report from Aberdeen Strategy & Research indicates that companies with high-quality omnichannel support have a 91% higher year-on-year increase in average customer retention rate when compared to companies without omnichannel support.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality is no longer something just used in the gaming and the entertainment industries, it has developed into a practical tool that can be used by businesses in a whole host of capacities. VR can transform the troubleshooting process by immersing the customer and agent in the same virtual environment, where the agent can virtually walk the customer through every step of the problem-solving process, eliminating the need for lengthy calls or text-based explanations, further enhancing the customer experience.
VR can also be used to improve agent training by providing interactive and immersive training sessions, where agents can experience a whole range of real-life scenarios, helping them to fine-tune and perfect their problem-solving skills and response times.
4. Data-Driven Decision Making
Data analytics is becoming increasingly in demand in providing top-tier customer support. By collecting, analyzing, and utilizing customer data, support teams gain a deeper comprehension of customer needs and preferences. Data-driven insights can help heads of support to track trends, predict customer needs, gauge performance metrics, and pinpoint areas of improvement. Moreover, it can help customer support executives make informed decisions and efficiently allocate resources. Taking such a proactive approach to support helps businesses to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction and better retain existing customers.
5. Enhanced Self-Service Solutions
Nowadays, many customers prefer to find solutions to their problems themselves before reaching out to support as they become more tech-savvy. By integrating a number of self-service options into support channels, businesses can help empower customers and reduce the workload on support agents. Developing comprehensive knowledge bases featuring FAQs, tutorials, how-to videos, and detailed articles and guides on products and services will help in providing customers with curated content to resolve issues.
Integrating self-service options into support channels helps empower customers and reduce the load on support agents. Knowledge bases, FAQs, and tutorials are essential and will need to be continually updated, comprehensive, and accessible.
The future of the customer support industry is dynamic, as businesses continue to evolve and develop in line with technological advancements, heads of customer support must keep up-to-date with emerging trends and be ready to adapt to them. It is clear that the industry is on the edge of a radical transformation and by embracing innovations like AI-powered solutions, VR technology, omnichannel support, data analytics, and improved self-service solutions, companies can stay ahead of the curve, ensure exceptional customer experience, and position themselves for success in the ever-evolving field of customer support.