Over the next few years, we will see customer service adapt and change into something bigger, faster, and perhaps a bit more robotic (in the best sense of the word). Your customers will expect more because they’re already used to more. In a world of Kenyan and global customers with a wealth of information instantly at their fingertips, answers will be immediate, they will be tailored to whichever channel customers are using, and humans will still be available to step in where needed.
We all need to say goodbye to the old way of doing things, and maybe double-check auto replies. We are at a turning point where customer experience has been catapulted into an automated era – one that doesn’t show any signs of stopping soon.
How can your business adapt to these changes, and remain competitive? Being aware of the trends, is a good place to start. Let's look at some of the key trends to look out for in customer service in 2022.
Integrated customer service
In the same way that many purchase journeys take place across multiple platforms and devices, so too do many customer service queries. The more complex the issue, the more likely it is there will be multiple contact points with your customer service team and multiple platforms and devices involved. Being able to aggregate customer service conversations into a single dashboard is the key to providing a smooth, omnichannel customer service experience. CM.com’s Mobile Service Cloud delivers a cross-platform interface to enable you to continue the conversation, regardless of how your customer contacts you - whether that be WhatsApp, Email, Instagram Messaging or more.
Consumers are becoming more and more familiar with chatbots and, consequently, more comfortable interacting with them. Scripted chatbots, whilst effective in some circumstances, are less useful when you’re dealing with a broad range of queries. An AI chatbot, on the other hand, can use machine learning to understand the correct response to particular queries and conduct its own search of your website, for example, to find the answer to questions not already in its database. Customers expect to be able to get the answer to their query quickly and an AI chatbot can get up-to-speed with your business more quickly than a new agent and can also provide customisable out-of-hours support. In 2022, if you can’t give consumers the answer they need quickly, expect them to go elsewhere.
Hybrid customer service
Getting the right mix between technology and human interaction is a delicate balancing act, but customers expect to be able to switch seamlessly between artificial and human interactions when required. In 2022, with so many technology options available to customer support teams, ensuring that you don’t go too far down the automation route at the expense of customer experience will be the difference between creating advocates and enemies.
Combining the power of a chatbot with the familiarity of voice, voicebots offer speed, personalisation and convenience for the customer, and can field simple queries before handing off to an agent should things become more complex. Ultimately, voicebots can quickly triage incoming calls to ensure your agents are dealing with the most complex queries in an efficient manner, saving them the time and effort of dealing with a conversation that’s better suited to a voicebot. Download our guide to customer service voicebots to find out more about how they can make your customer service more effective.
Customer service from home
With the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning to recede, customer support teams, just like many of the rest of us, won’t relish the idea of returning to the office. Having proven – after some false starts – that customer support can be delivered remotely, many agents and companies will be keen to continue the trend. Key to this will be the ability to monitor conversations effectively and respond across platform and device, and to manage inter-departmental and inter-agent conversations effectively using a tool such as CM.com’s Agent Inbox, part of Mobile Service Cloud. This has the potential to revolutionise the experience of customer service agents and provide effective remote customer support for consumers.
Real-time and 24/7 support
Customer expectations are sky high and will only increase as more brands begin to offer automated out-of-hours and instant customer service. Being available quickly and, crucially, when your customer wants to talk to you is more important than ever. Chatbots and voicebots – combined with an omnichannel customer support dashboard that lets you see conversations that begin and end on different platforms and devices – will offer a solution to weary customer support teams who have plenty to deal with within office hours alone.
Hyper-personalised customer support
Knowing who your customer is, their previous order history, and perhaps some of their personal details before they tell you can make customers feel valued. Dealing with your customers as individuals and delivering a bespoke customer experience increases the likelihood they will share their positive experience and become an advocate for your brand. In 2022, having a data solution that allows for this level of personalisation will become more crucial than ever, as customers continue to expect brands to interact with them digitally. The excuses afforded by the pandemic won’t wash in 2022.
Increasingly consumers are getting used to solving their issues with no human contact whatsoever. Given the desire to free up customer service for complex queries that require a human touch, self-service is an obvious choice.
Building a knowledge base for customers allows them to find the answers to their questions without needing to interact with any kind of human or AI interface. CM.com’s Conversational AI Cloud includes support for building your own knowledge base, allowing your customers to self-serve and freeing up your customer service team’s time.
CM.com’s Mobile Service Cloud and Conversational AI Cloud have been designed from the ground up to help you provide exceptional service to your customers. With an integrated CDP, chatbots, voicebots, and a powerful omnichannel messaging dashboard, these solutions will help you supercharge your customer interactions.