Businesses today are more customer centric than before. Good customer service is heralded as the single most important factor to determine the success of any organization. As such, the need to improve customer service is vital for maintaining a good position in a competitive market.
Trends to develop better customer service affects, not just the customer, but also investors and prepares the business to succeed. These call center trends are evolving every day. To stay ahead in the game, organizations need to adapt to customer demands quickly and efficiently.
Many call centers stick to tried and tested ways of improving business. They are usually conservative and make changes to their policies slowly. By doing so, they lose their competitive advantage. Customer service is more than a solution-providing mechanism. It is a complex system that involves building a lasting relationship that is beneficial to both the customer and the business. The symbiosis of a service provider and service recipient forms the core of a highly successful company. This is the main reason call centers have become a vital cog in an organizational wheel.
Here are six call center trends for 2016 that will bring about a change in the working of your business.
- Personalizing the experience
Customers will not remember the issue they had or the solution that was provided. What they will remember is the personal interaction they experienced with the agent. Emotions have a lasting effect on the psyche. Instilling positive emotions into customer interactions makes them opt for the same service in future. It is far easier to retain customers than it is to find a new one. Loyal customers will, many times if not always, guarantee a positive review of the product or service. Feedback is another way to personalize the customer experience. Using customer feedback call centers can modify or change their policies accordingly. Simple, automated, and modern user interfaces will help agents improve their productivity and engage in better customer handling. Shifting from a scripted, almost robotic service to a more personal touch will greatly improve business.
- Providing support for multiple platforms through multiple channels
Mobile devices are the present and future of technology. Everything is done on the go. Providing customers support on their mobile devices will help increase business offerings over time. Many smart apps and support software can be installed on their devices so they can contact the call center anytime, anywhere. Optimizing communication modes such as email, chat, SMS, social media, smartphone applications, IVR, and videos for mobile devices will provide a positive turnover for businesses. Customers may reach out via phone, live-chat, or any other medium. Integrating these options will provide a unified view of the customer and diversify their interaction across channels.
- Customer journey mapping
The lifecycle of a customer does not end with the interaction. It is a continuous process of understanding the needs of the customer and delivering their expectations. Over a period of time, the customer’s interactions with the business are traced and recorded. It may focus on a single experience or provide an overview of their experiences. It will help the business track any changes in the customer’s journey, identify gaps in service, or any point of friction during service. Using this map, organizations can develop a more accommodating and interactive customer service plan.
- Offering better self-service options
Not everyone is comfortable with talking to an agent. Customers like to solve issues on their own. By providing an IVR, FAQ section, or interactive applications, customers are more likely to use the service again. Intelligent self-service tools can be the competitive advantage for an organization. By doing so, customers will be able to eliminate the need to talk and interact with a live agent that may or may not lead to a solution.
- Including a “Call Back” option
Busy customers despise having to wait for long periods on an interaction. Customer frustration on being put on hold takes precedence over interaction with a rude agent. A ‘callback’ or ‘virtual hold’ is a procedure wherein the customer is given the option to receive a callback within a calculated time that amounts to the same time if they had to wait on hold. They can also schedule a callback for a convenient time. Customers who experience callbacks feel their time is more respected and valued.
- Investing in a cloud-based technology center
Many brands invest a lot in traditional systems that no longer support current call center trends. They are forced to build and manage complex platforms involving a huge workforce and multiple vendors. Businesses that use cloud-based systems are more agile and quick to adapt to changes in customer behavior. They can manage representatives and project deployments easily. The need to employ a multitude of developers and agents are reduced because the solutions implemented are not complex. Also, the amount saved by switching to cloud systems can be used in training and investing in newer solutions for customer service.