In this blogpost:
- 12 Customer Contact Trends for 2023
- Trend 1: Omnichannel communication
- Trend 2: Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation
- Trend 3. Personal customer experience
- Trend 4. Proactive customer service
- Trend 5. Video support
- Trend 6. Strengthening self-service
- Trend 7. Focus on employee satisfaction
- Trend 8. Emotional intelligence in customer service
- Trend 9. Use of data analytics
- Trend 10. Sustainability and social responsibility in customer service
- Trend 11. Flexibility and resilience in customer service
- Trend 12. Humanity in customer service
- Download the brochure of Steam-connect
In today’s rapidly changing business world, customer contact is super important to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and growth. Today, more than ever, customers expect fast, personalized and seamless communication experiences with companies. Therefore, it is essential for your business to stay abreast of the latest trends and forecasts in the digital transformation of customer contact.
In this blog, we discuss 12 key
customer contact trends
and forecasts for 2023. By exploring and understanding these trends, you can improve your customer service strategies and set your business up for success in the years ahead.
12 Customer Contact Trends for 2023
Trend 1: Omnichannel communication
One of the key customer service trends that companies need to focus on is an omnichannel strategy. Consumers today expect a seamless and consistent experience regardless of the channel they use to contact a company. This means companies must invest in the ability to efficiently serve their customers through multiple communication channels, such as email, phone, social media and chatbots.
An omnichannel strategy means that customers can always communicate through the channel of their choice, without worrying about whether they are receiving the right information or having to explain their problem multiple times. This can help improve customer satisfaction and reduce customer frustration.
According to research, companies that take an omnichannel approach have higher customer satisfaction and are better able to retain customers. In fact, customers who communicate through multiple channels have 30% higher customer satisfaction scores than those who use only one channel.
A good example of a company successfully adopting an omnichannel approach is Coolblue. The company allows customers to communicate via phone, email, social media, chat and even WhatsApp.
The company also has physical stores where customers can get personalized advice. Thanks to this omnichannel approach, Coolblue has built an excellent reputation and achieved high customer satisfaction.
Trend 2: Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation
Artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in online customer contact, particularly in the form of AI chatbots and virtual assistants. These smart tools can be available 24/7 to help your customers with their questions and problems without overloading your customer service team.
Chatbots are especially useful for answering frequently asked questions and solving simple problems, giving your employees more time to focus on more complex issues.
Automation of routine tasks
In addition to chatbots and virtual assistants, AI can also help automate routine tasks in your customer service process. For example, consider automatically forwarding emails to the appropriate department or employee, tracking customer interactions or automatically sending follow-up messages after a conversation.
By automating these tasks, your customer service team can work more efficiently and focus on what really matters: providing excellent service to your customers.
Personalization and better customer insights using AI
AI can also be used to personalize your customer service and gain better insights into your customers’ needs and preferences. Through advanced algorithms and data analysis, AI can recognize patterns and predict what your customers need or expect.
This allows you to proactively respond to their needs and provide a more personalized service. Moreover, these insights can help you further improve your products, services and communications, ultimately leading to a better customer experience and satisfaction.
Trend 3. Personal customer experience
One of the most notable trends in customer service is the increasing demand for a personalized customer experience.
Consumers want to feel valued and need a personal touch. Companies that are able to provide a customized customer experience can significantly increase customer satisfaction and strengthen customer loyalty.
The key to creating a personalized customer experience is collecting and analyzing customer data. Companies can collect data about customers’ buying habits, preferences and interests, and use this data to provide customized offers and communications. This can range from personalized emails to recommendations based on previous purchases.
Providing a personalized customer experience can also involve companies taking into account the emotional needs of their customers. By showing empathy and understanding, companies can build strong relationships with their customers and strengthen their brand.
A survey by Salesforce shows that 84% of customers say they want to be treated like a person and not a number. Therefore, companies that focus on a personalized customer experience have a competitive advantage and are better able to engage and retain customers.
Trend 4. Proactive customer service
Instead of waiting for customers to report problems, companies can proactively identify and solve problems. This includes monitoring social media, analyzing customer feedback and offering solutions before customers contact customer service.
By being proactive in addressing problems, companies can improve customer satisfaction and enhance their reputation. Consumers appreciate it when companies solve their problems before they even have a chance to contact customer service. This can make them feel that their needs are taken seriously and that the company cares about their experience.
A survey by American Express shows that 68% of customers say a company has exceeded their expectations if the company proactively resolved problems before the customer contacted them. This shows that proactive customer service not only improves customer satisfaction, but can also increase customer loyalty.
An example of a company that offers proactive customer service is T-Mobile. The company has developed a proactive monitoring and resolution strategy to identify and resolve customer issues before they have a chance to grow into larger problems.
Through proactive monitoring of social media and customer feedback, T-Mobile has developed a system that allows the company to respond quickly and effectively to customer issues.
Trend 5. Video support
Video support is becoming increasingly important in the customer service industry. Through video, companies can solve problems remotely and improve communication. Video support can range from video chats with customers to instructional videos on products and services.
One of the benefits of video support is that it allows companies to solve problems remotely without having to be physically present. This can lead to faster solutions and more satisfied customers.
In addition, video support can help build a personal connection between customers and the company because it enables face-to-face communication even when the customer and the company are in different locations.
One company that has successfully implemented video support is the bank ABN Amro. The bank offers customers the ability to have video chats with bank employees for help and support. This has led to increased customer satisfaction and an improved reputation.
Research shows that 76% of customers prefer video support over other channels such as email and telephone. In addition, it appears that 63% of customers are
are more likely to buy a product or service after watching a video that explains how the product or service works.
Companies that offer video support therefore have a competitive advantage and are better able to satisfy customers and strengthen customer loyalty.
Trend 6. Strengthening self-service
Self-service has long been a staple of the customer service industry. Companies have set up various channels to enable customers to solve their own problems and challenges, such as FAQ pages and online manuals.
However, with the rise of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and chatbots, companies have the opportunity to improve the self-service experience.
Chatbots, for example, can help customers find information and solve problems without having to contact customer service. This saves time and effort for customers and helps companies operate more efficiently.
One company focused on strengthening self-service is Coolblue. The company offers a comprehensive FAQ page and online manuals, but also has a chatbot called Bluebot, which can help customers find information and solve problems.
survey by Microsoft
shows that 90% of customers expect companies to offer self-service options and 60% of customers already use self-service channels such as FAQ pages and online manuals. Moreover, the survey indicates that 40% of customers would like to use chatbots for customer service.
Companies that invest in self-service technologies therefore have a competitive advantage and are better able to satisfy customers and strengthen customer loyalty.
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Trend 7. Focus on employee satisfaction
A positive customer service experience begins with satisfied employees. Companies that support their employees and prioritize their well-being have more motivated and engaged employees who are better able to satisfy customers.
Companies that invest in employee satisfaction often see increased productivity, lower absenteeism and lower employee turnover. This is because employees feel valued, respected and more engaged with the company.
One company that focuses on employee satisfaction is Zappos. The company offers its employees a comprehensive training program and provides a positive work environment. This has resulted in very low employee turnover and high employee satisfaction.
A study by Harvard Business Review shows that companies that invest in employee satisfaction experience higher customer satisfaction and profitability. Moreover, the research shows that employees who feel valued are better able to satisfy customers and are more committed to the company.
Therefore, companies that focus on collaboration and improving employee satisfaction will not only support their employees, but also drive business growth and better serve their customers.
Trend 8. Emotional intelligence in customer service
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive and understand the emotions of others and respond to them in an empathetic and effective manner.
In the customer service industry, emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly important as it helps build positive customer relationships and solve problems in an efficient and effective manner.
Customer service employees must be aware of their own emotions and be able to perceive and understand customers’ emotions. By responding in an empathetic way, employees can improve the customer service experience and leave a positive impression with customers.
One company focusing on emotional intelligence in customer service is Zappos. The company trains its employees in emotional intelligence and teaches them how to interact empathetically with customers. This has led to high customer satisfaction and a strong reputation.
Research shows that customers are more likely to recommend a company and give a positive review if they have a positive emotional experience with customer service.
Moreover, the research shows that employees trained in emotional intelligence are better able to satisfy customers and are more committed to the company.
Therefore, companies that invest in emotional intelligence in customer service will not only be able to better serve customers, but also support their employees and drive business growth.
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Trend 9. Use of data analytics
With the rise of big data and analytics, companies have access to a wealth of information about their customers. By analyzing this information, companies can discover patterns, identify trends and gain insights into their customers’ behavior.
Companies that use data analytics in their customer service can better understand their customers’ needs and anticipate problems before they arise.
By using data analytics, companies can also measure and improve the performance of their customer service agents, thereby improving the overall customer service experience.
One company focused on using data analytics in customer service is Amazon. The company uses analytics to collect and analyze customer data to better understand their customers and improve the customer service experience.
A survey by Salesforce shows that 51% of customers expect companies to understand and personalize their interactions with them based on their needs and preferences.
Moreover, the study shows that companies that invest in using data analytics in their customer service experience higher customer satisfaction and profitability.
Therefore, companies that focus on using data analytics in customer service will not only be able to better serve their customers, but also drive business growth and increase their competitive advantage.
Trend 10. Sustainability and social responsibility in customer service
Sustainability and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important in the business world, and this also impacts the customer service industry. Customers increasingly want to do business with companies that value sustainability and social responsibility.
Companies that focus on sustainability and social responsibility in their customer service can show their customers that they are committed to a better world and have responsible business practices.
For example, by using sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, companies can reduce their carbon footprint.
By investing in the development of local communities, companies can contribute to the economic development of those communities while demonstrating their social commitment.
One company that focuses on sustainability and social responsibility in customer service is Patagonia. The company uses sustainable materials and manufacturing processes and donates a portion of its profits to environmental projects. This has led to a loyal customer base that appreciates Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
A study by Nielsen shows that 66% of customers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to sustainability and social responsibility. In addition, the survey found that 73% of millennials and 72% of Gen Z individuals say it is important that the companies they do business with are committed to social and environmental issues.
Trend 11. Flexibility and resilience in customer service
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for flexibility and resilience in the customer service industry. Companies had to quickly switch to remote working and find new ways to serve their customers. This has led to an increased demand for flexibility and resilience in customer service.
Companies that focus on flexibility and resilience in their customer service are better able to respond to changes in the market and the needs of their customers.
For example, by using technologies such as chatbots and automation, companies can respond more quickly to customer inquiries and solve problems. By providing employees with the necessary resources and training, companies can ensure that they are able to work effectively regardless of their location.
One company that focuses on flexibility and resilience in customer service is T-Mobile. For example, the company has created a virtual customer service center that allows customers to chat with employees online. T-Mobile also showed flexibility and resilience during the pandemic, providing extensive support to customers and employees.
A survey by Accenture shows that 60% of customers say the pandemic has changed their expectations of customer service. Customers now expect more flexibility and resilience from companies, including the ability to work remotely and respond faster to customer inquiries.
Companies that focus on flexibility and resilience in customer service will therefore be better able to meet the changing needs of their customers and drive business growth.
Trend 12. Humanity in customer service
Although technology plays an important role in the customer service industry, humanity remains a key factor in creating positive customer experiences. Customers want to feel heard and valued by the companies they do business with.
Companies that focus on humanity in their customer service can offer their customers a personal and empathetic experience. For example, by training employees in empathetic listening and emotional intelligence, companies can ensure that their customers feel heard and understood.
By also using technologies that mimic human interaction, such as chatbots with a personality and voice, companies can enhance the humanity in their customer service.
A PwC survey found that 73% of customers say a good customer experience depends on having friendly employees.
In addition, the survey found that 59% of customers say companies have exceeded their expectations through humanity in customer service.
Therefore, companies that focus on humanity in customer service will be able to create an emotional connection with their customers and increase customer satisfaction. This, in turn, will lead to customer loyalty and business growth.
One company that focuses on humanity in customer service is Zappos. The company is known for its customer service philosophy, where employees treat customers as friends and family members. Zappos has also invested in developing a chatbot with a personality called “Kiki,” which helps customers in a human way.
The customer service industry continues to evolve and companies must adapt to changing customer needs and expectations. The above trends show that customers increasingly value personal experiences, flexibility, resilience, humanity and sustainability and social responsibility.
Companies that focus on these key customer service trends will be better able to satisfy their customers and drive business growth.
As a customer service manager, it is important to stay abreast of these trends and understand how they can be applied to your organization’s operations.
By embracing these trends, you can improve the customer experience, increase customer satisfaction and strengthen customer loyalty.
Download the brochure of Steam-connect
Want to know how Steam-connect can help your organization implement the above trends and provide an excellent, consistent customer experience?