Customer Service Trends for 2013 – the MultiChannel Customer Journey
We spend a lot of time explaining the virtues of the ShoreTel® unified communications system that crosses multiple channels to increase your operational efficiency and improve internal collaboration, but there’s another component to achieving a multi-channel business communications strategy that is increasingly making the difference for businesses ready to take their customer service to the next level.
Trend #1: Channel preference is changing. That doesn’t mean that the days of customer service via telephone is ending, but rather that it’s not the only show in town anymore. Today, your customers are expecting their needs to be handled not only on the phone, but also via online chat, email, and social media.
Trend #3: Agile customer service will play a bigger role in customer satisfaction. Agile for 2013 doesn’t just mean quick, it also means that your customers are going to expect your business to accommodate an interaction that begins on one channel, then moves to another channel. A phone call may be followed up with an email or other interaction across a new communication channel. A request made through social media may move to a more private channel in order to answer a question or resolve a customer complaint.
Trend #4: Proactive support and outbound communications. This could mean service alerts, or customized offers delivered directly to your customers. The key factors here are personalization and anticipation of customer needs.
Trend #6: Customer service is moving away from the old cost-center model to become a major differentiating force. Handling a call efficiently isn’t enough anymore. Companies who factor in customer satisfaction will begin to find competitive advantage in integrating customer service as part of their overall communications strategy.
Trend #15: Last but not least… Analytics continue to improve the customer end-to-end experience. Follow the customer journey to locate their pain points. Improve your customer satisfaction and retain more customers.
A solid customer service strategy requires better solutions for our customers. Companies ready to integrate into their communications strategy will see positive long-term results and higher customer retention rates. A seamless customer service experience includes personalized options for users, better data that empowers customer service agents, and a flexible solution that fits well with your company’s current unified communications for full voice, email, IM, presence and video coverage.
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