The year 2018 has been great for technology and the service industry. Customer service has come a long way and this year has seen some effective new trends. Thanks to increasing demands, the roles and responsibilities of customer service representatives have become more crucial to a business. Without the right customer support solution or system, your brand will not survive.

Customer service is an industry that is constantly evolving to keep up with new consumers and their needs. The nature of this industry is always changing, which is why you see new trends every year. Most businesses today have made customer service their biggest priority. To stay ahead of the game, you must be aware of new customer service software, statistics, and trends. Here are some new customer service trends that took over in 2018.

1. Hybrid support systems are taking over

Chatbots have already become a popular customer service tool. These conversational agents are effective because they interact with customers without the need for a human agent. Besides chatbots, messenger systems are also being used as effective customer service software. These hybrid support systems are effective because they allow customers some self-service options. Most of your consumer base is made of millennials and younger people, and they are keen on self-service tools.

2. More software integration

Almost every business is focusing on investing in various technology systems. The year 2017 saw a rise in the integration of communication systems, a trend that was very popular among the B2B industry. This year, this trend continues and it is being heavily invested in the customer service industry. The goal is to make these integrations more seamless and complex, allowing more information to be shared between all systems. It will give customer service representatives access to consumer information at all times.

Customer Service

3. Use of artificial intelligence and social media is at an all-time high

Continuing from 2017, the use of social media for marketing and sales has remained a big investment for businesses. Social media websites like Facebook are making big changes to their algorithms. This means that brands have to keep on their toes to reach customers via social media. But this does not mean that social media is no longer a viable option for customer interaction. Thanks to younger people using social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, brands have a better chance at connecting with their consumer base via these platforms. At the same time, artificial intelligence is taking over customer service software and tools. Chatbots, messenger programs, etc. have proven to be ideal investments when it comes to customer interaction. High-performing chatbots are available, and they are only getting faster and smarter.

4. More businesses are focusing on effective customer service

Finding the right customer service representative can be quite a task. It is no secret that the customer service industry requires people who are capable of handling high-pressure jobs that call for them to think on their feet. In 2018, businesses are shifting their focus on hiring customer service representatives who are better at helping customers in more ways than one. Brands are looking to make their customer service more effective by investing in utility agents who are capable of handling multiple customer channels seamlessly. The idea is to train customer service representatives to become more adept at working with different channels a customer might use to get in touch.

5. Smartphones are getting a lot of attention

Today, almost everybody has a smartphone. This makes it one of the most lucrative options for digital operations. Surveys have revealed that more than 80 percent of shoppers preferred to use their mobile phones instead of going to a physical store. They have access to details such as prices, product reviews, store locations, etc. Smartphones have become a bridge between digital and physical worlds. This is why more brands are paying attention to smartphones and how they can serve as tools for providing customer service.

6. Self-service is taking over marketing

With your brand’s consumer base getting younger, it is important that you understand how they function. Today, when a customer wants a problem resolved, they will try to find the solution themselves. More than 70 percent of customers will look online for solutions before reaching out to a customer service representative for help. This trend has given rise to self-service tools and portals, an area that marketing teams are starting to work with. In 2018, you will see an increase in the number of how-to guides and videos focused on giving customers the liberty of self-service.

Every year, there are new trends that take over the customer service industry. But two themes that remain constant are communication enablement and technology. This year, companies have been focusing on how to use artificial intelligence and technology to improve customer service software. Brands are also recognizing the importance of effective and personalized customer service. They are investing in training customer service representatives to multi-task as well as understand the relevance of personalized interactions. With different trends emerging every year, it is important to stay on top of them. And investing in customer service software and support systems is a great way to remain ahead of the game.

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