Companies have more ways to communicate with customers than ever, but that doesn’t automatically translate to a better experience for buyers.
Taking advantage of new customer service techniques is a must to boost customer experience or businesses risk falling behind. Consumers embrace new digital trends that improve their experience (just look at how common once-disruptive tools like live chat and parcel tracking have become), and expect companies to offer innovative services to suit changing needs.
As a new year approaches, what digital customer experience trends for 2019 will affect your business?
#1. Fast responses will be critical
“We already try to provide most customers with the help they need as soon as we can, even when our call center is inundated with calls. Isn’t that enough?”
Sorry to say, but it probably isn’t.
Customers are busier than ever today — and they also have more options. If your business is failing to meet their needs and fit into their schedule, do you think they’ll
A. Give you time they don’t have, or
B. Try one of your competitors instead?
Remember that it takes just one unhappy customer to affect your online reputation through a poor online review.
This is one of the biggest digital customer experience trends for 2019: Give your staff the data and systems they need to assist customers in a fast, professional and personal manner.
Whether they reach out to you via live chat, email, social media or telephone, your buyers expect to have their problems resolved on the first point of contact.
Multi-channel customer service is vital: be available to people when they need you. Using QA software like Playxox enables you to set a standard of quality for your customer service agents, ensuring great quality service in every interaction.
#2. Personalization will be more important than ever
“We try to record data on customers’ experiences and buying habits with us, but we’re not sure how to act on it. Is personalization really so important?”
Close to 70 percent of consumers want an individualized experience — yet less than half of brands are actually delivering.
As consumers, we’ve gotten used to brands reaching out to us in more personal ways. Whether it’s emails or newsletters greeting us by name or tailored packages based on our previous buying habits, we’re getting used to companies knowing what we like without having to tell them.
Businesses looking to offer the best customer experience will embrace this change, one of the most effective digital customer experience trends for 2019. Having access to data on your customers’ previous buying habits, their shared pain points, their interactions with agents in the past and more will give you the power to satisfy them.
Sending them notifications of promotions on items they’ve shown an interest in, offering discounts on favorite services and similar will be essential to build stronger bonds with customers in 2019 (and beyond).
#3. More company cultures will integrate rewards
“We pay our customer service agents — shouldn’t that be enough to make them perform their best?”
Not everyone will feel motivated to do their very best out of pride: staying motivated in a job you feel disconnected to is hard.
That’s why reward-based motivation will become more commonplace in customer service environments. Offering staff a tangible bonus for achieving positive results and boosting customer retention rates can lead to better performance overall.
PlayVox’s rewards system enables businesses to deliver motivational rewards for customer service agents, giving them something to aim for beyond simply fulfilling the minimum duties their contracts require. More so than any of the other digital customer experience trends for 2019, this will become part of more company cultures and encourage staff to give their very best.
#4. Chatbots will offer automated assistance
“Aren’t chatbots impersonal and a waste of time? I thought customers wanted more personal interaction, not less!”
Chatbots are a terrific virtual assistant for your business site, offering customers information on your products or services when no ‘real’ agents are available. They are able to communicate in a more engaging way today, and the best don’t seem awkward at all.
While these won’t replace said agents, chatbots will continue to become more commonplace. They may not be able to attain the same level of trust or simple human rapport, but chatbots can still ensure consumers receive the help they need rather than being left waiting.
Any customers whose issues are resolved by the chatbot will still leave satisfied, maintaining or improving their perception of your brand without your human agents being needed. That makes it one of our crucial digital customer experience trends for 2019. However, companies should never see chatbots as a cheap replacement: people still want to deal with people primarily.
#5. Learning on the fly will lead to better training
“All our staff go through the same training program once or twice a year to refresh their knowledge. Do we have to change this?”
Educating customer service agents to avoid mistakes and try new techniques has traditionally required lengthy meetings or training days. This means time from their desk and loss of productivity.
With collaboration tools and messaging now a part of everyday operations, managers and supervisors have the flexibility to offer training on the fly. Agents can see messages on their screens as they’re interacting with customers, and make quick changes to ensure a better customer experience.
Training will no longer be disruptive to everyday processes: instead, businesses will be able to make it more targeted and personable to individual workers.
#6. More customers expect brand values and honesty
“We might tell the odd white lie here or there, but does that matter? Do customers really care how a brand behaves as long as they get what they need?”
Research shows the majority of customers want brands to be honest and friendly today, primarily on social media. Facebook, Twitter and the rest will continue to give businesses an invaluable platform on which to foster good relations, but staying true to your company’s values will be more important than ever as one of the most unavoidable digital customer experience trends for 2019.
Consumers are less forgiving of false promises and lies. You have to be honest when interacting with them, whether that means admitting to a mistake, apologizing or making changes to your business structure. Be sure you can stay true to your mission and values — if you can’t, customers may well call you out on it.
#7. Predictive analytics will boost CX for good
“Isn’t it enough to monitor past activities and move forward, rather than trying to predict customer behavior?”
Predictive analytics will make a much bigger impact on businesses as one of our digital customer experience trends for 2019. This enables companies to develop more effective strategies and identify valuable opportunities to improve CX ahead of time, rather than having to base decisions on interactions that may have already affected your reputation in a negative way.
Using big data and preventing mistakes before they happen can save time and money in the long run. Customers will get to enjoy a better experience without having to force you to improve by complaining!
What do you think of these 7 digital customer experience trends for 2019 set to affect your business? Which ones are ready to implement in your organization?