Excellent customer service is essential in today’s eCommerce industry. 89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase after a great customer service experience.
On the contrary, around 80% of shoppers may switch to a business’s competitor after a series of bad experiences with the customer support team.
By delivering customer-centric practices, you create a positive experience throughout the customer’s entire relationship with your business. This is vital as it helps develop customer loyalty and improve the business’s operational efficiency.
If you want to know more about online business customer service trends, here are six of the best models to apply.
1. Customer Self-Service
Customer self-service refers to the process that lets users solve their problems without having to interact with a company’s support team.
A study reveals that 85% of customer service is projected to start with self-service by 2022. It may be because the service is time efficient on both ends. On top of that, self-service portals also help guarantee 24/7/365 availability while reducing the business’s operational costs.
Some of the best examples of customer self-service include:
- FAQ page. Contains collections of answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- Community forum. Provides a place for customers to help solve each other’s problems.
- Knowledge base. Offers helpful content or video instructions to help customers troubleshoot their issues.
- Mobile application. Makes automated workflow easier as users may report an issue and find solutions for it without having to interact with support representatives.
2. Real-Time Assistance
Waiting on hold and slow response times have been one of the most frustrating aspects of customer service.
Real-time assistance may be the perfect solution for the problems above. It refers to guiding existing or potential customers in solving their queries by delivering clear explanations or easy-to-follow instructions.
Also, providing accessible and instant services may boost your conversion rates. This is because your agents will be able to quickly clarify doubts and solve problems your customers may be facing. Thus, it will be easier for the representative to steer users to complete their purchases or upsell your products and services.
Video chat and live chat support are some of the best real-time support tools.
3. Automation With AI Chatbots
Business messaging is on the rise, becoming an integral part of customer support:
- Almost one-third of customers texted a company for the first time in 2020.
- The same study also found that 53% of businesses introducing a new customer support channel included messaging.
- 70% of online shoppers choose the Message Us button over the Call Us
While utilizing text messaging can be great, you may need more agents to cater to your customers.
For this reason, automated messages may be a business owner’s new best friend. Apart from providing customer service around the clock, AI chatbots may assist customers with instant replies for simple tasks when customer agents are not around.
With the help of AI chatbots, your customer support team can focus on solving more technical issues.
4. Social Media Customer Service
Using social media platforms for business marketing and advertising is a well-known practice. That is because they are one of the best channels to connect with a business’s audience, leads, and customers.
A study showed that 59% of customers have a more favorable view of businesses that respond to questions and complaints through social media. Thus, social media customer support is probably something your potential customers expect.
Here are some of the benefits of social media customer service:
- Offer direct engagement with customers. 72% of adults in the US have social media accounts. This lets you quickly reach customers and take a proactive approach by monitoring your brand mentions. Social media customer service may also boost engagement and brand loyalty.
- Improve brand transparency. As social media posts are wide-reaching, publicly responding to complaints helps build trust and strengthen relationships with customers. They may also help a business announce changes and challenges that affect user experience.
- Drive traffic to your content. While answering users’ questions, provide links to your business’s knowledge base. The traffic may help your content obtain a better position on search engine results pages.
5. Personalized Customer Service
Personalization has become one of the most common practices in online business. Unsurprisingly, personalization helps shape a better customer service experience.
The practice may include promoting unique content pieces, products, or services for a customer based on their previous activities.
An excellent customer relationship management strategy may help with personalized customer service. Here’s how you can take advantage of the process:
- Let customer records select the perfect agents. To boost the success rate, don’t forget to document each consultation session. This helps the system choose the best agent for that specific issue.
- Make recommendations. From fixing minor issues to suggesting an optimization tool, ensure its relevance to the customers’ situation.
- Offer a personalized loyalty program. It can provide multiple ways to earn points or offer relevant rewards. For that, you may want to utilize loyalty management software to get insights into customer behavior and create a tailored program.
6. Omnichannel Support
The omnichannel approach refers to the ability to create seamless user experiences throughout different marketing platforms. When it comes to customer support, an omnichannel service helps users reach the company representatives at any time and place that’s convenient for them.
In other words, omnichannel support is about unifying all customer service platforms to provide a consistent and personalized experience.
Here are some benefits of using omnichannel support:
- Provide a context-driven customer experience. Excellent data integration is one of the keys to a successful omnichannel strategy. It helps make sure each channel works cohesively to keep the customer experience consistent.
- Reach a wide range of customers. Some users may prefer social media, while others may find live chat more accessible. Providing numerous customer service platforms and channels helps reduce the abandonment rate.
- Improve customer satisfaction. An omnichannel service helps improve the customer journey, provides a personalized experience, and also increases conversion rates.
Customer service is among the most vital aspects of your business growth. Outstanding service from knowledgeable agents helps increase conversion and customer retention rates.
When it comes to online business customer service trends, here are six models worth noting:
- Customer self-service. Encourage customers to solve problems on their own by providing a knowledge base, FAQ page, or community forum.
- Real-time assistance. Apart from enhancing user experience, it also helps boost conversion. Video and live chats are great tools for implementing it.
- Automation with AI chatbots. They help with simple tasks so customer agents can focus on more complex issues.
- Social media customer service. Replying to customer’s questions and complaints publicly is great for showing transparency and improving engagement.
- Personalized customer service. When recorded, data from previous sessions allows CRM tools to choose the perfect agents to deal with the situation. Also, make relevant recommendations and consider a personalized loyalty program.
- Omnichannel support. Integrating all customer service helps provide a seamless experience across all devices and platforms.
Following the above methods will help advance your customer support strategy in 2021. However, trends shift.
Therefore, keeping track of customer service trends is among the best ways to stay on top of the competition. So, it is essential to introduce flexibility into your business. Good luck!
About the Author
Martin Brown is a digital marketing and digital asset management specialist. He has been in the industry for over a decade, helping people understand digital technology and apply them to their business through guest posting. Martin is married with three children. He enjoys playing basketball and scuba diving during his leisure time.