What were the top customer service trends of 2016?

What were the top customer service trends of 2016?

Published on: January 12, 2017
Author: Pauline Ashenden - Demand Generation Manager

As we move into 2017, now is a good time to review last year and use the insight to plan for the future. What were the big trends and how will they evolve moving forward? To help we’ve analyzed all 100+ posts published on the Eptica blog in 2016, and picked a top ten, based on a combination of readership and industry feedback.

1. Four lessons from the Forrester CX Index
Forrester’s 2016 US Customer Experience Index provided an in-depth update on the state of CX across multiple sectors. What do the findings mean for companies? Based on analysis of the research we see four key trends for CX and customer service professionals to focus on moving into 2017. Find out what they are in this blog post

2. Making the change from call to contact center
Over the last 20 years call centers have been evolving into contact centers, covering all aspects of customer engagement, across every channel. In less than two years digital interactions are likely to overtake voice calls, according to Dimension Data’s global benchmarking report. How can companies make the switch to digital and thrive in a multichannel world?

3. Why email is more important than ever for customer service
Even small organizations receive hundreds of customer service emails every day – and customers want fast, accurate and consistent responses to their queries, every time. To be successful, companies therefore need to use smart technology to reduce the handling time of emails, increase efficiency and boost satisfaction. This post outlines seven areas to focus on for email success.

4. The importance of understanding language in customer service
People use a whole range of different words to refer to your products and services. So how can you best make sure that your customer service team is able to cope with the range of terms that consumers use? By focusing on centralized knowledge, listening to agents and keeping learning when it comes to language, as our post explains.

5. Is a lack of consistency letting your customer service down?
Customers want consistent and accurate information and answers from a brand, whichever channel they use to make contact.  Yet our Multichannel Customer Experience Study revealed that only 23% of companies provided consistent information across two channels - and just 8% were consistent across three channels. How can this disconnect be overcome?

6. Turning service into sales with chat
Despite the importance of good customer service, it can be difficult to measure the exact impact of individual interactions on the bottom line, leading to the contact center being seen as a cost, rather than a department that boosts the bottom line. Introducing chat changes this – delivering increased sales in these four key ways.

7. What do consumers want from brands today?
What makes customers loyal to a company – and how can brands ensure that they are meeting their expectations? Insight from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) based on over 42,500 individual customer experiences found that keeping promises, being polite, and providing the right information first time are all essential to drive loyalty. Read the full findings here.

8. The 3 dimensions of customer service conversations
Companies only have finite resources and want to provide a good service to all consumers, across all channels, but the sheer volume of interactions can be overwhelming. How can they cope? As this post explains, it is time to take a lesson from the medical profession and triage incoming interactions by understanding their urgency, complexity and emotional importance to successfully manage workloads.

9. The ROI of improved customer experience
Happier customers are more loyal and spend more, as well as recommending you to their friends. So, improving the customer experience should have a direct impact on revenue generation. However, proving this in actual financial terms can be difficult – but analysis from Harley Manning of Forrester provides strong proof of the impact of customer experience on revenue growth.

10. Meeting Millennial Customer Expectations
We live in a world increasingly dominated by Millennials. They are tech-savvy, expect good service/products, are unafraid to complain or give feedback and have no qualms about switching supplier if they don’t get what they want. You need to value their time, embrace technology, listen, continually evolve and be truly multichannel if you want to meet their demanding needs.

We hope you enjoy this recap of our key themes from 2016 – keep reading the blog in 2017 as we explore the changing world of customer service and customer experience. Click here to subscribe to have each blog post automatically emailed to you going forward. 

Tags: Customer Service, Customer experience, Eptica, contact center, consistency, email management, Chat, Forrester, Millennial
Categories: Trends & Markets

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