Top 8 Customer Service Trends in 2021 | New Media Services
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Last updated on March 23, 2021

Top 8 Customer Service Trends in 2021

They say the world was never the same ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, work, school, and business agendas all had to be carried out using a contactless method to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Online transactions became more apparent. But more importantly, customer service operations had to take on a major shift to accommodate all the major global changes, both industry and end-user-wise.

In fact, there are already upcoming top customer service trends 2021 awaiting to be employed by various ventures and companies. 

Are you ready to take a preview of what the Year of the Metal Ox has in store for businesses and their client assistance efforts? Read on to learn how you can gear your company for all the challenges and expectations that’s to come!

Emerging Trends In Customer Service

What defines the new trends in customer service?

It is difficult to convey tone and meaning without the usual, face-to-face interaction.  Businesses need to show customers that they are ever-present and involved in their concerns, regardless of how big or small it may be. Some of the most prevailing themes and aspects in this year’s changes in assisting end-users, is the importance of accessibility, convenience, and  a more humanized form of communication.

Contactless Assistance will Prevail

End-user safety will still be among the top priority of businesses this year. Enabling contactless payments and deliveries limited the face-to-face interaction between businesses and their customers or buyers. There are still several goods and services that need to be delivered, such as basic necessities or work essentials including food, hygiene products, and computer appliances. 

Out of all the emerging customer service trends in this list, contactless transactions represent the shift and adaptation of end-users and companies to a new normal way of living. It also reflects the increasing dependence and demand for more innovative ways to accommodate more user concerns within a given location or time frame. Since people currently have the means to send emails and messages or settle their billing statements without having to personally show up in the establishment or physical office, it unlocks the possibility of doing more than just answer queries and confirm payments for clients.

AI and FAQ Combined

Artificial Intelligence is a smart tool for handling customer queries in bulk; and it continues to dominate the list of the major trends in customer service. When paired with handling basic customer queries, it saves support representatives more time and energy. For instance, AI’s machine learning capabilities enable it to understand and remember valuable business and user data through analyzing and interacting with different customers. 

One of the best ways to utilize machine learning for assisting users is through ‘feeding’ it with data about frequently asked questions regarding your services and products. It is proactive because it predicts and determines customer queries ahead of time and prepares the appropriate answers. By doing so, you reduce the time your agent spends answering repetitive and simple queries. Businesses are expecting a dramatic influx in end-user concerns, and so combining the two will help immensely especially for startups and mid-sized companies.

Live Chat Remains among the Key Trends in Customer Service

Yes, live chat has been around a little earlier than the rest of the trends listed in this article. But, it is also very powerful and effective that its contributions to big and small businesses continue to be recognized and regarded with high importance. A good number of customers are more comfortable speaking to a representative through chat rather than through a phone call. Also, not everyone has excellent reception and it affects their satisfaction whenever they are accommodated using voice support.

Live chat support is universal in that you can apply it on your website, social media pages, and even on your apps (if you have one for your services). You get to answer simple queries and accommodate more customers 24/7 by activating chatbots to answer in place of your staff. It is also adaptable to sudden shifts in your operations, particularly when you need to have agents work-from-home to observe social distancing in your office.

There is still no telling when things will return to normal or if everything will go back to the way it was. With a convenient and real-time messaging resource, you are assured that your business remains connected with your customers no matter what may happen in the future.

Self-Service Highlights Customer Independence

Some people prefer finding solutions to their questions and issues on their own. It saves time and it also allows them to learn more about the product they have purchased. To implement this successfully in your website, create simple yet concise guidelines that people can easily follow in installing, or setting up your software or product.

Provide detailed descriptions and specify possible hazards (if any, such as choking hazards in kids if your products contain small parts). 

If you are offering intangible services, prepare a step-by-step guide on how customers can find solutions or answers to their concerns. You can base it on your FAQs and on previous interactions you’ve had with other end-users or clients. Enumerate all possible concerns that your users could single handedly solve without the need for a representative’s close supervision or assistance. Experts advise that you send confirmation emails or SMS to customers to affirm that they have successfully resolved their concern.

More importantly, don’t forget to send a quick feedback form where end-users can rate the usefulness of your self-service feature.

Omnichannel to Accommodate Timezones

Omnichannel assistance as a consistent participant in customer service industry trends guarantees a full-coverage of all possible channels that existing customers and potential leads could use to reach out to your business. It entails using email, your business website, social media, and mobile applications to ensure you remain present and reachable no matter what people use to send you an inquiry or a message.

Surely, you’ve heard or watched news about the discovery of new strains of the coronavirus from different parts of the globe. This means that social distancing practices will still be enforced and there will still be a limit in terms of the capacity of people that business establishments can accommodate. 

Employing the multiple capability of omnichannel assistance sends the message to your existing followers and potential customers that you are always ready to entertain them and adhere to their needs.

Increased Focus on Customer-Generated Data

Outdated marketing and client assistance practices rarely gave customer-generated data much thought. It was often a basis for sales metrics. But, as client outreach demanded higher convenience and genuine interactions, that’s when brands came to realize that every interaction between a customer and a support representative provides a deeper insight into what needs to be enhanced or changed in their help desk operations.

Now, concentrating on the weight and value of data provided by your end-users means stripping off layers and layers of communication barriers that could have been causing misunderstandings between you and your end-users. 

It gives you a valuable resource for understanding and defining what their pain points are. The more accurately you can determine what concerns affect the people using your services, the more you can boost the quality of your services accordingly.

Video Chat as Personalized Assistance

For some concerns, speaking to a representative is a necessity. An effective solution for this is the use of video chat. Videos used to be limited to marketing trends. Presently, it is also being included as part of the newest customer service trends 2021. Customer support through video chat is practical and it also maintains physical distancing between the customer and the agent. 

Videos also put a face to the representative, thereby adding a human element to the conversation. It effortlessly improves customer experience. At times, customers feel as though they are talking to a robot, or are underwhelmed by the lack of warmth and rigidness of a contactless conversation.

Not only that, you can exude a friendlier service since people get to see your staff. They can exchange smiles as they greet each other, and they can also see the sincerity on their faces as they walk through every client concern and assist them throughout the entire process.

Social Media is still Prominent

There is no stopping social media from becoming a hotspot for startups and emerging businesses. Its user count increases by the second, and so it serves as a gateway for businesses to reach more leads.

Ever since it became more than just a medium for online social networking, it has since become a consistent topnotcher in every year’s list of new digital customer service trends. You can use your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page to learn more about your customers. Through their comments, reviews, and DMs, you are establishing a solid community, a network of supporters that will back your business up and stay loyal to your brand.

At times, consistency in communication is what most people go for. You don’t always have to exude a formal persona to earn the respect and trust of your target customers. Keeping things casual yet authentic and direct, as is the nature of using social media for your customer service efforts, is sure to resonate better to your users.

Have a team of social media moderators and managers keep track of your followers and the issues they often raise about your products. Use them as an extension of your business, and train them to sift between genuine user feedback from fabricated negative reviews meant to tarnish your reputation. Make your social media channels the one of the certified go-to places for customers when they want to learn more about your service and clarify specific concerns being associated with your business. The more present and involved you are in your customers through social media, the likely they feel encouraged to speak up and support your growth.

Afterword

Even after overcoming the pandemic, don’t let your guard down. Make preparedness your company’s key characteristic. Use these customer service trends as your reference for how you will traverse the new adventure that is the year 2021.

If you ever find yourself overwhelmed or needing assistance in incorporating any of the current trends in customer service enumerated in this blog, check out our lineup of multilingual and multi-channel customer support services at NMS. Our services cover escalations, email support, customer ticket, and call center solutions. Send us a message or email us at [email protected] to learn more about or tailor-made customer support solutions!

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