This crazy situation, has put a lot of pressure on customer service departments. According to Zendesk, this May was record breaking compared to the same time last year. And even though the global average of weekly tickets are slowly dropping again, the second week of June was still 19% above the weekly average last year.
This has definitely put a greater pressure on companies having to be available on multiple channels.
However, there are some trends that we experience have an increasing impact on customer experience, so to help you a bit on your way into the future of customer service, I’ve gathered our best advice to stay relevant and up to date in a different and more competitive future.
These are some of the most relevant subjects in customer experience in 2020, and if they’re not already, I recommend you put them on top of your to-do list.
Humanity, Responsibility, and Transparency
In times like these and in a more digitized world than ever, it’s important to show humanity.
Companies might not always seem very human, but every company, big and small, is made up of human beings with strengths and flaws. And if you show your customers that you’re all humans behind the screen, then it’ll be way easier to build customer loyalty.
More and more companies are dropping the formality and the over-professional language to create a stronger brand personality and meet the customers at eye level, and it’s really working! The informal, sassy, or just really friendly tone of voice, resonates significantly better with the audience because you’re personalizing and humanizing the customer experience.
Another aspect of humanity is responsibility. No person or no company is 100% perfect.
If you take responsibility for your mistakes and flaws and own up to them, you’ll gain more respect.
We’re also at a point where customers expect companies to take social and local responsibility. Let’s say you sell a physical product, tell them about the journey before the products lands in their hands, what responsibility do you take for sustainability? Do you care for the people making your products or where the materials come from, and what goals do you have for improvement, and what are the deadlines to reach those goals?
Be totally transparent about these things, and share your goals for improvement. If you’re not transparent about what you do and how you do it, they’ll think you’re hiding something, and you might risk losing customers’ respect or loyalty.
This is so important because some customers won’t care about your brand new line of running shoes if you don’t show that you care about these things.
Taking responsibility and acknowledging that you have room for improvement shows that your company is made out of human beings wishing to continuously do better.
Transparency is a continuing theme in data collection
I’ll stay on the subject on transparency for a minute longer because we’re going to talk about data privacy.
Data privacy is still a very current subject. A lot of people become guarded if they feel like they don’t have control of what information companies have about them. They have trust issues when it comes to data, and understandably so! They’re constantly told that their private information is being saved and shared with third parties, and sometimes it’s difficult to figure out who those parties are.
Transparency is key here!
Show them that you take data privacy seriously and be transparent about what information you save and share, with who, and why. Make it easy for them to opt-out of unnecessary cookies and make sure you follow all the rules! It’s a sensitive subject, and unfortunately, it can be tricky to stay compliant, so invest some time and money in it. Your customers will thank you for it.
Being transparent makes your company trustworthy, and that highly affects loyalty.
At helphouse.io we’re actually working on a new Zendesk tool at the moment, that’ll let you automate some of the many manual procedures you have to go through in order to stay GDPR compliant.
Stay tuned on Zendesk Marketplace or our LinkedIn page for more information about this.
Staying relevant is no longer about having the best product, you have to nail the ongoing customer experience. Humanity and transparency are two very big factors in this.
AI - an AI can also show personality and brand identity
I know.. You probably heard that chatbots were the new thing last year, or the year before that.
Old news, right?
But stay with me for a moment, because even though chatbots have scored a seat at the cool table for the past few years, truth is, they’re only getting cooler!
Chatbots are getting smarter, faster, and more reliable day for day, so we might have said that they were the new cool thing last year (which they were), but they’re just greater than ever!
AI chatbot companies keep surprising us with the abilities of their chatbots. They learn, they adapt, and most importantly, they’re really damn #helpsome.
Sure, they might be like a kid at first, not necessarily understanding EVERYTHING being asked of them. But if you give them a bit of time, attention, and love, they’ll grow into strong independent individuals that you’ll be able to send into the world (or your website) with confidence. And they’ll be able to solve up to 67% of conversations without human involvement. This percentage will continue to grow in the future, as the bots continuously learn and technology evolves!
Okay, I know this might seem contradictory to the thing about humanity.
But it doesn’t have to be: Give your chatbot a name and make it a bit sassy, fun, and friendly, and it’ll seem way more human than it is. A lot of people are actually thanking a chatbot after having their requests solved by one, which is very clear proof that you can still maintain humanity in the interaction with a bot. Plus, the value of getting their inquiries solved fast and on their own is not to be underestimated!
“Going forward, speedy resolution of issues and delivery of experiences will be one of the biggest differentiators between service providers.”
Speedy resolution time, whether it’s with a chatbot, self-help, or an agent, will be one of the biggest differentiators in the market going forward, just like service has become more important than the actual product and price. It’s what’s going to keep you relevant in the future. If your customer service doesn’t match your competitors’, well.. good luck. You’ll need it.
More than ever, the customers expect you to make yourself available for them when they need you, where they need you.
The only problem is that when companies make themselves available on all these channels, the workload surely grows as well. However, there is a solution. It’s called omnichannel customer service!
Which is what we’re all about! So give us a call or shoot us an email if you need help with anything customer experience or just want to know more about omnichannel customer service.
I hope the rest of your 2020 is great and filled with happy customers!