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As we hit the halfway mark of the year, it’s the perfect time to sit back and reflect on what has unfolded during the first half of 2018. As a business owner you’ll want to use the time to look at how well your business has done, what has or hasn’t gone as planned, and what you can do better going forward. While reflecting on the background, financial and technical aspects are extremely important, it’s important not to forget about who your business serves and how good your relationship with your customers is. Think about your customer service, and whether you’re giving your customers the best experience. If you’re looking to up your customer service game in the second half of the year, here are the customer service trends making waves in 2018, written in collaboration with Merchants.

Quality mobile experience

Consumers are constantly on the move, and mobile has become more and more necessary and popular in order to keep informed or take online actions while on the go. This year so far, 52.2% of global website traffic–just over half of all web pages accessed–was through mobile phones. This is up from 50.3% in 2017.

Mobile is clearly a platform that the majority of consumers prefer, which means the experience on mobile should be optimal. Ensure your mobile site not only looks good but is also user-friendly and fast to respond. Speak to your IT team and make sure you make a quality mobile experience for your customers a priority.

24/7 Service becomes the norm

With the rapid development in artificial intelligence, 2018 has seen the expansion of 24/7 customer service. Chatbots, for example, have become a basic technology that companies are implementing as part of their customer service strategy. Chatbots allow customers to contact companies any time of the day or night, helping them to get speedy answers. According to Facebook IQ, 67% of people surveyed said they expected to be able to contact companies via mobile chat messages.

With bots allowing customers to contact a business at any time, 24/7 service has quickly become a standard offering from businesses. While not all queries or complaints can be answered by a chatbot, chatbots certainly can relieve the pressure from your customer service agents. 

Demand for a human experience

In the digital age, where the online world is growing exponentially, consumers are turning more and more towards personalisation. They want the quick response that online tools can offer, but also an experience with an agent who can offer them answers for their specific situation. Up to 50% of how a customer’s experience with your business turns out, is based on how it made the customer feel. The demand is there for a human experience.

Whether your business has an in-house call centre, or makes use of business process management and has an external team, the correct training is needed to ensure they are able to give customers a genuine and personable experience. Armed with full knowledge of the business products or offerings, and how they work, your agents will be confident enough to answer any questions that come their way.

While these aren’t the only customer service trends, they certainly are some of the biggest trends hitting the industry in 2018. A quality mobile offering, a basic 24/7 chat service, and a personalised experience with customer service agents are the biggest trends that business owners should be aware of in 2018–and, if followed, should provide A Sustainable Approach To Customer Experience.

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