Digital Customer Support Trends

By Harry Rollason

Last year, the customer service industry was rife with talk of chatbots and AI. Whilst these developments further the ability for brands to offer efficiency at scale, channel adoption is still a key driver to digital care success. This year, brands should be taming both technologies and platform expansion, organizing their digital support around tentpole platforms like Facebook Messenger.

Digital support, one could say, is finally coming of age, but challenges still abound. Here’s what’s just around the corner in 2018.

1. Messenger support will dominate

Messaging apps are the new kings of mobile. The big four messengers already surpassed the big four social media apps back in 2015 and they’re becoming the default form of digital communication. Brands realize this, consumers realize this, and the big messaging apps are scrambling to connect the two.

Facebook Messenger recently launched a website integration to allow brands to offer online support. WhatsApp has announced its own business app, and Facebook released a new ad unit that allows customers to jump directly into a WhatsApp conversation with the business. Already, TechCrunch reports that over one million Facebook business pages list WhatsApp numbers for support.

Messenger and WhatsApp now boast over 1.3 billion users each and unlike most big social media sites, are still growing (WeCaht also just reached one billion monthly users). When polled, 54 percent of consumers say they prefer new messaging channels for support. In 2018, “call our support” has transformed into “message us.”

2. Customer service is brand protection

This year, customers will expect ever more convenience from brands. As the world goes mobile, consumers no longer compare businesses to their competitors – they compare them to the seamless experiences they’re accustomed to on their smartphones. All businesses are now, in a sense, neighbors with Google, Facebook, and Amazon, and have to reach the same high bar of excellence.

Nowhere is this effect more pronounced than with customer service. Every interaction deeply impacts the customer’s overall impression of the brand and it takes many positive experiences to make up for a negative one. In 2018, expect to see marketing and customer service departments grow closer than ever as it becomes clear that one cannot succeed without the other.

3. Brands will seek customer experience (CX) designers

Customers expect speed, convenience, and security. In 2018, it’s going to take customer experience (CX) designers to deliver it.

Seventy-five percent of customers expect help within five minutes. Help really cannot come fast enough, and the best support calls are the ones that never happen. This year, customer support organizations will play a larger and larger role in product design, leveraging their vast troves of customer feedback data to create better experiences that need less support. CX will be a competitive differentiator and brands will vie to attract top CX talent.

4. Data privacy laws will tighten further

Last year, GDPR scared marketers everywhere as the world seemed to turn back against the free and open use of consumer data. Expect more in 2018. Consumers are weary of incessant data breaches and general …read more

Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider

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