Top Customer Service Trends in 2013

 

Things are a’changing, and it seems like they change at breakneck speed.

 

Customer experience is no exception; as a business owner or manager, you likely feel the shift that has been happening over the last couple of years. The customer experience is changing, as are customer expectations. To keep up can be challenging.

 

Forrester released an article earlier this year revolving around the Top 15 Trends in Customer Service for 2013. It’s an interesting read, and one that businesses need to take to heart. Of the trends mentioned, I’ve found these to be the most significant or important to pay attention to:

 

1. Mobile solutions are becoming a must have: customers are on the go, and mobile use is significant. This is more than simply making sure your website is mobile friendly; the goal for mobile marketing, service, and support should focus on letting customers get what they need as efficiently and easy as possible. Helping customers get things off their “to do” list will create a streamlined, more positive experience for them.

 

2. Agile service is becoming more important than multichannel service: customers expect consistent communication across all channels, and if they start communication in one channel, they expect it to continue with the same consistency and personalization across other channels as they move through the purchasing process. What does this mean for business? It means that departments cannot remain independent of each other; customer service, marketing, IT, and sales all need to work together to create a consistent message and experience for customers. As this article suggests, and I’ve heard the term plenty recently, departments can no longer work in silos, separate from each other. It’s becoming a team effort, no doubt.

 

3. Customers expect proactive outbound communication: this goes hand in hand, in part, with the increase in mobile technology. According to Forrester, only 29% of enterprises are using proactive outbound communications, but it is predicted that this will increase in the near future. While this can suggest companies need more personalized email marketing programs, it is also focused on more personalized communications, whether it’s customized sales and discounts based on purchase history, alerts to upcoming offers, or even personalized recommendations via email, text, or other means based on a customer’s buying habits. It’s all about the customer, and they want to feel like their experience is geared just toward them.

 

You can find the rest of the trends for 2013 in the article published by Forrester. The trends noted above have been the most significant so far this year, and much of the research points to companies taking note of these trends and starting to align business models accordingly.

 

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