If you are not implementing these customer service trends of 2019 and 2020, you need to start. By keeping up with these trends, your company will look more professional, close more sales, and look like an industry leader.
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)
Think of a mini Siri or Alexa on every company’s website or their phone system. They can answer basic questions, provide information, and even update address and credit card numbers. On a site soon, it will be more like a video chat where the bot will have a face, and the personalities will keep getting better and better.
A self-service portal is not a new concept. Still, more and more customers are demanding that all companies, even local service-based companies like landscapers, HVAC, plumbers, and maid services, offer a self-service portal. While this is one of the most significant customer service trends, and every company should have a portal. A self-service site is not only convenient for your customers, but it allows your employees to do other things. With a self-service portal, your customers can log in and do the following:
- Update their address
- Update their phone number
- Add a new credit card or payment information
- Ask your company a question
- Get a previous invoice or receipt
If your company is not using automations, it’s time to jump on the train. There’s no reason a company shouldn’t be using automations. If you want your company to grow, automations can help you produce a thousand times faster without adding additional administration employees. Even if you are content with the size of your company, you should still implement automations. Automations can keep everything running smoothly from payments to your customer satisfaction. They will keep things from slipping through the cracks, thereby increasing your customer’s satisfaction.
Some of the primary things that automations can do for your company include:
- Onboarding – following up on quotes or estimates, and reminding you to make those phone calls too
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Request for online reviews
- Follow up on declined credit cards
- Follow up on past-due invoices
- Send renewal notifications
- Provide your customers with service reminders
- Send you your reports automatically
- Remind you or your employees to complete specific tasks
Video tutorials are one of the more difficult tasks to start doing, especially if you never made videos before. It’s something I still dread doing a little bit. However, the more videos you make, the easier it gets. Making videos are simple and don’t cost a lot of money, and since more and more customers are looking at videos than text, you need to start making your videos.
Live Video Streaming
The most significant advantage of going live is you get free advertising, at least when you do it on Facebook. Right now, Facebook sends a notification to everyone on your page and your friends saying that you are live on Facebook. I imagine as going live becomes more popular, Facebook will stop that free advertising. Just like your Facebook page notifications don’t reach all your customers, neither will live notifications unless you shell out some cash. So now is the time to get in there.
Working From Home
More and more customer service representatives and receptionists are working from home. It benefits both the company and the employee. The company needs to invest much more money into quality assurance; however, since you don’t need to lease or buy as much real estate, you are saving more money. If you are considering doing this make sure that you do the following:
- Monitor or listen to the calls
- Make sure that the customer can’t tell the employee is working from home
- Noone should be able to hear your television, dogs barking, people arguing, or kids running around in the background
- Verify that your receptionist or customer service agent is answering all calls
Multiple Channels of Communication
Connect with your customers or potential customers through various channels. It’s getting more challenging to keep up with, but at a minimum, your customers should be able to reach you on:
- Company telephone
- The company’s Facebook page
- Facebook messenger
- Google Messenger (through Google My Business page)
- Online chat from your website
More and more customers are trying to text message businesses. From my experience, if you don’t reply to them, they won’t try to call you. It’s almost like letting a call go to voicemail, and they hang up. I don’t recommend using a cell phone, but you should be able to set up text messaging even on your business phones nowadays. If not, CRMs tend to allow you to purchase a number, or you may be able to find one with an online chat.
Answering Your Phones
One of the most crucial customer service trends of 2019 and 2020 is that customers, potential customers, and leads all want instant satisfaction. We live in the Amazon age now, and if you can’t give us what we demand now, we will find someone that can. Instant gratification applies especially to your telephone calls. Someone needs to answer every single call. If you are not, you have three options depending on your needs:
- Hire a receptionist or office assistant
- Locate a telephone answering service
- Bring on a company that can offer you a virtual receptionist or office assistant
Let Us Know How You Are Implementing Some Of These Customer Service Trends
We hope this gives you some ideas on areas to invest in your company this year and going into 2020. If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.