2016 was the year when measuring and improving customer experience "CX" became more important in companies and organizations than ever before. One indicator was that more and more companies took on improving the customer experience as a part of their strategy development work.
The desire to understand all of the factors affecting customer experience gained more attention. From the customer point of view this is truly a good thing.
We looked at the customer service trends for the year 2017 to create an overview for this blog post.
Questions we asked ourselves included whether some service channels receive more significance in 2017 whilst others declined? How will this impact on customer experience and improving it in the future?
One thing is for sure. 2017 will offer new interesting opportunities in the development of customer service excellence with channels in the key role.
Artificial Intelligence has been in the headlines a lot but is hardly ready to displace human to human customer service interactions and experiences in the near future. This brings interesting thoughts with it though. What if robots can not only handle the service interaction, but in a way that improves rather than detracts from the experience! Bots already operate quite efficiently, for example, in online-chats where the page visitor is initially engaged for a chat session. Proficient online chat offered on the website is going to be a rising service channel in 2017.
Closer to the ground 2017 will predominantly be the year of interactions in the online channels. People are networked and use service channels ranging from straightforward calls through to the different social media platforms. For companies this means understanding the service channels and communications preferences of its customers then being present and available for them.
Customers will choose the most fitting service provider according to how and on which channels the service will be offered.
Here we get to a major point. Not only how your company should organize its customer service in the face of such big development. In addition, with different channels being used as a part of service, your company must be prepared to operate a channel characteristic style on different channels and platforms whilst still maintaining the consistent brand voice.
As an example customer service provided in Twitter where the character limit forces users to be extremely concise and so can make the interaction with customers more challenging. For companies this means that service representatives must be ready to operate flexibly on different channels and know the gimmicks related to each.
As a more personal touch is demanded for customer engagement then the differences between new channels need to be taken into consideration to create engagement.
The first step in the creation of successful customer experience is to understand the meaning of each channel for your company. If not, the experience cannot be truly created and optimized. The second step is the commitment to offer service in the best way possible. The third step is the management of the channels so you can seamlessly provide professional service in daily work.
Let's make 2017 the best customer engagement and experience year ever!
Writer Ville Purontaus works as Marketing Manager in Benemen Oy and is responsible for Benemen’s social media management products