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Important Support Trends for 2017

If there’s one trend that can sum up the state of customer support in the past few years, it’s that it never stops improving. Consumers expect positive experiences, and when something is wrong, they demand a quick resolution.How can your business offer great customer support on 2017? If you want to keep up and meet user expectations, here are some customer support trends to know about.

 

Self Service
Picking up the phone to talk to a customer support person has become an absolute last resort for consumers. With the growing consumer population of millennials, consumers just don’t want to pick up the phone.

The growing trend of self-service options is going to become more prevalent in 2017. Consumer behavior patterns show us that more and more people start by trouble-shooting and looking through Help Sections before even contacting support.

Does this trend apply to you? For most businesses yes. We strongly urge businesses to develop their Help Sections in 2017 beyond an FAQ page. If your company already has a Help Section, make it a point to refine it this year. A robust Help Section will not only reduce support hours but increase the customer experience.

 

Personalization
Consumers don’t want to repeat their problem to a new person every time they reach out to support. They don’t want to feel like a number; they want personalization. This expectation is going to be pushed further in 2017. How do you meet their demands? By having a sufficient support desk that can log and track customer information, past conversations and even find their location.

One word of warning. Don’t creep people out. Use the functionality you have enhance the customer experience, not creep them out by telling them everything you know about them upfront.

Does this trend apply to you? Yes. Personalization is a growing trend in the overall customer experience. The level of personalization you can provide will depend on your resources. If you are still managing support through email, looking for a proper support desk solution in 2017 should be a priority.

 

Faster Response Times & Problem Resolutions
We live in the age of “I want it now” – and that applies to customer support. The expectation of a quick response and resolution is as prevalent as ever. This means that customer support teams need to take an “all hands on” approach and break down the silos between support and the rest of the company. Communication needs to be open and freely flowing between support, billing, marketing, order fulfillment, development, etc. Everyone on your staff should be working together to improve the customer experience.

Does this trend apply to you? Yes. Whether you’re a large or small company, your customer support team should never be siloed. Everyone should be working on faster response times and quicker problem resolutions.

 

Going Beyond Traditional Support Channels
Technology has been transforming the customer service/support industry for some time now and will only continue to change to meet customer needs. While these customer support channels are not new, these four support channel/technologies be picked up and experimented with by a growing number of businesses in 2017.

  1. Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat.
  2. SMS customer service by texting.
  3. Chatbots like 1-800 Flowers Facebook Bot.
  4. A.I. support like Zendesk’s Automatic Answers.

 

 

 

 

Does this trend apply to you? If you’re a large company or major player in your industry, you should be experimenting with this new technology. If you’re a smaller company, watch the trends and wait.

 

Customer service as a career

This is one of our favorite trends, and something we are very passionate about! Customer Support is finally being recognized as a rewarding and important career. Companies are finally starting to realize the benefits of developing and retaining good support staff. Thanks to conferences like SupConf, the trend has really taken off and our industry has been elevated.
As the 80 million strong millennial population becomes a powerful force in the economy, the world of customer support continues to evolve to keep up with customer demands. Milliennials won’t wait in line to be helped and they won’t wait days for a response or a resolutions. Companies need to recognize and adapt to this and offer support that meets consumer expectations.

Are you ready to discuss your support needs?

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