2019 saw the value of customer experience reach record heights. In fact, according to the 2019 State of Service Report from Salesforce, 80% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products.
Creating a unique, efficient, and personalized experience can have a tremendous impact on business growth. According to Forrester, companies delivering a great customer experience had an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%, whereas poor customer experience delivered just 3% over the same period.
As we head into the new year, here are 4 trends for ecommerce companies to keep an eye out for and leverage in order to transform their support center and elevate the customer experience.
Messaging Becomes a Must Have
Customers now have a mobile-first view of communications, using multiple channels and platforms to interact with one another. This has led to the steady growth of messaging, both SMS and chat, as some of the most popular ways to connect. Many consumers not only prefer to communicate with each other through messaging, but increasingly with the brands they love.
While there will always be a need for voice support, especially for urgent issues, delivering the best customer experience possible will mean making messaging channels and communications a core part of the customer journey and experience. Meeting customers where they are will continue to be an integral part of curating a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Infusion of Multimedia
Having a unique and fluid experience across multiple channels is just the tip of the customer experience iceberg. Customers today communicate both visually and contextually with one another, leveraging multimedia functions such as sending photos, videos and screenshots. This type of communication is not only expected in their own communications but with brands.
Expect to see companies optimizing the customer journey to meet the needs of their growing base of digitally native customers across all interaction points. This multimedia sharing will not only allow customer support teams to gather more contextual information in order to resolve issues faster, but allows customers and brands to securely share information such as location data, battery life, app usage and more. This can all be used to build a more customized and streamlined customer journey and experience.
Data Puts Customers First
For businesses looking to digitally transform their customer experience and operations, identifying the right tools and technologies that can connect into a larger ecosystem is key. This connection helps teams make more strategic decisions in how they are engaging with both current and prospective customers.
Customer support has a wealth of feedback, sentiment, buying behavior data and more that when shared across all teams can help take the customer experience to new levels. Product teams can expedite features in real time, marketing can better address messaging and targeting and sales teams can have better understand customer pain points and how to address them.
Specialized Support Agents
As technologies such as AI and machine learning continue to automate the customer experience and guide users to self-service options and FAQs, customer support agents will need to become hyper specialized and a team full of subject matter experts rather than generalists.
For example, having support agents who specialize is specific channels, products or even by specific customer types will not only allow for faster issue resolution but make customers feel they’re speaking with someone who truly understands their situation and can offer the best advice possible.
Using Customer Experience to Drive ROI
Providing a frictionless, personalized customer experience is no longer a nice to have capability. It is a critical aspect of differentiating yourself from competitors in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
The importance and value placed on the customer experience will only continue to grow. By staying ahead of these key trends, support teams and business leaders can maintain a competitive advantage, build brand loyalty and turn negative customer experiences into positive outcomes.
Anand Janefalkar is Founder and CEO of UJET. He will be a speaker at Ecommerce Operations Summit 2020, April 14-16, 2020 in Orlando, FL on “How Millennials and Gen Z are Reshaping Customer Care.”