Customer support and customer service are two interrelated, yet distinctive ways to show up for your customers, as Zendesk notes.
While customer service is an “umbrella term for all interactions that enhance customer experience and help improve their relationship with the company,” customer support relates to communication surrounding near-term fixes and problem-solving. Both are important. With that in mind, we will cover three overarching trends for 2024 and beyond that will help you supercharge your customer service and support strategies.
1. Personalization & Voice of the Customer
A whitepaper from SAS, “Customer experience – now and into the future,” notes, “The future of customer experience is completely dependent on the ability of brands to have a full understanding of, and align with, consumer perspectives” adding that “The key question is: How well do brands understand consumer preferences, and where do their perspectives diverge?”
That’s the “what.” Gartner provides the “how.” Specifically, adopting a voice-of-the-customer strategy:
“Service organizations looking to make more informed decisions on customer experience (CX) investments and improvement should implement a cohesive voice-of-the-customer (VoC) strategy.”
Why? Because, as Deb Alvord, senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice notes, when implemented correctly, a comprehensive VoC strategy can lead to both a greater understanding of the value and use of customer data as well as decrease risk and delivering improved CX outcomes.
In combination with a more personalized customer service approach made possible with the help of AI-assisted chatbots and virtual assistants, a VoC strategy is well worth the initial time investment.
2. AI & Automation
Generative-AI-enabled automation and CX will continue to converge in 2024 and beyond. That’s at least in part due to the wide-ranging use cases for AI in a customer support/customer service context, which include:
- Generating dynamic marketing campaigns
- Generating personalized user guides
- Streamlining customer service and improving customer interaction while resolving issues via live chats and other AI-powered service tools
- Gaining deeper customer insights and increasing loyalty by analyzing behavioral data
AI and automation are so impactful in a CX context that Gartner has predicted “80% of customer service and support organizations will be applying generative AI technology in some form to improve agent productivity and customer experience” by 2025.
3. Omnichannel Integration
Meeting your customers where they are is important to providing helpful & immediate customer support. And your customers are everywhere. In the words of SAS, “Consumers don’t use digital, they are digital.”
- 37% of surveyed consumers have 3 or more mobile phones.
- 60% of households own at least one smart device (i.e. Alexa, Google Home, etc.).
- 39% of households have purchased an AR or VR device and 45% expect to purchase or add more by 2025.
Accordingly, providing immediate customer support via each communication medium and on each technological platform where your consumers are increases the chances that you will be able to solve their problem in real time with high-quality resolutions. Continuing to use multiple channels and integrating them with both human support and AI-assisted Chatbot support will be important going forward.
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