Customer service is essential to any business, as it determines customer behaviour and loyalty. In fact, data shows that 94% of customers stated that a positive experience would make them more likely to purchase from a business again.
As such, keeping on top of trends and customer demands is necessary for providing the best experience possible.
Janine Hunt, Client Partnership Director at Kura, said, “Great customer service isn’t simply about providing the same experience continuously. It means adapting your approach to benefit each customer and ensuring that you’re keeping on top of trends, so your competitors aren’t getting an added edge.
“As technology and customer demands shift, it is vital that your business is adapting its approach to provide modern, updated, and friendly customer solutions that work for both your business and your customer base.”
This year has seen a boom in the AI world, with the likes of ChatGPT taking over. As more people become aware of AI and its uses, it is likely customers will expect businesses to implement this technology as part of the customer experience. In fact, 80% of customers are expecting AI and chatbots to improve customer services.
Some of the benefits that customers are expecting and hoping to receive include faster resolution times, better intent understanding, and tailored promotions and offers.
Janine says: “As AI makes its way into everyone’s customer service experience, it is important to understand where such technologies can be beneficial and where it is essential to use your own expertise and knowledge to provide the best experience.
“Quicker responses and one-call resolutions can save your customers time and frustration, but technology can only be part of the solution. For more complex customer support, a human advisor will be needed to resolve the issue and provide additional care and support.”
The human touch
According to data, one of the top reasons that people contact customer service throughout 2023 was to report an issue with their product or services. During these moments, having human customer service advisors on hand to handle problems, sensitive topics, and de-escalate customer complaints is essential for a business’s success.
Janine predicts: “We can expect to see the human touch remain just as important if not more so, heading into 2024. As more companies explore the benefits of AI as a quicker solution, offering your customers human interaction will remain part of offering the best customer experience.
“Empathy has always, and will remain, a vital part of customer service as we head into the New Year. While technology is useful for the running of your customer service experience, it is the human touch which makes a difference for your customers. Connecting and finding unique resolutions that work for your customers can make the difference between loyalty and loss.”
If your business doesn’t have the resources to meet demands during ramp periods, then customer service outsourcing could be the right option for you.
Instead of overloading your workforce with additional tasks and communications, outsourcing customer service can provide your customers with clear, consistent messaging and quick response times to ensure the best experience is delivered – no matter the time of year. This is also a great option for businesses that don’t have the right resources in-house – including expertise in people, equipment, or workspace.
As technology continues to develop, data-driven insights are expected to improve in 2024. In fact, 74% of customers worldwide expect better personalisation from the data they provide. As such, using your data effectively is crucial for not only understanding your audience better but also providing a better-quality service.
Janine recommends: “Having the right software in place will be a must in 2024. As your customers expect more tailored communications, you will need to analyse the data you have been provided to offer increasingly bespoke responses. Whether you’re promoting to the right audiences at the right time or avoiding debt and repayment problems through risk assessment, big data is going to become more crucial in the coming year.
“Data-driven insights aren’t only useful for personalising and targeting your audience, but they can also help your business better create informed decisions moving forward. Whether you’re planning a new service line or looking to better a product, the data and insight that your customer service team, alongside the developments and analysis technology, can provide might be making a way into your business in 2024.”
As more brands transition to being online, ensuring you have the right customer service in your DMs is essential for the great overall experience your customers deserve. In fact, brands are using social media platforms to effectively target and communicate with their audiences better, with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn being the top three platforms.
“There is no denying that social media is a quick and convenient way for both businesses and customers to connect. Whether it is marketing a new product, getting customer feedback, or simply responding to messages, making sure your company has a trusted customer service team online is vital.
“Your customers are online, so being able to offer an omnichannel strategy is essential for the ease of communication for your customers. They should be able to reach your brand in a way that is easiest and most convenient for them to provide the best experience possible. This means ensuring that your customers get a smooth transition from social media platforms to email communication and SMS, and across all other forms of brand and company communication,” says Janine.
Janine advises: “As with the past few years, customer service is constantly evolving, and your business needs to be changing with it. Whether it is a change in customer demands or a new technology which could provide your company with new insight, being able to adapt and change is crucial for the best customer experience.
“So, we can expect to see businesses that are flexible in their strategies to thrive in 2024. Being able to grow and adapt to new needs and demands is something we’ve experienced in 2023, and it isn’t going to slow in 2024.”
One way to ensure that you’re in a position to adapt is by outsourcing your customer service activities. By choosing a trusted provider who understands the market and your industry in-depth, you’ll be able to scale as needed when the demand comes.
Technology is a driving force for customer service as we head into 2024, with customers becoming more aware of what is and could be available to them. To help maintain a competitive edge, you need to get the balance between technology-assisted and the human touch right.