The future of customer service

According to a study conducted by the consulting firm OC & C, the majority of decision-makers take price into account in their decision-making process, with 35% of them considering it a major criterion.

Thus, companies will have to think of a way to improve their customer service without affecting the final price. Intelligent automation and artificial intelligence are technologies capable of anticipating customer needs and responding to them in real time with the aim of building loyalty and offering them personalized offers. Ultimately, these technologies are able to meet the new needs of consumers, which are also constantly changing.

The time for hyper-personalization has really come

In 2022, customer service has reached a certain stage of maturity. Naturally, hyper-personalization is the next step, and little by little, artificial intelligences will replace human interaction. If before, in terms of marketing strategy, companies favored groupings into segments, today, each customer wants to be treated in a personal way.

An example of a hyper-personalized experience would be a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant that would have the ability to recognize your license plate and offer you your last order with a 10% discount. This speeds up the process, increasing the chances of loyalty.

In 2023, personalization will be even more advanced. For example, a customer visits a clothing app on Wednesday and searches for sweaters on sale in the “men’s clothing” category. He spends about 15 minutes on the application, and leaves it without making any purchases.

Thus, once the company has analyzed the various data, the application will be able to automatically send a personalized notification to the customer on Thursday, indicating “Wool sweaters on sale today”, incorporating names of brands, prices, etc.

Customer confidence as a priority indicator for companies

We live in an experience economy where speed, quality and price can be negotiated. The only non-negotiable element at present is trust, which is the priority of the customer relationship. However, this is difficult to achieve, because most of today’s customer experiences are marked by a culture of suspicion. It is therefore essential to find a way to measure it.

If today all companies know that trust is a priority for their customers, there are very few companies (if any) capable of measuring it with precision.

Some organizations measure brand affinity through analyst firms that focus on customer experience. In contrast, there is no standard measure for trust in contact centers, as is the case for other areas, such as average request handling time.

Trust is thus based on several principles: honesty, reliability, consistency and attention. To maintain their competitive advantage, companies will have to create a solution or a methodology allowing them to predict behaviors in order to obtain a trust score from their customers.

Personalized surveys for better interactions

The majority of customers or consumers view surveys as a measure of experience, and don’t realize that a survey is an experience in itself. Most surveys are time-consuming and irrelevant. The only way to fix this and increase response rate is to make surveys contextual and more personalized. Imagine receiving an email after shopping, retracing your buying journey, from the item you paid for, to Steve, the seller who made the transaction. Following this email, you find a list of questions about the performance of the seller, such as: “Would you hire Stéphane?” By giving a positive answer, for example, you allow the seller to benefit from advantages in another partner store.

By feeling directly concerned by this type of questionnaire, customers will find it easier to interact with the brand, allowing it to continually improve its services and products.

Organizations will centralize their logic in their quest for success

Large companies will start to centralize their logic. If they don’t, they will crumble under the weight of their silos and be doomed to failure. Almost all organizations with more than 500 employees try to rationalize the number of applications they integrate into their ecosystem, yet they keep adding more. These companies are struggling with the complexity of the many applications they have deployed and are looking for ways to simplify processes. In many organizations, different teams are in charge of online customer interaction and contact centers, but do not collaborate. It becomes essential to have a holistic view of customers in order to have the ability to deliver excellent customer service, bringing these two aspects of the organization together in a single system.

Smart business messaging on TikTok

If business messengers are available on Facebook and Instagram, the next big trend could be the appearance of this feature on TikTok. This social network, mainly affecting Generation Z (people born between 1997 and 2010), is increasingly used by brands as a marketing channel.

This messaging could be used by brands to offer answers to frequently asked questions, such as store opening hours or return policies. Historically, these services have been unreliable because they are run by humans. On the other hand, by leaving the hand to a robot, they will be able to gain in reliability and speed.

“Client-machines” are multiplying

A “client-machine” is a machine that takes the place of a real human client to perform a task. According to research by Gartner, by 2025, 37% of customers will try to use a digital assistant to interact with customer service on their behalf. Organizations must therefore develop strategies now to prepare for the increase in the number and capabilities of “client-machines”.

When someone asks Siri to set an alarm or Alexa to turn off the lights, it’s a digital assistant doing something without the user having to. Imagine going further with an assistant who is able to interact with customer service on our behalf. Indeed, the digital assistants that we know could be able to update banking information, or modify payment deadlines, without the human having to really intervene. This is the advent of the “client-machine”.

In the future, there will be four main types of interaction between customers and businesses. Person-to-person (P2P), the norm: I call and talk to another human to get something. Person to machine (P2M), we often do it: I interact with a robot to get something. Machine to Person (M2P), my digital assistant will call and talk with a human to get something, and Machine to Machine (M2M), the customer’s digital assistant interacts with their systems and gets things autonomously.

Companies will therefore need a whole new strategy to manage M2P and M2M interactions. There are more units on earth capable of being machine-clients than there are human beings, so when this phenomenon spreads, it will spread FAST!

According to a study by Gartner again, CEOs and CIOs estimate that 1/5 of revenue will come from machine clients by 2025.

It will fundamentally redefine all the standards of what is perceived as a quality customer experience. There will be a new standard for ease, for speed and for convenience.

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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