Customer service continues to evolve, which marks one of the main trends for 2015 throughout many industries that rely on data from consumer interaction. Managers in various departments must pay attention to recent trends in order to save costs related to keeping customers happy through a service center.
Statistics and surveys show just how important customer service interactions can be for a company's profit margin. Up to 71 percent of customers do not return to a company due to poor customer interactions. As many as 39 percent of consumers avoid a company for two or more years due to a negative experience, resulting in 62 percent of companies that view a viable customer experience as a key competitive advantage.
Huge amounts of money go into customer service departments. Companies spend an average of $108 billion per year, or about $750 per customer. Large amounts of money, coupled with customer losses due to poor interactions, mean department managers must pay attention to trends for 2015 unless companies lose market share due to a lack of improvement with regards to customer interactions. Businesses must start with analytics that show where weaknesses occur in the service department.
More customers could access the Internet through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers than through a wireless-enabled computer in 2015. As many as 63 percent of customers are more likely to return to a company that has live chat for a customer service portal. Businesses that want a larger market share should consider a live chat option on their websites.
Videoconferencing with customers has also become a major trend. Amazon.com created a "Mayday Button" on its Kindle products in September 2014 that directly connected customers to an agent via video technology already embedded in the device. The service has become so popular that as many as 75 percent of Kindle customers take advantage of videoconferencing.
Another trend to watch includes self-service options due to the Internet. Companies can create FAQ pages, video tutorials and online forums for customers to find answers they need when the service department is closed. This model rings particularly true for companies that have online retail operations in addition to brick-and-mortar stores.
Until companies invest in these technologies moving forward, managers must still grapple with customer service issues right now. One of the best things department heads can do revolves around training individual agents through strategic training initiatives. Although the return on investment can be enormous, these new technologies take time to implement due to beta testing, redoing software platforms, and upgrading computer systems to handle more workloads.
Customer service trends continue to embrace even more technological aspects. Yet companies should not veer away from traditional service principles, such as taking care of existing customers, as returning business forms the lifeblood of revenue streams.
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