Many companies were forced to modify operations as a result of Covid-19. In order to stay in business, they had to quickly pivot the customer experience to include safety protocols – such as contactless pickups and deliveries – as well as an increased online presence with new or enhanced communication tools. As a result, consumer behaviors and customer service trends have changed as well.
According to a report from TalkDesk – some consumer expectations that were established during the pandemic are here to stay. Customers not only expect businesses to have a robust online presence, but they also expect easily accessible interactions across multiple channels, combined with an outstanding customer experience. Taking this into consideration, let’s look at some of the customer service trends to watch for – post-pandemic.
Customer Service Expectations in 2022 and Beyond
The research results are in, so here are some of the trends to be aware of when it comes to consumer behaviors and expectations.
Trend 1 – Stellar Customer Experience
A great customer experience matters now, more than ever! Nearly 96% of customers say that the quality of their experience is the main motivator when it comes to choosing who they do business with. Not only that, over 86% would be willing to pay more if it means having a better, more personalized experience. Therefore it would be wise to train customer service teams so they have the skills they need to identify and respond to customer expectations, be aware of any potential problems, and promptly resolve them before they turn into escalated complaints. Needless to say, this also includes the internal customer experience. This brings us to the next trend…
Trend 2 – Proactive Customer Service
Customers expect businesses to know and anticipate their needs before they even have to ask. They expect businesses’ timely and helpful communication, outstanding service, and consistent follow-ups to ensure a seamless experience. Keeping this in mind, it is essential for teams to have the systems and programs in place that enable them to understand and track the customer journey – which is all the touchpoints a customer has with an organization.
Trend 3 – Holistic, Integrated Approach
Consumers are looking to do business with companies that provide multilingual, multicultural, and multi-market support. As a result, companies are shifting from a departmental mentality to a more holistic, company-wide approach. This shift requires changes in talent acquisition and training, cross-functional collaborations, and robust levels of internal communication combined with comprehensive customer experience analytics.
Trend 4 – Self-Service and Human Support
Consumers not only don’t mind but even prefer using self-service options for quick and easy transactions. However, as we went over in a previous blog, they still expect easy access to phone support when needed. In fact, according to a study from Calabrio, customer service agents are handling 7.2 more calls per day compared to pre-pandemic times. This uptick in calls reveals the importance of our frontlines. To continue to provide great service, companies need to ensure agents have the training and knowledge they need.
Trend 4 – Business Values and Ethics
Customers are emerging from the pandemic with changed priorities and values and want to interact with brands that reflect them. They can conduct research about a company and discover its core values in a matter of minutes. If there is not a value match, consumers – especially those in Gen Z – will take their business elsewhere. Examples of company values include diversity, sustainability, equal opportunity, and human rights. So having company values that are both inclusive and fair is key – if the goal is long-term success.
In conclusion, to say that the pandemic has forever changed customer service trends is an understatement! It has not only required mastering new tools and technologies, but it has also given both employees and consumers time to reassess their lives, their priorities, and their expectations. Staying in very close touch with these trends and adjusting accordingly is essential – if companies wish to remain competitive in a post-pandemic market. We’ll end here with a great quote that sums it up:
“Learn to move quickly and in understanding the new customer mindset, and we will continue to have customers.” – Blake Morgan, Customer Experience Futurist