The survey identified the following six trends:
1. Cost efficiency – there’s growing demand for support services with pressure on budget and productivity. Perhaps some of this pressure would be alleviated if companies considered the quality of the customer interactions by their CSRs rather than the quantity. See previous posts on Zappos commitment to “deliver happiness” and their outstanding customer service (https://ctsmithiii.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/consumer-insights-on-branding-via-customer-service/).
2. Multi-channel support become ubiquitous – costs of entry and barriers to implementation continue to drop and customers are more connected than ever. Given this, it’s important to engage the customer in their channel of preference.
3. Social media and support – it’s here and it’s real. It’s also a very good way to engage your customers and prospects. Lack of participation and engagement on your part will let them know you’re behind the times or just don’t care.
4. Support performance measurement is putting the customer first. Productivity is important but customer satisfaction is even more important and the potential revenue gains far outweigh the costs. See Zappos again (https://ctsmithiii.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/top-ten-ways-to-instill-customer-service-into-your-company/).
5. Human beings aren’t going away anytime soon. Support centers are getting more efficient. However, self-service is not growing due to more complex products and savvy customers who expect to be able to discuss their specific situation with a real person.
6. Support is getting SaaSier – 50 percent of those responding are implementing service and support via the cloud or plan to do so over the next year. This gives companies more options in employing a virtual staff while tracking all interactions in a CRM.
Which of these trends offer the greatest opportunity for you to improve the service and support you offer your customers?