This article on Customer Service Trends was originally posted on forbes.com.
The stress and uncertainty of 2020 events have forced a heavy, transformative hand on the customer service industry. Customer service teams were asked to do more with less while customers had more questions than ever. Strapped for time and resources, customer service organisations had no choice but to adapt, transform at lightspeed, re-evaluate how they got their work done and re-imagine what a successful interaction looked like. After all, 90% of customer service organisations report that customer service is more important than ever in these times of crisis.
The fact is, 2020 has changed customer service as we know it, bringing about long-lasting impacts on brands and customers alike. Here are the changes, challenges and customer service trends we predict will stick around into 2021 and beyond.
Digital Transformation Is Here to Stay
Although the initial shift to working remotely posed many challenges for CX organizations, many businesses have put processes and technology in place to deliver efficient and effective support in a remote environment. According to PWC, 82% of office workers would prefer to continue working remotely, at least part of the time, even after Covid-19 has subsided. And a whopping 73% of executives say working remotely has been a success.
We predict these shifting attitudes are here to stay, and provide many added benefits to organizations. Workers have more flexibility in their schedule and businesses can potentially garner cost-savings by downsizing office space and cutting back on in-office perks. So while some organizations have implemented temporary fixes to get through this quick shift to digital-first, a long term technology solution to enable smart remote work is now imperative.
Changing Consumer Attitudes Means More Digital Commerce
With most businesses closing their storefronts (at least temporarily) during the global pandemic, consumers were forced to shift their shopping online. The demographic that has historically been least likely to shop online and order for delivery, were also the most at-risk — those over the age of 65. Many older consumers were shopping online for the first time, and along with their shopping came a slew of questions directed at customer service.
While it is inevitable that commerce will partially shift back to brick and mortar once things go back to “normal,” there is now a massive new pool of consumers that are comfortable shopping online, and the volume of e-commerce and digital inquiries is expected…
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