13 Emerging Customer Service Trends to Follow in 2023
With so many companies prioritizing their customer service efforts for a good reason, we decided to list 13 emerging customer service trends that can help you exceed customer expectations and drive business growth.
Thanks to a combination of tools, systems, and strategies, driving customer retention through optimal customer service is easier than ever before.
This article highlights the importance of staying on top of the latest customer service trends and the top trends to follow today.
- Customer service trends refer to the ever-changing technologies, tools, and systems used to render support to customers.
- Staying up-to-date with modern trends helps you meet customer service expectations, and boost customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.
- One of the foremost customer service trends today is offering self-service options. According to a Zendesk survey, 69% of customers try solving their problems themselves before they contact any support agent.
- The role of automation in customer support is also growing, with automatically-triggered walkthroughs and video tutorials, refining customer experiences.
- More than 50% of business leaders are investing more in customer service agility, automation, self-service support, etc.
- Customers are demanding more personalization and empathy from support agents.
- Messaging apps are rising in popularity. While offering support across channels, it’s also important that you track the customer journey at all times.
- Technology is shaping the future of support with a rise in AI chatbots, ticket tracking automation, face-to-face video chat, etc.
- Want to meet up with modern customer service expectations and deliver exciting customer experiences? Book a demo today to learn how Userpilot can help you achieve all that.
What are customer service trends?
Customer service trends encompass the ever-changing technologies and systems shaping modern service provision. This ever-changing landscape accommodates new technologies, omnichannel support, and AI systems, leading to an evolution in customer service.
New customer service trends are more inclusive of the customer. The customer controls how, when, and where they interact with customer service reps, and companies must keep up to successfully deliver top-notch customer experiences that encourage users to stick around.
Why is it important to follow customer service trends?
Customer service is an integral part of how customers perceive a brand. Customers expect companies to listen to their needs and address their concerns.
Following the trends also improves the overall customer experience by keeping you on track with modern customer expectations. You can meet and exceed these customer expectations by taking advantage of modern customer service technologies.
As you do, your overall service delivery will improve, making life easier for your customer support team and improving customer satisfaction.
Top customer service trends to exceed customer expectations
Let us now consider 13 top trends customer service teams are adopting and how you can do the same.
1. Self-service customer support is growing
Good customer service today hands the initiative to the customer. About 69% of customers try to solve their issues themselves before reaching out for support.
To meet their need for self-service support, customers will research their challenges on search engines like Google to see if they can find a solution. This has made knowledge base articles much more valuable, with a 20% increase globally.
Resources such as integrated resource centers, FAQ pages, and knowledge base articles help your customers find solutions to their problems independently.
2. Automation of in-app training and support
Automation helps you maximize efficiency and accuracy while also lowering your response time. An integrated help center, for example, can include a searchable knowledge base that directs users to articles that answer their queries to automate search.
You can also automate the in-app customer experience to provide proactive support. For example, Userpilot lets you automatically launch interactive walkthroughs, in-app video tutorials, or tooltips when a user interacts with a specific feature or completes a custom event.
You can even take it a step further with Userpilot and personalize your automated workflows, triggering different content and walkthroughs according to the needs of each user segment.
3. Companies are increasing investments in customer service
Investment in innovative digital solutions has soared alongside increased digital adoption. 50% of company leaders believe that digital adoption has accelerated by 1-3 years, and 25% believe it has accelerated by 4-7 years.
In response, 63% of companies are investing more time and resources into improving the customer experience. Today’s companies invest more in customer data analytics, automation, self-service, customer service agility, digital channels, data security, etc.
4. Customers want more personalized experiences
In the age of self-service support, only complex requests will get to your customer service agents. And when a user contacts your team, they don’t expect to meet a robot that treats them like a number.
Train your customer support agents to personalize their support. Listen to the customer’s need and try to appreciate its severity, converse using their name, patiently understand their requirements, and avoid scrambling for a response.
With about 92% of customers ranking customer service as key to a business winning their trust, a well-prepared customer support team is an excellent marketing tool.
5. Customers expect empathy from your customer service team
Expectations around customer experience have also shifted to include more empathy. Although customers still value speedy resolution to problems, they also desire more empathy from the companies they love.
So, you must display customer intelligence and flexibility in handling customer service requests, even when they don’t fall within your regular request category.
Also worthy of note is that customers’ desire for empathy extends to your brand’s core values. They want to know what your business cares about and expect clarity and transparency around business policies.
6. Omnichannel support
Omnichannel support has been a fast-rising customer service trend since the start of the pandemic. Today’s customers make inquiries and even purchases using different communication channels, from emails to social media, phone, live chat, in-app messaging, etc.
With customers switching across multiple channels for support, relying on a single-channel support system is no longer effective. Omnichannel support brings all of your customer support channels under one roof.
Such a unified support system better streamlines customer information and conversations, making it easier to track the customer journey across channels and provide on-the-go support.
7. Messaging channels will grow in popularity
Social media channels and other messaging systems have continued to grow in popularity, with 71% of customers expecting brands to offer support over messaging channels.
Social media is especially popular among customers of a younger demographic. Over the last few years, the number of WhatsApp tickets has increased by 219%, SMS tickets by 30%, and other social media channels by 26%.
Indeed, about 63% of customers expect social media support today. Having a social media presence grants you a competitive advantage by connecting with customers, intercepting their queries and complaints, and providing them with prompt solutions.
8. Support automation with AI chatbots
Machine learning and Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots are one of the foremost customer service trends of 2023. These automated chat applications enable customers to make inquiries or complaints without interacting with human agents.
In 2020 alone, interaction with automated chatbots increased by 81% as more companies sought to provide real-time support. These bots employ AI to instantly figure out the technical fault and assist complaining customers.
Chatbots are quick and easy, reducing the need for human interactions and response time, and increasing conversion rates. They’re also pocket-friendly, with a CNBC report estimating they could reduce business costs by $8 billion this year.
9. Face-to-face video support from customer service teams
Once a tool for internal communications alone, the rise of the remote support team has led more businesses to adopt face-to-face video chat for customer support.
Using communication technologies like Zoom, businesses can offer video support, making it easier to assess and resolve customer complaints. With a 70% increase in adoption among customers, this is a trend that’s here to stay.
Video support is also very robust. Webinars, for instance, are great tools for hosting AMA (ask me anything) sessions, providing customer education on how to use your product, or even discussing pertinent industry matters.
10. Customers expect companies to automate simple tasks
From taking customer queries to solving frequent problems, transferring calls, and sending follow-up notes, customer service is full of several repetitive actions that quickly become tedious.
Thankfully, with the rise of automation, you no longer have to go through that stress. APIs and workflows enable you automatically send follow-ups or assign cases without human intervention.
Today, customers have also come to expect automation in everything, from order tracking (41%) to complaint management (17%). They recognize the improved customer experience with automation and expect more businesses to incorporate it.
11. Stronger brand relationships
Businesses are re-imagining customer relationships by giving customers more control over the relationship.
The overriding trend today involves the use of more bots and fewer but more specialized human reps. Bots are smart enough to handle most queries and pass on customers with problems beyond them. Then, service reps take over to offer support quickly and efficiently.
Many businesses can maintain smaller, more impactful teams by combining bots and agents. With more time on their hands, support teams can work with R&D teams to ensure the loop between customer feedback and product development is tight.
12. Transparency around how businesses collect, use, and share customer data
Customer data handling is central to the success of the modern SaaS business. Data collection, processing, and analysis are important if you want to deliver personalized experience. However, the modern customer also cares how you collect, use, and share their data.
According to a McKinsey report, 71% of customers will abandon a company if it shared their data without permission. This is in keeping with the rising concern around customer data handling transparency.
It’s pertinent, therefore, that you invest in data security, eliminate unnecessary data sharing, and be transparent with your data handling policy. Doing so may be the difference between customer loyalty and customer churn.
13. Businesses are prioritizing customer success
All customer service trends point in one direction – businesses care more about customer success (CS) today. As competition has increased, so too has the power of the customer. Customer success has thus become a big driver of business growth.
As we move further into 2023, interest in CS will only continue to grow. More businesses are employing and equipping a CS team to help refine and improve the customer experience and drive customer satisfaction.
It is the job of your CS team to create the conditions for new revenue and business value appreciation. To do this, they must have the necessary skills and tools to provide customers with maximum value.
The overriding goal of every modern customer service trend is customer retention. As you work on delivering a more seamless customer experience, you’ll boost customer engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
Thankfully, tools like Userpilot exist to make this task easier. Userpilot helps you collect and utilize customer data (including survey responses, product usage data, etc.) to improve the customer experience. Book a demo to learn more.