As a small business owner, you know that providing excellent customer service is essential to your success. But what customer service trends should you be aware of in the upcoming year? Here are the top four trends to watch, including AI:
1. Increased Focus on Personalized Experiences
In 2024 customers will want to feel more valued, especially when seeking services. Because of the rapid improvements in technology, connections with actual humans in the world of business are becoming less frequent and more valuable. It is vital that small businesses tailor their approach to the unique needs of each customer, making them feel like their business and happiness is truly valued. While technology can assist in many functions of business, it is still important that you form a connection with your customers to increase loyalty and satisfaction. One of the advantages of owning a small business, is that you can form the kinds of connections that large corporations cannot compete with.
2. Growing Use of AI in Customer Service
If there is one thing that has impacted business the most in the past 12 months it would be the emergence of AI and its’ accessibility to the average consumer or business. It has many practical business applications that include chatbots, virtual assistants and other automated tools that can enable small businesses to provide more efficient and faster customer service. Chatbots can be utilized to answer FAQ’s, schedule appointments or provide support to customers outside of normal business hours. In addition, AI can be a powerful tool in analyzing customer data and identifying relevant trends in your business. This info can be used to develop more targeted marketing campaigns and improve the overall customer experience. Here is a brief article if you’re interested in using artificial intelligence tools in your business.
3. Increased Demand for Self-Service Options
Customers are demanding more and more ability to handle issues on their own. Whether its accessing information to solve a problem themselves, or having the ability to view detailed invoices, customers don’t want to rely on a person to get what they need. Solving this can include a variety of tools, including online customer portals, extensive FAQ responses on your website, or a vast store of relevant articles that your customer can access. Greater accessibility for the customer not only improves customer service, but saves you time by allowing customers the ability to find information on their own.
4. Growing Popularity of Messaging Channels and Social Media
You can’t discuss customer service without mentioning communication. While many of your older clientele may prefer reaching you via phone call, online messaging is becoming the preferred mode of communication for younger generations. Allowing customers to reach you via text message, Facebook Messenger or Google Business’ chat feature provides an added level of convenience for your customer. Customers will come to appreciate the faster and more responsive customer support you provide. In addition, businesses need to recognize the importance of social media, that goes beyond messaging with your customer. Social media is an excellent place to nurture the bond that your customer has with your company, which can lead to increased sales in the future.
With these tips, small business owners can deliver excellent customer service that exceeds expectations and enhances their business for 2024. Rely on a marketing partner like Central if you need assistance with determining goals and best-practices for your company’s communication strategies.