A key to success across all businesses and industries is good communication and quality customer service. Simply put: You need to find customers, and you need to keep customers in order for your company to continue thriving and adjusting to changing markets. For 2022, you want to ensure you’re prepared to take your business to the next level of success by providing excellent experiences and more convenience for your customers. It is important to remember that an overwhelming 80% of customers believe the experience a business provides is as important as its services, and 67% are willing to pay more for a great experience. Now is the time to prepare your communication goals and strategies for the year based on these projected trends.
1: Online Is a Permanent Trend
Online searching, shopping, and researching is a trend that is here to stay. This trend has consistently been building over the years, and it is reported that millions of customer service interactions now take place through digital channels every day. Research undertaken for the book The Effortless Experience states that 57.7% of all customers try to find an answer on a company’s website before calling the customer service department. Likewise, 34% remain on the site trying to find an answer while they are calling customer service. Proving that taking time to focus on your website can be extremely beneficial to the success of your customer service and decrease frustration for both you and the customer from the onset of the interaction.
In the quest for successful customer service provide as much help directly on your company website as possible. Items often suggested to make sure you include are:
- An FAQ Section
- Easy to find and use contact forms and listing of phone numbers/emails/contact names.
- Good descriptions and photos of the services you provide, testimonials from previous clients, & the areas (including adding Google Map integration features) where you provide services
- An automated, responsive computerized ChatBot. Implementing a customer service chatbot that provides instant support 24/7 and takes care of routine tasks can save a business an average 264 hours a year per employee. But remember, a human should always be available as back up. Especially in the green industry where calls can range from just routine questions about what your company does to important, time-sensitive emergencies.
2: Using Computers (AI: Artificial Intelligence) Doesn’t Eliminate the Need for Humans
If you do decide to invest the time and resources in adding an AI component to your communication modules, make sure you have a designated employees whose job it is to answer follow-up emails and phones calls efficiently and in a very timely manner. Also make sure they are equipped with the right phone/email scripts. The only thing worse than someone not answering the phone or calling you back, is when they do and they don’t have the correct company knowledge to help. Every customer wants to feel that their job site is as important to you as the next job site. This human interaction gives them a connection you, your company, and your team. And in the modern world with so many automated processes that can feel frustrating, disconnected, and unsuccessful, the human-to-human interaction continues to generate the feeling of loyalty and partnership. Because of this, human interaction will most assuredly continue to be an important piece of the communication trends in 2022.
3: Using Data to Drive Customer Service Focus
It was noted in a HubSpot’s Research Trust Survey, 93% of customers love to make regular purchases with companies having excellent customer service. As well as according to Super Office.com Customer experience (or CX) came in as first priority to customers at 45.9%, beating Products at 33.6% and Pricing at only 20.5% of importance to them. Proving with data what many already believed: custom service should be a top priority focus for all companies. But how do you find and use this data to drive your customer service decisions?
First, you need to get to know your customers. Next, it’s equally important to invest in the long-term relationship (also known as Relationship Marketing. Click here to learn more about relationship marketing), because when you understand who they are and what they need, you are able to deliver a personalized experience across the entire customer journey that will create the culture of a customer focused company.
But gaining this in-depth knowledge about customers isn’t something that just happens easily. You need to spend time focusing on how to collect customer data and how to bring out valuable insights from that data that you can use to make communication decisions. Websites like GetApp, and G2 can help you compare different available options and pick a data focused communications platform that will work best for you and your company.
4: Have Your Excellent Customer Service Become Part Of Your Brand
Do you have an amazing customer service employee on your team? Do you greatly value customer service internally, but don’t feel like people are aware of how important it is to you? Show it off! Have customer service become a trend within your company for 2022. Allow it to become part of “who you are” and the story you tell. Some suggestions on how to do this are:
- Add employee bios and photos to your website to personalize the experience of your brand and to create a trust between customer and employee
- When sending communications via email, social media, or other platforms make sure to highlight information about customer service in everything you do.
- Provide testimonials from previous clients on your website, social media, and other communications that focus on not just the products or job you did, but on the experience the customer had working with and your team
5: Mobile Customer Experience is a Priority
According to Stat Counter, 54.61% (and growing) of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices, with desktop usage on a consistently trending decline. What does this mean for your business in 2022? It means that a focus on your mobile communication modules is of the utmost importance. This includes:
- Making sure your website looks and functions extremely well on mobile devices as it does on a desktop computer
- Consider making the investment to work with an expert to create an app for your business
- Make sure to invest and train your staff in using mobile customer service interactive messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and automated texting features to confirm appointments/send auto-replies to let customers know you received an email request/and to communicate with them about their projects.
Customer experience is “at a basic level your customers’ perception of how your company treats them and how they feel about their interactions with you. These perceptions build memories and feelings to drive their loyalty, and in turn their behaviors.” In other words – if they like you and continue to like you, they are going to do business with you for a long time and recommend you to others. Remember the marketing experts here at Central TIS are available to work with you to increase your customer service experience and your profits based on these upcoming communication trends for 2022.