What does customer service look like in 2016?
Before we can answer this question, we need to reflect momentarily on the past. If you want to take a guess at where customer service and experience is heading, just look at what’s been trending over the last 12 months – and try applying it to your business in the coming year. Just don’t overlook the cutting edge stuff while you’re at it.
Here are 7 customer service trends we think are worth watching in 2016:
- Mobile dominates…again. As crazy as it seems, smartphones are getting even smarter. Customers can connect with your company in countless ways – it’s most likely the device they’re using to browse your website and products, write reviews, interact with you on social media, and more. Optimize your websites and business to be mobile friendly in 2016 or you’re going to get left behind.
- Customer experience becomes the new marketing. When your customer has a great experience, they’re going to share it. Hopefully, they’re going to share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and pique the interest of their friends. This can have a powerful impact on your company, so be so amazing that your customers want all of their followers to know about it.
- Video remains hot. Video has been hot for the last couple of years but experts are predicting it to take a seat front and center in 2016. Customers like videos because they’re often short, sweet, and to the point of whatever they’re looking for. Post valuable video content and you’ll enhance customer experience by giving the people exactly what they want.
- Customers knowing what to expect. Customers are smarter than ever, and they’ve set the bar high for companies who want to meet the standard of providing quality customer service and experiences. Over the past year, your marketing efforts have helped customers learn what they can and should expect from you, and they’re not afraid to compare you to others inside and outside of your industry. Make sure you deliver.
- Your millennial customer base will get bigger. Millennials, born between 1928 and 2004, make up nearly 25% of the population. They’re tech savvy, they’re less patient than the baby boomer generation, and they’re more open to new and different forms of communication. Keep these differences in mind when interacting with your customer base this year.
- Targeted advertising gets bigger. Thanks to data tracking, you can learn everything about when your customers are shopping for your product down to the time of day and temperature outside. So if you know I like to grab a cup of coffee on cold weekday mornings before work, don’t send me a coupon for coffee on a Saturday morning in July.
- Customers will expect more appreciation. And they should. They always have, but companies who take the time to make sure their customers know they are appreciated will always stand out from the pack. Continue to make them feel appreciated and valued and your business will continue to grow.
What customer service and customer experience trends will you be watching and following in 2016?