Customer support has changed exponentially in the last few years. Better technology, more informed consumers, and higher expectations for fast access have all shaped how support is handled in businesses today. In the last year alone, the relationship between customer support and customer experience have become much closer, and have made a much larger impact.
According to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Companies and organizations will need to continue to adapt their support and experience strategies to keep customers engaged, informed, purchasing, and happy with the brand. Those who fail to do so will face more difficult competition in the market, as other brands are paving the way to success through positive customer experience. In fact, next year alone, it’s projected that 89% of businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience.
What’s to come is a direct reflection of what’s already been learned, and customer support is no different. Here are some of the most influential customer support stats of 2017 that will have an impact on what’s to come in 2018 and beyond.
Salesforce has reported that:
- 75% consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage (e.g., website, social media, mobile, in person).
- 56% consumers willing to share data to receive faster and more convenient service
- 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.
- 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.
Deloitte has reported that:
- 62% of companies view customer experience delivered by the contact centers as a competitive differentiator.
Gartner has stated that “companies that implement customer experience projects begin by focusing on ways they collect and analyze customer feedback. This is a great starting point for meeting your customers’ expectations.” They’ve reported that:
- In 2018 more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations.
- By 2020 a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human, so make sure to give your customers the direction and tools they need to accomplish tasks themselves.
Internet Retailer has reported that:
- Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.
Zendesk has reported that:
- 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves.
In 2018, companies should make it a top priority that their customers can easily find answers to their questions, and solve their issues through personalized, self-service support options. Organizations that take customer support and customer experience to heart and make a real effort will have more effective strategies in the marketplace and will stand out to consumers.
In short, businesses this year need to:
- Get set up with personalization
- Offer self-service, multi-channel support
- Use smooth UX and UI to provide a pleasant experience
- Know and understand your customers
Zingtree decision trees help organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries to improve their customer experience and support channels. Build online, interactive trees that allow customers to self-solve, are easy to customize and personalize, and offer businesses the ability to collect valuable information to better understand their customers.
This article was originally published on January 2, 2018.