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Improving the Customer Service Experience: Tech Trends

by | Feb 13, 2020

You might be surprised to learn that some orgs still view clever advertising as a standalone strategy. With the right budget, unscrupulous execs expect to move enough widgets to satisfy this quarter’s KPIs. It might not be sustainable (looking at you, Fyre Fest), but if it gets the job done, why worry about tomorrow?

For those paying attention to trends, it’s clear that a fantastic customer experience (CX) strategy is required for enduring success. And the research supports this notion. According to Walker, CX will become the dominant factor in customers’ buying decisions by the end of 2020.

That last sentence may catch some readers off-guard, so go ahead and reread it if need be.

And the proliferation of social media and Google Reviews has birthed a new breed of informed consumers. Not to say shoppers bought blindly before the internet, but communication among buyers has never been so easy—or fast.

Robots on the rise.

Since connectivity doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, orgs with a will to win have one option: get involved. Actively improving customer interactions via client-first policies and accessible information is mandated by ever-increasing expectations.

Speaking of expectations, CX managers have their hands full keeping up with them, both internally and externally. As customers demand faster ticket resolution and personalized interactions, the strain on support teams can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, the SaaS industry has been quick to respond with a new generation of customer-centric tools. From FAQ automation to AI-powered troubleshooting, customer service staff are deploying more tech than ever before, with no signs of slowing.

Whether you’re with a small business or a multinational giant, this blog will inform you on cutting-edge CX solutions. Listed below are a few of our favorite trending CX tools for 2020 and beyond.

Hungry for sales and five-star reviews? Keep reading!

1. Self-service portals.

Among the most popular tech trends in the CX world is the self-service portal. More consumers than ever prefer finding their own answers, and expect you to make that possible. Making a phone call or heaven forbid visiting a brick-and-mortar location is seen as an inconvenience by shoppers of every generation.

In fact, by the end of 2020, 85% of your relationship with your clients will take place without any human contact. While the 1-on-1 with customer support staff won’t completely vanish, making knowledge readily available via self-service options is increasingly important.

Through a chatbot placed on your website, customers are empowered to find pricing, warranty policies, tracking numbers, and more. For busy buyers on the go, the ability to answer questions and instantly resolve issues is instrumental to a positive experience.

For the best CX:

2. Intelligent chatbots.

Now common lingo among customer service reps, chatbots were considered cutting-edge just a few years ago. In the 2020s, AI-powered bots will take these digital assistants to the next level. Over and above the simple rule-based options of yesterday, AI is enabling chatbots to deliver more personalized conversations and relevant information than previously thought possible.

On the topic of trends, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) will soon be considered standard attributes. A strong customer service feature, NLP, empowers your chatbot to understand customers’ questions, no matter how they’re phrased.

Once a question is answered, ML allows your chatbot to automatically update its response based on the client’s feedback. In the event your bot doesn’t know something, the ticket can be automatically routed to an SME within your org. But more on that below.

For the best CX:

  • Overdeliver on expectations by replacing your rule-based bot with an AI-powered upgrade.

3. Experts on call.

Expanding on the idea of an intelligent chatbot, human-in-the-loop (HITL) technology is rapidly gaining popularity as a middle-ground between AI and customer satisfaction teams. As the name implies, HITL-enabled chatbots automatically reroute unanswered inquiries to dedicated support staff.

Within seconds of a client submission, the question is delivered via a notification to the HITL. Once they provide an answer, ML adds the response to your bot’s knowledge base for any future inquiries.

For the best CX:

  • Consider adding an expert finder tool to satisfy complex questions calling for in-depth answers.

4. Lowering the feedback barrier.

Collecting customer feedback is not necessarily new but a trend nonetheless. In keeping with the theme of this blog, SaaS is enabling SMBs to listen to clients like never before. Curious to know what consumers want? They’ll tell you if you’ll listen!

Survey tools are being deployed at companies across the world to track net promoter scores (NPS) and identify potential product or service issues before they spread. Armed with intuitive feedback portals, CX managers can turn customer feedback into actionable insight, and adjust workflows accordingly.

For the best CX:

  • Transform ordinary surveys into active dialogue with guided conversations.

The future of CX.

As CX becomes a do-or-die metric, striving for excellence is mandatory. Faster ticket resolution, more personal conversations, and easily accessible knowledge will continue to rule the day. And as customers adjust to better and better service, expectations will rise accordingly.