Get a jump-start on the latest customer service trends of the year! New customer service trends for contact centers have opened doors of possibilities that can make or break your customer experience. You’ll want to be ahead of the game.
Here are the seven trends we’ve got our eye on this year:
- Self service remains the name of the game
- AI-powered chatbots: a new cornerstone of customer experience
- Interactive video chats resolve customer issues more quickly
- Skills-based routing personalizes the service experience
- AI + real agents = standout customer service
- Real-time analytics change the game on agent performance
- The social media customer service boom expands
1. Self-service remains the name of the game
“69% of consumers first try to settle their issue unaided, but less than one-third of companies offer self-service options”
This is a trend that’s continued to grow over the past few years, and 2023 is no exception. Customers don’t want to talk to someone to resolve simple service issues. If they can find the answer to their question without getting on the phone, that’s a win.
Now, that doesn’t mean the need for call centers is going away in 2023. Not even close! As you’ll see in the following trends, there are still a lot of specific needs for person-to-person interaction in customer service. But self-service features will continue to handle easier issues, while freeing up your experts to handle the more complex questions and problems your customers might have.
2. AI-powered chatbots: A new cornerstone of customer experience
“75% of customers find it important for brands to offer them a fully self-service customer care option to answer their questions”
AI-powered chatbots are at the forefront of the customer experience revolution. They are a more efficient way for organizations to deliver customer service and support. AI-powered chatbots can be programmed to provide a personalized experience for each user, which is not possible with humans. They are also a great way to improve the customer experience by making it more personalized.
Chatbots can be used in many ways, such as:
- Customer service chatbot that helps you find what you need
- Self-service chatbot that helps you find information on your account
- Chatbot for a company website that helps visitors find what they’re looking for
- Chatbot for Facebook Messenger that lets people know about new products or services
3. Interactive video chats help resolve issues more quickly
“52% of customer service teams use online chat or live support, compared to 81% of customers who use online chat or live support for communicating with a company”
Another exciting new customer service trend is the opportunity to switch from their preferred channel to a live video interaction with a customer service representative. With RingCentral Engage Digital’s switch-to-video feature, customers never have to leave their preferred channel. Here’s how easy it is:
This allows customers to easily switch between virtual channels, such as our new LinkedIn integration. Customers can enjoy an interactive live video chat with a customer service representative and have their questions answered without interrupting their workflow. This becomes extremely critical in specific use cases in tech support or healthcare.
4. Skills-based routing personalizes the service experience
Customers have different needs and your contact center must address the needs of the many. The catch is, your contact center agents have different knowledge bases and skill sets. Skills-based routing allows your calls to be directed to agents that have the precise expertise to best assist that individual customer.
You can also adjust your language preference so the agent understands what you want. For example, if you are calling about advice regarding purchasing a new car, rather than routing to the agent who can help with the purchase, maybe an automotive expert would be better suited to that.
5. AI + real agents = Standout customer service
When it comes to a contact center, there’s no need to choose either human agents or artificial intelligence to help your customers. It turns out combining the two could give your customer experience the best of both worlds.
Conversational AI can provide your service team with real-time guidance and behavioral coaching, whether they’re in-office or remote. The AI rides along with your agents on every voice and digital interaction to provide instant tips—not just on what to say, but how to say it in a way that makes customers happy. You can even track behavior parameters, such as active listening and empathy, to detect patterns and improve customized coaching.
Here’s one use case for conversational AI, as seen in RingCentral’s customer experience platform:
6. Real-time analytics change the game on agent performance
Analytics remains a core foundational area for emerging customer service trends used by companies to monitor their customer experience. It helps identify problems and issues that may arise in voice calls.
RingCentral has developed Engage Voice, a voice analytics tool. It is used to analyze the performance of customer service agents and identify potential issues before they become a problem for the company. This way, contact center staff can take swift action to resolve any issue before it becomes a problem for the customer.
Engage Voice also analyzes customer call quality and provides insights into the customer experience including the length of their call, the number of times they were transferred, the number of dropped calls, and missed opportunities to close deals.
7. The social media customer service boom expands
“95% of adults between the ages of 18-34 are likely to follow a brand through social media channels”
With the increasing popularity of social media platforms, customer service for 2023 has shifted to these channels. This is a win-win situation for both the customer and the company. This is because social media channels are available 24/7 and are accessible from any device. Social media also provides businesses with the opportunity to listen in on conversations about their products or services, which can help them improve what they offer in the future.
The best customer service providers are those that offer customers a seamless way to contact them. It is not enough to just have a phone number on your website. Customers expect to get in touch with you through email, social media, and chat.
RingCentral helps companies master the art of social media customer service. For example, our LinkedIn integration works seamlessly with our communications solution to enable customers and companies to send messages directly from LinkedIn without having to leave the site. This ensures the best possible experience for customers using LinkedIn.
As more companies become aware of the new customer service trends like social media customer service, a comprehensive communications solution that includes such integrations will be seen as a way to provide better customer service and fundamentally elevate the way brands do business.
Stay on top of customer service trends with the right technology
RingCentral’s omnichannel, AI-powered contact center platform offers numerous features that you can use to help your business reach its customer service, cost-saving, and revenue-building goals. Check out our new features today!
Originally published Jan 26, 2023, updated Feb 13, 2023