Customer Service Trends and Call Center Trends for 2023

We have already written an article about customer service trends in 2022, but this year is ending. This means that we have to look further to understand what awaits us in the next year and what we should do to keep up with the times and provide excellent customer service and customer experience.  Customer service trends are also about trends in customer experience because both these tendencies depend on each other. You can provide great customer experience without providing seamless customer service, so CX trends are also the subject of this research.  Trends in customer experience, as well as trends in customer service, are stable and they’re forming for years, so we can’t say that any customer service trends or CX trends are going to change dramatically on the 1st of January 2023. No, the tendencies will keep being the same as they have been in 2022, but the fact is that what exactly do we have to take a close look at? Saying “proactive service will be one of the most important customer service trends in 2023” doesn’t mean it wasn’t a customer service trend in 2022, or even 2017. But what is meant by proactive customer service, and why has it started to be a stable customer service trend, and the main question - if it is still one of the most important customer service trends, then we can state that the market still hasn’t fulfilled customer expectations of proactive customer service, right? This formula relates to all other popular trends, no matter if we are talking about self-service or artificial intelligence integrations, the fact remains that people want more than companies offer now.  So, to avoid losing your time, let’s not just list all well-known customer service trends, but let us find out why are they so popular, why people still feel dissatisfied with the level of implementation of these trends, and what should we focus on - and this will be a guide how to jump over your head in 2023 and get what you desire.  So, here we go. 

 

Customer Service trends and CX trends for 2023

More focus on customer experience

As we have mentioned plenty of times, customer experience is the factor that drives business forward, or, vice versa, destroys customer loyalty and customer retention - depending on what quality of customer experience you provide. So, even though focusing on customer experience is a well-known and generally accepted customer service trend, this doesn’t mean that stating that you are already focused on customer experience isn’t enough, you have to link your customer experience strategy with consumer expectations to get positive results. 

According to the latest studies, 73% of customers state that positive CX is the most vital factor for purchase decisions. 42% of customers are ready to pay more for better customer experience, especially if it is positive and empathetic. 

What is customer experience itself, by the way? It consists of many customer service metrics, such as customer satisfaction, customer effort score, net promoter score, first contact resolution, and so on. All these factors are crucial, and you can’t focus on first call resolution only, ignoring the importance of customer brand advocacy. 

Okay, now the customer experience definition is clear. But what do customers understand under the phrase “excellent customer experience”? Let’s try to find out by basing on studies.

  • In 2022, 42% more of clients said they want to talk to empathetic agents
  • 20% more of clients stated they value quicker average response time
  • 94% of customers said that they want businesses to invest more in customer service technologies
  • 80% of customers feel a close emotional connection with a brand if it resolves their customer problems

Moreover, if we take a close look at generation Z consumers, we will see that the term “growing customer demands” means more than you could expect. You should take into consideration that customers from the Z generation are the people who will determine all customer service trends and customer experience trends in the next 20 years. They already have a strong influence on customer service trends - look at the growing importance of social media for CX trends, and all questions will be answered. So, tracking the preferences of gen Z customers is vital to understand customer experience trends far beyond the incoming year.

  • Over 40% of gen Z clients prefer self-service channels to human agents
  • If the company doesn't answer fast, 80% of customers will abandon their carts
  • Ideal response times are faster than 5 minutes for over 40% of users
  • Long website pages loading and poor image quality is unacceptable for 55% of buyers
  • 6% more gen Z buyers, compared to Millennials, compare products from various brands before purchasing

Do you notice it? Younger buyers are more demanding, they change brands without any regrets, and they want fast and effective customer service - this is one of the most critical trends in customer service for the next few years. 

Personalization as a fundament 

Personalized service is a must for all stages of the customer journey. During the last few years, you had an opportunity to save a bit of money and don’t use all tools of personalization, now all customer service teams should prepare to understand - personalization is no more one of a few alternative service approaches, it is a must-have. 

Don’t you believe in it? Let’s look at the statistics of customer experience trends in the field of personalization - 80% of clients are more willing to purchase from brands that provide personalized experiences. 66% of people want businesses to understand and fulfill their personal needs. 71% of customers feel frustrated after experiencing non-personal service. 

Isn’t it enough? Personalization of services is the driving force of our present times, and it is no longer one of the customer experience trends - it is the reality we have to adapt to. 

Here are a few recommendations on how to personalize your customer service experience:

  1. Always greet customers by their name
  2. Use customer service technologies to collect customer data
  3. Collect customer feedback and make decisions based on it
  4. Offer customizable and personalizable solutions
  5. Create reward systems
  6. Collect information about customers' important dates and congratulate them.

Social networks overcome competitors

The last few years have proven that social media has become one of the most important digital channels, and digital experiences in social media are preferable for a huge number of customers. As it has always been, social media are preferred channels for younger audiences, but this customer service trend has changed - older people also use social media, and they also use them to get customer service here and now.

Let’s come back to statistics once again - first of all, one social media customer interaction costs 1 dollar, while a call center customer interaction costs around 6 dollars. Six times less for the same interaction - isn’t it perfect? But let’s go further - customers who interact with companies on social media spend from 20% to 40% more than customers who prefer other contact channels. 

What is vital when we are talking about social media? First of all, you have to use your social media platforms not only to post something like “Good morning everybody! How is your day?”, but as one of the main communication channels for customer service. You have to provide fast average response times - and here you can use chatbots for both self-service and faster response time during first interactions in the chat. Secondly, social media have become platforms for sales - and this is also a great opportunity for earning more, but you have to pay attention to the approach you use for selling products on social media - either you sell products by redirecting people to your website or sell exactly in the social media account.

Self-service conquers the world

We are talking about self-service almost in every article that relates to not only customer experience trends, customer service technologies, or call center trends, but also about scalability and success of your business. Why is self-service so popular and loved? 

Let’s check the stats again, don’t let “predictions trends” think for themselves.

  • 81% of customers would try to solve the problem on their own before reaching customer service agents
  • 91% of clients would use the knowledge base if it contains needed information
  • 90% of clients want companies to provide self-service portals
  • 73% of customers would want to solve their issues on their own. 30% of surveyed said that cleaning a toilet is a better idea than contacting a customer support team.

Self-service is also no longer a “new” customer service trend, it is the main customer service technology for the following years. People don’t like talking to customer service reps, for some people this experience is always a bad experience. But what self-service channels can you use? 

  1. Webchat on your website - 70% of customers want companies to add self-service options on their website
  2. Chatbots - the only tool that offers an immediate response.
  3. Knowledge base - the all-in-one solution for self-service.
  4. IVR(Interactive Voice Response) system - if you configure it properly, you can use it to reduce call volumes in your call center, manage call queues, and provide self-service. 

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Automation is one of the most vital customer service technology trends for the last decade, but it can go further and it will. Customer service of the future will be totally different from what we see now. Digital customer experience trends show that people want even more automation in their customer service experiences, so the customer service future is all about automation, digitalization, and a wide range of AI integrations.

Anyhow, let’s first classify these two terms - what is the difference between artificial intelligence integrations and automation of customer service technologies? 

Automation and artificial intelligence are closely related, but not the same. Automation as one of CX trends means that customers want no human experience in their customer service interactions, while artificial intelligence is the customer service technology that is used to provide automation. Thus, automation is a goal and AI is the key to reaching this goal. 

How can you use artificial intelligence for customer service technologies automation?

  1. Natural language processing(NLP) - a great tool for chatbots to let them offer not only common questions but also complicated customer requests.
  2. Voice recognition system for IVR solution - reduces average talking time with the IVR and boosts customer satisfaction. 
  3. Mobile apps - the best tool to provide service, track orders, make purchases, access the knowledge base, and so on.

Additionally, the customer service future is impossible without a wide use of chatbots. Let’s find out some fresh chatbot statistics.

  1. 68% of clients love the speed of answers while interacting with a chatbot
  2. 55% of business owners prove that chatbots help them generate high-quality leads
  3. 38% of customers want more chatbots or\and a wider range of services offered by a chatbot.

Chatbots are a fundamental part of customer engagement trends and call center trends. These tools are fast, easy to set up, cheap, and loved by customers. We can’t predict whether it will be a total use of voice robots for customer service in the next few years or not, but we think that investing in chatbots here and now is a great idea - especially if taking into account that the price of the investment is acceptable for any business - no matter is it small, mid-sized or large. 

Higher influence of customer feedback

Nowadays one of the best problems in customer engagement trends is that people think their opinions and thoughts aren’t needed for business decisions. Moreover, many customers think that businesses just don’t care about it and collect feedback without any purpose - just to create an image of customer care, like “Hey, I need your opinion, despite the fact that I will ignore it!”. 

Stats say enough to prove our statements:

  1. Only 17% of clients believe that business cares about their opinion
  2. 80% of posts on Twitter are about negative experiences in customer service, and only 20% about positive experiences

What do these stats show? First of all, people don’t believe you will ever care about anything else but earning money from them. Secondly, people want you to take into account what they say. Finally, as the market is created by customers’ demands, you will have to not only listen to them but hear their wishes and implement them.

By the way, what is so bad about taking into consideration customers' opinions? Customers always point to imperfections in your work, and this means they are free auditors for your business. Is something missing in the knowledge base? They find it. Doesn’t the chatbot work? You get an angry email. Were call center agents not too tactful? You will hear it from those who experienced it. 

Customer service of the future is all about being client-oriented. Customer support trends are more about automation, customer service technologies, advanced algorithms, and so on, but the customer will always be the highest value - and his opinion too. 

Proactive service and omnichannel service

Customer service of the future will be based on two main customer support trends, which are already the customer experience trends 2022. These trends include omnichannel communication and proactive customer service. Let’s deal with the definitions.

Omnichannel communication is one of the call center trends that means customer service is provided in several contact channels with an option to switch between channels without losing the progress of a conversation. Omnichannel customer service is one of the most popular digital customer experience trends because of a few factors. 

75% of customers state that they hate repeating themselves during customer service

What is the only way to avoid it? Implement omnichannel support that will track all conversations, allow customers to change channels without delays, and use a contact center solution that will provide you with intelligent call routing and call transferring to let you track the call flow. 

Customer service of the future will also be closely related to one of the current customer support trends, proactive customer service. Proactive service means that you notice and eliminate customer service issues even before they are noticed by the customer. The same it works with sales - you offer a product or service before the customer forms the detailed request or even gets a clear understanding that this offer is needed.

Why proactive service has become one of the most important customer support trends, and call center trends? Well, it is one of the customer experience trends 2022, and it was a trend in 2020. Customers want a few things - speed, quality, and efficiency. What can be faster, more personalized, and more effective than proactive service? Absolutely nothing.

Proactive customer service depends on artificial intelligence and other technologies from the list of customer support trends and call center trends. To provide proactive service, you have to collect massive amounts of customer data, store it and analyze it - that’s how the future of customer service looks. 

Conclusion

Now you can see that customer service trends for 2023 aren’t very different from customer service trends for 2022, or customer experience trends 2022. They include automation, more AI integrations, proactive service, omnichannel communication, the greater role of customer feedback, wider use of chatbots, and more weight of social media. 

We also predict the reduction of human importance in customer service, lower response times demands, growth of self-service market, higher importance of video calls, and stronger influence of gen Z customers on the entire market changes. 

Anyhow, customer experience trends 2022, as well as call center trends, say that more tools are needed for better customer service providing - and the best solution is to have all tools in one solution. Do you know what such a customer service solution is called? It’s the VoipTime Cloud Contact center!






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