As 2020 draws to a close, it’s clear that the “new normal” will carry us well in 2021. Following the theme, contactless customer contact channels will continue to be crucial going forward. 47% of consumers already use between three and five channels to connect through.
If your firm’s not providing omnichannel support yet, you’re falling behind. To get you started, we’re centering this article on the top five channels to focus on for 2021.
Real-Time Assistance Wins Out
Firms must tread a fine line between augmenting their service with automation and losing the human touch. In 2017, 59% of consumers globally believed that firms needed to value personal interaction more.
In 2021, it’s become even more crucial. According to the support center provider, https://supportyourapp.com/, business is booming. Despite the slowing of the global economy, the firm has had to increase its service team’s size. They attribute the growth to an increasing desire for people to interact with a real person.
Firms should provide clients with live chat, or video chat functionality, augmented by live-browsing. Businesses should also consider adding telephonic support. Clients need to be able to access these services as convenient, so they should be available 24/7.
Service delivery via this channel must be flawless. Consultants must be competent and have outstanding customer service skills.
Adopt a Mobile-First Approach
The mobile-first approach has migrated from marketing to customer contact channels. Firms must increasingly provide options that are accessible via mobile channels. These may include self-service or SMS menus, apps, or instant messaging services like WhatsApp. Firms may consider starting WhatsApp broadcast groups, for example.
Giving clients a dedicated instant messaging support line is also a step in the right direction.
Provide Faster Support With AI
The global chatbot market was worth $40.9 million in 2018. By 2027, experts expect spending to increase more than tenfold to $454.8 million. The personal touch is crucial, but the rise of voice bots is changing the client service game. Advancements in artificial intelligence have made it possible for chatbots to understand the spoken word. While these interactions won’t replace the human touch, they may augment service.
By dealing with simple queries quickly and effectively, the bots improve service levels for call centers.
Use Various Social Media Channels
Social media marketing advice in the past centered on concentrating on one to three sites. The reasoning was that dividing your focus made it difficult to manage the client’s experience. It’s a sound argument, but one that’s becoming increasingly invalid.
With the crop of social media channels open to users, firms find their users split over several sites. Companies today are best advised to work out which sites their target audience supports and maintain pages on those.
Providing service through those pages is simple on most platforms. To improve the brand image, however, firms must be able to provide support on queries quickly. The response times depend on which channel they use, but clients generally expect answers within minutes or hours.
A further trend that we’ll see going into 2021 is the global search for identity. The pandemic has left many consumers looking for meaning in their lives. Many want to feel as though they belong, rather than being grouped.
People will start to seek more meaningful experiences on social media. Instead of interacting in the public arena, they’ll begin to focus on private groups. They’ll seek out a community that’s aligned with their core values and interests.
Firms that can anticipate this trend may start building private communities online to facilitate more focused communication. We’ll start seeing the development of personas to create such groups and tailor content for them.
Automated Self-Service and the Rise of the Knowledge Base
While clients like to have the option of live support, they also require simple solutions for tasks they can accomplish themselves. Going into 2021, it’ll become essential that firms provide automated self-service options to allow clients to get the answers they need as quickly as possible. Time-strapped consumers will appreciate the fast resolution of their queries.
The answers may be delivered by chatbots, voice bots, or through a simple service menu.
Also, to improve the client’s self-sufficiency, firms should build their knowledge bases. Clients should find it easy to search through the database and find the information that they require.Not only will this tactic prove valuable to consumers, but it should improve search engine rankings.
In 2021, firms must offer the best service to remain competitive. Part of the service challenge is to provide adequate omnichannel support. Businesses may, for now, focus on the channels that we’ve covered here.
They should, however, track trends in this arena to ensure that they remain current. Providing relevant assistance in the manner the client prefers will give firms the edge.