The rules of customer service have changed, and that’s never more evident than now, in the midst of the busiest shopping season of the year. Omni-channel customer behavior first sparked huge growth in marketing across email, mobile, social, and web interactions.
Now, the customer service industry is following suit. We first reported on this shift with the publication of the 2015 State of Service research report earlier this year. Here are a few facts from the research to keep in mind as your customer service team heads into the holiday rush.
Inbound customer service and support requests via mobile app will increase 38% in the next 12–18 months.
If your customers are shopping via your mobile app, there’s an unspoken expectation that they can also have a successful customer service interaction via the same mobile app. Remember that customers don’t care about channel as much as they care about having a seamless exchange that quickly resolves their issue. Consider how service is integrated with your mobile app to provide the best customer experience possible this season. Even underperforming service teams will double down on delivering service via mobile apps, with 475% growth expected over the next two years.
39% of millennials check a company’s FAQ first when they have a question.
Omni-channel customers have a choice when it comes to contacting your company — and increasingly they’re choosing not to pick up the telephone. Our research found that service teams expect landline phone inquiries to decrease by approximately 9% over the next 12–18 months. Many consumers would rather perform a quick online search and find answers themselves. Top service teams understand this, and are 4x more likely than underperformers to maintain a self-service portal. From holiday return policies to commonly asked customer questions, try proactively offering as much helpful information on your website as possible for holiday shoppers.
The use of social media monitoring technologies by customer services teams will increase nearly 2x in the next 12–18 months.
In addition to mobile app inquiries and online FAQ queries, social media holds a top spot for rising customer service channels. Inbound customer service inquiries via social networks are expected to rise 24% in the next 12–18 months. High-performing service teams are at least 4x more likely than underperformers to have outstanding or very good capabilities when it comes to social sense and respond. Keep an extra eye on social chatter this holiday season to keep your customers smiling — and if social media monitoring isn’t already on your list, make it a resolution in 2016.
High performers are nearly 2x more likely than underperformers to say that customer service is 100% the responsibility of the entire company.
Lastly, remember that everyone is in the customer service business. The top service organizations today understand that every employee impacts the overall customer experience, regardless of department. High-performing service teams are 3.4x more likely than underperformers to say their service agents are completely empowered to make customers happy.
Lastly, according to another Salesforce survey of more than 2,000 holiday shoppers this year, 61% of Millennials say they’re willing to share data regarding their preferences with a brand in order to receive better service. Looking ahead to 2016, keep this in mind as you consider ways to gather more data to build a single view of your customers.
For more insights from over 1,900 customer service leaders worldwide, download the complete 2015 State of Service report.