For customer service teams inundated with high case volumes across numerous channels, delivering personalized, proactive service in every interaction is an added challenge — and one that has teams looking to technology for assistance.
The second annual “State of Service” report, based on research of over 2,600 service professionals worldwide, highlights several customer service tools and technologies that have really picked up steam. From 2015 to 2016, customer service teams have upped tech investments to empower agents with mobile apps, analytics, and shared web-browsing solutions.
Here’s a closer look at customer service tools and technologies that experienced a surge in use from 2015 to 2016.
Mobile Apps for Service Agents: 192% Year-over-Year Growth
From 2015 to 2016, service teams providing mobile apps for their agents’ use have increased by 192%. In a separate report, Gartner estimates that by 2020, two out of three large field service organizations will equip field technicians with a mobile application that drives profitability by creating revenue streams, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
Armed with a mobile app, field service agents are better equipped to resolve a customer’s issue on the first visit. Mobile apps give field service agents access to all the same information that call center agents have. This empowers agents to do everything from checking inventory and job schedules to collaborating on-the-go with other agents.
Service Analytics: 166% Year-over-Year Growth
Service analytics has likewise experienced a significant uptick in use, rising 166%. Analytics in the hands of customer service agents can help them make more informed decisions. Consider a scenario in which a hotel loyalty program member checks in to her hotel. At the point of check-in, an agent notices that loyalty program points are missing from her account. In real time, the agent restores the missing points and sends a follow-up confirmation email. A little data can go a long way in meeting consumers’ expectations for proactive service.
As service analytics capabilities become smarter and more predictive, businesses will gain greater insight into customer interactions, as well as internal processes. For managers, this could mean a clearer view of your service organization’s operations and a chance to identify where improvements are needed.
Shared Web-Browsing Solutions: 154% Year-over-Year Growth
This growth stat may not be so surprising, considering 64% of consumers and 80% of business buyers today expect companies to react to them in real time. Shared web-browsing gives customer service agents a tool to interact in real-time and see what their customers are seeing. By allowing customers to follow along with how a rep resolves an issue, it naturally creates a learning opportunity for all involved.
Offline Mobile Cases/Knowledge and Support Information: 145% Year-over-Year Growth
In this “any time, any place” era, customers (regardless of where they live) expect companies to meet their needs in real time. Consider the challenge this could pose for a cable company service agent working in rural areas with spotty network access, for instance. Offline mobile cases help agents stay productive and deliver consistent service, even when they lack a consistent connection.
The triple-digit usage growth among these customer service tools is significant — but there’s another point that’s equally noteworthy. From 2015 to 2016, these four technologies (mobile apps for service agents, service analytics, shared web browsing solutions, and offline mobile cases) have transcended from being used only by a minority of service teams to being mainstream tools used by the majority (58% and higher).
To learn more about the latest trends in customer service tools, check out the full “State of Service” report (free to download).