We’re in the age of the customer and that means companies are expected to deliver on-demand, real-time, and personalized service. Leading businesses are evolving their customer service teams to keep pace with changing consumer demands.; In the “State of Service” report, Salesforce research reveals insights from over 1,900 industry leaders on today’s top customer service industry trends. Here’s a look at some of the findings:

The modern day consumer is interacting with brands on multiple channels — in-store, social media, Web, mobile, etc. Therefore, the modern company needs to be able to react to their customers’ needs on every channel. Leading service teams are stepping up by prioritizing mobile. More than one-third of high-performing service teams are already delivering customer service via mobile apps, with an expected 67% growth over the next two years.

While mobile is the gateway to mastering cross-channel service, it’s important for service teams to connect efforts across all channels. For this reason, omni-channel is one of this year’s most important service trends. Top-performing teams are also 7.6x more likely than underperformers to rate their omni-channel interaction capabilities as outstanding or very good.

A better customer experience begins with a better service agent experience. High-performing teams understand the importance of prioritizing their reps’ training, development, satisfaction, and tools. Sixty-five percent of high-performing service teams say their agents are completely empowered to make customers happy. The key to empowering agents to perform the best they can is arming them with the right technology. Thirty-three percent of high-performing service teams qualify as heavy tech adopters, while no underperformers fall into this category.

As customers grow to expect companies to respond to them instantly and cater to their individual needs, the new differentiator will be how well service teams can anticipate their customer’s’ actions. Proactive customer service is the leading trend for top teams this year. In fact, 55% of high performers say they can predict customer service needs more than 80% of the time — 3x more often than the rest.

New technologies are enabling service teams to become more predictive. Tools like analytics and emerging tech are allowing customer service teams to act faster and smarter on their customer data. High-performing service teams are 3.6x more likely than underperformers to use smart technologies like predictive analytics in their service organization.

Customers today want to be able to answer questions about their products or services as easily as they are able to do so in their daily lives. Search engines allow consumers to ask any questions and receive a nearly immediate response. Successful teams are providing the same experience for their customers through self-service portals and online communities. Top service teams are 4x more likely than underperformers to maintain a self-service portal and nearly 11x more likely to create and manage online communities.

Interested in learning more about this year’s customer service trends? Download the full report for insights on how high-performing customer service teams are leaping ahead of their competitors.

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