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7 Trends That Will Impact Customer Engagement in 2018

Posted by Guthrie-Jensen Consultants

Customer engagement not only helps you drive revenue, but it also builds and deepens the personal connection your brand has with your customers.

When you provide an optimized customer engagement through effective customer service, customers become loyal to your brand. This is what makes brands and businesses stand out from a highly crowded business landscape.

New trends and technologies are also emerging to help increase and improve customer engagement through a streamlined customer service. Here are the trends to look out for this 2018 that will help you enhance further your customer service training and customer engagement strategies.

1. Augmented Reality (AR)

The real estate industry is already using this technology to let their customers experience what it’s like to live in the homes they’re selling without the need to actually visit the property. Augmented reality offers plenty of opportunities for businesses to improve the customer service experience.

For instance, Sephora and Wayfair have invested in this trend to vamp up the customer experience. The Sephora AR experience lets you try on makeup through a visual artist tool, while Wayfair lets you place a particular furniture they’re selling in your home so that you can see what it looks like before your purchase.

Other e-commerce brands use augmented reality to let customers try their products when shopping online.

2. Chatbots and Automation Tools

Over the past few years, automation tools and chatbots have been emerging and evolving to make customer service provision more seamless.

Since simpler tasks can be automated and chatbots can accurately address simple queries, customer service representatives can focus on more complex issues and solutions.

3. Personalization

When customers get marketing and promotional messages from brands that aren’t relevant to them, they get annoyed and may even be turned off from ever patronizing that brand.

Today’s consumers demand hyper-personalization of content and information across all channels. They are now getting used to in-demand content and no longer want to be bombarded with advertisements they don’t care for.

As such, your business needs to invest in personalization to improve the customer experience and get them engaged with your brand.

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine learning and AI are already starting to power automation programs across a wide spectrum of industries. When it comes to customer service, AI can be used to assist customers when no agents are available to provide them assistance.

It may still be considered a fairly new technology, but when refined, AI can offer a huge opportunity to increase customer engagement.

5. Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things offers businesses more touchpoints to gather data from, which can be used to improve the customer engagement in such a way that IoT devices can immediately send error reports or customer behavioral data back to the company so that customer service agents can immediately solve issues before they escalate.

Instead of waiting for customers to initiate an interaction about their problem, the customer service representative can be the one to offer a solution before it’s even asked for.

6. Social Media

Social media continues to be a large part of people’s everyday lives, and it’s being used by consumers to research about and get in touch with their favorite brands. As such, social media customer service has been one of the fastest growing trends.

It’s convenient for consumers to be able to do everything on their smartphone including reaching out to a company’s customer service agent. A study revealed that third of customers claimed to prefer social media over having to call in for a simple question or problem.

Providing social media customer service is a win-win situation, as businesses can save on costs. The same study, in fact, confirmed that operating a call center is six times more expensive than social media customer service.

Furthermore, other customers can see the timely and accurate service you provide on social networks—driving customer engagement and loyalty.

7. Customer Experience Cloud

In the past, most businesses separated customer data and information between departments. The information available to the marketing department may not be available to the customer service department, which results in a gap in information sharing.

But these days, most everything can work from the cloud, and customer information and data can be accessed from the same cloud technology.

Because customers now interact with brands from multiple devices and channels, it’s highly crucial for companies to streamline information sharing. Imagine how frustrating it is for customers to keep repeating their issues and problems on multiple channels.

Customers don’t care whether the person they are chatting with or talking to is from customer service, marketing, or sales—they care about being provided a solution.

With a streamlined customer experience cloud, any employee can face a customer and provide them with accurate information.

 

Bottom Line

Customer demands and needs are changing, and every business needs to adapt to new trends. The customer service experience practiced in the past may no longer be relevant in today’s diverse and dynamic market, so make sure to update your customer service training to keep your customers engaged with your brand.

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