How Has Customer Support Evolved Over the Past Couple of Years?
As the COVID-19 crisis first unfolded in the U.S. in early 2020, many businesses modified how they interact with customers. The changes were easy to notice, whether they were essential safety enhancements, a bolstered online presence, or curbside pickup.
But as time passes, it’s clear that some of those changes will stick around long after COVID-19 subsides because customers themselves have changed. A report shows that the majority of consumers have higher customer service expectations today than before the pandemic; they expect fast and accessible interactions with brands and stores.
We will talk about this and other changes in this article.
Increased Emphasis is Placed on the Security of Customer Data
Protecting your customer’s data is important for one huge reason: your business depends on it. If your company doesn’t take steps to protect customer data, you’ll be vulnerable to hacks, which could lead to loss of consumer confidence, customers leaving, fines, lawsuits, and more.
There are also specific laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), that may require you to protect consumer data. GDPR requires that companies who collect data on EU citizens implement a reasonable measure of data protection. Failing to do so can result in fines.
Your customer support agents need to be aware of the most common security threats to secure customer data. There are several specific reasons that customer service folks are a common point of entry in security breaches:
- Pressure to be fast
- The need to trust and empathize with the customer
- High turnover and limited training
At FHG, we understand the importance of handling customer data securely, which is why we follow the latest security best practices.
Customers are Expecting Faster Response Times Across Channels
According to a study done by Super Office, a whopping 75% of customers responded that a fast response time is the most important thing that they are looking for in customer support. Interestingly enough, a study done by Call Centre Helper found that only 12% of customer service managers are actually focused on meeting such customer demands. From these studies, we see that there is a disconnect between what the customers are looking for and what companies are providing. This could be a great opportunity for your company to stand out from the competition by offering your customers fast response times and fulfilling their expectations.
Consider expanding your current in-house with a few additional offshore agents or perhaps even set up an entire dedicated team. Even though these agents may be physically based overseas, they will have the same training and qualifications as the people who work with you in your office.
Customers Expect You to Be There for Them 24/7
Many companies still remain resistant to rolling out 24/7 customer service. There are many reasons for this. Some companies believe it will cost them too much money to implement and maintain. Some companies believe it won’t add any real value. Whatever the reason, not offering 24/7 customer support is becoming increasingly less viable in the digital age. With the current explosion in automation and AI, it’s also much cheaper and more accessible than ever to implement these technologies that support your customer service operation.
Customer attitudes and expectations are shifting. In the digital age, customers want to be able to contact companies on their terms, and they gravitate to the companies that allow this style of communication. They want to be able to contact companies according to their communication preferences. This may mean the method of communication, for example, email, live chat, SMS, social media, or a phone call. However, it also means the time that they contact the company. Our modern lives are stressful and busy enough without customers having to worry about slotting in time to contact your company during your operation hours.
Efficiently solving problems means understanding your customers and being available to help them whenever they need help. By delaying this help, you risk further frustrating your customers and leaving them with a poor customer experience. That’s why today we want to look at all the reasons you should take the next step for your business and implement 24/7 customer service.