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Customer Support Trends: Our 2018 Watch List

Eric Madura, Ytel |  
The customer service industry is one that continues to change and innovate, and 2018 will be no exception. With the adaption of AI, personalization, new data and much more, any player in the game should be prioritizing Support as a channel for long term business retention, brand reputation, and overall positive customer experience.

With the adaption of AI, personalization, new data and much more, any player in the game should be prioritizing Support as a channel for long term business retention, brand reputation, and overall positive customer experience.

Chat bots handling lower-level issues

While artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be top of mind for the industry, chat bots are the answer until AI hits the sweet spot for handling customer support questions and issues effectively. These 'answer bots' scan questions for targeted keywords to provide suggestions to relevant articles or an FAQ page that leads to a solution. 

Personalized experiences will win business long-term

Your customers want content and information that is catered directly to them. This can be done by:

  • Addressing them by first name via email, chat, etc. 
  • Making recommendations based on their shopping history 
  • Including relevant updates to the product they use or their industry

Positive experience will outweigh cost

While cost is an important consideration, it's no longer the deciding factor. 86% of buyers pay more for a better customer experience, because they're aware of what that initial experience means for their long term success. Providing a healthy and positive experience from the get-go will reduce churn, increase your sales and leave you with a higher customer satisfaction rate.

What this means for a manager or business owner, however, is that the support team is more important than almost anything in the department. When hiring, make sure to look out for certain qualities like patience and empathy that will mesh well with customers during an issue. 

Omnichannel is king

Providing service to your customers through the channel of their preference, and offering a variety of options is the best to operate in 2018.

For example, Ytel customers seeking our Smart Support team can:

  • Send an SMS to the message360 helpline
  • Get support via live chat on our website
  • Send an email
  • Make a phone call
  • Tweet us
The choice is up to them and the variety of contact options is what customers in 2018 are looking for.

"Self-help" for customers remains prolific

Zendesk tells us that 50% of customers believe it's important to solve product/ service issues on their own. Keep your knowledge base current and easily accessible on your website so your self-starter customers can troubleshoot on their own, if they prefer.

What kind of knowledge base do we mean? Resources like:

  • FAQ pages
  • Resource articles that answer how to use your product/ why we need it
  • Release notes sharing recent updates made to software
  • Blog posts that educate on troubleshooting
  • Any other guides or help articles

Are you ahead of these trends? Which do you think will be the most important in 2018? Leave us a comment! New Call-to-action

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About The Author

Eric Madura, Ytel

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Eric is the Ytel Customer Support Manager and believes in a “Customer First” approach to servicing clients. He has spent his entire professional career in customer service, including managing a variety of call centers over the past 16+ years.


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