6 customer support trends you need to know in 2021
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
As we get ready to leave 2020 behind, it's beneficial to reflect on a key lesson companies of all sizes learned this year; retaining customers meant embracing more customer-centric and omnichannel strategies. In 2021, we’re seeing several of the same lessons turn into the biggest customer service trends. It’s never too early to get a head start strategizing on how to provide best-in-class service for your customers.
Below are six key trends that will determine your support team's success in 2021.
1. Building teams with support agents who can work remotely
As the world continues to face a global pandemic, remote work gained popularity in companies across the world, spanning dozens of industries. Companies such as Shopify found that agents able to work from home can focus more on their well-being and work responsibilities with less stress, thus improving their performance.
During virtual event: The Future of CX Work, Shopify's Director of Support said the eCommerce company uses several strategies to optimize employee performance ranging from hiring people based on their personalities and tendencies (not their CV) to focusing on agents' mental health.
Building a successful remote team requires support leaders to not only look after agents' wellbeing, but track whether the team can give customers what they need. One way for support leaders to ensure the team provides customers with consistent, valuable experiences is by measuring customer success KPIs. These metrics can fall into categories such as customer experience, agent performance, and business goals.
Measuring these metrics will help support leaders identify those who may need additional guidance working remotely, while simultaneously recognizing opportunities to optimize the customer journey.
2. Using knowledge bases to deflect customer tickets
Customers want quick resolutions and the opportunity to solve simple issues themselves. In a survey by Statista, 88% of U.S. customers stated that they expect brands or organizations to have a self-service support portal.
Self-service portals, or knowledge bases provide SEO-friendly content (such as comprehensive articles, how-to posts and video tutorials) to educate customers about a product or service and allow them to help themselves.
With a robust internal and external knowledge base, customer support agents can find information in less time (leading to faster ticket resolutions) and customers can pinpoint their problem, quickly locate the information they need, and solve the problem themselves.
As more and more companies adopt a self-service approach, companies that provide a fully functioning knowledge base will be able to save time and money on their content, reduce friction in the customer journey, deflect tickets, and increase customer satisfaction.
3. Providing personalized customer experiences
One of the most popular phrases today regarding customer service is to “personalize the customer journey.” Whether this means offering multilingual support options or a seamless online experience, customers should feel as though their journey has been created for their needs.
In 2021 and beyond, personalized customer support is a must for a good customer experience. Here are a few ways to create and foster personalized customer experiences:
Hire agents who display high empathy levels
Use insights to optimize the customer journey and create smoother customer-agent interactions
Provide customer feedback opportunities
Choose a customer support platform that makes customers feel like agents know them and understand their needs
No matter the approach, customers want to feel as though businesses know and understand them as more than a ticket in a queue.