How a customer feels when they interact with an organization matters tremendously. It directly impacts the profitability of a company and is fundamental to the future success of that business.
As a result of the global pandemic, how companies communicate and connect with their customers has been forever altered. A report from Talkdesk, for example, 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 services. In 2022, companies will shift out of the anxious mindset they felt when the pandemic began and make permanent adjustments to fine-tune their customer service strategies.
Client-facing professionals and customer service representatives should be looking to provide for their customers in a new way. Here are some areas and trends to keep in mind.
Embracing human connections and treating customer interactions like human interactions is key. The chaos of the past two years removed the veil between companies and their customers, and everyone had moments of vulnerability exposed.
“Empathy has always been a key skill for customer service, but it's become even more essential during an uncharted moment," Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, writes in Forbes. "Seventy-one percent of consumers say businesses that have shown empathy during the pandemic have earned their loyalty. ... Now, service isn't just about solving problems. It's about enhancing relationships and enchanting customers."
The traditional in-office 9-5 workday has essentially gone out the window. Flexible availability is imperative in staying on top of your customer's needs. Being available on mobile devices or later in the evening could set you apart from competitors that prefer strict time limitations (but also be sure to set boundaries for yourself between work and personal life).
Flexibility also includes availability on social media. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have become vital customer journey elements. Can your customers connect or chat with you on social media outside of business hours? Creating a community of like-minded individuals using your social channels will be the most straightforward way to support customers in 2022.
66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, and care deeply about solving their issues. Therefore, client-facing professionals and customer service representatives must pay special attention to what distinct challenges their customers face. Show customers that their case is unique and important, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach to every interaction. When someone reaches out to you or your business, they want to be treated like a person, not a number.
Customers Demand Excellence and Value
I remember back on the first day of my first job as a golf caddy, and I was assigned to carry the bags of a local dentist. Throughout the round, I remember asking engaging questions to keep conversations going, encouraging him during missed shots or tricky holes but always matching his energy, and making sure my caddy services throughout the day were top notch. I found out later that my “client” requested my services for every round of golf he played going forward. It was my first day on the job and I had gained a new customer. This was my first real dose of what customer service is, and the benefits to providing a positive, value-added customer experience.
Cultivating a complete and satisfying experience for your customers means offering value at every turn. If you are not providing deep-seated value to your customers in 2022, they'll be gone before you send another email. Successful companies build and maintain a reputation of trustworthiness, consistent quality, and providing value, and this starts with customer service.
Customer Service is a major factor that can set your brand apart from a competitor. Unfortunately, 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. At Carew, we have seen firsthand how exceptional customer service shapes a buyer’s journey. Client-facing professionals and customer service representatives must be empathetic and flexible, and provide excellent, personalized, and valuable customer experiences.