3 Customer Service Trends to Follow this Year

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Customer service has never been more important. Today’s customers not only desire fast and seamless service but also expect a personalized and delightful customer experience (CX). To add even more to the mix, the stakes are high for businesses that don’t measure up. According to a recent PwC report, one-third of customers would leave a brand they love after one bad experience.

The good news is that succeeding in customer service can reap incredible benefits for businesses. In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great CX, per the Tempkin Group. Due to these factors, customer service has become one of the top priorities for businesses in 2024. Here are three CX trends every business leader should buy into to help them excel in 2024.

The evolving role of self-service technology

Today’s customers expect fast, seamless and convenient service. One recent study found that half of all customers will not wait more than 3 minutes in a store. It’s unrealistic to expect businesses to provide instant, in-person service all the time – that’s where technology has to play a role. Gone are the days when these technologies were viewed as taboo. On the contrary, many of today’s customers prefer customer service, which technology supports in some way. Per a recent study by Aspect, 73% of customers want the ability to solve product or service issues independently. Even many small businesses and franchises should invest in technologies like self-service kiosks or technology tools that support customer service efforts.

If your business hasn’t invested in self-service technology for customers, 2024 might just be the year to do so. A great place to start is with self-service kiosks onsite. This is a tool that The UPS Store recently introduced, with over 1,800 self-service kiosks now installed at franchise locations across the country. These kiosks streamline online returns and item drop-offs for The UPS Store customers and offer an option to get in and out of the store faster than ever. Whether self-service works into your business plan or not, technology will be a key player in customer service in 2024.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric

Connecting with Gen-Z

You may not realize this, but Gen Z is growing up fast. The oldest members of this generation will be much closer to 30 this year than 20. With Gen Zers becoming a bigger sect of most companies’ customer base, one of the biggest CX trends in 2024 will be the importance of appealing to this group. So, where should you start? One place is on social media. As the first actual digital-native generation, Gen Zers are often most comfortable interacting with companies on social media. A survey by Hubspot found that 90% of Gen Z expect brands to be active on social media, and 13% claim social media as the preferred form of customer service. If you’re not on social media, 2024 is a great year to use it.

This shouldn’t just be reserved for large national brands; even small businesses should find ways to be active and interact with younger customers on social media. LinkedIn or Instagram are great places to start for most companies, but consider where you feel most comfortable or which platform your customers are most active on. Authenticity must be prioritized in social media customer service, especially when interacting with Gen Z. In addition to responding to customer needs, being active on social media will allow your company to build more trust with Gen Z and interact with customers more often.

Related: What You Must Know About the Next Generations of Consumers

Harnessing customer insights

One CX trend that has persisted in its importance is using customer service interactions for their insights. While customer service should prioritize the customer experience, all companies should also look for ways to learn from these interactions. This can be achieved through high-tech and low-tech means. For example, businesses can use data intelligence software to get real-time insights or social media analytics to collect information. Plenty of data intelligence vendors can offer real-time insights based on customer touchpoints. On the other hand, businesses can also tap their customer service employees for their insights following a customer interaction.

Employees often have some of the best feedback to offer since they interact daily with customers. All businesses should view their customer touchpoints as an opportunity to not only make their customers happy but also as a chance to learn and adapt for the future. In 2024, you should consider finding ways to better obtain customer insights, whether that be through investing in data analytics or looking for insights from your employees.

Providing great customer service should always be a priority for business leaders, but it continues to be more important each year. As we move through 2024, be sure to keep tabs on customer service trends, especially when it comes to the importance of self-service, appealing to Gen Z and harnessing customer insights.

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