17 Customer Service and Support Trends to Watch for 2023
As we move further into 2023, the landscape of customer service and support continues to evolve rapidly. New technologies and changing customer expectations are shaping the way businesses approach customer service, and companies that fail to adapt to digital transformation risk falling behind their competitors. With the rise of digital transformation, companies have been able to deliver a more personalized, convenient, and responsive service to customers than ever before.
Impact of Digital Transformation on Customer Service and Support
One of the most significant changes brought about by digital transformation is the shift from traditional channels of customer service to digital channels. Customers can now access help via various digital platforms, such as social media, chatbots, and mobile apps. This shift has enabled businesses to provide a more convenient and accessible service to their customers, as they can now access support wherever and whenever they need it.
In addition to the convenience factor, digital transformation allows companies to provide a more personalized service to their customers. With the rise of big data and analytics, businesses can now gather vast amounts of customer data and use it to deliver targeted and personalized experiences. This has allowed companies to tailor their services to individual customer needs and preferences, resulting in a more satisfying and engaging customer experience.
Another key benefit of digital transformation in customer service is the speed and efficiency it provides. Digital channels allow businesses to respond to customer inquiries and issues more quickly and efficiently than traditional channels, such as phone or email. This is particularly important in today's fast-paced business environment, where customers expect rapid responses to their queries and issues.
Digital transformation also enables businesses to provide a more proactive service to their customers. With the help of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence, companies can now anticipate customer needs and provide relevant solutions before a problem even arises. This includes delivering omnichannel support. This not only improves the customer experience but also helps to reduce the workload on customer service teams, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
Despite these benefits, the shift to digital customer service is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the need to ensure that digital channels are fully integrated into existing customer service processes. This requires businesses to invest in new technologies and platforms, as well as training their staff to use them effectively. It also requires businesses to ensure that their digital channels are secure, reliable, and user-friendly.
What Customer Service and Support Trends to Watch in 2023
This blog post will explore 17 customer service and support trends that businesses need to watch in 2023. These are directly or indirectly tethered to digital transformation.
1. Emergence of Live Receptionists
Clutch found that nearly 90% of consumers prefer to speak with a live person instead of an automated system. This trend is supported by data showing that live receptionists can help businesses provide a better customer experience and free up valuable time for employees to focus on other tasks.
2. Automated Receptionist Services Are on the Rise
Grand View Research reports that the global virtual receptionist market size will growth from $7.01 billion in 2022 to $47.57 billion in 2028, an estimated 31.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This trend is supported by data showing that automated receptionists can handle basic tasks like answering frequently asked questions and directing callers to the right department, saving businesses time and money while still providing a high level of service.
3. Video Calls Will Be More Prevalent
Consumers flocked to digital tools like video during the pandemic, and their adoption rates will continue to grow. 38% of respondents in a study indicated they prefer video calls when collaborating with their teams and customers. This trend is supported by data showing that video calls can help build stronger relationships between businesses and their clients and can also be used for demonstrations and tutorials, making them a versatile tool for customer service and support.
4. Chatbots Will Become More Sophisticated
MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global chatbot market size will expand to $9.4 billion by 2024, a CAGR of 29.7% starting in 2019. This trend is supported by data showing that chatbots can handle basic inquiries and provide customers with quick answers to their questions, and as chatbots become more intelligent, they will be able to handle more complex tasks.
5. Social Media Is an Important Customer Service Channel
64% of customers expect companies to respond to social media messages within 24 hours, according to a report by Hootsuite. This trend is supported by data showing that social media can be used to address customer complaints, answer questions, and build relationships with customers.
6. Importance of Personalization
Salesforce found that 84% of customers indicate being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. This trend is supported by data showing that personalization can help build stronger relationships with customers and increase customer loyalty.
7. Demand for Multilingual Support
CSA Research found that more three-quarters of all customers prefer to buy products and services in their native language. This trend is supported by data showing that businesses need to be able to provide support in multiple languages to meet the needs of their customers.
8. Self-service Is a Requisite
Customers are increasingly looking for self-service options to quickly find the information they need without having to wait on hold or speak to a representative. In fact, a study by Microsoft found that almost 90% of customers expect companies to offer a self-service customer support portal. By providing customers with the tools they need to troubleshoot issues on their own, businesses can save time and resources while improving the overall customer experience.
9. Mobile Support Is a Must
comScore reports that mobile devices account for 70% of all digital media time spent. This trend is supported by data showing that businesses need to be able to provide support on mobile devices to meet the needs of their customers.
10. Rise of AI-powered Customer Service
Customer service organizations using AI will increase customer retention rates by up to 30% by 2025, according to Gartner. This trend is supported by data showing that AI-powered customer service can help businesses automate tasks, improve response times, and provide more personalized service to their customers.
11. Omnichannel Support Is the Norm
Zendesk found that 64% of customers want to be able to reach a company through the same channel they used to make a purchase. This trend is supported by data showing that businesses need to provide support across multiple channels, including email, phone, social media, and live chat, to meet the needs of their customers.
12. Video Tutorials Are Now Popular
86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, according to Wyzowl, and 93% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service. This trend is supported by data showing that businesses can use video tutorials to provide customers with a visual demonstration of how to use their product or service, which can improve customer satisfaction and reduce support requests.
13. Voice Assistants Add Value
According to a report by NPR and Edison Research, 53 million people in the U.S. now own a smart speaker. As more customers use voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to find information, businesses will need to optimize their content and support for voice search. According to a study by ComScore, by 2023, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. By providing clear and concise information in a conversational tone, businesses can improve their visibility in voice search results and provide a better customer experience.
14. Augmented Reality More Common
The global augmented reality market is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2020 to $198 billion by 2025, per a report by MarketAndMarkets. This trend is supported by data showing that businesses can use augmented reality to provide customers with immersive experiences, such as virtual product demos or tutorials, which can help improve customer engagement and satisfaction.
15. Extending Collaboration Tools to Customers
The global collaboration software market, based on research by Statista, is expected to reach $17.4 billion by 2026. This trend is supported by data showing that collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams can be used to improve communication and collaboration among customer service teams, which can help businesses provide better service to their customers.
16. Data Analytics Are Pivotal
Customer service organizations that embed AI in their multichannel customer engagement platforms will elevate operational efficiency by 25% per Gartner. This trend is supported by data showing that data analytics can be used to track customer interactions and identify trends and patterns, which can help businesses identify areas where they need to improve their customer service and support.
17. Emotional Intelligence of Customer Service Representatives
As customers become more demanding, customer service representatives will need to have strong emotional intelligence skills to handle difficult situations and provide empathetic support. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, customers who had a positive emotional experience with a company were more than twice as likely to recommend it to others. By investing in emotional intelligence training for their employees, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Differentiated Brand Experiences
It is crucial for any business to understand that the quality of their online customer support significantly affects their brand image. Businesses must embrace tools and services that leverage cutting-edge digital capabilities as a starting point. However, the human element is just as critical. Services through providers like Davinci Virtual with teams of subject-matter experts in varying industries and business models provide a special customer service and support experience that can make a real difference. Davinci Live Receptionists and Live Web Chat Service Agents have helped thousands of small businesses to differentiate their brand with unique customer service and support experiences.