A recent report from Salesforce has uncovered the top trends that Customer service reliant businesses must focus on in 2021.
Covid-19 has dramatically changed how service teams operate and what Customers value and expect. The new ‘State of Service’ report from Salesforce has found that the pandemic has resulted in Customers looking for empathy and connectivity. The report surveyed over 7,000 Customer service professionals worldwide and breaks down the current challenges facing service reliant business.
Re-shaping the Role of Service Agents
The ‘State of Service’ report uncovered that 81% of respondents are encountering more anxious Customers who are often harder to satisfy. At the same time, service teams are seeing a reduction in the number of resources available to them, in terms of both budget and employee count. This, coupled with more complex Customer cases, means service teams must be more flexible with their approach. The Survey reports that the highest performing service teams were those that were empathetic whilst also being adaptable. Offering a sympathetic ear to those anxious Customers will gain their trust and loyalty.
Interestingly, there is also an increased need for automating daily routine tasks to free up agent time, allowing them to focus on complex cases. Automation tools such as integrated chatbots can gather information and let Customers self-serve without having to engage an agent. This helps deflect low-complexity cases from service agents.
An empathetic Customer service approach supported by operational automations will undoubtedly lead to the best customer service experiences.
The Value of Field Service Workers
Even through the current pandemic with social distancing rules in place, 70% of Customers still say they prefer in-person service over alternatives and 86% of the highest performing service organisations say in-person service drives significant revenue for them. The days of rigid appointment windows and nameless workers have been left behind. The highest performing service organisations have demonstrated that communication and information are key when it comes to field service agents, with 61% of them excelling at providing timely relevant comms. Research has shown that in-person service workers are also consistently able to resolve issues on-site and in doing so they provide Customers with much-needed face to face interactions.
Field service workers will continue to play a pivotal role in the success of organisations, effective use of their skills empowered by information from digital platforms will see the most successful businesses flourish.
Balancing Quality and Speed
Research discovered that 68% of service workers value both speed and quality equally. But with 83% of Customers expecting to interact with someone immediately when they contact a business and 83% expecting to solve their issues by talking with just one-person, balancing quality and speed can be a tricky challenge. This has led to a huge increase in companies embarking on digital transformations, tools such as chatbots and AI can help alleviate the pressure on this balancing act.
The need for rapid digital transformation is only made greater by the growing number of Customers seeking out digital engagement in order to resolve their problems. The growth of digital channel usage is not expected to slow down once the pandemic is over and companies that invest in CRM platforms now will be better placed to meet the complex needs of their Customers more efficiently and effectively than ever before.