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5 Insights on the Future of Customer Service (Free Report)

The future of customer service is here, and brands that prioritize collecting customer feedback to improve customer satisfaction and put winning strategies in place to deliver an excellent customer experience stand to strengthen existing customer loyalty, attract new customers through positive word of mouth, and gain an advantage over the competition. 

But what are the best practices that set customer-first companies apart from the rest? For answers, our team at Stella Connect by Medallia commissioned a research study of more than 2,100 consumers in the US and UK to uncover key drivers of customer sentiment, behavior, preferences, and loyalty. We published these insights on the future of customer service in our free report, Customer Service Trends for 2022: Preparing for the Future of Customer Service, which is now available to download. 

To get the highlights and learn what your organization can do to stay ahead of the curve, keep reading for these top five takeaways from our research. 

5 Best Practices from Our 2022 Insights on the Future of Customer Service Report

According to our latest customer service data, here are five critical ways to meet today’s customer service expectations. 

Insights on the Future of Customer Service

#1: Invest in Speed…

Some of the biggest value drivers for modern service organizations include investing the tools and training needed to get to the root of customer issues quickly and efficiently to keep customer effort score low.

After all, when we asked US and UK consumers what they care about the most when interacting with customer service teams, agent response time took the #1 spot as the most important factor.

What matters the most when contacting customer service?

1. Response time

2. Agent knowledge about products and services

3. Overall time and effort needed to resolve an issue

4. Personalized communication and resolution

5. Agent tone and communication style

Source: 2021 Stella Connect by Medallia survey of 2,100 consumers in the US and UK

#2: …But Balance Efficiency with Quality

When you work in customer service it can feel like you have to sacrifice quality for quantity, especially when your team is managing a high volume of interactions. True leaders, however, recognize the value in balancing empowering agents with the tools and training needed to handle customer inquiries not only with speed and efficiency but in ways that ensure quality brand experiences for the customer.

After all, customers rank agent knowledge as the #2 most important factor when interacting with customer services. 

What we’ve seen over the last couple of years is that customer service plays a major role in modern customers’ buying decisions and, in 2022, the role of the customer service agent is only going to grow in importance.

By supporting your individual agents and creating a more engaged frontline team, you can improve your customer experience and, as a result, increase your customer satisfaction and keep customers coming back for more. Get started by:

  • Setting up the technology your team needs
  • Providing coaching for your frontline agents
  • Holding ongoing 1:1 meetings to keep reps on track with their goals and in line with brand values

#3: Don’t Overlook Personalization

Personalized experiences have the power to influence customer engagement and satisfaction and they’re increasingly becoming the standard customer expectation. About half of customers we surveyed in the US and UK want some level of personalization from the customer service teams they interact with, with 47% of Americans and 57% of Britons saying they want brands to, at the very least, know their name and know about their previous purchases.

#4: Develop Your Service Recovery Strategy

The reality is, no matter how much you work to improve your agent training and your company’s products and services based on the voice of the customer, some amount of negative customer feedback is inevitable. 

While it may not be possible to deliver winning customer experiences 100% of the time, it is possible to turn things around—for the customer and your organization.

Insights on the Future of Customer Service

Service recovery offers organizations the ability to pinpoint negative interactions, and reach out to affected customers to make things right. By giving your agents the tools they need to follow up on these interactions and put a proactive service recovery plan in place, you give yourself a leg up on other businesses that may let these negative interactions slip through the cracks. 

Empowering your frontline agents to turn negative experiences into positive ones is one of your brand’s biggest opportunities for customer retention.

#5: Ensure Your Customers Feel Heard

Sharing feedback with a brand is one of the top actions customers want to take after a poor customer experience, with about half of US consumers (48%) and more than one-third of UK consumers (37%) saying this is what they’re most likely to do after a negative interaction.

Customers are even more likely to speak up when they know what they have to say will help improve customer service performance. 

It’s crucial for organizations to embrace issues as opportunities to form deeper, more personal relationships with customers. Collecting real-time customer feedback gives organizations an undeniable opportunity to humanize interactions, allow their customers to feel like their voices are being heard and valued, and provide learning moments for team members.

Discover More Key Insights on the Future of Customer Service in Our Free Report 

For even more insights on the future of customer service, get your copy of our free report: Customer Service Trends for 2022: Preparing for the Future of Customer Service

Customer Service Trends for 2022