2020 has been a year for the books.
Companies and consumers alike have been forced to pivot, adopt new strategies and processes, and find new ways of working.
Among all of these changes, innovation has been happening at a rapid pace.
Keep reading for the most innovative things happening in customer service now, and how your team can capitalize on them in the new year.
The Three Biggest Innovations in Customer Service Happening Right Now
#1 AI Technology On the Rise
From video conferencing software to better ticketing solutions to live chat options, service teams around the world are investing their team’s time, effort, and budget into building out a more robust CX tech stack.
According to Salesforce’s State of Service report, 78% of decision makers say they’ve invested in new technology as a result of the pandemic, and 32% report utilizing AI technology for their customer service team.
There are many benefits to investing in AI – automating simple processes for ticket management, collecting customer feedback, and uncover patterns in your customer behaviors, to name a few – that customer service teams can tap into.
Forecast by Tymeshift is another example of customer service AI technology in action. Forecast gives users the ability to predict future ticket volume forecasts down to 15-minute increments, and up to a year in advance.
This data can then be used by team leaders to plan their staffing expansion around peak seasons and be better prepared to handle the ebbs and flows of increased ticket volume.
#2 Say Hello to Chatbots
Speaking of AI, chatbots powered by AI are on the rise in customer service teams around the world.
Chatbots can help customers get their own self-service support with knowledge base articles and answers to FAQs, and provides an on-brand customer experience.
Not only do chatbots help your customers get answers to quick questions faster, but they also free up your front-line team to handle more complex customer inquiries. This not only helps your agents be more productive, but also enables them to expand their skill set by tackling the tough tickets first.
In fact, for answers to quick questions, 69% of consumers prefer interacting with a chatbot, and 56% of consumers prefer a chatbot over a phone call when reaching out to customer support teams.
Not offering your customers an automated channel to get answers to their questions can lead to even more frustrations down the line, and have a negative impact on your overall customer experience.
That being said, not every customer enjoys a chatbot experience.
If a customer isn’t satisfied with the chatbot and still needs help, the AI can automatically route them to an agent in real-time, preserving the human element of customer service that makes your brand unique.
#3 Investing in Multilingual Support
In our modern age of the internet, customers can come to your business from any background, any walk of life, and any country.
With that in mind, it’s critical that businesses invest in expanding their support teams to offer multilingual options.
Doing so is important because it ensures that your customers don’t feel shut off from your brand. In fact, Intercom reports that 29% of surveyed businesses have lost customers because they didn’t offer multilingual support, and 70% are more loyal to the businesses that offer support in their native language.
In the US alone, 22% of the nation’s population don’t speak English at home. When these customers are reaching out to your brand to ask a question or resolve an issue, you need to ensure that there are no barriers for them to do so.
With solutions like Unbabel, businesses can scale multilingual capabilities for their support teams and provide a great, in-language experience for customers who prefer to communicate in a language that isn’t English.
Via their AI processing, Unbabel provides real-time translation of customer inquiries, and allows your agents to then respond in the same native language, even if they aren’t native speakers themselves.
In a year of limited in-person interactions when communication has become our most important tool, it’s critical that your team is armed with the resources they need to give every customer a remarkable experience, regardless of what language they speak.
Customer Service Trends to Pay Attention to in 2021
As we look back on 2020 and ahead to 2021, we want to uncover the biggest challenges that CX teams have faced in the past year, the biggest areas of opportunity in the year ahead, and how the world of support is changing.
Sign up for early access to our Customer Service Trends for 2021 report for data-backed insights on how your brand can deliver great customer experiences next year.