How has the pandemic changed customer service? Will these changes remain in 2021 and beyond?
COVID-19 totally blew up how business works. And by extension, customer service had to adapt as well.
So let’s get right to the emerging customer service trends to understand in 2021 and beyond:
1. Working Remotely? Good! Keep Doing It
It can be challenging to shift to new ways of doing business. Will your new approaches be as successful as traditional methods? Or will they blow up in your face and cause all sorts of stress and chaos?
PwC, a prominent consulting firm, conducted a survey to learn a little more about remote work.
It turns out that 74% of employees want to work from home at least two days per week.
But so what? Is that really the best thing for your company?
73% of execs say remote work has been a success.
There’s no one right way to make the decision. But it’s clear that working from home, at least to some degree, is a positive for your organization.
2. Baby Boomers Have Shifted to Purchasing Online
Those 65+ have historically resisted technological adaptation to a high degree. They would prefer to go to the store, ask an employee questions, and actually touch and manipulate the product they wanted to buy.
Or they’d rather call a customer service line.
But COVID finally forced them to adapt. And adapt they have.
Baby boomers now have much greater comfort watching a how-to video, reading a FAQ article, sending an email, or talking to a rep by chat.
In fact, live chat has now become the second most popular way to interact with customer service!
Baby Boomers make up about 70 million of our nation’s 328 million people (21.3%). And now you have this additional massive demand on your customer service department.
You’re wise to consider customer service solutions that scale well with increased demand (how-to articles, FAQs, videos, and so on).
3. Customers Want Empathy More than Anything Else
If there’s one thing you can do for your customers, it’s treating them like real human beings with unique emotions and needs.
Research found that customers value empathy more than any other customer service skill.
This includes friendliness, knowledge, and even an answer to their question.
For example, Zappos created a customer service line when customers could literally talk to a rep about anything…even if it was completely unrelated to any products they sold (clothing and shoes).
What an amazing way to stand out during such a bizarre time in life!
So yes. Customer service is looking like a completely different ballgame here in 2021 and beyond.
And now you know what to work toward.