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Of course, it’s clear to every business owner that customer care is an essential part of your business. You need to make sure that you are providing the right support to your customers and clients. If you fail to do this, then it is ultimately going to severely damage your business reputation. Your clients are going to question whether you do care about them and potentially look towards one of your key competitors instead. 

One of the things that you may not be aware of is that the customer care industry is changing rapidly. The world of customer support today is not what it will be tomorrow. So, you need to make sure that you take the right steps to keep on top of the situation and ensure that your business remains at the forefront of innovation in this sector. But don’t assume for a moment that you know which direction this industry is headed. Based on recent reports and emerging polls from consumers, it could certainly surprise you. 

Let’s chat

A webshop or other business-related webshop without a chat option will lose opportunities. A chat bar or button will enable you to provide the crucial information that customers are searching for on your site. 

Chatbots, buttons, bars, or pop-ups are easy to install and set up as an integrated part of your business website. They are cheap too and can be an effective way to ensure that users are lead towards making a purchase decision. Something to consider is whether you want to connect them to employees who can answer questions or use an automated system. Automated systems are cheaper but they may not provide the in-depth information that your customers want or need to commit to a potential sale. 

A good example of a professional chatbot is delivered by Flow.ai. Founder Sander Wubben spoke to us about building his AI-based company.

So, how will chat change in the future? Well, first it’s important to recognize that chat is widely favored by customers. This is how they want to connect to your brand. In various polls, up to 50% claimed that they preferred this over in-person meets and speaking to people on the phone. So, clearly, a lot of people don’t want to socialize with your employees. They want to get the info they need or complete a sale in the most efficient way possible. 

Chats are going to evolve over the next few years and specifically, we’re going to see an increased focus on AI. Artificial intelligence is all but certainly going to play a key part in these chats. With AI, companies will be able to ensure that customers always get the answers they need. AI will only become more advanced and sophisticated.  

Utilizing Big Data

For the most effective use of AI, you need to make the most of big data. What is big data? Big data is hundreds and thousands of TBs of info that businesses keep on their customers. The data can be used for a wide range of different purposes. Specifically, it’s possible to utilize it to make predictions about customer behavior and understand what clients are going to want from customer support options in the future. You can also ensure that data provides a clear idea of who your target audience is and what they want from your business. 

For these types of processes, businesses need the right systems in place including options such as enterprise system integration. What is enterprise system integration? Options like this will guarantee that businesses are able to both store and access the data in a way that is efficient and streamlined. It will ensure that businesses are able to maximize the potential of this. 

Self Service

You might assume that customer support means that you always need to provide the solution that customers want or need. On the contrary, research shows that customers are interested and inclined to handle things themselves. Indeed, 4 out of 5 customers will attempt to troubleshoot an issue before they opt to seek help from a live customer support representative. As such, in the future, businesses will need to ensure that they make it easier for customers to hack on their own initiative and solve any problems that they have. In doing so, they can guarantee that customers feel empowered and ensure that they rely less on support from business reps. 

Omnichannel Support

A lot of businesses are now using multiple channels to offer customers the support that they want. This includes providing solutions through everything from the website to business apps as well as in-store solutions. However, very few businesses are currently delivering what could be considered a true omnichannel solution. It’s fair to say that in the future that is going to change. Business owners will need to push themselves to put each individual customer at the center of the support experience. It is a complex task but when it works, it provides tremendous benefits. 

With the correct approach, there is no single view of the customer through email, online chat, or phone support. Customers need to feel completely taken care of on all fronts. They do not want to worry about only gaining support across one platform. Instead, support continues seamlessly, regardless of which option they choose and everything is connected. So, customers can start talking to a rep on a live chat or a phone and then switch to email or speak to a rep instore. This will become an efficient, integrated process with no noticeable boundaries. 

What’s also certain, is that new developments will continue to be shaping customer care in the future. It’s fair to say that there might be some surprises in store, particularly for those who believe they already know which direction the tech in this sector is heading.