What do we know today that could help us gear up for 2025?
The global pandemic is precipitating changes in how we work, do business, and deliver goods and services. Isolation is hindering social interactions, as well as business connections. The traditional methods of interacting with customers, partners, vendors, and the public have been challenged like never before. The time is ripe to imagine what the 2025 customer experience expectations will look like.
When reaching out, customers expect service and solutions, courtesy and respect, competence and value, and the overall need to be understood in a timely manner. Technology has evolved in ways that allow businesses to deliver products and services over multiple channels, various formats, at the speed of light (hello Amazon Prime). Smart and augmented CRM systems can integrate AI and ML tools to deliver new features and advantages.
Traditional methods will no longer cut it
If they were all the rage in the mid-90s, loyalty programs have had to reinvent themselves to keep delivering the same return on investment. Retaining customers or ensuring their ongoing support goes well beyond the mail-order gift or the exclusive shopping time; it’s now critical to leverage technology to get closer to customers and to optimize cross-sell opportunities. The same goes for rigid service catalogs; customers want, need, and expect more than menu options A, B, or C.
Customers find information, reviews, and options online before engaging with businesses, and it is risky to stick with the same product or service offer; a customer in need of a slightly customized product might choose another provider to meet their need if you don’t. There is tremendous value in broadening the service catalog to cater to more knowledgeable and market-savvy consumers.
What we can learn from social media moguls and influencers
Let’s have a look at Gary Vaynerchuk’s social media presence. He produces content. A lot of content. He built a digital marketing empire by leveraging and sharing useful content (a perfect vehicle for his business coaching, keynote speeches and workshops). Gary does not shy away from giving valuable insight, tips, and strategies to the communities at large, and thus generates strong engagement behaviors.
Hiring Gary as a spokesperson is not for everyone. However, you can educate your customers on the industry’s news, and show them how your business is keeping tabs on today’s market trends, events, opportunities, and what solutions you offer to meet their specific needs. Providing curated and relevant content to your customers can help them make educated decisions and engage positively with your brand.
Leveraging CRM platforms to power the customer experience of the future
When customer experience becomes part of your organization’s strategy and culture, it becomes easier to select the right tools and technology. To deliver a best-in-class experience, we recommend you gather all the customer data in one system, to perform extreme analytics and build customized proactive communications to reach out, capture the attention of clients, and trigger behaviors and habits. With first party data (rich data, consumer or contacts information) and third party data (cookies) available and machine learning applications, clients will take for granted that we know them.
It is up to smart businesses to invest in integrated technology to proactively assess their needs and propose services or products that reflect what they want and how they want it. If the current situation has taught us anything, is that we need to embrace flexibility, various fulfillment options and solutions, and that one-size-fits-all product offerings are no longer sound business model.
But what about customer service in 2025?
If traditional methods are expected to yield less results in the years to come, there is an opportunity to amplify the current customer support function to meet the upcoming needs. Because our customers research online and read reviews, customer service representatives (CSRs) will need to be well equipped to answer demanding, smart, and educated requests. By that, we mean that you will need smart, thorough, and educated CSRs.
These future CSRs also expect better work-life balance, flexible schedules, working from home, and optimal training to deliver friendly and competent services. Third party call centers also face a growing need to bring much more to the table to deliver a seamless and pleasant experience to their client’s customers.
Meaningful connections through technology
It goes without saying that the world as we know it has changed, is changing and will keep evolving. Customer service is undoubtedly changing along with it and is constantly reshaped by the needs of today’s customers and the up and coming technology. As businesses are adapting their fulfillment options to the pandemic context, there is no harm in preparing for 2025 and steer your business strategy towards technology that can harness change and deliver, no matter what.
Customer Relationship Management is what we do. We specialize in platform recommendations and implementations. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.