8 B2B Customer Support Breakthroughs to Prepare for In the Next Decade

As we look forward into the next decade, let's first reflect back to the previous one and the impact it had on customer support. The 2010's was a decade driven by the emergence and evolution of mobile technology, making it easier to communicate than ever before. It also launched "big data" into the mainstream, and support teams had more information about their customers than ever before. We've looked at annual customer service trends in the past, but now it's time to look even further down the road.

So what's in store for the next decade? Here are 8 B2B customer support breakthroughs to prepare for in the next decade.

 

1) Large companies will hire customer support professionals that rarely, if ever, directly interact with customers

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Creating a Customer Experience Strategy is Critical for B2B Growth

As we start a new year full of goals and ambitions, it's important to have a solid focus for the year ahead. Accenture, a management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company  that focuses on driving efficiency and growth,  recently released a great report based on their  2015 B2B Customer Experience survey that shows the importance of customer experience for B2B growth.

The results are telling and the insights are bang on - the bottom line is that Customer Experience is HUGE in B2B, and the companies that recognize that and invest in it are the ones who are seeing increasing profits and happier customers. They will also be the ones to excel as they differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

The report states that although the majority of B2B companies surveyed report customer experience (CX) as an important part of their strategy, only 23 percent of them achieve strong returns on their CX investments, but why?

3 Reasons Customer Experience Efforts Don't Work: 

  • The skills to implement but no strategy to create a sustainable and satisfying customer experience
  • The strategy is in place and fully understood, but the skills or resources needed to implement are missing.
  • Some of the strategic priorities, and some of the abilities/resources are there but not all. Basically a half-baked plan will of course result in half-baked results and ultimately failure. 

 

gold_coins_graph_growth.jpgThe key is to have the strategy and the resources in place, and follow through completely to set yourself apart in significant ways. So how do the winners create a customer experience strategy?

  1. Start with customer service. It is an essential piece of the customer experience puzzle, and successful B2Bs understand and embrace this. Service channels are arguably now more important to business growth than sales channels. Successful companies focus on proactive customer support and preventing issues rather than fixing them. 
  2. Invest in ALL channels, from traditional phone-based customer support to online self-service options and digital enhancements. The trick here is to understand the relationship between traditional and digital, and use them to support each other. You really can't have one without the other. 
  3. Invest in technology. This doesn't mean adding tech to replace people, nor does it mean a computer or software can solve your customer service issues. It means you need to invest in technology that ENHANCES the customer experience, all the while focusing on the end goal - customer satisfaction. 

To read the full report, view the Accenture report here.

For more insight into how support plays into the customer experience, download our white paper Customer Experience Management: A 3-Legged Stool

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