7 Trends in Customer Service to Watch in 2019

Last year, we highlighted some of the key customer service trends to watch in 2018 and many of them came to fruition. The shift in perception of AI and automation was arguably the most significant. Once a thought of the distant future, many companies began adding these concepts to their workflows and roadmaps.

Once again, for the third year in a row, here are 7 customer service trends to watch in 2019…

1) B2B self-service will become more interactive – Thanks to an increase in on-demand video content in their personal lives, customers are more frequently asking for the same in the business world. As a result, more companies are doing less telling through text and more showing through interactive guides and customer service video content to get messages across.

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The 4 Best Customer Service Traits to Look for in Employees

It usually requires a special kind of person to succeed in customer service. These individuals are in constant contact with customers, which makes them symbols of how a business performs. Good customer service employees are eager to help; bad ones are eager for the day to be over.

If you’re a customer service manager looking to hire new agents, or if you’re an agent looking to do better at your job, there are certain traits to look for and improve upon. Here, we’re going to break down four of the best customer service traits, so you can optimize your service strategy and improve the overall customer experience.

1. Patience

Customer service is not the easiest of jobs. At its best, you’re left feeling good about helping a customer with their problem and they’re going to continue doing business with your company. Maybe they’ll even recommend your business to their colleagues, friends, and family.

At its worst, you’re left questioning why you even took the job in the first place. It’s very easy to get angry with a customer because they’re upset over a product not working as expected. With this said, patience is the number one trait to look for when hiring an agent. It really does go a long way when working with customers. Having patience will lead to more effective conversations rather than shouting matches. If an upset customer sees you’re handling their issue calmly, you help them believe that their problem isn’t the end of the world.

2. Empathy

Accurately understanding how a customer feels by putting yourself in their shoes isn’t an easy trait to find, but it’s essential to great customer service. If your agents can’t understand a customer’s frustration, they’ll never be able to resolve an issue without a dispute, and the customer can leave the conversation feeling worse off.

Even if failing to provide empathy is for the sake of convenience and getting to the next person in line as quickly as possible, acting like you don’t care will never be a good thing in the eyes of the customer. Especially in the B2B (business-to-business) world, empathy in customer service is critical because it’s one of the key traits that helps in retaining customers by creating deep relationships.

 

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3. Communication Skills

It’s not enough to be empathetic and patient if you’re unable to communicate that to customers. Being a customer service agent is a lot like role-playing. You must be able to come across as knowledgeable, professional, and capable of handling all kinds of situations regardless of the severity of the issue at hand.

You can be a seasoned agent, but if you’re unable to communicate the right way to a customer when they’re upset, the entire experience will be viewed negatively. And, if these poor experiences happen too often, customers will stop reaching out altogether. That’s a death blow for any customer relationship.

4. Tech-Savvy

Talking and listening are certainly essential, but agents also benefit greatly from using customer service software in many ways. This solution does numerous things, including organizing tickets for agents, enabling multiple channels (phone, email, live chat) for customers to contact you, and much more. Being able to navigate software quickly can have a huge influence on how you interact with customers. If you’re able to access the right information in an instant, you’ll drastically lessen how long it takes to resolve the issue. This makes everyone happy.

It’s also ideal to be able to use a smartphone, tablet, and computer for interacting with customers. Because of this, make sure your service software has a mobile app that allows you to access key tickets and customer information on the fly. Business is now more mobile, and the ability to provide service on the go is becoming expected in the business world.

The Final Word

Customer service employees often spend the most time with customers, handling their problems quickly and efficiently. To do this well, they need four traits…

1) A strong will fueled by patience

2) The ability to empathize with customers

3) An ability to communicate effectively 

4) An aptitude for technology

If you’re a customer service manager looking to hire new employees, or you’re looking to re-train your current employees, you should pay attention to these traits. They ensure employees are competent and willing to look at issues from the customer’s point of view to keep everyone happy.

 

About the author:

Nick Campanella graduated from Queens College with an MFA in Creative Writing. He is a writer for GetCRM and GetVoIP who focuses on CRM news and trends while putting a unique spin on omnichannel, customer support, marketing strategies, and the sales funnel.

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