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    8 customer service trends to know in 2024

    Customer service trends in 2024 are all about meeting your customers where they are, personalizing your interactions and reaching a resolution as efficiently as possible.

    Today’s customers are informed and have high expectations. Their loyalty hinges on a smooth, personalized customer experience that resonates with the customer’s values and needs. And since technology has come so far in the last few years, the days where brands could get away with copy-and-paste stock responses are over.

    In this post, we’re divulging the biggest trends in customer service. Implement these strategies to foster brand loyalty and build stronger customer relationships in 2024 and beyond.

    Trend 1: Social media customer service continues to drive growth

    Instead of limiting outreach to dedicated review channels, many customers choose to communicate with brands the same way they communicate with friends and family– through social media. These blurred boundaries make social media customer service a solid way for brands to drive growth in 2024 and beyond.

    Nearly three-quarters of online adults told Facebook they feel more connected with a business they can message directly. Further, 66% of online adults also reported they prefer to communicate with a business via social media messaging and are more likely to make a purchase if the option is available.

    The 2023 Sprout Social Index revealed that 70% of consumers expect brands to provide personalized responses to customer service needs, and 63% agree their loyalty to a brand is significantly impacted by the quality of customer service they receive on social media. A strong social media customer service strategy is vital to earning and keeping customers in 2024.

    Implement this customer service trend into your strategy by setting up a customer service messaging protocol for your social media accounts. Prioritize quality responses, and be sure to personalize them, too. Take Domino’s Pizza, for example. They do a great job of fielding social media customer service queries in a personalized, professional manner.

    8 customer service trends to know in 2024

    Trend 2. AI-powered customer support is on the rise

    Thanks to the recent generative AI surge, brands are using chatbots, virtual assistants and other automated tools to revolutionize customer service more than ever. Advancements in generative AI enable more natural, context-aware interactions and faster problem resolution, helping customer service teams handle a broader range of inquiries with greater accuracy and efficiency.

    Here are some ways AI is shaking up customer service in 2024.

    • Chatbots: Chatbots offer real-time solutions. They make it easier to manage large volumes of requests, provide 24/7 support for simple questions and enable human agents to focus on more intricate tasks. They also integrate insights from customer data to help personalize agent responses.
    • Personalization: Personalized recommendations based on customer data enhance the shopping experience, leading to increased sales.
    • Proactive maintenance: Proactive maintenance uses Predictive AI algorithms to anticipate technology failures before they occur, which ensures proactive problem-solving, minimizing downtime and enhancing customer contentment.
    • Sentiment analysis: Sentiment analysis delves into customer feedback, pinpointing areas for improvement and reinforcing brand loyalty.
    • Voice assistants: Voice assistants enable quick access to information and deliver tailored experiences.

    Today, because of natural language processing and machine learning (ML), AI-powered customer service conversations help brands give customers the special attention they crave from social media messaging. AI and ML handle after-hours queries and simple, repetitive questions, freeing up more time for real human agents to handle complex customer service requests.

    Macy’s uses this customer service trend to simplify the customer experience with their new AI-powered Macy’s On Call mobile tool. This question-and-answer tool provides a new level of one-on-one customer service for in-store shoppers.

    Macy's On-Call, a new AI-powered customer service tool that supports customers 24/7

    Trend 3: Automation enables personalized responses at scale

    Personalized customer service responses drive customer satisfaction, loyalty, engagement, revenue growth and competitive advantage. Thanks to new technology driven by customer service trends, brands can now use data-driven insights and efficient workflow strategies to facilitate personalized responses at scale.

    • Here are some ways you can implement personalized responses at scale.
    • Use customer data through CRM integrations, support tickets, previous interactions and purchase history to gain insights into customer preferences and patterns to tailor responses and solutions accordingly
    • Supply AI-powered chatbots with customer data to automate personalized responses
      Use dynamic scripting to create personalized responses that adhere to brand guidelines

    Sprout’s customer care solution enables personalized customer care replies at scale with AI-powered engagement features that suggest replies to help you answer customer responses faster. This helps standardize and streamline replies, preventing unconscious bias in the process. And, with a robust integration to Salesforce Service Cloud, you can further tailor responses with data from your customers’ previous interactions.

    Personalization features on Sprout's customer service dashboard

    Trend 4: Omnichannel integrations ensure cohesive customer experiences

    Omnichannel customer service is reshaping how businesses interact with their customers by providing a unified, seamless experience across all customer service channels. Omnichannel is all about meeting customers where they are most comfortable, whether it’s via email, chat, phone or social media.

    Enhance engagement, responsiveness, retention and customer satisfaction by identifying and prioritizing your customers’ preferred service channels. This strategic approach helps you deliver exceptional customer service in 2024 and beyond.

    Give these customer service trends a go by integrating dedicated software solutions like Salesforce that provide a unified platform for seamless interactions across all your customer service channels.

    Salesforce omnichannel features make customer support more efficient

    Trend 5. Voice of customer data drives strategy

    While an abundance of customer data is nothing new, rapid advances in AI make getting insights from data easier than ever. One way today’s customer service teams take advantage of this is by using voice of customer (VoC) data to analyze customer needs, both expressed and implied.

    VoC strategies involve tracking and analyzing data, then translating the raw insights into actionable customer service strategies. This approach ensures you enforce positive feedback and quickly address negative sentiment, helping businesses make customers feel heard and valued.

    Use VoC data to shape personalized, impactful customer service interactions. Get help from social listening tools, omnichannel customer surveys and comprehensive review management systems to gather data. These tools capture cross-channel data and empower businesses to proactively engage customers with seamless experiences and swift resolutions.

    Inspire Medical Systems is a great example for brands looking to implement customer service trends. This brand uses Sprout’s VoC features to prioritize VIP list customers who require immediate attention so that urgent inquiries can be addressed as soon as they come in.

    Trend 6. Tiered customer support streamlines case management

    Tiered customer support is a strategy that triages customer inquiries based on complexity. Think of it as sorting requests as if they were patients walking into the emergency room.

    This approach helps the right support agents handle the right issues, leading to more efficient and effective problem resolution. Routine questions are sent to frontline agents, whereas complex issues like billing discrepancies are escalated to specialized teams.

    Tiered customer support streamlines case management and improves the customer experience by helping customers receive timely, personalized solutions. Implementing this strategy leads to higher customer satisfaction and increased brand loyalty. Of the customer service trends listed in this blog, tiered customer support is one of the most straightforward, practical ways to improve your brand’s customer experience.

    Tiered customer support streamlines case management and improves the customer experience by helping customers receive timely, personalized solutions.

    Trend 7. Data privacy and protection remain top of mind

    Customers are increasingly concerned about how their personal information is collected, used and shared. According to Cisco’s 2024 Data Privacy Benchmark Study, 94% of surveyed users believe their customers won’t buy from them if their data isn’t properly protected.

    Data protection regulations are emerging globally, mirroring customers’ mounting concerns and solidifying data privacy and protection as a top priority and one of the most popular customer service trends for customer service professionals this year and beyond. This is especially true for the healthcare field due to HIPAA and the sensitive nature of medical records.

    Some 80% of users surveyed saw significant benefits in loyalty and trust after investing in customer privacy. Below are methods to help customer service professionals safeguard customer data:

    • Training service representatives on secure data handling practices, privacy and incident response plans
    • Implementing robust identity verification processes
    • Limiting access to consumer data by job role
    • Incorporating privacy by design principles into customer service tools
    • Creating robust data consent management processes
    • Partnering with software vendors who keep security top of mind

    Security is even more important with social customer service trends, as people may share private information in public spaces.

    Sprout helps businesses protect sensitive customer data with tools that tag, filter and reroute private messages to a secure channel.

    Sprout's data privacy feature helps businesses protect sensitive customer data with tools that tag, filter and reroute private messages to a secure channel.

    Trend 8. Community and peer forums reduce burden on official channels

    Build a brand community where your customers can help themselves. Today’s customer service trends are highly social. These days, it’s pretty common to see a loyal customer go out of their way to explain how a product or service works to another customer in need.

    Community forums reduce customer service inquiry volume by giving people a space to answer questions, share experiences and troubleshoot problems.

    Here are more ways community and peer forums relieve the pressure of official customer service channels.

    • Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing reduces the need for repetitive questions
    • Online communities are available 24/7
    • Crowdsourcing is highly effective for generating comprehensive, diverse answers not always possible through standard support channels
    • Active online communities foster a sense of belonging and improve customer engagement

    Inspire your customers to use community and peer forums by creating an engaging, user-friendly online platform where customers can easily access information, ask questions and interact. Make sure to implement user-friendly navigation, a search functionality and clear organization of topics to encourage participation.

    Need an example of this customer service trend in action? Check out Sprout’s Arboretum. It’s a virtual community designed to help social and marketing professionals connect, share knowledge and advance their careers.

    The Arboretum is Sprout's virtual community designed to help social and marketing professionals connect, share knowledge and advance their careers.

    Help your team adapt to shifting customer service trends

    Customer service trends move fast, but they’re always grounded with the same goal— finding out what your customers need and giving them the right solution as fast as possible.

    The part that changes year by year is the where and the how.

    A decade ago, customer service on social media was barely a concept. Today, social media is its own customer service channel. Platforms like Facebook have even implemented dedicated customer support features, leaving brands to find the middle ground between marketing and customer support.

    Help your team adapt to changing customer service trends with this social media customer service training deck. In it, you’ll find tips for delivering brand-friendly customer service across key social networks, instructions on when and how to escalate inquiries and crisis management procedures.

    The post 8 customer service trends to know in 2024 appeared first on Sprout Social.

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