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Customer Service Trends to Watch for in 2018

With each passing year, the customer is better informed and further armed with tools that aid in the decision making process; it’s a development that would have been nearly unimaginable a few decades ago. With all of that knowledge and all of those options available to consumers, your favorite companies and brands have recognized the need to step things up. How will that determination to “wow” buyers be reflected in the year to come? Let’s take a look at some of the customer service trends we see rising to the top of the list in 2018.

Adapt to Your Customers

It’s no surprise that the way we shop is vastly different from 10 or 20 years ago. But with change occuring at such an accelerated speed, it’s vital for your brand to keep pace with customer tastes and expectations. New social platform taking your target market by storm? You’d better be there. With plummeting loyalty rates among young customers, brands need to serve, preserve, and adjust to their customers. You need to show a flexibility and openness to your customers that sets you apart from the ruthless competition, as Tesla famously did earlier this year when they expanded the battery capacity of their electric cars for customers fleeing Hurricane Irma. Now that’s adapting and responding with care.

Deep Dive Into Tech

Forward-thinking companies are investing in tech at an incredible rate. Think of tools like Amazon Echo; not only are they facilitating the purchase of your favorite products, but they’re also providing, in a sense, companionship to their users. Every time a consumer has a chat with a smart device, it’s creating an invaluable relationship with that brand. Another tech, augmented reality, opens up a number of selling possibilities; consider how customers, without leaving home, will be able to see how furniture looks in their house, or how clothing and makeup looks on them.

You Are Your Brand

With half of the world’s population connected via smartphone, acts of kindness or inconsideration can resonate around the globe in the blink of an eye. From C-level employees down, people’s actions can create immediate impressions of the brand they serve, for better or for worse. Think of the goodwill generated by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff donating $100 million for a children’s hospital and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos soliciting suggestions for how he should direct his philanthropical distributions. The messages those gestures send to the public at large are stronger than ten ad campaigns.

Transparency is Key

When the reputations of companies and brands are analyzed, studies often focus on the negative. Instead of dwelling on what drives customers away, it may be more beneficial to highlight what actions you can take to win them over for good. If the old model was “for” the people, think of the new one as being “with” the people—standing alongside them throughout their transaction and beyond. Empower your customer with the information they need in order to make the choices that properly reflect their values. Stay with them through the process and make them appreciate the choice they made when they became your customer (see “You Are Your Brand”).

Is your company reactive or proactive when it comes to customer trends? What do you see as being a trend to watch over the next 12 months? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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