Check Out What's Hot and What's Not in Customer Service

John Krautzel
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Recent trends in customer service point to different ways of doing things that do not necessarily involve having to pick up a phone to call someone at a company. While several workplace and operational shifts may come and go between 2016 and 2020 in terms of how staffers deliver quality service to customers, here are some of the more prominent trends to watch out for as technology becomes a more prominent tool in customer experiences.

1. Social Media

Social media is replacing email as a major communication tool for customer service. Facebook posts and Twitter feeds serve as mass communications for people who subscribe to these channels, and social media creates faster response times because businesses constantly monitor these accounts. Companies should expand their social media presence and offerings to include dedicated customer forums to address feedback directly.

2. Self Service

Self-service modules, such as FAQ pages on websites and YouTube videos that show how to do something, take the place of using the telephone to call into the customer service department. Paying a bill online is as easy as a few clicks rather than having to call an agent to run a debit card. Noting these self-service options through social media saves staff time and money while delivering a fantastic customer experience.

3. Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants, such as Siri from Apple or Microsoft's Cortana, provide basic customer service by trying to answer questions without the need for a human. However, recent trends in this technology point to more complex computer programs that can solve harder problems. Every time a virtual assistant communicates with a client, it gains more data so it can improve the experience the next time. The more data a virtual assistant has, the more likely it is to deliver the best possible results.

This type of software goes beyond having a verbal conversation. Virtual assistants can engage in text chats and instant messaging to try to solve a customer's problem. This software can communicate in several languages, and it has access to relevant information instantaneously as a powerful tool that may help humans more and more in the future.

4. Video Conversations

Instead of phone interactions, customer service departments may employ two-way video chats. This adds a human element to the process. The customer sees and talks to an agent, and the agent can see the person who initiated the contact. Smartphone apps utilize the video camera on the device, and this lets a client experience what it's like to see the agent rather than just hear his voice. This live video technology may be another form of a phone call, but it creates a personal touch and a new dimension to interacting with people who need help.

Customer service continues to evolve thanks to technology that improves the way companies deal with people who buy products and services. These new ways of accomplishing tasks should make things easier for both the company and its customers, while saving everyone time, money and hassle.

Photo courtesy of dbennett0888 at


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