How often do you consider the customer service your team provides? If you want to grow and maintain your customer base in the coming decade, you can’t let your customer service stagnate. Peter Daisyme, co-founder of Hostt, says that consumers are four times as likely to buy from a competitor after a service issue than they are after a product one.

So how can you make sure that you deliver stellar customer service? By staying on top of trends and innovating. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss the five trends that Daisyme says will reshape customer service.

1. Social media will become default channels. As Millennials and Gen Zers make up a larger and larger share of your market, social media outreach is likely to make up more than half of your customer-service requests, says Daisyme. Those running your social accounts need to understand your product or service like veteran members of your customer-service staff. Daisyme recommends using chatbots to field common questions, which frees up time for your team members to tackle more complex questions.

2. Automation will get the human touch. Automation and AI are hot topics in every sector, and customer service is no exception, notes Daisyme. However, when customers hear “customer-service automation,” they think of automated menus and spammy robocalls. From the user’s perspective, that sort of automation is worse than none at all. Automation will be a must, according to Daisyme, but it’s best used to augment human workers.

3. Customer reps will give more product demos. As more services become strictly online, your customer-service capabilities need to keep up. Lean on co-browsing tools, which let customer-service agents share their screens with clients in real time. If a customer still isn’t getting it, video-conferencing solutions can improve communication via nonverbal cues, says Daisyme.

4. Customer service teams will develop disaster plans. Whether due to technological complexity or natural disasters, service outages seem to be happening more frequently. Cyberattacks are also a problem. Three-fifths of firms eventually face a catastrophe. Daisyme recommends leaders look to the Small Business Administration for checklists and safety tips specific to each type of disaster. Fill out the ones relevant to you and share them with your team before a disaster strikes.

5. Customer service training will be company-wide. Employees like engineers and marketers may not interact directly with customers, but they need customer-service skills all the same. Daisyme says that to deliver a better experience, everyone needs to know common customer pain points and solutions. Encourage people to think beyond their immediate role and subject area. He also recommends developing a top 10 list explaining how to address common customer questions.

Customer service is constantly evolving. To take the best care of your clients, stay current on how they want to be reached and how you can better serve them.

Source: Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Hostt, which specializes in helping businesses host their website for free for life.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers