It pays to plan in business. Savvy managers know that. That’s why they review key support trends annually. They can make a big impact during the year. Reviewing trends keeps managers ahead of the curve. More importantly, it provides a golden opportunity to gain a competitive edge by retaining support customers.
Customers have little patience these days. One bad experience with your tech support team can drive them to your competitors. To boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, you need to improve operations continuously and fully engage customers.
Staying abreast of the 7 key trends discussed below can help you stay ahead of the curve.
1. Cloud Stays Dominant
Switching to the Cloud will remain a dominant issue in 2015. Many companies that do so will choose the more economical public Cloud solutions. But growing numbers this year will opt for hybrid or private Cloud solutions where they make good economic sense.
Whatever the solution, a key issue will be how will companies provide a differentiated support service experience that allows users to click from within the application to get timely help.
2. Video Coming On Strong **Top Support Trends
More and more support customers want video chat as a communications option. Expect more SMBs to provide it in 2015. Or at least, test pilot it. Video chat boosts service by speeding processes like insurance claims and strengthening connections through distance learning and supply chain activities.
3. Omni-Channel Support To Increase
More and more support customers like to self-select channels based on personal preferences. SMBs will need to offer full “omni-channel” customer experiences to accommodate them.
Also, look for Web chat to become the “go-to” channel for initiating customer experiences from the Web site, triaging support experiences, and directing support customers to other services.
4. Support Service Transparency Grows
Increasing numbers of SMBs will give customers controlled access to support-related tools and information. Mobility will lead the way, providing customers with more seamless and transparent interactions that give them instant access to data on their relationships with companies and their products and/or services.
5. Growth Of High-Accountability Support Model
Many tech support centers organize around a traditional escalation support model, which includes issue passing, and transfers between different tiers and areas of expertise.
But in 2015 more and more tech centers will employ a high-accountability or ownership model for more efficient resource utilization of resources.
With a high-accountability model, individual support personnel take ownership of the customer experience. They’ll use techniques such as collaboration and “swarming” to concurrently dismantle the barriers erected by “tiered” organizations on the way to providing better customer experiences.
6. Predictive Analytics Makes Headway
Making sense of Big Data was a key theme in 2014. It will be again in 2015. Predictive analytics is a great way for companies to make sense of Big Data. Predictive analytics can not only enhance business performance, it can also help SMBs identity and improve new revenue streams.
7. Cybercrime Grows In Importance **Top Support Trends
Cybercrime threats won’t lessen in 2015. In fact, an increasingly complex threat landscape will boost cybersecurity’s importance this year. Look for Predictive Analytics and Big-Data analytics to play huge roles in helping companies safeguard their data from cyber criminals.
Given these 7 support trends, a key question to ask yourself is: Is your provider—or the provider you’re thinking of hiring—equipped to deal with the changes? Better yet, can they help you create a competitive advantage?
If not, maybe you need to re-think your choice.
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