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Jimmy Dean once famously said, one cannot change the direction of the wind, but one can adjust the sails to reach the destination. Nowhere does this notion holds true than in the field of customer service. The nature of today’s customer service industry is changing rapidly. New trends are emerging with every passing day and if you aspire to succeed in such an ever-changing environment, you cannot simply opt to under look all the happenings. You have to be proactive and ready to update your offerings by implementing innovative tools and ideas.

With this in mind we have put together a list of the customer service expectations that will dominate the headlines in the near future-

The Rise of “Mobile” Factor

The power of smartphones in e-commerce is rising day by day. In fact, as per latest BI Intelligence report, it will have a market share of 45%, gobbling $284 billion in online sales by 2020. As a result of this, businesses will have to realign their marketing strategies and strive to provide mobile responsive websites that are designed to provide seamless customer experience. This is especially critical with the rise of purchasing power of millennials. In fact, according to Internet Retailer, brands that keep the needs of this demography in mind and adopted a mobile-centric approach will show an 80% increase in sales.

Omni-channel will be the New Multi-Channel

More than a decade ago, there were only two channels through which you could contact a company – either by phone or by fax.

Today, you can take your pick; SMS, phone, social media, email, chat – the list goes on and on.

In such a situation, the only was businesses can stay afloat is by ensuring that they are accessible and deliver consistent experience across each and every one of these channels.

In fact, as per Aberdeen Group, companies that deliver consistent experience across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies that fail to do so will only be able to retain 33%.

The Rise of the (Messaging App and Chatbot) Machines

The popularity of messaging app has slowly but surely grown in recent times. In fact as per Business Insider, messaging app has surpassed other prominent customer service channels such as social media in terms of popularity over the last two years. And there are two prominent reasons for this. One is the proposition of ‘always on’ customer support, which in all probability will offer much higher usage and retention rate than any other channel. While the other reason is the strong inclination of millennials, a powerful and influential demographic, towards chat apps. These two factors are bound to compel companies to put-in every effort to make it a part of their business in 2017 and beyond. However, there is a word of caution here. Chatbots are essentially machines pretending to be human. Although they can handle simple and straightforward questions, they don’t have the capability to be a true brand ambassador/advocate, or be able to provide personalized services.

The Bottom-line

Customer expectations are become more and more demanding with each passing year. Businesses that invest more time in customer service and develop appropriate strategies to meet those expectations will stay relevant and those that fall behind will lose their customers to competition.