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Not too long ago, customers had a limited say when a particular product or service fell short of their expectations. Sure, they could ditch that particular product or service and shop elsewhere, but that was a blunt approach and barely commanded attention of the business even if it silently signaled dissatisfaction on a macro level.

However, things have changed for the greater good of all the concerned parties. Thanks to emergence of trends such as anytime-anywhere connectivity, increased mobile usage, social media wildfire and the millennial generation’s appetite for purchasing things recommended by people in their circle, companies cannot afford to ignore customer service. This is supported by the findings of a recent survey, which says that in 2017, nearly 89% of businesses will plan to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience. These numbers are a sharp upswing of about 36% and 58% compared to the figures of previous two years.

With this in mind let’s go deep and take a look at some of the trends that will shape customer experience in 2017.

Mobile-first Customer Experience

Though this trend has been around for years, not many companies have placed enough emphasis to leverage its potential to the fullest. This has got to change as companies realize that mobile users will soon outnumber desktop users and generate approximately 27.8 billion more queries when compared to the latter.

Predictive Analytics Will Help Shape Customer Experience Delivery

As per industry veterans, call center analytics is one of the biggest trends of 2017 and has the potential to transform call center industry over the course of the next 5-10 years. One of the prerequisites to keep customers happy is to anticipate their needs, and this is where this technology comes in to the picture. The technology allows us to tie information together in the form of surveys, phone calls, billing systems, web chat, and so on to create actionable insights.

By leveraging call center analytics, you can dig deep into the available customer data, precisely anticipate what each section of the audience needs and personalize the offerings to create great value for both the parties.

Call-back Option Will Be of Top Priority for Call Centers

Waiting on hold is shunned universally by everyone and experts are of the opinion that it has the potential to grind down the value and quality of the customer experience more swiftly than an ill-mannered agent. In fact as per a recent survey, nearly 75% believe that companies should never put people on hold and 60% of the people are more likely to disconnect the call after just a minute of waiting on hold. Hence it is high time that companies opt to provide call back service and prevent the loss of nearly $900 per employee from hold time alone.

The biggest bonus of call back service is that it helps customers feel respected, important and happy, which will go a long way in increasing the revenues of the company.

Self-service Tools Will Be A Priority

As per a recent survey, 50% of the customers seek greater autonomy to solve their own problem rather than speaking to customer service representatives and 70% expect a company’s website to have a self-service option. Hence, it is time that companies do the needful to include self-service options, thereby empowering consumers to a large extent.

24x7x365 Omni-channel presence

At a time when 95% of the customers are using more than one channel to communicate, contact centers cannot afford to provide just one means to interact with agents. A multi-channel strategy has become a must and this is forcing call centers to embrace new channels of communication such as social media, web, IVR, email, text, mobile apps and set-top boxes.

Along with offering numerous options to interact with the agents, it has also become essential for call centers to constructively collect and use the data from various channels to improve customer interaction and minimize customer satisfaction.

The Bottom-line

There are many influential call center trends that will drive customer experience in 2017. Call centers need to be flexible and embrace these new age trends to stay relevant down the line and provide top notch customer service.