1. Accelerating Customer Service:

In the past, experts have argued that neither organisations nor customers really want service experiences or interactions. However, customer service is not going away any time soon. It is not a sign of failure, and neither are complaints. Customer service is not something to be avoided or a sign of failure – rather, it is integral to the product, service or government policy on offer. It is also an outcome of the nature and complexity of human endeavour and more and more businesses are recognising this. We cannot design perfect products and services that allow for every exception to the rule. It is also a consequence of the variability and lack of consistency that is endemic in human kind. The Voice of Customer Service will get louder.

2. Smart Service, bring it on…

To drive smart service organisations need to monitor the performance of a product or service so they can fix or respond to problems before consumers, even notice something is wrong. According to our research, 60% of consumers would like notification when their current account balance(s) go below a specified minimum balance and 70% want regular updates of their utility usage.

3. Get your heads around the diverse consumer

Multicultural Britain, serving people overseas and global call centres. Everyone has to understand the huge range of people who are your customers including their attitudes, believes, diversity of education, wealth and vulnerabilities.

4. Use the social media multiplier

That is if you solve one customers problem on Twitter, lots of others see it. Smartphone users have more consumer influence, according to BT/Avaya’s Autonomous Customer 2015 report 45% comment on social media about the customer service just received. More and more consumers are helping each other. Some 46% of respondents contribute to online reviews like TripAdvisor, and 54% said they trust online customer forums more than an organisations website.

5. Omni channel, no going back

One of the biggest challenges facing corporates is to develop mobile websites or mobile apps that are seamless. Using mobile apps and browsing so that consumers have access to relevant information at the correct time is vital, and can resolve problems quickly and simply as well as provide ongoing service. The data from the latest Autonomous Customer research shows that although email (71%), phone (70%), internet self-service (60%) and face-to-face (55%) are the top future channels for contacting organisations, other options like webchat (24%) and Facebook (18%) voice self-service (17%) and customer forums (15%) are becoming popular options which require investment.

6. Overcoming silo culture

Employee engagement, directly influencing customer engagement, matters hugely. The key point for business is that sources of trust are changing. When they buy a product customers are acting more autonomously. Consumers are research obsessed, with 79% of consumers planning their purchases and carry out research on the internet before they interact or buy. This means they are less dependent on marketing advice and nudges from the organisations involved. When customers do interact with enterprises, due to trust decay, they are more alert to the emphasis of those conversations eg is an organisation putting sales and profit, and not their customers, at the heart of their organisations. Well informed customer-facing staff will prove a valuable asset.

7. De-personalise customer relationships

Many customers are suspicious of organisations with intrusive data analytic systems. We know from our research that 90% of consumers are concerned about invasion of their privacy, marketing bombardment, ID and card payment fraud and hackers infiltrating company databases. Consumers frequently choose to give a false name and address when shopping around, use alias emails, spoof Facebook accounts and pay cash so organisations have less info on me.