Mar 25, 2024

Future Trends: What's Next for Self-Serve Customer Service?

By Hari Priya Muralikrishnan

Lead Content

Customer service is rapidly evolving, driven by the increasing demand for self-servesolutions among modern consumers who want speedy resolutions. Nearly half of GenZers and millennials search online for a problem resolution before tapping into company-provided customer service. This shift has sparked some major trends changing how customer service works.

Five Key Trends for Self-serve Success

  • 1. The omnichannel imperative: Customers are looking for information and solutions everywhere – from FAQs to chatbots, to automated voice channels, and even DIY how-to videos and communities. Ergo, contact centers must have an omnichannel strategy in place that caters to this diverse landscape, seamlessly guiding customers across these channels while ensuring a consistent, fluid journey. The goal? Swiftly resolving issues, avoiding detours, and ensuring every interaction is purposeful and effective.
  • 2. Conversational AI delivering human-like experiences: The key reason for customer frustration with chatbots was their run-of-the-mill responses. The older versions of these bots could not understand customer intent, interpret emotions, or seamlessly switch flow to become more relevant. Latest Conversational AI solutions can do all that and more, giving your customers what they want: effective, intuitive conversations on whatever channel they choose
  • 3. Agent experience in the spotlight: Agent burnout is a very real issue in the industry that affects employee well-being and customer satisfaction. Agents struggling with high call volumes, juggling between multiple systems, and dealing with irate customers need a respite. While companies are increasingly using Generative AI (GenAI) enabled virtual assistants to help agents resolve queries faster it’s not enough. Increasing containment in the self-service channels is vital to reduce the load on agents and achieve better CSAT.
  • 4. eXtended Reality Customer Experiences: The future of self-service is no longer confined to flat screens and text-based interactions. Extended Reality (XR), encompassing both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), is opening a world of immersive and interactive experiences that transform the way customers engage with products and services. Imagine trying on clothes or furniture virtually in your own space before making a purchase. Or picture a technician using VR guiding you through fixing a complicated gadget in real time. This is just the beginning of what XR promises for the future of customer service.
  • 5. Personalization with privacy: GenAI has complicated the landscape of data privacy, security, and ethics. Balancing data collection for personalized experiences while ensuring compliance with privacy regulations is going to be an uphill task, with companies still grappling to define safety guardrails around Gen AI. Investing in privacy-preserving technologies like federated learning and differential privacy can help to protect user privacy while still enabling data-driven personalization.

Embracing the Future of Self-Service

Self-service is the future of contact centers. However, a successful implementation will require companies to think user-first. As we all know, service excellence is not about who has the best technology but about how seamless, intuitive, and contextual their customer journey is.

As you get ready to embrace these trends, remember the words of Maya Angelou: 'People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' By blending evolving technology with empathy, we create not just solutions but memorable experiences that truly resonate with each customer's journey.

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