Customer Support 2013: What to Expect

customer support 2013With the New Year approaching, it’s important to speculate what might need to change within your customer care support team. Examining the human relationship between company and customer over technological channels – call centers, live chat, social media, etc – has become more interesting than ever as new technology continues to develop.

In 2013, companies are expecting to form a better understanding of how to interact across these new channels, and how the role of the customer is evolving as a result. Businesses will be able to reach out to their customers on a much more personal level, and we will without a doubt see a change in customer expectations for customer service and support.

Evolving Cross-Channel Strategy

Many new channels for customer communication have been established in recent years, and in 2013, companies will become less able to offer one without offering the others.

Companies that communicate solely over the telephone, or that offer video support but have no social media outlets, will likely be put aside as offering complete channel convergence becomes the new norm.

Ericsson predicted that by 2020, over 50 billion devices will be connected to the web, and most of them (phones, tablets, laptops) will be able to support multiple channels of communication.

Related: The 7 Coolest New Add-ons to Call Center Software

More Perspective for New Interaction Channels

With so many new customer care outlets, businesses have been slow to understand how it can benefit their business and their customers. 2013 will be an important time for businesses to adapt to the educated customer; with improved communication methods and the information they hope to get.

  • Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will provide the customer with a 24/7 connection.
  • Companies will have more data to analyze concerning the effectiveness of certain methods.
  • With more companies utilizing social media, companies will find new ways to push boundaries and stand out on these social platforms.

Increased Personalization

Expect an even higher level of personalization in the upcoming year, so much so it’ll almost be scary. The most progressive brands will be combining all types of customer data to tailor their service directly to individuals. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020 there will be 5,200 GB of data for every person on earth, according to Digital Universe study.

  • Information from social sites will be combined with account data and both previous searches and purchases will lead to the highest level of personalization we have seen.
  • Customers will positively respond to this specific personalization as opposed to being hesitant. In fact, more desirable my most people. An Edelman study showed that 60% of surveyed individuals say they are willing to share even more personal information than they already do with brands they trust.

Wider Range and Depth of Customer Service and Support

With products becoming more complex, naturally so will the nature of the questions and concerns about them. In 2013 there will likely be a wider range of topics and depth of complexity for customer care to answer.

  • Because information is so readily available over the internet, expect your customers to be armed with new knowledge and a better understanding of your product. Member forums and other channels will allow customers to better connect with one another.
  • The concerns of customers will likely change in the coming year as well. People are beginning to expect things like 24/7 availability, high-speed connection, fast problem solving, and access to personal information in all of their business interactions.

In 2013, businesses should expect the power to continue to shift into the hands of the customer. With many new channels of interaction for support, customer care is capable of going far beyond simple phone calls and impersonal interaction. Expect new relationships to form between your company and its customers as communication becomes more personalized and your customer’s expectations continue to shift.

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The Editorial Staff writes on topics relevant to small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners. Posts cover best practices, top tips, and studies that deliver insights specific to SMBs.

Our team has backgrounds in journalism, English, philosophy, marketing, entrepreneurship and management, providing us the opportunity to share unique viewpoints on all things affecting small and medium-sized businesses.

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