In Today’s Customer-First Age, Customer Support Has Become Business-Critical. Customers Have Never Before Been So Vocal When Customer Support Experiences Go Wrong, Or Indeed Right.
At the same time, customer expectations of our businesses have never been higher. In today’s global, interconnected digital world, you are no longer just competing with your competitors, you’re competing with the best customer support experience your customers have ever had.
And leaders across CX, customer support, marketing, and product are all fully aware of this.
99.1% of leaders think that customers have higher expectations when it comes to service and experience compared to previous years. While 96.2% agree that customers are more likely to share positive or negative experiences now than in the past. It’s truly a customer-first age.
Chattermill has conducted extensive research to better understand what’s next for customer support and customer experience in 2022.
Our first ever Customer Support Trends 2022 Report surveyed customers and 339 global customer-focused leaders from key business departments including customer support, and the adjacent departments of customer experience, marketing, sales, product, and operations. Among these, we surveyed people working in B2C, B2B, and B2B2C businesses spanning a number of sectors, including eCommerce, education, financial services, dating, and fashion.
In this article, we take a closer look at some of the key findings in the report, and look at how businesses can use tech to adapt their customer support operations to meet today’s customer-first age.
Customer Support Is Now Strategically Important To All Businesses
As we have all experienced at some point, getting customer support wrong can have a disastrous impact on customer advocacy, loyalty and the bottom line. On the flip side, creating customer support experiences that delight our customers can lead to more cross- and up-selling, better customer retention, and increased profits.
The data supports this.
52.1% of leaders we surveyed believe that investing in customer support will lead to improved up-selling and cross-selling, 43% state that investment in customer support results in higher profits, and 32.5% believe it improves customer retention.
In other words, investing in improving the customer support experience pays across multiple levels.
The revenue impact of improving customer support is also reflected in the shifting role of customer support within businesses.
Customer support teams now most commonly share their insights with revenue-focused parts of the business like marketing (55.4%), and sales (50.6%). This is a trend we expect to see continue in the years to come as customer support becomes increasingly important to the economic success of businesses.
But leaders must also understand that blind investment alone isn’t enough to shift the needle. To create exceptional customer support experiences, leaders need to employ the right technology to analyse, understand, and enact the changes to their customer support operations that will ultimately lead to net-positive results.
Sadly, for many leaders we surveyed, this isn’t the reality. 88% of the leaders in our Customer Support Trends 2022 report believe that their current tech stack holds them back from achieving their goals.
What this suggests is leaders today need to find new technological solutions to improve their customer support operations.
We Need Support Analytics To Improve Customer Support (And CX)
To meet today’s customer support challenges, the right technology needs to be employed – particularly if we want better scale, insights, and efficiencies.
As just mentioned, 88% of leaders believe their current tech stack holds them back from achieving their customer support goals.
This is an eye-wateringly large number considering the importance of customer support, and the sheer scale of options for customer support and customer experience technology. And perhaps this is part of the problem. 88.1% of leaders in our survey said they are slowed down on a daily or weekly basis by siloed tools.
The key to breaking through the silos is Customer Support Analytics.
Having this technology on hand will enable teams to proactively deliver customer support experiences that delight, rather than detract from customers’ experience of our business. Only then can harness the growth that exceptional customer support can deliver.
Chattermill’s Customer Support Analytics is one such solution.
Our technology integrates with your existing tech stack, uses artificial intelligence to analyse data from every customer interaction, and unifies the data to provide meaningful intelligence for you and your customer-facing teams in a single, accessible view.
“Chattermill is a key partner in helping us listen to our customer feedback and support conversations at scale. Every employee now has access to actionable intelligence with just a few clicks, and our decisions are more customer-obsessed than ever. This allows us to create the finance solution all businesses love!" – Mathieu Le Roux, Voice of the Customer Expert, Qonto
While there are clear and obvious challenges we all face in achieving exceptional customer support experiences, there are solutions. And Chattermill is one of them.
Whichever option you choose, you need to ensure the solution unifies the data you have and provides real, meaningful intelligence, rather than adds noise to an already deafening cacophony of customer support data.
The Customer Support Tipping Point
For all the complexities of customer support, we are now in an age where leaders can genuinely achieve their strategic goals – but only if they have the right technology in place.
Getting customer support right has never been more important. Customers demand more from brands than ever before and are more likely to publicly share their experiences when things go wrong. The data from our survey also tells us that exceptional customer support leads to higher growth, higher customer satisfaction, and higher levels of customer loyalty.
But to get to a place where we can delight our customers in this way, deliver on our strategic goals, and harvest the business benefits, we first need to clear some hurdles.
Most importantly, we need to not be one of the 88% of leaders who are held back by their existing tech stack. To do so, we need to invest in new technology that unifies the extensive customer data we already have and delivers meaningful insights that help us actively improve our customer support experience.
And forward-thinking CX leaders may wish to go one step further – through unifying customer support and customer experience data. It’s what we call unified customer intelligence.
Ultimately, it’s only by investing in such unifying technological solutions that we can overcome the challenges discussed in chapters three and four of this report, and deliver the business success discussed in chapter one.