Six Customer Service Trends To Embrace in 2015

In 2015, you can expect to see a growing focus on customer service and leveraging service as a competitive advantage to increase customer engagement, sales and profits. So, how can companies help customer service agents -- and consumers -- access the right answers to the right questions more quickly? Efficient self-service will play a key role, but it's just part of the story.

Let's take a closer look at some of the trends worth watching -- and embracing -- if you're the one charged with managing customer service or sales for your organization.

1. Self-Service Rules

Companies with the right tools at hand can provide better service by "tapping into the competent customer,EU says Coveo, an advanced enterprise-search provider. In fact, Coveo predicts that self-service will outpace agent-assisted service in 2015, and that companies will be able to offload much of their support requirements to "digitally native customers." With the right tools made available, customers should be able to solve even complex challenges on their own.

"More sophisticated customers, many of whom are digital natives [meaning very comfortable with technology] prefer self-service but cannot find what they need on company portals. In 2015, companies [should be able to] solve this 'low hanging fruit' problem with advanced search for their customer communities and portals," said Louis Tetu, chairman and CEO of Coveo.

"Enabling advanced search [capabilities] to provide the personal experience customers prefer will be a double win for companies," Tetu explained. For businesses, "it will reduce costs and offload support capacity by tapping into the latent competence of customers." And for customers, it will help increase satisfaction by enabling them to solve complex challenges when and how they want.

2. Focus on Real-Time Analytics

Over the past year, several companies that provide CRM (customer relationship management) applications also greatly expanded their portfolios to offer more tools...

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