The future today: Empowered customers, anticipatory experiences and effortless self-service

Forrester’s annual customer service trends report is eagerly anticipated by those of us who follow the industry. The 2016 report was published recently and much of Kate Leggett’s vision is in-line with the self-service investments we see enterprises prioritizing. Stay tuned to learn more about how industry leaders are striving to give customers more control over their time, streamlining experiences based on customer data and making self-service easier and better than ever before.

Every year, the insights contained in Forrester’s customer service trends report, written by Kate Leggett, are eagerly anticipated. This year, the top trends span the customer lifecycle as enterprises strive to meet changing customer expectations for service that is personal, efficient, and builds emotional bonds that impact top line revenue.

In particular, the three trends below stood out as initiatives we’ve seen leaders across industries invest in to improve their customer service experience, while also reducing their operational costs. Inspired, I’ve drafted a blog series exploring each trend and how enterprises are delivering in these areas today.

  1. Field service will empower customers to control their time. When asked, consumers regularly report that service experiences that don’t value their time rank among the most frustrating. While much has been done to streamline contact center interactions, field service – installations, deliveries, repairs, etc. – is increasingly an area of focus. I’ll explore what one leading retailer has done to make the in-home experience a positive one.  
  2. Prescriptive advice will power offers, decisions, and connections. Many companies are striving to shift from reactively responding to anticipating customer service needs. Leveraging customer data that spans historic interaction, current circumstances and preferences, it’s possible to proactively provide relevant information and shorten the steps involved in reaching a resolution. I’ll explore how one utility is increasing satisfaction, deflecting calls and increasing their containment rates. 
  3. Companies will make self-service easier. Consumer research reveals nine out of ten consumers have used automated self-service, with the majority believing it has improved customer service. Yet they also report they’d like the experience to be easier. I’ll take a look at how Delta Airlines, Manulife and Windstream have invested to meet these demands and create fast, intuitive automated experiences.

Watch this space for the next installment – I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback.

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Will Cousins

About Will Cousins

Will Cousins, senior director of product management and strategy at Nuance Outbound, has more than 17 years of experience leading product management, engineering and marketing functions at Fortune 100 and early stage companies in the mobile and wireless, enterprise software, and utilities industries. He oversees product strategy and continued expansion of the Nuance Outbound platform for smartphone, voice, email and text-based customer interactions.