Real-time engagement platform iAdvize pinpoints top trends in customer care for 2016

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Customer engagement is key if businesses want to maximize profits. Here real-time engagement platform iAdvize reveals how businesses can stay at the top their game in 2016

1. Contact centres

In 2016, contact centres will have to meet the same challenge that their clients face: ensure that customer service is ubiquitous, accessible anywhere, at any time. Challenged by emerging peer-to-peer customer service trends, brand communities and new personal assistant systems (Facebook’s M for example), and confronted with the limits of a low-cost approach, their role will be to focus on providing expertise, sophisticated technology and customised support to help businesses integrate these new processes within their customer service strategy.

2. Ubiquity

In 2016, the key trend for online businesses will be ubiquity: being everywhere, all the time, instantaneously and ensuring coherency from one touchpoint to the next (social media to the website, desktop to mobile).The customer experience will be global and customers will no longer come looking for the brand; the brand will engage with them at the time via the relevant touchpoint.

3. Social customer service

The way brands use social media today is destined to evolve. Their presence on social media will be increasingly essential; for some small businesses, it will replace their website. But the simple publication of marketing content will be replaced by conversation. Social media strategies must increasingly focus on one to one exchanges, and move away from the top-down approach that is dominant at the moment. This will have a big impact on brand strategies and will greatly benefit online shoppers who will receive personalised service.

Facebook’s latest features for businesses (moderation, canned responses, messenger for business, etc) are a clear indication that social media are in the process of transforming the relationship consumers have with brands into personalised (one-to-one) and enriched (one-message-services) conversations.

4. Personalised, real-time and human customer service

2016 will be a year of high customer expectations. The technologies and services available now give businesses the chance to provide a one-to-one experience that customers will remember. Providing personalised, real-time and “human” customer service will become the norm. Brands that do not adapt their digital strategy to meet these expectations will see themselves overtaken by the competition.

In 2016, brands will be under increasing pressure to respond to the requests of their customers and prospects, wherever and whenever they expect that response. Customer experience must be at the heart of their strategy to provide ubiquitous customer service. To succeed in this, businesses will need to be ready to engage with their eCustomers in all places (on social media and on the brand website), rationalise their CRM tools and adapt to new forms of customer service ‘providers’ (AI, collaborative customer service, crowd-sourced, freelance, etc) whilst continuing to monitor key business indicators.

5. Peer to peer, community

In 2016, businesses will continue to build on communities to boost growth, moving on from user communities to brand communities, from premium customers to customers who play an increasingly active role in the brand’s offers and services

6. Tech, innovation

Machine learning will gain in importance in the field of online support and we will see the first large scale use of artificial intelligence for customer care and marketing, amongst other areas.

Functional programming along with event-sourcing/Complex-Event-Processing will impact an increasing number of developers. Languages with a strong and solid philosophy like Rust (immutable by default) or Elm (without side-effects, immutable, without null values, …) will gain followers thanks to their reliability. Time-traveling debugging, state serialization, state synchronization etc. are just happy consequences of these philosophies.

PaaS (platform as a service) technologies will become increasingly important amongst software publishers. Giving development teams the ability to deploy their own applications on demand is a huge advantage to meet their needs in terms of agility and speed, in particular for publishers whose architecture is focused on providing services.