Customer Service Trends Startup Owners Need To Watch For in 2019

By JBaird

Startups need every edge they can get, and customer relations management systems can make or break their business.

The startup scene in the UK is getting more and more crowded each year. Technology startups alone rose by 60% last year according to audit firm RSM. While a good business model and sound workflow can secure you rounds of funding, only a satisfied customer base can guarantee long-term success. 

The advances in technology such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and increased connectivity, together with developing regulations, are key factors shaping customer service trends this year. 

Data Transparency

Consumers today want to have greater control over the data that’s being mined and harnessed from them by different companies. Following the Facebook controversy and the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, there’s a clamour and also an incentive for implementing greater data transparency. Philip’s Data Protection Lawyer states that clear data boundaries and ethical use of user data can greatly improve trust among a customer base.

Chatbots and Automation

With the introduction of artificial intelligence in customer service, chatbots and virtual agents are becoming more popular and developed for improved customer engagement. A global study on The Telegraph confirms that 2 in 3 customers would rather talk to brands on popular messaging platforms than other channels. Deploying chatbots enables quick and real-time customer service that often breeds long-term consumer relationships. 

Personalisation in Service

In the age of individuality, there’s a premium for startups that offer unique and highly customised products and services to their consumer base. MIT Magazine notes that this is especially true for frequent travellers. The rising trend in the self-booking of flights, accommodation and even itineraries among frequent flyers is indicative of the personalisation consumers are currently demanding.

Moving beyond predictive e-commerce – where AI correlates your purchases to offer you similar products – new startups are now catering to very specific needs or niche markets. Company Bought by Many sells highly specialised and crowdsourced insurance which catapulted it to its current half-a-million user base.

Increased Business Process Visibility

Increased behind-the-doors visibility is also an up and coming trend. With customers wanting to track their orders on-demand and consistently clamouring for faster deliveries, startups are hustling to close this gap with traceable and same-day delivery technologies.

For instance, fleet companies have embraced vehicle-tracking systems to improve customer service. An article published on Verizon Connect details how this allows fleets managers to issue more accurate ETAs, which reduces the window that a customer has to wait for a service. This is especially helpful for managing the expectations of not just customers but also clients and peers involved in logistical business processes. Meanwhile, online marketplace Trouva closes that crucial, and often expensive, last mile by using different couriers to speed up shipments. Consumers can then track and see other pertinent data on their app – all from the comfort of their homes. The more information customers can see, the easier it is to manage their expectations and improve their long-term customer experience.

As long as startups continue to compete for their attention and loyalty, customers and their expectations will always direct the development of customer service technologies.

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Piece by: JBaird

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