12 Customer Service Trends to Keep an Eye On in 2020


Customer service is vital to your business, be it B2C or B2B. A recent survey showed that 77{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} of customers are “fed up” with bad customer service, and 91{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} of consumers only buy from brands they trust. If you aren’t providing the expected levels of customer service, you will lose leads, customers and revenue.

Moreover, customers are willing to pay more for the levels of customer service that they expect. Investing in providing excellent customer service is investing in the future of your business.

In 2020, the pace of consumerism is expected to continue to increase. Keeping up with trends and preparing to follow the lead of the customer when it comes to proving the service they want requires flexibility and a responsive plan. This year, we can expect to see some changes in customer service trends, so let’s examine those trends so you can develop a strategy that keeps pace.

1) Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies

Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) are behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

The value of DLT goes to customer service goes way beyond cryptocurrency transactions. It’s about the new technologies involved in tracking each transaction.

ECommerce is already figuring out how to use this evolving sector. Some potential benefits include:

  • More access to financial transactions to people currently outside the dominant systems.
  • Easier tracking from a central location.
  • Reduced or no-fee transactions.

This technology is still new, but it promises to offer exciting solutions in coming years.

2) Real-Time Communication

Human connection is still vital in customer service. People need to be able to talk with people when they have issues that cannot be quickly resolved or answered. This is especially true when discussing personal finances.

Providing services can be achieved in a few different ways:

Contact Centers

Some problems and some customers require a real conversation. For those occasions, it may make sense for you to maintain virtual call centers.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things connects us through our devices and possessions, and offer opportunities for real-time communication.

Amazon allows customers to place orders through Alexa, the ultimate in real-time connection.

Live Chat

Where chatbots and help centers leave off is where live chat comes in. Live chat software gives your business the chance to speak directly with customers online. However, humans run the chat instead of AI.

Efficient companies make chat easy to find. Your support page should offer a quick link to chat with an agent. Ticketing systems can combine perfectly with live chat, too. Robust systems (like Nextiva) let you tap into your knowledge base and automate customer service actions.

3) Omnichannel Support

Omnichannel is one of the most successful trends in marketing. An omnichannel approach treats each customer experience as a single journey with the customer at the center. All channels work together seamlessly every step of the way.

However, having multiple channels does not mean that you are providing a truly omnichannel experience.

Multichannel approaches put the business at the center. And in this approach, channels often operate in silos, which disrupts the user experience.

[O]mnichannel removes the boundaries between different sales and marketing channels to create a unified, integrated whole.

The distinctions between channels—onsite, social, mobile, email, physical, and instant messaging—disappear as a single view of the customer as well as a single experience of commerce emerges,” says Shopify.

Successful strategies engage customers where they are. If you are successful in creating an omnichannel experience, you are meeting your customers where they are and not redirecting them.

4) Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots

Conversational marketing is trending, and those conversations are taking place with chatbots on the front lines.

A chatbot is “[P]owered by pre-programmed responses or artificial intelligence to answer a user’s questions without the need of a human operator.”  They are like virtual assistants on your app and they are ready to help customers at any time.

Building a chatbot takes just two minutes, however, they might not be right for every business. It is important to take time to consider if the technology suits your business model.

Much like an FAQ page on your website, customer service AI chatbots can handle many questions and issues. Chatbots can respond to easy questions about products and services, they can offer price estimates based on algorithms and they can direct enquiries to human customer service representatives who are then given a brief of the enquiry before the interaction, streamlining your service.

And bots are available even at peak times and have no wait times for access. With improved machine learning your bot becomes more responsive over time. Chatbots can also connect customers with resources from your knowledge base. Then that content can be continually updated by user feedback.

5) Customer Success

Great customer service experience needs to include value. A focus on customer success delivers value faster and more consistently over time, and your retention numbers will improve.

Customer service is about reacting to situations and interactions. Good customer service happens when a service delivers on its promise, or when a product arrives early or on time.

Customer success is proactive. It answers questions and provides solutions before problems arise. Customers are provided with what they need for success. Customer success identifies metrics that create successful customers and works to help every customer succeed faster.

So how can you help our customers get value from what you offer? A Customer Success team can help you to track, plan, and facilitate customer success.

6) Social Media

Go beyond the algorithm and use social media to provide excellent customer service. Social media is about more than ads. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn let customers vent about or celebrate a brand on their networks.

Social media customer interactions include:

  • Thanking users for their kind words and recommendations.
  • Solving customer complaints for them on the post. Nothing shows your commitment to service than actually showing it off.
  • Answering questions and offering resources.
  • Getting ahead of issues. Ask if your latest release had a confusing element. Use social media to clear any confusion and reach your followers right in their feed.
  • Showing off your most useful or new products or services right in the feed.

You work hard for customer engagement like views, comments, and follows, and social media is the ultimate in personalisation tool. Businesses that use social media use many customer service trends in one go.

7) Video

Face-to-face customer service interactions are trending. YouTube or Skillshare shows that video is a powerful tool for delivering content. Video is a natural fit with businesses wanting to share information.

You can include video in your customer service portfolio with:


Web-based seminars provide real-time, face-to-face content right to your customer’s device. Platforms like Zoom or Go To Webinar give help you manage attendees, personalise the platform, and run webinars. You can even record webinars for attendees to review later.

Online Meetings

Get up close and personal with face to face meetings throughout the customer journey.

From virtual demos during the sales process to educational meetings during onboarding, online meetings help you stay in touch with your customers. They build bonds you can’t create any other way.

Video Email

Email has long been a tool for stellar customer service, and with embedded video you have higher engagement.

And you can deliver highly personalised and detailed communication right to an inbox. A video email explaining complicated issues can help your customers and increase engagement.

8) Personalisation

“Consumers expect highly personalised shopping experiences from retailers and are willing to spend more money when brands deliver targeted recommendations,” researchers said.

The same research says that 71{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} of consumers are frustrated by impersonal experiences. Personalised customer service increase profits.

Seamless In-Store to Online Experience

In-store employees should know what you purchased online. Your online store and app need to work together. Leverage an omnichannel approach and make all the info available to all stakeholders.

Accurate Recommendations

Recommendations should be on point; they drive impulse buys and should be specific and personalised. If not, you miss an opportunity for profit.

9) Empowered Customer Service Representatives

Ticketing systems can empower your agents with knowledge, but you can go beyond that and enable them to take action. Some companies give agents the go-ahead to offer solutions to problems without escalating issues. If a customer is angry on live chat, a real-time refund discount boosts customer satisfaction. 

If your agents can offer solutions without management you build a deeper customer relationship. Your agents are on the front lines of customer service, they may be the first to spot more widespread problems. Give your agents the channels they need to alert you or even solve the problems themselves.

10) Ticketing Systems

When customers interact with you on many channels, a centralised base for solving customer issues is essential.

Help desks and ticketing systems empower support teams with information at the right time. They can assign, redistribute, and collaborate to solve problems fast. This makes all touchpoints more productive.

The rep can see past user behavior to see what they are having problems with.

This also provides a better experience for the consumer. Everyone they talk to knows what they are talking about. Plus reps can interface with the knowledge base to find the answers, even if they’ve never seen the problem before.

Ticketing systems also help businesses identify common pain points and issues. Quality systems offer high-level analytics so you can easily see and address trends.

11) Self-Service Options

Self-service happens when your customers can do something on their own. According to the Harvard Business Review, “81{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} of all customers attempt to troubleshoot themselves before reaching out to a live representative.”

Self-service customer support is the DIY of eCommerce. It can take many forms, but the main goal is that customers do what they need to do quickly and without help.

Here are some self-service trends:

Serve Yourself

The original self-service is where you get it yourself. Many years ago, we all had someone to pump our petrol, check out our groceries, and bring food to our tables. Now customers dispense their own yogurt, scan their groceries, and do what they need to do without help.

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a central repository for information about your product, such as an archive of how-to documents, videos, and FAQs to help customers answer their questions.

Customisable Options

Customisation used to be done item by item, person by person, provided you could customise a product or service at all. Customers can now customise interfaces, notifications, and more themselves.

12) Data-Driven Support

The newest trend is using data in smarter ways to meet customer needs. While it’s great to have lots of likes and lots of followers, but if people aren’t using your product, then those KPIs don’t help.

Data collection is beyond likes, ticket resolution rates, or even customer satisfaction surveys. To provide the best customer experience, you need to invest in the technology to get the metrics that matter. Then you need to properly use those analytics across all teams—not just at your help desk.

Your help desk is a great place to look for key KPIs, especially if you have a robust ticketing system to lean on.


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