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Trends to Watch in 2016: Insight From Industry Experts

As a customer care leader, it’s a key part of your role to keep abreast of industry trends. After all, you want your team to remain competitive. With that said, let’s explore some of the top trends should you be watching throughout 2016.

Recently, Parature released an eBook entitled, “10 Customer Service Trends to Watch in 2016,” which features the thoughts of industry experts from a variety of established companies. Below, I’ve gathered the top trends I think will dominate the industry in 2016:

Agent development reigns supreme: Today’s customers are more demanding than ever before. To ensure that Communicators can keep up with consumer demands, training and professional development will be extremely important, says Sumair Dutta, chief customer officer of Service Council. As such, you may want to consider revamping your training manuals or sending agents to industry seminars.

Focus on the customer: Don’t lose sight of the customer, warns Nancy Freidman, customer care keynote speaker and trainer. Oftentimes, companies focus so much on technology doing most of the work that they end up losing their personal touch. “Technology is important, of course, but it doesn’t trump the experience with the customer,” said Friedman.

Make your contact center a profit center: “Embrace the idea that customer service is not a cost center, but a profit center,” says Al Hopper, customers service advocate and co-founder. Remember, it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to gain a new one. Providing great customer care will allow your company to retain more customers and, therefore, turn a bigger profit.

Don’t rule out self-service: Not every customer is the same. Some prefer to use a self-service option rather than speaking to a Communicator. What’s more, not every request requires the assistance of a live agent. The trend toward self-service solutions is gaining in popularity, predicts Shep Hyken, chief amazement officer, Hyken.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

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