The team at numero have put together their predictions for what consumers will expect from customer service in 2015.
One of the dominant trends in retailing is the growth of the ‘transumer’ – who wants to shop while they are on the go. With smartphone and tablet usage becoming more prevalent, and a third of UK smartphone and tablet users reporting they would abandon a retailer if their mobile website or app didn’t load within three seconds, the digital experience and customer service provided needs to be seamless. As m-commerce becomes more predominant in retail, brands need to develop their m-commerce platforms and create more sophisticated and convenient environments for consumers to shop in via their mobile devices.
2015 will see the customer expectations continue to increase as they will expect to be able to communicate with a business across multiple channels from their mobile devices. Ensuring that customers can access a company via their phone, on live chat, e-mail, and social media is becoming more important. numero therefore believe many more businesses will incorporate mobile into their customer service offering, collating their consumers’ data in an accessible way. “Businesses are yet to embrace the potential of mobile as quickly as consumers have,” suggested CRM principal at Sage UK, David Beard. “The expectation now is for business-critical information to be accessible through a mobile device, whenever and wherever people want.”
According to Forrester Research, mobile payments will amount to $90 billion in coming years. numero predict that the retail industry will see the biggest impact from mobile shopping as mobile payment options such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other solutions become more popular. As they continue to grow so will m-commerce results. Starbucks are already set to roll out their order and pay system across their stores in early 2015. Beyond providing a more convenient system of payments and experience, mobile payments provides another platform for businesses to connect with their customers, proving that convenience is a key priority when it comes to consumer satisfaction.
Social platforms such as Snapchat have seen a huge increase in users and some have even introduced a money transferring payment option, along with Twitter introducing the ‘Buy Now’ button. Since Twitters driving influence for success is that it provides a real-time service, numero believes that for this type of service to succeed in the New Year, brands will need to be able to offer real-time customer service to successfully support and match this new function. As a result, be prepared to see more organisations offering customer service across multiple niche platforms.
As 2014 saw a rapid growth in the prevalence of click-and-collect services, numero believes this will only continue to grow, with customers looking to avoid paying for items to be delivered. The value of goods bought online and picked up at collection points will reportedly hit £3 billion over this festive season, a 40 per cent jump on last year, and is only expected to grow further in popularity during the New Year. With Waitrose also trialling click-and-collect orders this year and with convenience a prime motivation for shoppers in the 21st century, numero believe this popular trend is only going to expand into more areas of consumers’ lives. The greatest challenge for retailers in 2015 will be to produce a more seamless offering, where orders online can be based on in-store stock levels, to move from a multi-channel service into an omni-channel one.
numero predict that as mobile devices become increasingly available and accessible this will enable brands to enhance their customer experience offering, as convenience remains at the forefront for consumer satisfaction.