As consumers’ desires and expectations continue to morph and transform, different trends are shaping up to dominate 2016. We’ve seen companies embrace texting customers on WhatsApp and small retailers upping their customer service offerings to compete with online retail behemoths.
The collaborative economy continues to grow in power and popularity. And businesses are hunting for ways to use technology and automation to provide better customer experiences.
Here are two other consumer trends that will play a major role in 2016 according to a recent report by Euromonitor International:
Real-Time Customer Service
Almost everything can be purchased on-demand now, so why should customer service be any different? In 2016, real-time customer service will become a thing. And though social media like Twitter and Facebook lets customers post service problems and requests at any hour of the day, companies are still behind on their social media response times.
One survey by the 2015 U.S. Retail Multichannel Customer Experience Study showed that companies took on average 31 hours to respond, and in actuality replied to only 20% of questions and requests asked on Twitter. On the other hand, customer expectations were much higher, as the survey showed customers expected all of their questions to be answered within an hour.
But real-time customer service isn’t just reserved for retail or travel — in 2015, Delta would get 3,000 tweets a day from customers–it’s for other services as well. Customers want to get orders delivered the same-day from Amazon and have their TVs installed by a technician on the same-day it’s delivered.
This is why Mila TechXperts—crowdsourced tech support agents– are local, so they’re ready to hop to the job right when a request comes in and provide real-time service without delay. The longer a customer goes without a response or receiving the service they need and expect, the angrier that customer will get, and the unhappier they will be with the company.
Consumer Trend: Digital Inclusion
Contrary to what some younger people may think, a Pew Research Study found that a majority of seniors, 58% to be exact, are using the Internet for a variety of reasons ranging from health to social networking to connecting with family. Whether talking to family members or playing a game, smartphones are important for the elderly. Including robots that help complete household chores or provide companionship, today’s seniors have fit technology into their daily lives.
This is why seniors should be viewed as members of the on-demand economy and catered to as such. Even though a Nielsen survey said that 17 percent of Generation X (aged 35-49) are participants in the collaborative economy, Mila found that when tracking our online platform’s traffic, the highest amount of visitors and repeat visitors were 55 years of age or older.
In fact, the results of a recent customer survey show that the average Mila customer is 66 years old. The fact that this age group is the one Mila TechXperts close the most deals with shows that seniors are looking for peer-to-peer support in their neighborhoods who can help them with tech problems, especially with smartphones, Internet connections, and getting email setup.
For example, Swisscom customer service sends TechXperts out to help seniors who may have a hard time understanding how to fix something over the phone since the instructions may be too complicated or time-consuming for an elderly person to fix themselves. Seniors know that they can seek out help from our platform for on-demand services and trust that our TechXperts will provide them with great customer service since we’ve already partnered with tech brands they trust.