With COVID-19 causing huge upheavals to the way customer service teams operate throughout this year, and as 2021 fast approaches, many in the field have begun to wonder what the new year will bring and how teams will run and start to transition back into the office.
Whilst a COVID-19 vaccine is now getting approval around the world, no one knows what 2021 may bring, or when things will start to return to normality. However, by businesses utilising what they’ve learnt from this past year, going ahead, the industry may start to see optimising changes to the way support teams operate, including the following:
The Rise of the Chatbot
Chatbots have become a key interest for businesses looking forward to 2021. It’s claimed that 50% of support leaders are planning to increase their investment in automation, of which includes chatbots, to help promote the efficiency of their teams.
When looking at the impact chatbots have already had on businesses support teams, it’s easy to see why there’s such an interest in them. Intercom claiming that companies using chatbots are more likely to report “a definite improvement in resolution times” – 60% more likely to be precise.
Chatbots are certainly one to watch in the customer service and support space during 2021.
At the start of the year, many saw remote working as a temporary measure, put in place to help slow the spread of coronavirus. This included those in the customer service industry, who have been able to adapt and continue their operations from home.
However, although working from home can bring certain challenges, it’s also come with some pretty productive benefits and could arguably be the future of office working.
Without the typical workplace distractions in the way, many have actually been able to get more done in the comfort of their own homes. The Quarterly Journal of Economics even found that staff in customer service are getting through 13% more requests per day when working remotely.
While no one can say for certain when things may begin to return to normal, and therefore when staff may be able to return to their offices, remote working could become a more permanent part of the working world in 2021 and beyond.
A Cleaner Workplace
While remote working could become a popular option for those in customer service, this does not negate the need for the workplace, or therefore the return to the office. However, when customer service teams do start to come back to the office, certain hygiene measures may still be put in place to control the spread of coronavirus.
These measures could include social distancing, wearing a mask when not at your desk, and maintaining effective hand hygiene. To help achieve this, workspaces may have to rearrange their layout to maintain social distancing measures, and incorporate effective hand wash stations to keep staff members as safe as possible in the workplace.
While the future of how customer services will operate remains uncertain, in taking what’s been learnt from the challenging times of 2020, businesses can optimise their support teams for a better, more productive 2021.