trendwatching.com's THE FUTURE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Five trends that will redefine great service in 2015 and beyond.
2. When 1,620 consumers were tested under laboratoryconditions, 63% said they felt their heart rate increasewhen they thought about receiving great customerservice.For 53% of those tested, receiving great service triggeredthe same cerebral reactions as feeling loved.*The takeaway? When it comes to customer service, it’s notabout what consumers think. Great service is about feelings.Receiving great customerservice triggers the samecerebral reactions asfeeling loved.* American Express Service Study, September 2013www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 2 3. The future of customerservice is more than justdrone delivery.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 3 4. Our hunch? There are plenty of new technologies, cleverconcepts and even trends that could help brands offer betterservice to consumers. But too few brands understand thatamid all this rapid change, the fundamentals of great serviceremain the same. It’s about the feeling of being recognized.Listened to. Valued and cared for.Smart brands will find new ways to serve those age-oldimperatives. They could start by applying one (or all!) of the fivetrends below.Of course, these trends offer just a glimpse of THE FUTUREOF CUSTOMER SERVICE, not the entire picture. But they’re fivemanifestations of the shifting consumer expectation that willredefine great service in 2015 and beyond.Plenty of brands aremainlining the hype aroundnew customer servicetechnologies, concepts,and yes, even trends.Trouble is, customers aren’t feeling anybetter.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 4 5. 66%4%82%100%Globally in 2013, 66% of consumers switched brands orbusiness due to poor customer service, a 4% increase onthe previous year. Some 82% of those who switched saidthe brand could have done something to stop them.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 5 6. Five trends helping todefine THE FUTURE OFCUSTOMER SERVICE in2015 and beyond.1. PLAN BProducts that come with their own backup plan.2. VIDEO VALETSFace time, any time.3. DELIVER (MORE THAN) THE GOODSDelivery. And then some.4. SIXTH SENSEThe customer-focused brand has a new sense: info-sense.5. POLITENESS PAYSBecause good customer service is a two-way street.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 6 7. 1. PLAN BProducts that come with their own backup plan.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 7 8. 1. PLAN BPlenty of brands areplaying lip service tothe ‘every product aservice’ mantra.One ongoing, powerful shift in consumer expectation:“Why own a single product, when I can have access to the rightproduct when (and only when) I need it?”A host of forces are driving that expectation shift, from the riseof the sharing economy, to ever-busier, more itinerant urbanliving, to the relentless NEWISM that sees consumers thirstafter a constant stream of new products.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 8 9. 1. PLAN B CONT...In 2015 truly customer-centricbrands willoffer a PLAN B.One way inventive brands are reconciling ownership and access– and fueling NEWISM?By selling products that come with a PLAN B: that is, accesswhen needed to an alternative or backup product whichovercomes limitations in the original, puts right an emergency(I’ve run out! It’s broken! It’s lost!), addresses a common painpoint, and more.One key benefit of some PLAN B innovations? By providingan alternative, they remove the risk associated with outrightpurchase of new/unfamiliar products – allowing consumersto indulge in carefree NEWISM! Want to see how BMW did justthis? Scroll down!www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 9 10. PLAN B: FEATURED INNOVATIONSBMW i3Electric car owners get access to petrolvehicles to ease ‘range anxiety’www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 10 11. PLAN B: FEATURED INNOVATIONSEE Festival Power BarTelecoms company offers replacementbattery service to festival-goerswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 11 12. PLAN B: FEATURED INNOVATIONSForever 21Costa Rican fashion retailer gives customersaccess to emergency clothes truckwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 12 13. 1. PLAN BNEXTSmart brands will be brave enough tobe honest about product limitations,and to confront common customer painpoints. For the bravest? Partner withanother brand to offer alternatives youcan’t. See how eBay joined forces withUK retailer Argos to roll out ‘click andcollect’. PLAN A: your eBay purchase isdelivered to your home.PLAN B: we’ll deliver it to your nearestArgos store.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 13 14. 2. VIDEO VALETSFace time, any time.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 14 15. 2. VIDEO VALETSSo I can Skype myelderly grandmother...Millions of consumers worldwide have had enough of ineffectivevirtual ‘assistance’ by web or phone.What’s more, they’ve been enjoying on-demand face time withtheir friends for years now. The tech exists – why can’t brandscatch up?Now, forward-thinking brands are finally doing just that: byproviding webcam-enabled face-to-face interaction with theircustomer service representatives – as and when consumersneed it.But the brands I buy from don’t ownwebcams?www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 15 16. 75%The Amazon Mayday button connects Kindle Fire HDX tabletowners to an Amazon customer service representative viawebcam. Among tablet owners, 75% of customer serviceinteractions now come via the button.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 16 17. VIDEO VALETS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSAmazon Fire PhoneMayday button for instant webcam-enabledchat with Amazon staffwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 17 18. VIDEO VALETS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSInduslnd Bank, Bank ofAmerica & mBankBanks offer webcam-enabled live chatwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 18 19. VIDEO VALETS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSASOS & NikeBrands collaborate on shoppable Googlehangoutwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 19 20. VIDEO VALETS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSFiat Live StoreBrazilian online platform for webcam-enabledcar browsingwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 20 21. 2. VIDEO VALETSNEXTVIDEO VALETS don’t have to be aboutdealing with customer questionsor complaints. Can you offer newexperiences, trials and tests viawebcam? Or even undertake keyprocesses via webcam: see how USinsurance company Esurance nowallows webcam-enabled accidentappraisal via smartphone.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 21 22. 3. DELIVER (MORE THAN)THE GOODSDelivery. And then some.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 22 23. We obviously offer much morethan monthly Trend Briefings...Our Premium ServiceYour complete trend and innovation solution.Find out more2015 Trend Report1Trend Framework Innovation Database2 3Industry Updates Apply Toolkit4 5Monthly Updates 1-page Trend Handouts6 7 24. 3. DELIVER (MORE THAN) THE GOODSDelivery startups are hotagain (thanks Uber ;)Tap to summon a taxi – done. Now, rising numbers ofconsumers will expect to tap to order just about anything.And this time (unlike in the early 2000’s, when the first crop ofinternet delivery businesses crashed) the logistics are viable.Get ready for a smartphone-fueled rush of delivery innovations.Meanwhile, for countless etailers big and small, delivery isalready the key touch point they have with customers.One consequence? In 2015, smart brands will see delivery asso much more than functional.Whether that means cramming additional services and addedextras into their delivery, delivering to unusual (and mobile)locations, or turning a standard delivery service into a force forbroader good in the world, they’ll DELIVER (MORE THAN) THEGOODS.But truly customer-centric brands –established or new – will understand thatdelivery is just the start.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 24 25. 1,500,000,000,000Global B2C e-commerce sales are expected to totalUSD 1.5 trillion in 2014.EMARKETER, FEBRUARY 2014www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 25 26. DELIVER (MORE THAN) THE GOODS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSJeansOnline & LamodaCourier will wait 15 minutes and take backunwanted itemswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 26 27. DELIVER (MORE THAN) THE GOODS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSVolvoApp lets users designate car as deliverylocationwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 27 28. DELIVER (MORE THAN) THE GOODS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSPizza Hut PanamáDelivered pizzas cooked in transit to ensurefreshnesswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 28 29. DELIVER (MORE THAN) THE GOODS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSL.Get a packet of condoms delivered, give oneto the developing worldwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 29 30. 3. DELIVER (MORE THAN) THE GOODSNEXTThe delivery ecosystem is blooming,thanks to a host of startups and one ortwo billion-dollar megaliths. Can youfind a way for your brand to hitch alongfor the ride? See how chips brand Lay’spartnered with Uber to offer picnicdelivery for two days in New York.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 30 31. 4. SIXTH SENSEThe customer-focused brand has a new sense:info-sense.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 31 32. 4. SIXTH SENSEEven stupid brands arecollecting consumerdata.Smart sensors, face and object recognition technologies andwearable devices mean it’s possible to gather and analyzeinformation about consumers – their location, preferences,purchasing histories and much more – in real-time as neverbefore.Not to mention that consumers have been creating and trailingdata online now forever. Online, they’re long accustomed toseeing that data used to personalize the products they buy andthe experiences they enjoy.Now, consumers in physical spaces will increasingly expectthe use of real-time data to shape and enhance the servicethey receive. In 2015, it’s time for brands to develop and use aSIXTH SENSE for information.Only smart brands have a SIXTH SENSEfor it.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 32 33. In 2014, 36% of global consumers are willing to share theircurrent location with retailers via GPS – that’salmost double the number who were in 2013.IBM, JANUARY 201436%www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 33 34. SIXTH SENSE: FEATURED INNOVATIONSKlépierreTouchscreen corridor offers personalizedproduct suggestionswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 34 35. SIXTH SENSE: FEATURED INNOVATIONSProrail & NSTrain station LED display gives real-time dataon carriageswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 35 36. SIXTH SENSE: FEATURED INNOVATIONSVirgin Atlantic &Copenhagen AirportAirline and airport trial Google Glass forpassenger-facing staffwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 36 37. SIXTH SENSE: FEATURED INNOVATIONSUlybka RadugiRussian cosmetics retailer uses emotionrecognition software to offer customizeddiscountswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 37 38. 4. SIXTH SENSENEXTWe know what you’re thinking. Privacy!Brands with a SIXTH SENSE must becool and not creepy when it comes toseamless data use and collection. Risingnumbers of aware consumers will wantto know where you’re storing their data,and how you plan to use it. Transparencyand common sense are key.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 38 39. 5. POLITENESS PAYSBecause good customer service is a two-way street.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 39 40. 5. POLITENESS PAYSThe worst part abouta whole range ofconsumer experiences?Yes, the brand/consumer relationship is democratized asnever before. But – as we’ve discussed with trends such asDEMANDING BRANDS – that has led to some counterintuitiveresults.In a relationship of equals, demands can go both ways. Andthat’s why rising numbers of consumers are willing to let brandsdemand something of them – a little contribution, effort, evenpain – in the name of some broader good.The implications for customer service? In 2015, smart brandswill realize that it’s often other consumers who have thegreatest impact on customer experience – good or bad. Sothey’ll encourage – or even force – every consumer to dotheir bit when it comes to creating a positive atmosphere andensuring processes run smoothly.The other consumers, of course ;)www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 40 41. 54%54% of New York consumers say it is rude and inappropriate totext, tweet, email or talk on a cellphone during a restaurant meal.ZAGAT, OCTOBER 2013www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 41 42. POLITENESS PAYS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSLa Petite SyrahCafé rewards polite patrons with discountswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 42 43. POLITENESS PAYS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSMcDonald’s & Coca-ColaPhilippine restaurants reward diners for notusing their phoneswww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 43 44. POLITENESS PAYS: FEATURED INNOVATIONSMTS IndiaTrash-clearing festival goers rewarded withfree wifiwww.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 44 45. 5. POLITENESS PAYSNEXTYes, we’ve noticed too: right nowrestaurants and cafés are all over thePOLITENESS PAYS trend. But expect itto spread anywhere consumers impacton each other’s experiences. Flights?Cinemas? Shopping malls? Swimmingpools? The list of potential applications isendless.www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 45 46. IN CONCLUSION...www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 46 47. It’s not about thetrends.Ultimately, trends are only a means to anend. That is: delighting, surprising, andserving consumers. So GET GOING!www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 47 48. Want to apply thesetrends? Use our freeCONSUMER TRENDCANVASThis free tool will help you and your teamunpack a trend, adapt it for your owncontext and apply it. And remember, THEFUTURE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE is(forever) about making consumers feelloved!www.trendwatching.com/trends/future-customer-service THE FUTURE OF Cusotmer servcei 48 49. MORE...Want more?FreePublicationsPremiumServiceLIVE: Keynotes& WorkshopsIf you have any comments, suggestionsor questions then please do let us know.Just email:PAUL BACKMANChief Client Officerpaul@trendwatching.comAbout usEstablished in 2002, trendwatching.comis the world’s leading trend firm, scanningthe globe for the most promising consumertrends, insights and related hands-onbusiness ideas. Our Premium Service countsmany of the world’s leading brands asclients, while our free monthly Trend Briefingsgo out to over 250,000 subscribers in 180countries.More at www.trendwatching.com
- 1. September 2014GLOBAL TREND BRIEFINGTHE FUTUREOF CUSTOMERSERVICEFive trends that will redefinegreat service in 2015 andbeyond.