Five Trends in Digital Service in 2018

For the new year, we have summarized five major trends in digital customer service, support and sales, which we believe will characterize the field in the coming year:

1. Instant messaging platforms will flourish
Incorporating chat into websites and apps is one of the most prominent trends in the field recently, and this trend is expected to deepen this year with an increased use of instant messaging (IM) software such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for service and sales. Chat is starting to become a standard feature on the website and customers are already expecting to see it, popping up whenever they get stuck and proactively providing them service and support. This is a great channel for users in the era of instant messaging applications, because of the quick response they receive and their ability to do other things simultaneously. According to Econsultancy, a research company, chat is the service channel with the highest level of customer satisfaction, with 73%, almost twice as much as phone service. This field is expected to undergo increased automation with the combination of AI (artificial intelligence) components and smarter chatbots.

2. Bots will move out of the buzzword phase
Since the middle of 2016, partly because Facebook has opened its Messenger platform for chatbot implementation, bots have become one of the most popular topics in our field. Still, sometimes it's more of a buzzword than a solution that really streamlines service and sales. However, this begins to change. The latest technological developments in the field, which BumpYard, of course, is taking part in, lead to a situation in which bots will be able to handle an increasing share of communication with customers. Even if they are still in relatively early stages, we expect many more organizations to use this tool for support and sales later this year.

3. Phone service will decrease, but slowly
Despite the constant decline in the status of telephone service, telephone calls still account for 68% of all customer service and support interactions. Due to difficulties in adopting new technologies in large organizations, the phone is not expected to disappear in the coming years. It loses only a few percent each year, but on the other hand it can be seen that small to medium organizations and e-commerce businesses manage to break these statistics drastically, and adopt in an exponential line innovative digital service channels instead of the telephone. Although the phone is still the natural choice for the vast majority of the older audience, for the bulk of the audience that needs service nowadays it is becoming increasingly alien. The infrastructures of most large corporates are traditionally focused on telephony and they have difficulty leaving the comfort zone, yet the digital revolution can not be stopped.

4. The email will survive
Despite its old-fashioned image, email is still one of the favorite channels of communication for customers – not only the older ones but also those in their twenties and thirties, although it does not grow like chat, bots and social networks. The main reason for the power of this medium is that it offers more than a chat or instant messaging software – it allows two-handed typing, longer and more complex correspondence, and a convenient attachment of different documents and files. The email will be here for many years to come!

5. Customers will see and hear
Thanks to the increased use of video conferencing and the maturity of video technologies, they will gradually become one of the common communication channels between organizations and their customers. The trend is still in its infancy, but we at BumpYard intend to expand our video capabilities significantly, and the latest version of our platform already includes advanced video features. It is an ideal channel for supporting customers and solving technical issues for companies in relevant fields such as telecom or electronics, for final closing of transactions and deals, as well as for improving legal and financial identification.
Voice chat (over the web) is also expected to capture a greater share of the organizations' interactions with customers, both by human agents and by virtual agents combined with speech recognition systems.

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