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Salesforce Customer Service Trends for 2018

Salesforce continues being a literal force in bringing better informational organization to companies around the world. They continue to improve their platform as well, bringing a trust that still makes them #1 for many.

This trust level is why it's always worth reading any blog Salesforce posts talking about the future of technology. Recently, they wrote an article discussing customer service technology trends and what lies ahead in this business category.

Take a look at what's on the horizon and how we can help you apply them here at Merlin Guides.

#1 The Use of Artificial Intelligence for More Customer Insight

Trying to understand what customers want has become one of the biggest challenges in the field of customer service. Artificial intelligence is going to change all these rules. Much of this comes from machine learning and using cumulative data to understand what consumers really want to buy.

For use in analytics, it's ideal so companies like yours can better predict the future and make smarter decisions. As Forbes notes, eight out of ten companies now plan to incorporate AI as a customer service solution by the beginning of the coming decade.

In many cases, this involves using AI-powered chatbots to interact with customers on the phone or online. These now mimic the behavior of real people, often making it hard to discern whether you're talking to a human or a bot.

#2 Integrating The Internet of Things

Salesforce mentions IoT is starting to integrate with AI to create even more powerful customer service tools. Combining the two creates a more intelligently created world so your company can scope out problems before they become bigger.

For instance, using IoT devices help detect red flags in manufacturing, leading to real-time alerts that amend the problem before a customer notices. AI complements this with data supporting what best options to take before repair takes place.

In field service, IoT is also becoming ideal. It's going to help in keeping up with customer demands for faster services (and deliveries).

#3 Technologies to Bring 24/7 Customer Support

The mention of AI chatbots above factors into another new trend in customer service: providing service around the clock.

Most people don't want to talk to a customer service rep working the graveyard shift. As such, self-service customer service is going to continue to become more prominent this year and beyond.

As IBM notes, this is a nod toward the Millennial generation who grew up in the internet era. They're more likely to be using online tools to help them troubleshoot a problem in the middle of the night. Many from this generation also prefer scanning FAQ's and other self-service webpages to get their customer problems solved.

According to some exprts, to cut costs in your own company, enhanced self-service customer support online should become a standard by 2020.

#4 Aligning Sales and Service Teams

Your sales and service departments have likely been separated for years since they seemingly do different functions. Salesforce says this is already changing by integrating the two for faster customer service.

At the center of this is contact centers and being able to help them handle sales and service all at once. Doing so helps speed up interactions with customers and offer a chance to upsell certain items as well.

Salesforce brought this up at their World Tour last year. They mentioned how Coca-Cola's B2B operations integrated sales with service and ended up increasing conversions by 20%.

#5 Automation Will Continue in New Roles

Perhaps you've already used automation in many ways to help with customer service. Now it's going to grow even more, including for back office duties.

Service Cloud from Salesforce currently allows much of this, though it can sometimes become complex without some guidance from a Salesforce expert.

This is where Merlin Guides comes in: we can help train your sales, service and operations teams in Salesforce--many of the customer service technologies listed above align with our expertise.

Connect with us to learn more about our interactive walk-through guides that can help your entire company learn Salesforce at a faster pace and ensure you are effectively applying the most current trends in employee training in Salesforce.