6 Customer Service Predictions for 2017: Westworld Edition

Now that we have parted ways with 2016, it is time to embrace the future. What better way to do this than staying ahead of the curb and adopting the latest technology before anyone else does? We have aligned our predictions of 2017’s new customer service trends with this year’s hottest new HBO hit TV Show “Westworld”.


The commonality between customer service trends and this fascinating new series is the “uprising” of AI technology. How do we keep up with the latest gadgets and capabilities, while holding on to our humane side? Check out our top seven predictions for 2017:


1. Viewing Customer Complaints As Free And Valuable Insight

In 2017, we predict companies will increasingly value customer feedback and use it as a crucial tool to improve their products and business practices. Instead of just “handling” or “dealing” with angry customers, they will cherish the opportunity to gain some unbiased perspective into the depth of the customer’s opinion and expectation.


2. Multi-Channel Support Shifts to Limited, Directed and Focused 

While different channels of communication will still be utilized to provide convenient and flexible support to more customers, we expect the companies to focus on a select few channels instead of trying to spread themselves thin across the web.


This will allow for a more sophisticated multi-channel support where notes are visible and updated identically in all platforms so customers do not need to repeat themselves when contacting businesses in different methods at different times.



3. Uprising of Messaging Support and Chatbots

As technology and internet speed advance, so do our customers’ expectations. As patience grows thin, messaging support will become more popular. This will allow for a faster response time compared to a long phone queue, making it far more convenient for the end user.


Additionally, less man power will be necessary due to the lower peaks caused by less wait time and agents can handle more than one chat at a time. Chatbots can be used to supplement chats, but not as a human replacement. Think of the ideal messaging support as a cross between the casual human interaction and automated response.


Automation can be used when necessary to speed up the process or request standard information. This combination of human and robot resembles Westworld hosts and how they are built.



4. Human-Like Personalization

While using Chatbots makes for a quicker, smoother conversation, clients need to feel they have a personal connection with the agent they are speaking to. They need to feel they are being listened to by another human being who is capable of understanding them.


While millennials expect the latest advanced technology to be available to them, they also expect to have the human intellect at their disposal, particularly when frustrated. It can be beneficial to use the personal information you have available in an ethical way that provides additional value to customers. 



5. Cross-Platform Collaboration Make-over

As a result of using less channels for communication purposes, combined with newer technology, the process of collaboration between different platforms will become more effective. The resources will be divided differently to allow for quality over quantity which will in turn allow for smoother transitions between the platforms and a higher level of integration.




6. Managers Will Need to Provide Positive Reinforcement

Give millennial agents reasons to stay. The better the employee, the more offers they are likely to receive from competitors, and recruiters can easily find and contact your agents through LinkedIn. With more employment opportunities available than ever, it is important to give your agent a reason to stay at your company.


Trends suggest that managers will need to keep millennials happy and motivated in their role with regular positive reinforcement. The smallest acknowledgments can go a long way for a struggling agent dealing with frustrated customers.

Amy Clark is the Lead Author & Editor of IWantItNow Blog. Amy established the Customer Engagement blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to customer service, support and engagement.