BUSINESSES that fail to embrace eight customer service "megatrends" during the next decade will falter at the hands of savvy local and international competitors, according to a BDO report released this week.
Service 2020: Megatrends for the decade ahead is a BDO Global report that captured the views of 479 business leaders world-wide.
"The report explores how successful organisations have built - and sustained - excellent client service, and outlines eight predictions on how customer service will change in the coming decade," BDO chairman Tony Schiffmann said.
"The quality of the customer experience is the added dimension which will impact businesses, regardless of their size or whether they are operating from a shopfront, office or online."
According to the report, the next decade will see businesses wage an ongoing battle to beat customer expectations, learn to love new technologies and use customer service as a differentiator.
"International and domestic business is more connected and competitive than ever before," Mr Schiffmann said.
"Good service is set to become a key competitive differentiator with new technologies playing a huge role in doing so."
THE EIGHT TRENDS ARE:
Global competition will drive up service standards;
Maintain service standards in the face of "the need for speed";
Learn to use the increased transparency brought by social media to their advantage;
Use new sources and types of data to rethink the way they track and personalise their service;
Good employees will remain fundamental to good service, but with technology as an enabler;
More firms will outsource aspects of customer service to new kinds of specialists;
The rise of the mass affluent and other customer segments will force companies to find new product or service niches; and
Customer expectations are evolving with new technology.