Over the past year, consumers have demanded an even better customer service experience from their favorite brands both in-store and online. In response, retailers have used social media platforms and personalization as a way to improve their customer’s experience. But as 2016 comes to a close, retailers are already planning their next move in order to fine-tune their customer service. Here’s our predictions on the trends that will shape the customer service trends in the new year:

IoT (Internet of Things) – Just like the omnichannel trend, IoT is here to stay and will be a game changer over the next year. Soon, all of our devices will be connected whether we like it or not. Spinn Coffee is already using IoT to connect their coffee makers to our devices. Doesn’t it sound nice to wake up, check your emails and social media and brew your coffee all from the comfort of your bed? Check out the coffee makers here: https://www.spinn.com/. IoT will create more opportunity for personalization in the coming year and also make consumers lives much easier with improved customer experiences.

Leverage customer data – Customer Relationship Management systems, or CRMs, hold so much data on customers, but many retailers are failing to take advantage of the information they have access to. Over the next year, expect retailers to start to get smarter about how they leverage their customer data to improve both online and in-person experiences. For example, some brands are already focused on implementing facial recognition cameras within their stores. Not only are they hoping it will help provide a better customer experience, but it will give associates a better idea of product recommendations for you based on past purchases. Time will tell how privacy laws will impact this technology.

Eligibility verification – In order to remain competitive, brands can no longer limit exclusive offers to their brick and mortar stores. If the deals aren’t available and easy to find online, business owners risk lost sales and a decrease in brand loyalty. Eligibility verification gives retailers the ability to offer exclusive promotions through their websites, in-store POS systems, call centers, and on mobile devices without worrying about fraud. With just a few simple, non-sensitive pieces of information, eligibility verification technology verifies against live data sources within seconds. Eligibility verification creates a quick, easy customer experience and gives businesses peace of mind when offering these types of deals. It’s a win/win for both retailers and consumers.

Over the next year brands will be forced to prove how they can use technology to leverage their customer service experiences and we’re looking forward to seeing how they take on the challenge. Let us know what customer service trends you’re expecting to see over the next year.

Read more: Here’s Why 2017 Might NOT Be The Best For Service