As technology continues to play a greater role in how businesses operate on a day to day business, you can expect for customer service to follow suit. In a time when the smallest mistake in customer service can have a ripple effect within minutes thanks to social media, it’s vital that service members are armed and knowledgeable.
Provide proper training – Every person who might end up interacting with customers need to be trained and know how to handle different situations that may arise.
Trust and responsibility – Everyone on your team should be someone you’d trust to make the right call in the event that a customer isn’t happy. They should have the ability and responsibility to make judgment calls when needed and the tools and technology to follow through with them. If you don’t trust them to do this, then maybe they shouldn’t be on the team.
If both the above are in place and taken care of, then it’s time to look a little deeper. Here are a few things to consider if you want your customer service to be ahead of the competition.
Technology driven customers
Many customers today are very technology driven. Some have grown up in an almost-completely digital world, while others have seen the amazing change over the past 10 – 20 years. Either way, there’s a good chance that at least some of your customers are very good with technology and self-sufficient when it comes to finding information they need. What does that mean for you?
It means your website or help portal needs to be up to par. A super basic help section that answers only a few questions then sends customers to a customer service rep doesn’t hit the mark. You should upgrade and update it can handle advanced searches, weed out irrelevant answers and offer only the best solutions. Customers will greatly appreciate being able to find what they need, when they need it, without having to wait to talk to someone from the company.
Creating your own online community, such as a forum or min-social network where customers can communicate, get help and post reviews can also help. TechTarget says that it can dramatically reduce the cost of customer service (up to 50 percent).
In the long run, it will pay off. It’ll decrease your running costs and alleviate some of the pressure on customer service associates, as they won’t be bombarded by queries from customers who would have been happy to solve their problem themselves had the been given the opportunity to do so.
And of course, it should be easy for the others to quickly get in touch with someone if they want or need to. There are many helpful chat solutions that can help. LiveHelpNow is just one that has interesting and helpful features without a super-hefty price tag. You can have senior associates basically on call for newer associates through a private messaging system, so they can get answers they might need fast to solve a problem. You can have mobile alerts sent when a customer sends an inquiry so even if you’re on the go, you’re available.
There are many more, too. Some free (usually very limited and often branded) and some much more expensive.
Understanding and responding to issues in real time
Businesses and organizations are using data much differently today. There’s so much data available though, that sometimes it’s hard to monitor it, understand it and know what to do with it. As the amount of information continues to pile up, there’s a real need to understand it, keep it safe and use it to better your product or service. Real-time analytics can help you tweak your marketing, operate more efficiently, understand trends and take customer service to the next level.
RightITNow is one solution here. Understanding what’s happening now means you can be proactive and anticipate any problems that could arise from it. Streamlining communication from one department to the next reduces the time it takes to identify and solve a problem.
Look closely at how your customer service is performing and take the time to find the solution that will fit your team the best and give the biggest boost in customer service. And remember that technology is getting smarter everyday. Whatever product or service you decide to use should be at the forefront, always adapting and offering you those updates for free or at a discount for being a current customer. The last thing you want to do do is invest a lot of money into something only for it to fall behind the curve in a year or two.