Customer service is an invaluable aspect of any business. Of course, you would rather things never go wrong with purchases, and that your users would never need help because everything you produce is easy to use and flawless. But that just isn't going to be the case all the time.
Users will always need excellent service, whether they're confused about how something works or they're unable to find what they're looking for. How you handle it can make or break the relationship you have with them.
With today's technology and consistently rising user experience expectations, high-quality customer service is more important and accessible than ever. 70% of users report that low patience from your customer service reps drives them away from a business the first time it happens.
Utilizing chatbots, optimizing your customer service team performance, and having multiple points of contact for your users are just a few ways to get started.
Here are five ways to make sure your customer service is great.
Why is Customer Service So Important?
It only takes one or two bad experiences with your employees to turn customers away. Excellent customer service is a way of circumventing frustrated users by showing them that you understand their situation and will always be there for them.
Positive customer interaction with customer service tends to boost customer loyalty, even leading to referrals to your business.
Not to mention the cost of keeping your regular customers pale compared to the cost of acquiring new ones.
1. Utilize Customer Feedback
Your users' experience on your page and with your product is monumental when it comes to making sure you're doing the best job you can.
Using the feedback they provide is a way to get in front of customer service issues before they even come up.
You don't really need your customers to reach out directly to hear what it is that they want. There are multiple ways to listen to consumer feedback, and each one is useful if you know what to listen out for.
Traffic data and metrics can show you what pages your users are visiting most and least frequently. If a product or piece of content is underperforming, it's probably because your users don't particularly like it, it doesn't meet the customers' needs, and it's taking up space.
Forms or review pages are also great places for your visitors to leave comments regarding their experience. By taking this user input and implementing change accordingly, you can bypass future problems with other users who may not be in the mood to leave a comment but rather just leave.
2. Have Multiple Service Touchpoints
When it comes to the customer experience, there really isn't one perfect solution. Users like a variety of options depending on their situation and question.
Limiting the options for service doesn't really have any benefits at this point because, with technology and third-party services, the tools you need to have fantastic customer service are more easily accessed than ever.
Examples of touchpoints are:
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter)
- Live chat
- Customer surveys
- Phone support
Customer Service Representatives
Some users will prefer human interaction, whether it's an online chat with an agent or a phone conversation. Some problems can be solved best this way because the human agent can provide detailed instructions.
By creating a system of customer service routes for your users to take advantage of, you free up your customer service team to focus on the major issues. Being able to spend more time on more complex problems means that your users will get their answers resolved faster.
Ensure that your customer service agents are regularly trained and treat users with a high level of empathy and respect. The experience they might have with your agents will dictate whether or not they continue to use your business.
When chatbots were originally introduced, they weren't exactly known for meeting the customer's needs appropriately.
They could be repetitive, working off of key phrases that needed to be specifically entered, or else they would get caught in a loop. Users got tired of them quickly, but luckily companies have been making some noticeable advancements with chatbots.
Recently, chatbot developers have integrated artificial intelligence and natural language processing into the bots engine. They recognize user questions as actual speech, not just a string of keywords to search for.
This allows chatbots to answer user problems efficiently and enjoyably. They've become a great customer service option for users who want fast answers to relatively simple questions.
And because chatbots don't sleep, take breaks, or get overwhelmed with high customer volumes, they're always available. So your users get the solutions they need whenever any type of problem arises.
Sometimes users don't want to speak with chatbots or customer service representatives. But they might be interested in interacting with other customers.
Forums allow your audience to post their questions and problems and answer them amongst each other. User-to-user service might seem like an easy way to avoid doing any work from the company end, but some users will prefer to speak with each other.
This tool also gives your company direct access to your users regarding their opinions or frustrations with your product or content. Indirect feedback like this can be incredibly useful for your marketing and developer teams. You should also encourage employee engagement in these forums.
A Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ page can be just what some of your customers will be looking for if they have a minor question. This type of knowledge base gives them the opportunity to answer their questions, which can be rewarding.
Plus, they avoid direct contact with others, whether customer service agents or other users, which appeals to the more independent customers.
3. Value Your Users Time
Time is an extremely valuable resource to your customers, and the more of it they waste trying to get an answer from your customer service system, the less pleased they'll be.
Having a few routes to good customer service, be it human agents, AI chatbots, or a FAQ, can help speed up this process. Giving them options opens up more useful channels of service, getting them their answer faster and saving them precious time.
4. Keep Your System Up To Date
Another way to preemptively avoid customer issues is to make sure that your CRM, website, and product pages are completely up to date.
The internet is constantly shifting, and user expectations are as well. This means that your site needs to be able to keep up and perform just as well, if not better than the rest; otherwise, your users will leave you in the dust.
Page load times, relevant content, and advanced navigational tools are all focus points when it comes to managing your website. You want to make sure everything you have is as easy to use and high-quality as possible for your users.
Identify What Your Site Doesn't Need And Remove It
Having a cluttered website can affect your customer satisfaction for a number of reasons. Your users end up unable to find what they're looking for, and you run the risk of piling on more load time due to the amount of content you're trying to put up.
This extends the amount of time that your customers waste, which is a huge issue, as we've discussed. Going through and cleaning up any unneeded elements of your page is critical and should be regularly done.
5. Know Your Users
When customers need assistance, they don't want to feel like just another ticket number in the queue. Whether it's a virtual assistant or a real member of your customer support team on the other side of the screen, implementing a degree of personalization into your service can go a long way.
Use screening questions to identify the user's name, make sure that your agents take the time to be fully aware of their issue before approaching the concern.
The more the user feels that they're being taken care of as a person and not just as a consumer, the more positive their experience is.
Top-notch customer service is essential in this day and age. Users expect their questions to be answered promptly and thoughtfully, whether they get to the solution themselves, with the help of other customers, or during a conversation with a customer service representative.
Your business needs happy customers, and your customers need the service you provide. But whether or not they have a positive experience when trouble occurs will determine whether or not they receive that service from you or one of your competitors.
Investing in high-quality customer service will certainly have a positive return for your business. Whether that be extra training for your service agents, integrating advanced artificial intelligence chatbots, or fleshing out your website.
The main objective for any company when it comes to customer service is to treat your consumers how you would like to be treated, with the utmost amount of care and respect. Not to mention as quickly as possible, of course.