We’re now in the age of the connected consumer. This has dramatically changed the standards for customer service best practice and increased customer expectations of the service they receive from you. Nowadays, consumers expect:
- Multi-channel service including social media
- 24/7 accessibility
- Quality assurance.
Let’s look into these areas in more detail:
- Multi-channel servicing
Whether it’s online shopping, reading the news or making a customer service enquiry, consumers now want anything and everything… where, when and how they want it. In fact, 63% of customers expect companies to offer customer service on social media. For a customer service team or centre this means responding to both phone calls and online enquiries. And online responses are more than just email communications, there’s also live chat, social media and even monitoring online reviews.
- 24/7 accessibility
As a business, particularly if you’re in the tech industry, customers will expect you to keep up with the latest communications technology and be accessible and responsive via a range of channels 24/7.
While chat bots may still be a contentious issue, they fulfil a valuable role in the customer service process by responding to and solving simple customer issues quickly and easily in a timely manner. With advances in natural language recognition, most consumers don’t even realise they are interacting with a chat bot, so, you’ve not only solved an issue but also avoided tying up a valuable human resource who should be dedicated to more complex and important customer care issues.
- Personalisation & tailored responses based on previous interactions
Being able to offer a personalised and tailored level of customer service (CS) requires an integrated model that includes a CRM and account management system that talks to your customer service software. Your inbound CS team, tech support and help desk will all be accessing and updating the same customer information, which is great for you and even better for your customer. Any member of your team can work on a new enquiry or pick up on a current one by utilising the customer’s history to guide their conversation. And the customer won’t be frustrated by having to repeat their query over and over again each time they speak to someone new in your business.
- Quality assurance
There’s more to customer service than just getting a team answering queries, it’s vital that you also track and assess your customer service standards through a quality assurance program. A solid program addresses customer satisfaction, training, call handling volumes and times, and management to KPIs. CSAT scores can be applied to every interaction while Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are a periodic or quarterly review and are designed to provide an objective assessment of your customer service standards.
These four areas are key to customer service. Nailing these will revolutionise your customer experience creating a real point of differentiation from your competitors.
To learn more about the best approach to customer service, download the following eBook.