What’s the one thing that your customers are going to value above all else, even your products? A great customer service experience.
The likelihood a customer will stay with a company who has average products, but amazing customer service, continues to grow. This is especially true as we find ourselves with less time; consumers prize an efficient, effective experience.
If your competitors see customer service as a mere necessity—something put into place just to deal with customer returns or complaints—you may have a distinctive advantage in your industry. Companies from Amazon to Nordstrom have been using customer service as a way to build customer loyalty, stand out in a crowded market, and offer a guarantee that any purchase can be made with confidence.
Below are some of the ways you can use today’s technology to enable the type of customer service that helps you build interactions they won’t forget.
First, know your options: There are customer service platforms that allow your employees to interact with customers as quickly as possible, from almost any medium (mobile, desktop, email, live chat, etc). By hosting your customer service platform on the cloud, your representatives can access it via their browser, making it much easier and faster to log in and start answering requests.
A cloud-based help desk solution can also allow all employees to review an ongoing support ticket in real time, making it easy to check on the status of an issue. Personalized customer service is key, and a cloud-based platform can help your employees deliver a customized experience—no matter where or when they are working.
While many cloud-based help desk platforms allow customer service employees to view social media mentions and messages requesting assistance, you can also use your marketing automation platform. Surprisingly, many brands and small businesses aren’t regularly monitoring social media to answer requests for help, which is an excellent way to immediately improve your customer service.
When handling customer service on social media, look for:
If you’re searching on a platform like Facebook or LinkedIn, track comments on the content you’ve posted as well. Many users often reply with off-topic questions about issues they are having whenever a brand posts a new update.
Some companies prefer to have their social media support as separate profiles, like @FitbitSupport and @AppleSupport on Twitter. If you have a large company, this can help you better identify and answer social media customer service requests because it’s narrowed down to one channel. However, continue to monitor your main social media profile to make sure customers who use that username instead are also getting the help they need.
The most extraordinary experiences happen when customer service representatives go out of their way to accommodate a request. We’ve all heard the now-viral stories of Peter Shankman tweeting Morton’s Steakhouse to bring him dinner as he steps off the plane (and they did!), or the Southwest pilot who waited for a grandfather to catch the plane so he could see his grandson. These kind and over-the-top gestures do more than help the people they were intended to: They give customers the opportunity to share a great brand story over and over again.
Companies of all sizes can orchestrate grand gestures. The ones that get you recognized over your competition are things like:
Great customer service comes from a genuine desire to help your customers. According to OPENForum, focusing on ongoing training, putting the right employees in customer-facing roles, and thinking about service as an experience (instead of just another task) will make you stand out.
Create a system that helps you answer customer service requests as quickly as possible, and in the customer’s preferred method of communication (whether that’s Twitter, email, phone, or otherwise). Then, make their experience a painless one with the fastest, most effective method of solving their problem. Finally, try to go above and beyond to make sure customers know they can trust your company when they contact your customer service team.