Customers have higher expectations than ever before. They expect customer service excellence at every turn; that’s the standard now, not a perk, and if a customer has anything less than what they consider a stellar experience, they’re likely to jump ship and hire one of your competitors instead.
A whopping 33% of customers recently surveyed expressed that they’d end a business relationship with one brand after a single bad customer service experience, and with 80% of Americans believing that brands are stepping up more than ever before in this area, why wouldn’t they?
Now, users have an expectation for personalized-yet-simultaneously-immediate service at every turn. This sounds great as a customer who is excited to call the bank at 2AM and ask about a deposit that hasn’t shown up yet, but it can be a huge challenge for businesses who are struggling to keep up. This is more true now than ever before, 51% of Americans currently believe that businesses should be available at all times.
Customers now expect more, and as a result, it’s important for businesses to adapt to the always-going culture that we’re all immersed in. Let’s take a look at several key ways you can do this.
Be Ready Any Place, Any Time
Here at Tresta, we’re all about work-life balance, but we also know that sometimes emergencies happen and important things come up, and business can interrupt life. Whether you need to jump on a conference call after a doctor’s appointment or you’re being interrupted on a day off for a mistake that needs fixing, there’s no denying that you sometimes need to be ready to take on customer service needs when you aren’t expecting it.
Since customers typically want to call for major problems (as opposed to using other methods of communication), you can expect that this will happen via phone, because email would just be too easy, right?
First, you’ll want to make sure that you have a business phone number that’s with you at all times. The best way to do this is to use Tresta’s virtual business numbers, which is separate from your personal but that can be accepted on your personal phone through our mobile app. You can schedule “off hours,” but having the option to go in and take care of business whenever it’s needed is a huge advantage.
When you aren’t able or willing to answer a call, don’t just leave your customers hanging. Consider hiring an answering service like PATLive to pick up the slack. Their agents are all customer service experts who are available 24/7, and can handle most basic customer service inquiries along with helping customers with everything from booking appointments to processing payments. If they really need to get ahold of you, they’ll do so.
Set Up Multiple Touch Points
While having strong customer service via call lines is so crucial to your clients’ overall perception of your brand, it’s not the only customer service platform you should be using.
Though customers still want to handle most major, important, or secure issues via the phone, they’re also increasingly turning more to live chat options to get answers to basic questions. The questions can be about everything from the shipping status of their order to an inquiry about your return policy.
It’s important to meet customers where they want to connect with you. If you don’t, you’ll end up with missed messages and angry customers who didn’t get their needs met. Try to make sure that you’re regularly checking your private messages on every social platform that you have; using social management software like Agorapulse or Hootsuite can help with this, because they’ll compile all your instant messages onto their dashboard and alert you when one needs to be addressed.
If possible, setting up even basic live chat functionality on your site is a good call. In a recent survey, 63% of customers said that they were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat, and 79% preferred live chat over other communication methods for minor questions or concerns because of its immediacy.
You also want to have strong email support, and of course, high-quality phone-based customer service will always be crucial.
You ultimately need to meet customers where they want to be, and with so many different preferences, this will mean setting up multiple customer service touchpoints for maximum impact.
Have a Strong Help Desk or FAQ Section On Your Site
Not all customer concerns and questions will need to be resolved by a customer service representative. Embrace that, and take advantage of it. The fewer incoming calls and messages you have, the more time your representatives have to work with the customers who do need their attention.
In order to give users the information they need upfront, consider offering a detailed FAQ or help desk section on your site. These sections can cover common customer questions ranging from return policies, common troubleshooting issues, and what to do if their order came broken in the mail.
Accessibility is key right now. For minor concerns, many users would rather try to find an immediate solution themselves instead of trying to chase one down from someone else, especially if it means waiting.
Automation sounds like the antithesis of personalization, which we all know is important to deliver great customer service and to build strong client relationships, but that actually couldn’t be further from the truth if used well.
Automation can help your customers get the information they need, whether that’s from a well-programmed chatbot or it means getting to the person they’re trying to call faster thanks to an automated call system. Tresta, for example, offers smart routing for callers so they’re able to get to the right person in your company for help the first time around.
As long as you’re using automation to better serve your customers instead of ditching them altogether, it’s an incredible asset that more businesses should take the time to invest in. The time you’ll save will be well worth it many times over.
The world is changing, and customer service is changing with it. Brands who want to truly set themselves apart need to be ready to deliver high-quality service fast, giving customers everything they need to find the information for themselves and then to get in touch with an actual representative as soon as possible if the information available doesn’t meet their needs.
Using the right tools and advanced technology like chatbots, answering services like PATLive, and virtual phone apps like Tresta will make it easier for you to deliver great customer service to your customers whenever they need it and no matter where you are.
Interested in seeing how Tresta can help you better serve your customers? Learn more about how our virtual phone numbers work here.