Customer service has changed in the last few years.
The penetration of smartphones, faster internet connectivity, and changes in customer’s expectations has transformed the way companies serve and support customers.
The conventional brick and mortar or telephone support have given way to digital customer service.
Digital customer service is the method of providing support to customers using digital channels such as social media, emails, in-app support, live chats, etc.
Digital customer service can lead to highly engaged customers, which means they will buy 90% more frequently and spend 60% more on a per purchase than an average customer.
However, customer needs have evolved too. They prefer to get solutions to their issues almost instantly. 92% of customers have expressed satisfaction, and 60% of them have returned to a website that offers live chat support.
Hence, digital customer service must not follow the same rules as conventional customer service. Companies need to come up with new rules to align themselves with the new digital customers.
Let’s look at these new rules and how they can benefit the customers.
New Rules Of Digital Customer Service
According to a survey conducted by Nuance, 67% of customers prefer self-service over talking to customer service representatives.
Today’s customers prefer to find solutions and learn things on their own. Self-service allows them to meet those needs. It also helps them to get answers to their problems quickly. Self-service includes a portal, the FAQ section, the knowledge base section, and online forums of users. Having a self-service portal is no longer an option. It has become a necessity to add value to customer service. It frees up the customer service team, so they can focus on addressing more complex customer queries. Another advantage is that it reduces customer service costs and the volume of tickets. Companies can implement self-service by addressing the most commonly asked queries in the FAQ section. They can also add different types of content, such as videos and screenshots in the knowledge section to help customers solve their problems easily. However, it’s important to keep updating the portal frequently to make it relevant to customers.
Customers like convenience. They would prefer to engage with businesses using their preferred channels rather than use traditional channels that companies use actively.
Some customers would prefer to reach out to the company through social media; some may prefer to email the support team. Companies have to be prepared to assist each of these customers. Developing omnichannel capabilities can help companies reach customers where they are rather than vice-a-versa. It helps in making customer service more personalized and improves customer retention. To realize the potential of omnichannel support, companies have to analyze their existing channels and find ways to integrate them, reduce barriers to interaction, and ensure there are no silos in the customer service teams. Companies must combine offline and online platforms and leverage customer service management solutions to improve customer experience.
Sometimes a large volume of tickets / cases can lead to delay in addressing customer queries within the defined SLA.
88% of customers expect a response within the first 60 minutes.
Any delay beyond the stipulated timeline could lead to customer dissatisfaction. The only way to resolve this issue is by using automation tools. Automation tools can help companies to resolve queries at first level. Also, considering that it is available 24/7/365, customers do not have to wait until the regular office hours to solve their problems. AI-based chatbots, real-time live chats, are some alternatives to address customer queries quickly. Automation also reduces the overhead costs as companies can save expenses on hiring extra resources and improves the team’s productivity.
Traditionally, customer service has always been reactive. However, if companies want to deliver a world-class experience, they must take a proactive approach. Proactive customer support means providing support to customers before they even face problems. Some ways to offer proactive service is by conducting customer satisfaction surveys, monitoring social media, promoting self-service, etc. Another way is to use analytics to predict when customers are going to churn or are willing to upgrade and use that data to offer personalized support to customers. Proactive customer service not only helps in building customer advocacy, but it also helps in creating a positive brand image.
Social Media Support
Social media is emerging as one of the main channels in customer service.
90% of people prefer to communicate with a brand through social media. Companies can no longer ignore the potential of social media support. They have to actively monitor their social media accounts to send a timely response to customers. However, a company might have accounts on multiple social media channels. Monitoring each of them can be quite an arduous task. That’s where social listening tools and integration of those tools with customer service management tools become important. Companies can consolidate all complaints in a unified system and answer them within the agreed SLA. Also, since social media is more public than other channels, companies must prioritize it to build a positive experience for customers.
Read: 5 Best Practices to Ace Your Social Media Customer Service Game
Customers always expect better service from companies.
As Jeff Bezos famously wrote in his annual letter, “yesterday’s wow quickly becomes today’s ordinary”.
Hence, companies need to have a strategy to create a positive experience for customers.
Whether it is empowering customers through self-service portals or managing various social media channels by pulling out comments into a unified platform – we implement ServiceNow offerings to help companies build robust digital customer service. Let’s connect if creating customer delight is on your agenda.