Awesome Ways to Improve Online Customer Service
“Businesses are losing up to $62 billion per year through poor customer service”
–Shep Hyken, Forbes
Is your mind boggled by that figure yet? It should be. Primarily because according to Salesforce, less than 25% of customers complain when they have an issue. Another common statistic is that 70%-90% of customers don’t even complain. The math is easy: most customers require far less attention and resources than commonly assumed and not giving it to them is wasteful and easily avoidable bad business.
Today’s users are demanding, impatient and making up for years of not being able to voice complaints about bad customer service. It’s the Age of the Customer and if anyone needs a memory jog – what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see the words “United” and “guitars” in the same sentence?
Online services (most notably but not exclusively SaaS) have two prominent advantages over offline SMBs: technology – enables communication through multiple channels and with use of various guidance and online help methods; speed – answering by tweet or email is far quicker than leaving a voice mail and hoping for the best.
Provide Proactive Assistance and Support
It sounds trivial, but it isn’t. Social platforms are visibility, especially for service providers. As aforementioned, we all know what United does to guitars. Your social media pros aren’t versed in customer service and they need to be.
It wouldn’t hurt to integrate between your Social Media staff and the Customer Service department for effective employee training the former have to understand the grueling process that entails seeing a customer complaint through and the latter have to internalize the speed with which today’s users are accustomed to having their needs met. Marks & Spencer increased their multichannel sales by £300 to £500 next year. Sales, which require pro-activity, pitching and onboarding. Just imagine how much can be saved by simply responding to customers through multi channels the right way.
Bots are Trending for a Reason
Online tools are often quicker and more efficient than getting on the phone with a support analyst, especially if the issues are minor ones. Add to that the fact that Millennials prefer written communication to the spoken one and you should start looking at online services.
Live chats are a good start and so is contextual help. Be the first one to put up a series of YouTube video tutorials about your services and have your analysts browse unofficial help forums so that even if your users are looking for help outside your brand’s online environment, they should still see your brand in online help contexts.
Pay Close Attention to Knowledgebase Searches
When people get stuck, they usually look for the little question mark or help icon. Every one of those clicks is a wealth of knowledge and information about what they didn’t find, which of their needs weren’t met and why they are considering defecting to the competition as we speak.
You can harvest this information by tracking knowledgebase searches, to find out what your customers are looking for. First and foremost, provide knowledgebase articles that correspond with these searches. That can reduce the immediate frustration that comes with not even finding the anyone to help you. Following that, group search topics like you would feature requests, and consider whether they are in your customer service “roadmap”.
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