Any business that understands the basic principles of good customer service will know that it’s vital to be successful. Good customer service does more than most professionals might think. It helps maintain trust, build a better brand, and even increases company revenue.
Up to 36% of consumers will talk about their customer service experience to family, friends and others, whether good or bad. So whether we like it or not, the way we take care of our clients and customers will greatly affect the market’s perception of our company and determine whether others will want to work with us or not.
A crucial part to improving customer experience is to find ways to communicate more effectively with customers. Better communication helps open up that line of communication and empowers customer service staff to coordinate with existing concerns and enable them to address them as soon as possible, improving customer happiness as a result.
Using Chat and In-Chat Apps Tools for Better Customer Service Experiences
When setting up communications channels for customers and CS teams, the first step is to determine what communication lines you will open up. The more traditional channels include email and phone support lines. But in keeping up with the times and finding ways on how to improve communication with customers, companies are now starting to open up chat and in-chat app tools for better customer service.
These chat apps can either be in the form of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram, or chat apps integrated into websites so that people can leave concerns there. All in all, it’s just important to have a chat option as more and more customers are now starting to turn to this form of customer service communication line to receive customer concerns and relay information to clients.
How to Enhance Communication with Customers
What does it take to enhance communication with customers? Here are seven tips on enhancing communication between your company and your customers.
1. Assign ample teams to your support channels
Effective regular communication with customers entails assigning the right customer service teams. A company will never go wrong with hiring a dedicated customer service representative or team to help respond to client concerns, especially when your company is big enough to take on the manpower.
When assigning customer service staff to live chat solutions, email support, or phone support, make sure that you have enough team members to cater to all incoming requests and concerns. The biggest challenge a company will have in customer service is a big pile up of unaddressed concerns.
2. Communicate your customer support times
This step might sound pretty basic, but it’s an important point because companies fail to do this all the time. Ensure that your customer support times are put in as many channels as possible, including social media platforms, websites, external apps, and so on. Indicate what timezone your customer service team operates in if you have a software product or any offering that can cater to a global audience.
In the case of holidays and company events, make sure to send out notices to people as well so they know that representatives aren’t available to chat. Many in-chat customer service tools have this as a feature so that support teams can easily update their operating hours.
3. Provide a knowledge base
Most companies don’t provide around the clock customer service support. So businesses have to set up knowledge bases as a backup. A knowledge base is simply an online directory of frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers to these questions. Most people tend to Google questions a lot too, so make your knowledge base SEO friendly.
Customers tend to prefer knowledge bases over self-service platforms, so having a hub for all things related to your service will help your brand big time and improve customer communications.
4. Train your staff regularly
In most cases where companies receive irate complaints, one factor to their frustration is the way the case is handled. Some people don’t mind the issues, but having bad customer service can be unforgivable. As many as 90% of Americans will choose to not do business with a company if they know they have bad customer service.
That’s why getting customer service training for support teams goes a long way. There is so much to learn and upgrade in people’s customer service skills. Great support staff will know what they’re supposed to say and how to say it. Get someone with a psychology career to help teach customer service staff the basics of human behavior and how to build empathy.
5. Have a client concern scoring system
If you’ve ever walked into a hospital emergency room, you’ll see what you call a triage system— a way of prioritizing and batching cases based on how urgent they are. Businesses can learn a thing or two from this system by putting in a quantitative or qualitative way of determining whether a customer concern is urgent so that teams can address those concerns first.
Not all customer service concerns are equal, and sometimes following a “first in first out” system can do more harm than good. So create a scoring system that puts customer concerns at various levels and have support teams fix the more urgent and pressing ones first.
6. Build a chatbot
Artificial intelligence has brought rise to using chatbots in customer service. These chatbots can help answer a good chunk of customer concerns even before reaching a live agent. Many companies have the same recurring client concerns, which can be batched and automated with the use of a chatbot.
Although one of the most innovative ways to communicate with customers, chatbots alone aren’t the answer. It’s good practice to still provide access to a live agent for urgent and unique concerns that an AI-based system can’t answer.
7. Ask customers to rate their experience
When deploying chat and even email and phone customer service communication channels, putting in a rating system can provide a company a lot of great insight on how they can improve their customer service. Feedback is a great way to get a pulse of how happy customers are with the support provided, which can enable a lot of innovation and improvements if put into the right consideration.
In this age of community building through social media channels and public websites, one bad customer experience communicated in social platforms could do a lot of harm to a company. So before it goes on Facebook, Twitter or on a YouTube vlog, it’s best to get feedback at the onset and nip the problem at the bud as early as possible.
Better Customer Service Experiences Helps the Company Bottomline
Great customer service is a basic service that customers have the right to access. But it’s not only for their advantage. Research shows that getting new customers costs 5 and 25 times more than retaining existing ones. Hence the benefits of good communication with customers isn’t just limited to the client side. It also provides great upside to a company as well.
Customer service systems, tools, training, and people are investments. And when these channels are maintained with professionalism and excellence, they can be a great differentiating factor that sets a brand apart from other competitors in the market. Without them, they can also be significant factors that tell if a company is doomed for failure.