Customers no longer have the patience to wait before their calls get answered on a customer hotline. Apart from the wait, consumers often have to deal with dropped calls and customer service representatives who don’t really see the problem being discussed. As a result, the customer has to repeat him or herself and ends up discussing matters using a raised voice. Digital platforms offer faster and more convenient alternatives, such as talking to a chat bot, researching the solution on your own, or getting in touch with the company through social media. If a customer ends up waiting too long on the phone, they’ll end up complaining about the company’s service online for the rest of the world to read, react, and share to an even bigger audience.
According to Bromford Lab innovation coach Paul Taylor, organizations’ main problem is keeping up with customer demand in their service. The company has to be able to meet the demand for immediate and personalized service, which is something that traditional call centers don’t provide. If customers end up frustrated with that unmet demand for better customer service, they’ll worsen that brand’s reputation and consider switching to another provider in the future. Yet positive customer service experiences aren’t without their benefits. A 2014 American Express report states that three out of four consumers will spend more money on a business if they have a positive customer service experience.
Positive and personalized customer service is key to retaining and gaining new sales and profit. But given the quick updates on social media and the ease of going online, should business invest in real time customer service and completely forego the traditional form?
It’s the Customer’s Decision, Not Yours
Before anything else, companies need to recognize that customers still dictate how they want their service. So if they don’t prefer waiting for more than an hour for their call or even don’t consider this as an option, it’s time to keep up. Instead of limiting yourself to this traditional form of customer service, the business has to venture into serving customers in the social media platforms they opt for. Engaging your customers where they are will not only increase your brand’s presence but also begin that personalized relationship customers seek even on social media.
Get Real on Real Time
Don’t overextend your resources to all kinds of social media. See which channels your customers prefer to use and how often they go on these sites or apps. A thorough study will help you better understand not just the channels they prefer but also the issues they often bring up and the types of habits your customers have. From there, you’ll see which channels require more staff or a skilled staff member that can handle even the most irate and demanding online customer.
Empower the Customer
As indicated earlier, customers want to find the solutions themselves and not rely on someone else. It’s crucial to make sure the customer’s self-service options are able to answer all possible queries and clarifications. Ninety percent of customers actually expect a self-service portal and 60% see brands more positively when brands have a self-service accessible via mobile, says a Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report. Make sure you have an app that addresses this need. Don’t forget to improve your website, especially its FAQs and interface so that users can easily navigate to find the answers they need.
The Other Benefit: Collection of Real Time Customer Data
Providing customers multiple customer service channels also provides the company real time customer data. The information they give, the problems they bring up, the plans or products they avail of will enable you to make more informed decisions about serving your customer better and improving what you have to offer.
While traditional means of collecting customer data could be more comprehensive and specific, the situation poses a problem in terms of the information given. According to Harvard Business Review’s piece on real time customer insight, traditional customer information research relies on the rapid decay of customer memories. Genuine memories also end up being recalled under a positive bias. So if the customer recalls a major purchase, she will recall the experience in a positive light so that he or she will feel good about what was bought.
Internet-based data doesn’t include any of these biases. Social media captures the customer as he or she plans to address the matter. Because the concern is in real time, you’re able to read or even hear how the customer feels in that moment. There is no need to sit them down and have them recall an unreliable in the future to gather the relevant data. It’s just a matter of having the platform to gather the relevant information and render the customer data for your company’s analysis.
All these real time channels will definitely lead to increased sales or conversion rates. Because you provide customers a more positive and personalized experience across channels, those customers will continue to buy from the company and recommend the brand’s services and products to their network. The company’s response on social media will be on record for the rest of the world to see. Digital marketing expert Neil Patel said that engaging the audience real time increases conversion chances by 40%.
Given the benefits of having real time customer service, you’ll want a top notch expert to handle this endeavor. Infinit Contact offers all kinds of customer service, from social media, email support, live chat, and even an inbound and outbound call center. All these customer service platforms can work hand in hand to serve consumers whenever, wherever, and however. Outsourcing the work lets the company expand the reach rather than limit it, leaving the responsibility of taking care of every customer in the hands of an expert. By availing of the best service for your customer’s needs, you provide them that real-time service they’re after and assure them they won’t be left out in any platform or channel.