Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any organization. If you don’t handle your customer service requests well, you’ll likely find that it’s hard to retain your customers over the long run. However, customer service is also expensive. If you aren’t smart about it, your customer service operation can become a significant part of your budget without generating an adequate return value. Luckily, there are some great technology tools available that can help you improve your customer service operation, delivering better experiences to your customers while also making it more efficient.
Live Chat Feature
One great place to start is with a live chat feature. A live chat feature goes on your website and gives your customers a place where they can send messages to your customer service team directly and in realtime. This is opposed to having them send an email or call you, which some people don’t prefer to do. Live chat features are simple to install and can easily improve your online customer service satisfaction ratings. The only thing you’ll need to consider closely when adding a live chat feature is ensuring that you have enough agents to promptly respond to all requests.
To take your live chat feature to another level, consider implementing artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence within a live chat feature is known as a chatbot. A chatbot will analyze the questions or comments from your customers, then provide a response based on pre-written answers. This is a great way to answer commonly asked questions and reduce the number of questions that your customer service team needs to respond to. By limiting this load, your customer service team can then focus more on the more difficult questions or the questions that need specific guidance. The chatbot will handle all the rest and simply pass on any questions that it can’t adequately assist with.
Computer Telephony Integration
Even with a live chat feature or chatbot on your website, you may still have some customers who prefer talking over the phone. It’s often easier to explain difficult concepts over the phone or to provide more specific advice. To improve your customer service performance over the phone, you should explore computer telephony integration. With computer telephony integration systems, you can easily connect your service calls to your existing computerized customer support center. This makes it easy to have all of your customer support channels in one area, which leads to better care and a more efficient work process.
Social Media Integration
Social media is another common avenue where customers like to receive help. They may send a direct message to one of your social media accounts or tag you in a post that they write. When this happens, you’ll want your customer support team to know about it right away so that you can address the issue quickly. Luckily, there are many tools that can connect your various social media accounts to your existing customer service software, or at least connect all your social accounts in one place. This way, your customer service team doesn’t have to waste time switching back and forth between all the different accounts and can instead use one hub to interact with them all.
Customer Knowledge Base
A customer knowledge base is essentially an online database of articles and guides designed to help your customers. A customer knowledge base can be particularly useful if you have a product that requires a lot of instruction, such as a new software application. With a customer knowledge base, your customers can learn everything they need to without having to reach out to your customer service team. Creating a knowledge base takes some initial investment, but it can not only make your customers happier in the long run but also allow you to significantly reduce your customer service requests.
Finally, don’t forget to keep an eye on your customer service employees. Implement some software tools that allow you to track how they’re doing with their responses. For example, you might want to see how many requests your team responds to on average each day, then make sure no specific employee is falling significantly below that mark. You can also ask your customers for feedback after a customer service request, then make sure you don’t have any employees receiving low marks. Employee performance monitoring is one of the best ways to ensure that your employees are constantly providing valuable help to your customers.