We discussed in our previous blog: The Buyers Journey has changed, has your sales and marketing teams adjusted?, how digital transformation and the internet has changed the buyers journey and in turn the marketing and sales game. We haven’t discussed how these changes have impacted the world of customer service however.
Customer Service has always been a tricky game; keeping people happy and retaining them as a customer can be a tall order. Now more than ever, customers can instantly check if your company is really where they want to spend their hard earned money. There are thousands of websites dedicated to reviewing all types of products and services, not to mention social media, which can be a cruel world. The internet has made previously private customer complaints public and accessible to all potential customers.
The internet has also changed customer needs and expectations drastically; what used to make your company a customer service superstar does very little to keep your customers happy now. Customers expect instant access to all the information they are looking for. They want to know the exact location of their order, the status of their product in development, their AR, all without ever having to wait for a response or talk to a Customer Service Rep (CSR).
These changes have left businesses scrambling to adapt to the new reality. Now more than ever is the time for companies to move their customer service processes into the digital sphere.
The most logical place to begin this change is with your current customer service team. Restructuring your team, and changing their focus can do wonders for your customer service. Simple actions such as: setting up a functional mailbox for CSRs, assigning team members to focus specifically on email and online inquiries to decrease wait times, setting up internet alerts for posts related to your company and keeping up to date on popular review sites for responses are easy, logical and effective steps to make your customer service more digital. The more present your company is online, discussing your products and services, taking action on negative comments, sending thanks for positive reviews and promoting yourself, the better you will appear to prospective customers and the better you will be able to provide for your current customers. Nothing increases customer satisfaction and builds a customers’ trust more than transparency and nowadays, that transparency needs to be apparent online. You need to take the customer service to your customers in the same manner in which they chose to comment.
A secondary and more modern option to make your customer service more digital lies in the world of software. Web portals that provide customers with 24/7 access to answer their own questions can be an extremely powerful tool. Portals like these not only allow you to meet your customers’ need for instant access to information but also free up your CSRs time for more important tasks by decreasing time consuming questions like “when is my order shipping?” or “how many of Item ABC are you shipping to me?”. Customers are getting all the information they need without having to wait for you to respond. These portals allow your company to provide customer service in the manner that customers want and expect to be served.
Portals can go beyond simply providing your customers with information. They can actually help you manage your customer service requests. These portals act as a place where customers can load support tickets with required fields for the information you need to provide service. These support cues save time and frustration, on both the customer and employee side, by standardizing and automating requests. They also have fields for customers to determine where their request is in the support cue; transparency at its finest. These support portals will make managing support tickets easier, and in turn, make your employee’s jobs easier while also increasing your ability to service your customers.
Overall, the world is going digital and the only way to survive is to join into the digital revolution in all sections of your business. It is easy to focus on digitizing your sales and marketing departments, but it is just as important to digitize your customer service team. Take a long hard look at what your customers need from you to be happy and adjust accordingly. Don’t be surprised when they are requesting a heightened online presence and more access to information online.