Whether your business represents a multinational corporation, domestic franchise or small business, your website needs accessible contact points to deliver superior customer service. But how specific customers elect to reach your company — albeit via phone, email, live chat or social media — may be different than how others would prefer to resolve a service issue.
With that in mind, forward-thinking companies that want to attract and retain customers must offer customer service via a number of different platforms to meet customer demand. Of course, some would prefer to speak on the phone with a live agent, while others may have the time and luxury of raising questions or concerns via email or social media.
Looking for new ways to streamline customer support? Here are some examples on how to optimize your offerings.
Predictive Customer Service
When interacting with a customer service department, individuals expect ease of access, knowledgeable advice and quick response times. In other words, even if your company offers the best, top-of-the-line products and services, consumers won’t be rushing back if they can’t reach you in a timely manner or if your agents continue to miss the mark.
That’s why adopting a predictive customer service approach is paramount for companies to meet the needs of their customers. Now, many companies keep track of customer data beyond a specific customer’s name, phone number and address.
Case in point: Retailers keep files on customers’ purchase history, and service companies keep data on project efficiency and related hurdles. Thus, to experience success with predictive customer service, you’ll want to use this and other data to address concerns before they even occur.
More specifically, maintaining a successful predictive model approach to customer service can lead to the development of a more comprehensive FAQ section on your website or on social media, where many customers turn to find the answers they need.
Ultimately, having such a mechanism in place will lead to decreased customer service calls and allow consumers to uncover answers through a click of a button or via phone prompts that can better predict their intent.
It’s not hyperbole to say social media has changed the face of customer service; after all, many companies have a strong, active presence on Facebook and Twitter for this specific use.
Indeed, the simplicity for customers to contact a specific company or brand in real time creates yet another access point, allowing them to seamlessly communicate with a company representative on a platform where they likely spend a majority of their time.
However, like almost anything, social media can have some unintended consequences. Due to the public nature of social media, an individual or groups of people can ostensibly raise concerns to a major corporation — with millions of eyes seeing what they have to say.
That’s why always offering a positive customer experience is essential if your company takes this risk. With that in mind, it’s often best to employ a dependable customer relations management platform that can organize and streamline customer issues and completed requests.
While customer service via predictive analytics will meet the needs of many consumers, others may prefer customer service resolution over the phone to raise questions or concerns. To that end, interactive voice response technology helps companies resolve or even escalate customer service issues up the proverbial food chain via any number of automated prompts.
Additionally, IVR is built so that these systems can predict a caller’s intent and then provide the necessary options and steps to resolve a specific matter via voice and smart dial pad options. Through IVR, your customer service will preserve the context of each and every customer service interaction across multiple platforms.
Other cloud solutions that have a healthy following include customer service apps, which allow small and medium-sized businesses to keep current on the needs of their on-the-go customers.
Use All Options Available to You
When addressing customer support issues, your best bet is to use every option in your arsenal. Indeed, the combined benefits of predictive data analytics, CRM platforms and IVR technology can help streamline your customer service offerings and provide answers and context to common issues that customers would otherwise choose or need to raise for proper resolution.