The new year is a time for new possibilities: you can set goals as lofty as your heart desires. And when it comes to your customer service, you’re just as invested in doing things bigger and better this year. More problem solving? Heck yes. Omnichannel support? Competitors offering better, more efficient customer support?? Not a chance.
Here are five resolutions you can set for customer service in 2015, along with some helpful tips on implementing them.
The more customers you have, the harder it is to give them the attention they deserve. Questions go unanswered, customers start fuming, and then—bam!—you’ve lost them.
Don’t let that be you. Start by taking a look at each of the support channels you use. For example, if you’re using voice, you can offer self-service for easy tasks like checking an account balance or resetting a password. Let’s face it, they don’t always want to talk to you — they just want what they need. This way, customers don’t have to wait for an answer to a simple problem.
The same kind of idea applies to any channel. For example, have a response-strategy for when customers texts in – set up an automated response providing them with self-service options. When customers reply “reset password,” to an outbound text-notification send them down the correct self-service text path.
2. Stay in touch with surveys
A lot of companies don’t keep in touch with customers once their product has been purchased. This can be extremely dangerous.
It’s important to know what your customers are thinking—if they don’t like something about your product, it’s up to you to make a change and improve that experience.
Have the service team send out surveys every now and then to see how satisfied customers are with your product or service. You can use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as your baseline–it works on a scale from 0-10 to gauge how satisfied customers are with your product.
At OneReach, we personally recommend text-message surveys (we’ve had some stellar response rates – often exponentially higher than traditional automated survey methods), but you can use whatever channel you want. Check out this helpful calculator from Survey Monkey to find the sample size you need to conduct a survey.
3. Connect those channels
Customers don’t view service as a bunch of different channels: they see it as one giant channel for (hopefully) getting what they need from you . And since they see it as one giant channel, they expect it to know everything about them when they call, text, chat or email with you.
This is a pretty high expectation for customer service teams to meet. You have to get Point A to talk to Point B to talk to Point C, and none of that happens without a little technological wizardry.
Luckily, this is a challenge that’s made increasingly easier through today’s cloud based solutions and APIs (application programming interfaces). You can manage.
Customers don’t just want service on every channel–they want to be recognized on every channel. It’s all part of omnichannel communications, where customers can seamlessly move between channels without losing context.
Let’s say there’s a customer named Bob Smith from Cincinnati who’s due for a tune-up on his new car. If you’re a customer service agent, you should know when his tune-up is, what kind of car he drives, what he’s contacted service for in the past, what channels he’s used and which her prefers, etc.
That way, when you send out a reminder and Bob follows up, you’ll have everything you need to know about him right at your fingertips. A quick, personalized interaction may not be what your customer asked for but they’ll thank you for it.
5. Add text service
Last year, a Harris Poll study found that 64% of customers would prefer to text a company for service rather than call them. In addition, 81% of customers are frustrated by common service methods like phone or email.
We’ve discussed the benefits of text several times, but they still bear repeating: text is cheaper, it’s global and it’s what customers want to use. If those reasons alone don’t convince you, check out a demo and see what we’re talking about. It’s too easy and fast to set up for your company to not at least try and see what benefits it might bring to your operational efficiency and/or customer experience.
It’s a new year, time to do things bigger and better. Let’s make 2015 the best year on record!
To learn more about the kind of service your customers want, download the 2014 Harris Poll study here.
Photo from Extreme Tech.