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7 Effective Ways To Improve Your Online Customer Service

7-effective-ways-to-improve-your-online-customer-service

Excellent customer service is paramount for every customer-facing business.

Online customer service can be challenging because of the need for face-to-face interaction, but the fundamentals remain the same. You must keep your customers happy by delivering a consistently excellent service experience.

96% of customers report leaving a company for better customer service. Even if you have a great quality product, you won’t be able to capture the market share you deserve if your team doesn’t provide a service worthy of retaining your customers and developing a loyal customer base.

Doing business online involves interacting with customers across multiple touchpoints. This can complicate the customer support process but also has advantages, allowing you to seek customer feedback.

There are also many valuable tools at your disposal that you can use to build a strong customer service strategy.

Here are seven of the most effective tactics you can employ to improve your online customer support and keep customers coming back:

1. Take an Omnichannel Support Approach

An omnichannel support approach involves customer engagement across a vast range of touchpoints. Genuine omnichannel support is more than simply communicating with customers on every channel. You must provide consistent service across communication channels that allow one conversation to start where the other ends, no matter what channel a customer or agent is on.

Your organization should be able to meet customers on various channels to enable a seamless support experience.   An omnichannel support experience gives agents context about the customer’s previous interactions with your business across all touchpoints. If you can do this, it will ensure customers won’t have to repeat themselves, leading to potential dissatisfaction.

2. Focus on Your Team’s Customer Service Skills

Empower your support agents with the right skills to participate in the customer journey. You need to promote a customer-first culture and reflect this in your customer service team’s training – an effective strategy for reducing churn rate.

Poor customer service skills can be a hindrance to your business. Conversely, excellent customer support can be the competitive edge your business needs. When asked to describe the most essential attribute of exceptional customer support, 65% said it was being treated like a valued customer.

If you want to retain customers, these are the skills your customer support team needs:

  • Empathy – The ability to put themselves in customers' shoes and understand their concerns.
  • Knowledge – They need to be highly knowledgeable about your product.
  • Communication skills – Customer support personnel must be able to communicate clearly and put customers at ease.
  • Etiquette – Being polite and courteous can significantly affect how a customer complaint works out.·   Ability to listen – Active listening is a skill that helps you identify what the real issue is.

3. Ensure Customers Give Feedback

Asking for feedback and acting upon it must be crucial in your customer support standard operating procedures. Negative reviews should help you develop your customer support strategy, affording you an in-depth understanding of weaknesses and how to compensate for them. Feedback can also be used as social proof to boost your brand’s credibility.

Receiving feedback and making the right changes is a continuous process that benefits your business and customers. It shouldn’t be limited to improving your offering and customer journey.

Ask for feedback through short surveys and questions at different points in the customer journey. For example, you could email your customers to ask for input or use pop-up surveys on your website. Social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram also natively allow you to survey your subscribers and followers. Reward your agents when there’s positive feedback about them providing an exceptional support experience.

Source: pixabay.com

4. Enable Knowledge Sharing

Customers get in touch with support teams for many reasons, not just with problems and complaints. They could contact you if they want a product recommendation, a solution to a technical issue, or some direction on how to use your products. If you allow customers to exchange ideas with each other online, you can save your customer support team some valuable time.

Creating an online forum for customers to ask questions and receive answers helps you publicly document fixes for common problems. It also allows more experienced customers to share their knowledge and builds an online community of brand loyalists.

Knowledge sharing on a public platform among customers or even prospective customers is a creative and mutually beneficial solution.

5. Have an FAQ Page on Your Website

An FAQ page is critical to your brand’s website and self-service tools. Your customers will come here first when they have any concerns. If resolutions to their problems aren’t available on your FAQ pages, they can initiate contact via phone, email, SMS, or live chat. FAQ pages enable a form of customer self-service, empowering prospects to find solutions that have already been documented. Recent research shows that 88% of consumers expect brands to offer at least one self-service option, and FAQ pages are a great place to start.

Please make sure that your FAQs page answers fundamental and common questions, addressing delivery options and return terms and conditions. Organizing your FAQ page by categories is also wise so customers can quickly locate their relevant questions.

6. Use Chatbots

Chatbots are another self-service tool to help you scale your customer support efforts. Omnichannel chatbots have been developed to resolve issues, answer common questions, and help make purchase decisions on your website and social media pages. Chatbots can help you 24/7, compared to your human customer support team, which needs to turn in for the night eventually.

Chatbots are an integral part of the future of CX because they can provide support both in real-time and at scale. Chatbots can be a lifesaver when you want to simultaneously deliver assistance to many customers, and you don’t have the human resources to do so. They provide instant help, which offers the chance to increase conversion rates by engaging online visitors, elevating the customer experience, and reducing your website bounce rate.

Chatbots can quickly solve simple problems and help reduce support tickets and traffic on your phone lines. You should ensure production tests before you roll out your chatbots for your customers to optimize the user experience. AI uses historical data to train the chatbot to answer common questions, but it needs intensive testing before you use it to engage customers.

Source: pixabay.com

7. Invest in a CRM System

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems should be used alongside call center solutions to centralize customer interactions. From prospect to lead to customer and brand ambassador, your CRM will document the entire journey and help you nurture your customer relationships.

CRM software connects customer service with sales and marketing. It also helps maximize productivity by clicking with other essential tools you use to interact with customers, like cloud VoIP solutions, email, social media, and more.

Another significant advantage of CRM is that it gives the entire team visibility to see every customer's status. This makes it easier for anyone from the team to help the customer and allows the team to exchange information seamlessly.

Would you be ready to Delight Your Customers?

The seven techniques listed above can help you deliver prompt online customer support while reducing friction between the customer journey stages. Boost your customer satisfaction by providing consistently stellar online support and focusing on the human connection to strengthen your relationships with them. The customer might not always be correct, but it costs nothing to make them feel important.  Research indicates customer satisfaction leads to a better bottom line, so focus on your customers and improve your ROI.

Source: pixabay.com

Author:

John Allen – Director, SEO, 8×8

John Allen is the Director of SEO for 8×8, a leading communication company providing the best VoIP service for home, with its integrated contact center, voice, video, and chat functionality. John is a marketing professional with over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, and various services.

Special thanks to our friends at Kustomer for their insights on this topic.
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