When it comes to businesses thriving and surviving, customer service should be the number one priority. After all, without our customers, we are nothing. However, the customer service world is ever changing and what customers want along with it. It’s not so much that customers are becoming more demanding, but they do expect a certain level of service from every business they use. The better your customer service, the more likely they are to return.
So, what trends are worth investing in to make sure you gain repeat custom?
Currently, between 65% and 70% of the US population are using smartphones. That’s a huge percentage. But, it isn’t enough for your website to be mobile friendly anymore. Sure, it’s great if your customers can browse your products via their smartphones, but can they checkout successfully when they want to make a purchase? Many successful businesses have developed their own apps. It’s not just an easy access way for customers to shop on their phones; it’s also the best way to build a brand and cultivate loyalty. Additionally, customers need to feel like they can get answers to questions while using the app. If your customer has to exit your app to reach customer support, they’re unlikely to go back to purchase the product.
If customers are able to buy products with the click of a button via their smartphones, why shouldn’t they be able to access customer support in the same way. Businesses need to make themselves available to customers in all ways. So, if one customer prefers to text and another email, that shouldn’t be a problem. They should also be able to contact customer support via live chat, phone call, skype or any other means of communication.
Remember when the world thought that social media would just be a fad? Well, how wrong we were! It’s never been stronger and never been more important to business and customer relations. Social media platforms give businesses a chance to widen their audience, which often means that customer support via these channels is a big job. Businesses need to personalize their replies to each customer, addressing issues and complaints, as well as thanking customers for good feedback. It’s also important to reduce reply times. If you leave it hours between messages, your customer may have lost interest.
Of course, it isn’t just ecommerce businesses that thrive online. Businesses like insurers, solicitors, banks and many more are finding that customers want to be able to do more online. In the past, identification has been a barrier because these businesses have had no way of being able to identify the person using online services. However, with the introduction of an identity verification service, that’s no longer a problem. Businesses can now use a service that allows facial recognition to formally identify the person they’re working with. It can also verify IDs and documents, such as utility bills. It saves both the business and the customer time and money, meaning it’s much more convenient for both sides and customers walk away happy, quickly.
No-one really wants to have to contact customer services when there’s a problem. In fact, the majority of people who do encounter a problem with a product or service will usually look for the answer themselves before resorting to contacting a customer relations team. So, why not solve the problem for them? Businesses are starting to create automated responses to problems that send a how to guide to customers having difficulties. In addition to this, customers should be able to search a business websites blog to find more information on specific products and services.
Proactive Customer Service
The hardest customers to please are the ones who don’t know that customer service troubleshooting is an option. Instead of trying to resolve a situation, they’re left dissatisfied and angry. The way to tackle this problem is to be proactive – find solutions to problems before they even arise. Customers will be pleasantly surprised if they get answers before asking the questions. It’s worth reaching out to customers to find out information about their experience. Not only will you be able to resolve any issues but you’ll also gain feedback from the customers who are unlikely to contact you for any reason. It’s one of the best ways of predicting how other customers may react to services or what issues are likely to arise and how to resolve them quickly.
If businesses can work on perfecting these five trends, the future of customer service looks bright.