Going into 2020, customer service is a top-of-mind focus to virtually every organization today. According to a 2019 HubSpot Report customers’ voices are more powerful than ever before. With more resources and outlets available, customers are increasingly inclined to share their opinions. HubSpot found that 87% of people trust reviews and recommendations and factored them in their spending decisions.
What your customers have to say about your company is impactful to your success and what your customers have to say largely depends on how they perceive their customer service experience.
To be more competitive and enhance customer service experiences, companies must strive to make their customers feel as comfortable and content as possible which means looking online. Research shows that 57% of customers would prefer to contact companies using digital media rather than through a phone call or an in-person interaction.
Here’s how to take your customer service online.
FAQs are a detailed list that give customers clear answers to commonly asked questions about your organization. An FAQ page should be positioned clearly on your company’s website so it’s both easy to find and easy to navigate. FAQs are low maintenance and accessible making them ideal for you and your customers. Approximately 70% of customers prefer to get answers directly from a website because it can be done quickly and independently. Because FAQs serve as preliminary customer service encounter, they can eliminate many minor or repeat concerns by up to 60% before they reach live representatives.
Self-service is when a customer can complete a task or action without assistance from a company employee. According to Pew, 67% of customers would prefer automated self-service rather than having to reach out to a customer service representative. Web portals are an ideal form of self-service because they are flexible and personalized with information specific to the user. The basis of what customers seek from their portal is a comprehensive knowledge base, task management tools, and the ability to communicate with employees from within the portal. Portals give customers transparency, flexibility, and control, increasing the likelihood that customers get the experience they desire.
Omnichannel comes down to seamless communication. The key is to meet customers on the platforms they prefer which are platforms accessible on a mobile phone such as social media private messaging and emails. As 98% of Americans switch between devices in one day, an omnichannel approach reduces the time customers spend having to repeat their concerns to different representatives – a process that 89% of customers find to be frustrating.
It’s important not to have more channels than you can sustain because the quality of service is more valuable than quantity. Companies have to strike a balance between giving customers the opportunity to be heard and giving themselves the opportunity to respond. Customers would prefer for their inquiries to take more time and be solved than have them returned quickly and insufficiently.
Two-thirds of marketers compete on the basis of customers service because research confirms that giving your customers a strong online experience enhances your reputation and increases customer retention.