Customer support is one of the most important parts of every business and without good customer service, customer acquisition and retention would be very difficult. Many businesses are not spending enough time and money in investing in their customer support departments, and this is a crucial mistake. An astonishing 78 percent of customers do not want to make a transaction if they experience poor customer support.
So, to keep your customer support accommodating and fresh, you need to stay up to date and offer services that will be convenient for your customers, services they will able to connect with, and you can do this by implementing new technologies. Even though high tech solutions can be an expensive investment, if you maintain them, keep them well protected and use them at full capacity, they will be an investment you will not regret.
Since there too many ways to contact your customers, there is no excuse for businesses who have poor communication. Perhaps the best thing about having that many forms of technology available is that you can connect with your customers by using their preferred method of communication. For instance, the older generation loves communicating via email and phone calls, whereas the younger generation prefers apps and SMS.
But, the majority of customers favor using live chat when it comes to communication with customer support. Based on a study from the year 2013, 73 percent of customers prefer live chat over email and phone support.
Live chat is a feature that builds trust and reputation and is an excellent tool for increasing the sales of your business as well. Live chat should be an integral part of your company’s website and the best part of this tool is that your customer support representatives can personalize the experience of your customers.
When your representatives use live chat, their response time should be under one minute and they should always be present when they are interacting with customers. Before the customer support act on the information they have received, they first need to clarify and verify it.
Over the years, studies about customer support have shown that the primary reason why customers get frustrated with the customer support representatives is because of their lack of understanding. Customers feel that representatives are apathetic and uncaring to their queries and issues. The representatives are just doing their jobs and follow the protocols that their company has set.
But, because of the power of technology, policies can now be rewritten and allow for greater empathy. More human interaction can be encouraged on the phone and as well as through SMS messaging, digital marketing, live chat, social media and more.
Businesses should forget about 9 to 5 customer support, and the ones who are still operating in this timeframe, are likely falling behind. Businesses now have the ability to be available anytime, whether it is a late night live chat or other social engagement, and businesses that want to stand out need to utilize these services.
Your business needs to be available anywhere and anytime by using all possible forms of communication and that includes email, multiple social networks, forms, live chat, 24-hour customer support and even SMS messaging. Providing your customers with multiple options to contact your business whenever they want and in whatever way they want will provide them with freedom, and this is something that every customer values.
Always include a FAQ section for your business, products and services. In some cases people want to get answers without contacting the customer support and this is a great way to satisfy their needs. Gather as many FAQs for your website as you can; you can start by asking your customer support about the common questions they receive about your products and services on a daily basis. Make sure to include a specific location for the FAQ like a knowledge base or an FAQ page, because a well-thought-out FAQ section will show that you care about your customers.
Making the Customers Self-Reliant
Many people do not prefer asking for help, so making your customers self-reliant through technology is an integral part of amazing customer support. Customers can now access information through multiple channels, but the customer service lines are always the shorter route. Businesses that have functional websites can provide a lot of knowledge for their customers, and that includes contact information, operating hours, live chat, store policies and business descriptions.
This way businesses can even act as an authority in their niche and give their brand more credibility. Through posts, podcasts, webinars, videos and other sources of content, businesses can help their customers help themselves.
Connect Through Social Media
Perhaps the greatest invention technology has brought to the business-customer relation is social media. Thanks to social media, businesses and customers can connect 24 hours, 7 days a week, without being overbearing. Through the sharing of blog posts, infographics, videos and more, businesses can connect with their customers in a way they prefer, and at the same time without being too pushy. This is what will bring the customers to you, and the best way to acquire and retain your customer base.
Companies are constantly looking for ways to evolve and grow the customer base, and that can be successfully done by improving their customer support. The success in customer support lies in not only having a good team or clear communication skills, it is also about having the right software that will support all of that. The technology that is available today has made it easier for customers to connect to businesses and this is why businesses need to provide consistencies across all of their support channels.
Stephen Wilson is a developer and a tech support executive with over 5 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. He is currently working with Live2Support.com – a live customer and sales chat solution powered by ProProfs.com. Stephen has created numerous applications and plugins for the organization and continues to do so.