Customer service has been at the heart of business for millennia. There’s no commerce without consumers. Your customer service department exists to nurture positive relationships with customers and build long-term loyalty. While customer service is such an ancient craft, advances in technology have expanded and improved the way such service is delivered.
In particular, technology has made targeted and personalized service easier to achieve. There’s been a consistent drive toward not just making employees more productive by incorporating technology but also automating business processes thus delivering a more seamless experience for clients. An example of automation ultimately making the life of customers easier is automated application monitoring via APM tools.
With this context, it’s now possible to make each customer feel that your business’s primary reason for existence is to satisfy their need. Here’s how.
1. Improved Communication
Gone are the days of the 9-to-5 organization when Businesses would dictate when customers could get in touch with them. Thanks to technology, companies can offer multiple channels of communication that are available 24 hours a day. SMS, live chat, email, social media, and web contact forms have effectively handed back control over the communication process to the customer.
Customers can send their message when they want and using the medium that’s most convenient for them. Of course, this doesn’t mean businesses should abandon more traditional methods of communication such as snail mail, phone calls, and physical meetings—there’ll be customers who’ll prefer these avenues. It’s all about catering to the personal preferences of each customer.
2. Capture, Track, and Resolve Issues
The job of a customer service representative is to resolve any difficulty the customer may experience. Technology helps streamline this process of capturing, tracking, and resolving customer problems. It can create a single source of truth, gauge the impact of feedback, speed up the review, and facilitate response.
Perhaps the best example of how modern technology can improve problem-solving is how social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are being used by businesses. Social media isn’t just a means for accumulating followers and likes. Rather, it can be a tool for obtaining direct customer feedback and communicating solutions.
The business social media accounts must be integrated with the contact center and CRM solution to create a permanent, auditable trail of interaction. Where need be, confidential information can be shared via inbox and direct message.
3. Develop a Mobile App
Smartphone sales have grown so rapidly in the last decade that the majority of Internet users today access the web through tablets and smartphones. With this shift in user behavior, businesses are increasingly looking at building mobile apps as opposed to just making their website responsive to both mobile and desktop users.
A key advantage of mobile apps is that they provide a depth of personalized customer interaction that is hard to achieve with a website. Since the smartphone users will carry the device with them wherever they go (unlike desktops and laptops that are far less portable) the business is always just a few touches and swipes away from the customer.
4. Proactively Keep Customers Informed
Customer service departments may primarily be charged with tackling customer problems. However, there’s a more positive role of customer service—proactive communication. This could cover everything from system maintenance to the upcoming release of a new product.
Keeping customers informed is not only about avoiding nasty surprises and taking advantage of cross-selling opportunities. It’s also about letting them know that you understand their needs and expectations and are keen on finding new ways you can meet them.
If your website goes down, for instance, you can use Twitter or Facebook to issue an alert, share updates on the resolution, and give customers alternatives they could use if they want to buy your product or otherwise get in touch with you.
Businesses often see integrating technology into their processes as beneficial to them. However, technology is a win-win for both you and your customers. Make the most of it to strengthen your customer relationships and have the edge over your competition.