How To Automate And Improve Your Customer Service

By May 26, 2015eCommerce
According to a study conducted by Creative Strategies, 93% of customers indicated that quality customer service is vital to maintaining brand loyalty.

The same study also tells us that companies that make customer service a high priority see twelve times the return on sales than those companies with a low emphasis on service.

Why am I telling you this? Because today, it’s all about providing top-notch customer service.

In this blog, I’ll let you know how you can automate your customer service after working hours, as well as  improve your current strategies so you can attend to your customer’s concerns and complaints quicker and more efficiently.

Without further ado…

Part 1 – Automate Your Customer Service With An Intensive FAQs resource

“So how does a business automate customer service after office hours? Wouldn’t it make things worse if irate customers only get automated responses every time they contact the business?”

These are just two of the questions I always get when I talk about adding automation strategies to customer service. To make it clear for everyone, I’m not and will never suggest that you only send automated responses to your customers. That’s nothing but a short route to getting irate and dissatisfied customers, and we don’t want that.

Here’s how you should automate your customer service after 5 PM:

Build an intensive FAQs resource. 

I understand the problem of most small business owners – providing 24/7 customer service means that you need to hire more people. More often than not, funds are limited and and the more practical decision is to only limit your service to working hours.

But funds should never disrupt your service. The workaround is to create an intensive FAQs resource. Build this resource from the questions you get from your customers. With a great search function, you can provide the service your customer needs automatically, without the need to shell out more funds.

Pro tip: Make your FAQs resource as intensive as it can be – add step by step guides, screenshots, and videos if possible. Also, constantly update it make sure you cater to new concerns.

Part 2 – How To Provide Quicker And More Efficient Customer Service

What worse than having no customer service at all? Having a lousy one! You’re spending valuable funds that does not pacify your angry customers nor solve their problems. We don’t want to spend on things that causes us to lose customers, don’t we?

To avoid that scenario, let’s be one step ahead. Here are some of my tips to provide quicker and more efficient customer service.

Don’t let your customers go through heaps of directory options when they call. 

One of the things I hate about calling for customer service is having to go through a lot of useless options before being transferred to a representative.

I’ll make this short and straight to the point:

Your customers call your number because they’re expecting to speak to another human being – not get a pre-recorded explanation on how to solve the problem. Chances are, if they’re calling you, they’ve already tried all your solutions online to no avail. So, skip the long directory options and make it easy for them to connect to your representative.

Offer callback. 

“Queues are normal, especially when you have limited customer service representatives. And as much as we want to cater to our customers immediately, we can’t do anything else but let them wait for their turn.”

Right & wrong! Right, queues are normal… but you CAN do something about it. One of the ways to improve the quality of your customer service is to offer callbacks to those who have been waiting for their turn for quite sometime. Add it on your system where they can type in their phone number and get a call back.

Have a live chat tool on your website. 

Calls may be the fastest way to provide service, but it’s not the best choice when you have to send links and files, which is why some customers prefer to use live chat.

Unlike emails, you can converse with your customers faster through a live chat tool. Your customers will also feel at ease knowing that they will get a response in a few seconds, instead of waiting within 24 hours.

Currently, we’re subscribed to ClickDesk. For as low as $16.99 USD, you can add the tool to your website, so you can easily handle live chat requests. It also serves a double purpose – because whenever you’re not around, users can easily leave their concerns through the chat tool.

Keep contact forms short. 

Talking about leaving messages, I understand how important contact forms are too. They’re usually what users check after office hours. My tip when creating contact forms is to keep the required fields to a minimum.

The ideal process should be the following:

– Name
– Account Identifier
– Verification Question
– Concern

When your email representatives get back to work, they can simply prepare an answer for the concern, and send it to the customer after the verification details are checked.

Customer service makes or breaks a business. No matter how amazing your products are, a bad pre or after sales experience can cost you leads and customers. This is why it is most important for small businesses to always find ways to improve the service. I hope the tips above will help you, or save you from losing another valuable customer.

What do you think? Share your comments below.

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