Solution Guru@ Simplify360 - 7 mins read
Customer service is the cornerstone of a successful business. No matter your business’s size, good customer service is one of the differentiating factors between success and failure. So, we have put together a list of Customer Service Tips for 2021 that can help you deliver outstanding customer service for your business.
According to a study by Alliance Virtual Offices, 79% of consumers say customer service is a deciding factor when planning where to shop.
It is very easy to get lost and muddled in the multitude of options and strategies available for customer service. But at Simplify360, we like to keep it as hassle-free and simple as possible by focusing on the aspects of customer service that truly make a difference.
What did we learn from 2020?
Last year was challenging for everyone, but it pushed us out of the comfort zone and forced us to adapt to unforeseen events. Although the means we used to adapt were rushed, they were also transformations that were bound to happen. There was already a transition into using Social Media as a customer service platform in 2019, but 2020 sealed the deal.
Now social media customer service is one of the biggest trends, the majority of businesses have already integrated Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as part of their customer service strategy. Some even make them the primary or only channels for customer service.
Customer Care in 2020 has been an evolving landscape, with the rising numbers of Chatbots, Help centres & Digital Deflection have been disrupting the Customer Care ecosystem for good.
10 Tips to improve your Customer Service in 2021
1. Connect all your channels under one umbrella
An Omni-channel approach to customer service has proven to be the most time-efficient and cost-effective, not to mention it can increase your agents’ productivity, simplify the whole process and give you a better understanding of the bigger picture with all the data at one place.
An omnichannel platform makes it considerably easier for businesses to handle multiple accounts on various platforms, you’ll never miss a single message, tag or comment from a customer. It also helps that you can carry contextual conversations without making the custom repeat herself!
Give your agents and support team the tools they need to help your business succeed. Companies that offer omnichannel support resolve tickets three times faster, ensuring that their waiting time for customers is 75% lesser than before.
2. Customer-Centric approach
A customer-centric approach is what will help businesses acquire and retain customers. Any company that neglects customer service is bound to fail. Without knowing and understanding who their customers are, it is likely that the products may miss the mark and lose customers’ support.
A customer-centric brand would be quite the opposite. Every team and agent should have the same goals and understand the value of customer-centricity. A company that prioritises customers will build products that meet customer needs, anticipate customers’ wants, and provide a level of service that creates loyalty and brand advocacy.
3. Help your customers and your agent with Chatbots
Chatbots have revolutionized the Customer service industry, they help businesses respond to customers after hours so as not to keep them waiting, 24/7 support is now the norm. They help businesses reduce their first response time significantly, and last but not least, they help your agents prioritize cases and focus on complex issues rather than the trivial issues.
Some of the common queries businesses receive are how to change passwords, payment information, how to cancel or change subscriptions. All of these can be resolved by AI-powered chatbots that can direct customers to FAQ’s that provide step-by-step instructions.
According to a Salesforce report 68% of service professionals at organizations using AI chatbots say their teams have seen reduced call and email volume.
4. Be on the channels your customers want to use
Customers expect brands to meet them on the channel of their choice, they expect to have an effortless, hassle-free experience. Channel preferences vary based on demographics, location, and what platform your customer is on, like your website, app or social media. But it is safe to say that most customers use Social Media and instant messengers rather than traditional channels like email and SMS.
5. Proactive customer service
Proactive customer service is when a company takes steps to resolve issues even before they occur. Proactive customer service improves retention rates, which then helps increase customer loyalty. It also helps boost brand reputation. Loyal customers are five times more likely to make a repeat purchase and four times more likely to refer other people to the brand. Taking the initiative to help your customers proactively can help you develop a better brand image.
Apart from these, it also reduces the average handling time of issues significantly for your team or agents.
6. Provide Self-Service
Like proactive customer service, enabling customers to self-serve ensures agents are working on larger issues rather than trivial doubts or queries. Self-service is becoming a customer’s preferred method for customer service. Self-service options provide customers with quick solutions that they can find and use at their convenience, instead of waiting for the agent to get back and explaining their issue.
67% of customers prefer to use self-service options instead of speaking with a company representative.
7. Take the Data-driven approach
By collecting and analysing consumer data, you don’t have to assume what your customers want. You can anticipate your customer’s needs based on their past interactions to create unforgettable customer experiences.
The deeper you dig into the data and metrics you’ve collected, the better you’ll understand your customers, how effective your customer service strategy is, and more.
Read more: 10 Actionable Customer Service Metrics in 2021
8. Ask customers to leave feedback and implement them
Customer feedback is another form of data collected to evolve products, services, and business processes. One of the simplest and important tips that a business can implement is conducting customer satisfaction surveys. It is a simple one-question survey that conveys whether your customer service efforts are effective or not.
Asking customers for feedback shows them that you care about their experience and opinion. Ask for customer feedback all through the customer journey. According to a study by Microsoft, 90% of customers have a more favorable view of brands that give them the opportunity to provide feedback.
9. Provide a personalised experience
Give your agents the tools they need to be successful, with an omnichannel platform like Simplify360, your agent can access all past interactions with a customer across all channels for context. If a customer reaches out to you via Twitter DM and then later on WhatsApp, your agent should have the appropriate context and case history right at their fingertips to make the interaction seamless
If a customer has to repeat their concern repeatedly, they will not have a positive memory of the experience. Furthermore, it takes up a significant amount of your agent’s time, but with the right customer service platform that enables contextual resolution, both the agent and customer will benefit.
10. Embrace Conversational AI
Conversational AI is the technology that enables AI tech like chatbots to interact with people in a more humanised manner. It links the difference between human and computer language, and makes the interaction natural. Using NLP conversational AI’s can understand the intent behind a message, reducing the space for any errors.
Conversational AI will free you agents from dealing with trivial tasks and cases, allowing them to focus their efforts on more complex issues. They also significantly reduce FRT (first response time), making sure customers do not have to wait for hours or days for a response or resolution.
Good customer service guarantees customer retention, which is always cheaper than customer acquisition. It represents your brand image and values, if a brand provides poor customer support, it is unlikely that a customer will return. Investing in good customer service improves customer experience, which leads to higher long-term benefits.
Following these Customer Service best practices will help you navigate with ease through 2021.
Simplify360 is an Omnichannel platform that allows businesses to manage and respond to all their Social Media, Messaging Channels, Review sites, and more. With our AI insights, monitor and manage your brand performance. We also provide automated response management for reviews that integrate our AI assistant, ReviewAssistTM.