Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
In today’s tech-age, the concept of automated service has added the much needed speed and value to customer service. However, despite the technical advancements in customer service, customers would still vouch for a personal touch that a service representative or agent provides. Just this morning I was reading Ben Motteram’s narration of his horrible experience with Ticketek, trying to book an online ticket to his favourite AFL game. Indeed, online ticket booking is great: it is an easy and comfortable choice for customers. But it is frustrating if they can’t get in touch with someone on phone when things go wrong. Technology can only enable better service delivery, but the service ultimately has to be handled by someone personally. Ben’s article clearly highlights what online stores should do to avoid such terrible customer experiences, I am going to touch upon what they should do when things go wrong inadvertently.
Let’s look at a few ways to personalise your service levels and ensure that this converts to much needed customer retention and loyalty.
Make communication channels easily accessible and diverse
Too many online stores make it super difficult for their customers to reach someone when they are faced with a problem or need an answer to their query. Don’t wait for your customers to resort to social media bashing before they could get some help. Make it easy for them to find your customer service number, and use on-site chat to make it even easier for them to quickly get answers to their queries. Customers love to talk to someone with a name and not a machine. Therefore, although an IVR system could improve a customer’s waiting experience, it is totally worth investing in a customer service team who finally answer inbound calls. Social media, and specially Twitter, as a customer service channel is becoming increasingly popular. It is something no organisation can afford to ignore. There are countless solutions that enable your customer service team to quickly engage with customers raising concern on social media too. Again, keeping a human touch on social media is even more important.
This would make the customer feel comfortable and have a more human conversation.
Learn from your past customer interactions and use it in future
Your service representatives are the best bet when it comes to creating customer groups. They can share their experiences on how a customer responds to a certain product or service and what sort of answers are given to questions posed by them. They can also describe the sort of personalities that they deal with. This information should be well documented in your CRM that can be later used for handling customers with similar profiles. CRM is a gold mine of customer information for any organisation, use it for customer profiling and delivering personalised customer experience.
Empower your employees to create customer service wonders
Providing certain rights to employees for random acts of kindness can go a long way in enhancing service levels from good to great and even delightfully amazing! For example, you can provide them with blank apology cards or a stack of flowers where they immediately write down the customer’s name on them in case of an unhappy moment and send this apology note along with a goodie to show that you care. This act of kindness can pep up potentially upset customers and curb any future complaint.
Solicit feedback and suggestions
Customer feedback is a the most powerful way to learn from your customers and improve their experience. Every customer has an idea or two to share with your brand. They could either be too shy or just don’t bother; either way, do make it a point to ask them how they felt about the product or service. This would make them feel valued and respected, and who knows, the next big change for your company could be a creative suggestion from one of your customers.
Technology is undoubtedly improving process efficiency but there is nothing that can replace the personal touch of a human being, yet. Every business today relies heavily on technology to deliver prompt customer service, but it is even more important for tech-driven companies like Ticketek to back their technology with people who can answer calls when tech fails. A customer will certainly enjoy the efficiency of your online store, but will only be delighted when there is a person taking responsibility and promising a resolution when things don’t go as planned.