Tech For Providing Stellar Customer Service
How to leverage technology to provide your customers with caviar care on a tuna budget
Increasingly, people are turning to web browsers and smartphone apps to help solve their problems or report concerns with businesses. Forrester Research found that in 2014, more customers used the web, rather than phone calls, to solve an issue with a company.
For businesses with limited resources, this shift can be very good news—if you have the right technology to help solve customers’ concerns. Leveraging the right apps can allow you to operate a top-tier customer service operation without a large staff and eye-popping costs. Here are three programs that can help you do just that.
One strategy for providing effective customer service is to facilitate self-service — finding ways to make it easy for clients to assess what issues they are having and potentially solve them on their own before an employee or business owner intervenes. That is the thinking behind the Desk.com app, which enables customers to solve their own problems or check on the status of their individual cases. Desk.com provides mobile support so that customers can check in on the status of their issue. The app can route customer inquiries to the right employees or departments in your business. It also includes built-in productivity tools to provide automation for more repetitive tasks, such as macros that issue pre-written responses to frequently asked questions and an automated CC and BCC to you or your manager’s attention when a customer communication relates to a specified issue or if a complaint comes from a VIP client. Desk.com works with third-party apps and can be connected to existing programs, such as the content management system for your website.
Good customer service is not just about resolving issues—it’s also about making happy customers happier. While frequent customer stamp cards and customer loyalty cards are effective, they take up valuable wallet space and are easily lost. Perka is a virtual loyalty card app that allows customers to keep their reward and loyalty cards on their smartphones. Not only does this make it easier for customers to access their loyalty program, it allows for far more sophisticated loyalty offerings, creating tiers of different buyers, offering a Welcome Bonus for customers who join the app, and other limited-edition special offers, discounts and live events. Perka can be connected to your business’s social media channels and allow for social engagement rewards. It also provides more detailed data about your customers’ buying trends than you could ever get from a card.
A customer service trend cited by Forrester is the rise of “proactive engagement.” That is, companies are expected not just to respond to customer issues but to anticipate them, using tools to reach consumers when they need to hear from the company, such as answering questions during the path to purchase. One of these tools is proactive chat, offered by apps such as BoldChat. This app allows businesses to set up cues on their company websites that invite visitors to chat, using a custom message (e.g. “Questions? I’m available to chat.”). The proactive chat is activated by rules the company can determine, such as the search terms used to arrive at the site, whether the user is visiting for the first time, and the number of pages the visitor has looked at while on the site.
These are just a few suggestions of how apps can help supercharge your customer service. For additional ideas, you can visit the Click Software blog for a list of more resources for customer service tools.
Topics: SMALL BUSINESS
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