Irrespective of which industry you are in or what products you sell, you should aim to deliver the best possible customer experience at all the time. After all, happy customers are the pillar of success for any business.
Even a survey of 700 senior business leaders in U.S. and U.K. companies with more than $1 billion in revenues identified customer experience as the top strategic priority for driving growth in 2020.
However, in many organizations, support teams struggle to keep up with increased customer demands and offer the best possible experience within a limited budget.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve and streamline customer service, which we will discuss in this article.
7 Ways to streamline your customer support strategy
1- Know your customers
When you have a thorough understanding of your customers’ needs, you will be better able to create a memorable, authentic experience. For this, you need to know everything about each of your customers, including their wants, preferences, and priorities.
Here are some ways to get to know your customers better:
- Ask them: Probably the best way to know your customers is by directly asking them. Send your customers an email or call them (if feasible) to know their likes, dislikes, and preferences related to your product.
- Look at their past interactions: Look at all the products a customer has bought from you in the past. Also, check if they had issues with any product. This will help you understand their interests and if your products have problems (that can be solved from your end, so future customers don’t suffer).
- Get and analyze customer reviews: Every time a customer avails your services, encourage them to leave reviews. This enables you to know what a customer thinks about your products and services.
- Conduct a survey: Send survey forms regularly to get honest feedback from your customers and gain specific information about their wants.
Use all the data you gathered to create a customer profile that includes minute details of your customers. Your support agents could then refer to the customer’s profile when talking to them. Additionally, ensure that you have an accurate, up-to-date database of customer records and interactions.
2- Leverage customer service automation
Automation enables you to perform repetitive customer service tasks with artificial intelligence, including responding to common issues, tagging tickets, and routing queries to the right support agents.
With customer service automation, you can minimize human-to-human touchpoints and improve your response time. Besides, automation enables you to manage incoming service requests outside business hours.
Here are some ways to leverage customer service automation:
- Set up preloaded email replies and canned responses.
- Install chatbots on your website.
- Set up social media bots to instantly respond to customer queries on social platforms.
- Integrate your knowledge base with a support chat interface.
- Build intelligent ticket routing based on the customer’s issue.
3- Respond as quickly as possible
88% of customers expect a response to their emails within 60 minutes. 30% of them want you to respond within 15 minutes or less. Resolving issues as quickly as possible is a sign of exceptional customer service.
That said, not every issue can be solved instantly. And customers understand that complex queries take time to resolve. However, they still expect you to respond to them and let them know that you are working towards solving their issue.
Respond to customers’ requests as soon as possible and update them on their issues but don’t hurry to close the ticket without resolving the problem completely.
4- Provide self-help options
67% of customers prefer self-help options over speaking to a company’s representatives. From a business perspective, self-service is a cost-effective and scalable way to make customers happy.
Here are some ways to provide self-help options:
- Implement IVR (Interactive Voice Response) to provide answers to common queries via call.
- Create a knowledge base where your customers can find solutions to their issues.
- Create how-to guides, common fixes, and workarounds for known problems to help customers use their products.
- Create a forum where customers can discuss their problems and help each other.
- Build a FAQ section to answer commonly asked questions
Social media is the preferred customer support channel for those under 25, with 32.3% saying it is their top choice. These numbers make it imperative for you to build a robust social presence and help customers directly from these platforms.
The first thing you should do is build a dedicated support page for your business on social media. This social media presence ensures all your customer queries are on one page and can be referred to anytime.
Also, create a dedicated social media support team to handle all the incoming queries. You can also use social media to connect with your customers who are talking about you, just like the below example.
The customer has not even tagged the brand (Taco Bell), but the company found the unlinked mention and responded to the tweet.
6- Use customer feedback to further improve your services
Lastly, pay attention to customer feedback to further enhance your services. This shows customers that you are listening to their problems and making efforts to solve them.
Additionally, analyze the most common complaints across channels to identify most of your customers’ issues. You can ask your agents to note down issues that they hear at least three times a day.
This will help you recognize areas of improvement in your products and services. Even minor enhancements in your products can lead to improved customer experience.
7. Using Speech analytics
Analytics can be a powerful tool to gauge customer sentiments and desires. With the use of specialized software for speech analytics you can gain various insights into consumers’ psyche and understand their aspirations better. Such software help analyze customers’ emotions and motivations through an analysis of their speech. This will help you customize your solutions to fit consumer demands, which will help improve your services, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
If sales teams can share such insights with their marketing wing, it can help improve client communication drastically, leading to more conversions and greater customer satisfaction.
Delivering exceptional customer service is no more optional. To do so, you need to know your customers and their needs. You should also implement automation and self-help options to improve response time. Lastly, use customer feedback to improve your products and services.
Did we miss any essential strategy to deliver exceptional customer service? What strategies do you follow to streamline customer service? Let us know in the comments.