Great customer service translates into customer loyalty. Is there anything better than loyal clients who become brand advocates? You probably know that word of mouth marketing has an enormous impact on business growth. The better you deal with your client's problems, the more likely they will talk about your awesome customer support! Read this article and learn how to improve your customer interactions in 6 simple steps!
1. Take care of the customers at every step of your sales funnel
2. Check what's missing
3. Design, don't let it be random
4. Don't guess, ask
5. Show, don't tell
6. Let them know, what's next
First, let's decipher CX - the letters stand for customer experience. It represents all of the interactions between you and your audience - prospective clients, those who have already bought your products or services, and those loyal who choose your brand from day one. By all interactions, we mean marketing activities, sales processes, and customer service. Dealing with customer frustration, as well.
As CX is an extensive term, in this article we will focus on tips that will help you improve your customer service so it becomes your competitive advantage. Go through these 6 steps and meet your client's expectations.
The sales funnel is your client's journey from being totally unaware of your brand to purchase and loyalty. Funnel stages depend on industries and services but in general, they always occur in the same order:
In each of these stages, your prospective client might need your support. Customer acquisition often depends on how fast you will engage the audience, and what's more engaging than personal care? Excellent customer support is all about being present. Of course, self service support is a solution, but there will always be people too busy to search through your robust knowledge base. Be there for them - offer video or chat support to answer their exact questions and make the best first impression you can! Think of customer satisfaction as a necessary part of the customer journey.
Now, as you are familiar with the sales funnel, gather your customer support team, sales, and marketing and run an audit of your customer journey. The best way to do so is to list all actions you undertake at each stage of the sales funnel, and list all the actions your prospective client has to do to finalize the purchase. (You can use online tools with ready-made sales funnel templates that will help you visualize the customer journey). Once everything is written down, you will immediately spot all places where some information or care may be missing. Define what the most problematic moments for your clients are.
If you can't see them right away, review the numbers! How many prospects are on the brand awareness stage (for example, how many people visit your site monthly)? How many of them convert? How many abandon the cart? The numbers will show you where the problem lies! Based on the audit results, you are ready to move to the next step.
Poor customer service results from ignoring the power of design. Customer support agents can't just answer the questions of frustrated clients or deal with their problems as they emerge. Well-designed customer support processes are ready to be optimized, adjusted to growing customers' expectations, and are part of business strategy. Delivering omnichannel and personalized experiences is possible with the right tools.
As you design how to deal with customers' problems, consider the devices they use. Make sure that you can keep in touch with them while they are using mobile phones or have a poor internet connection. Think about your support team too! Make it easy for them to tackle support requests while on the go. Good customer service is reliable. So before you start writing possible scenarios, choose the tool that won't let your clients and customer service agents down.
What should you consider while searching for the best customer service software? Check if it covers omnichannel communication, if it protects your and your customers' data, if it is easy to implement and easy to use. The best you can do is choose an all-in-one solution to keep your team on top of their productivity. Too many tools force customer service teams to switch between tabs instead of focusing on clients. Extra points if the application is a white-label solution, so you can promote your brand!
Once you find a tool that satisfies your needs, design how your customer service team will handle the cases. You can write simple scenarios: if A happens, then B happens - if the customer asks for help, they receive an immediate automatic response. Along with developing the customer support strategy, you can create a customer relationship management strategy (this one covers the loyalty stage of the sales funnel).
Customer behavior is a great indicator of whether the experiences are designed well. But sometimes observation is not enough. You may be surprised how often users or clients don't follow the predefined path and do things their own way totally ignoring the efforts of designers. From the observation alone, it may be difficult to answer the most important questions - WHY they do things the way they do.
Luckily, you can use customer surveys to ask about their purchase process, decisions, and behaviors. To maintain a superior customer experience, you should also gather feedback after support calls or other interactions with support agents. You may think that you deliver the best quality support, but the only way to confirm that is to measure customer satisfaction! If you use video or chat support, choose a solution that has a built-in feedback gathering feature. It guarantees that you will have access to all assessments in one place. Customer feedback is also a great way to collect new ideas for products and services. Happy customers are eager to share their thoughts as they feel connected with the brand.
Proactive support is more than just answering questions. Remember that your customer service representatives can ask clients too! Even the most frustrated customer can bring the information you need. If you treat customer issues seriously, you want to prevent them in the future. While designing a customer service strategy, don't forget to list all the questions that should be asked during the conversation with unhappy customers. These conversations are not the easiest, but they tend to be the most valuable as they highlight the problems you can nip in the bud.
Positive feedback can be used as a marketing tool as well! Ask customers if you can use their words as testimonials on your website. As 93% of customers read online reviews before they buy a product or a service. Using the information you gather seems to be a great idea in light of these findings.
Customer expectations grow faster than you think. 59% of surveyed clients stated that they will care more about customer experience while deciding which company to buy than before the pandemic. Support teams have to face this challenge, otherwise, the customer churn may increase.
Social media have influenced how we communicate in terms of accessibility, immediate responses, and tone of a conversation. Can't customers demand the same ease while communicating with brands? The main advantage of social media-based communication is switching immediately between chat and video and sharing files such as photos and documents.
To effectively solve customer problems invest in a live chat and video support solution that can be easily implemented on your website. A small widget doesn't distract customers’ focus but is always there if help is needed. Make sure that the chat widget you choose allows running video calls directly on your website without having to install any software!
Most companies providing software use video calls daily. Their tech support teams run so-called demo calls. During meetings, the screen is presented, and prospects can see how they will benefit from using a given feature. This support or sales method can be easily translated into other industries. Video assistance is excellent for remote damage assessment (insurance companies), learning, healthcare, or e-commerce. Imagine how much time you will save showing things instead of describing them. Also, video calls add a human touch to the support you offer. For non-native English speakers, seeing the interlocutor's face is an additional advantage as it allows them to quickly decode the message.
Suppose you run the best possible video meeting with your client. You end the conversation with a smile on your face, and... what's next? Waiting for your customer to take up action is not enough. Letting them alone without a word is even worse. After handling the complaint, discussing the discount, or presenting your product, always send a follow-up email. Remember that customers value their time - don't let it be a meaningless 'thank you' note! They also sought transparency - 65% of Gen Zers value knowing what's going on around them and being in control of the situation.
Don't leave room for assumptions. If you handle a complaint, send an email with the following steps you will take and the estimated time of closing the case. If you offer the discount - send the terms&conditions in your follow-up email. Customer experience based on transparency shows that you and your brand respect clients. Fine print notes won't bring any good in the long run, as younger generations are more aware of the unethical practices.
Customers expect you and your support team to focus on them, like during real-life conversations. People tend to seek human-to-human, personalized interactions even on the internet. As you create your customer service strategy, following the 6 steps listed above, will help you to keep a real person - your client - at the center of every interaction you design.