03 May 2013
5 Tips to Improve Customer Service using Online Chat Software
Providing quality customer service is more important than ever before. With increased competition online and on the high street, being able to provide a fantastic level of service can be the unique selling point that sets you apart.
Of course, there’s also the added benefit of keeping existing customers happy and returning. Not all situations require the same type of customer service. For instance, when buying a DVD online you would expect a different experience in comparison to signing up for B2B service. Every business has their own policy on customer service which should always be adhered to, but we trust these tips can used to continually evaluate and improve existing procedures.
Be an Expert
Knowing your products and your competitor’s inside out is a must for providing great customer service. It may sound simple, but don’t underestimate the value of being an expert in your field. Great knowledge allows staff to quickly offer accurate advice unique to each individual customer’s needs. From a customer perspective, speaking with an advisor who can answer all of your questions and offer clear advice gives a fantastic impression. Can’t provide an answer straight away? Don’t worry, take their details and go find that information for your customer. The quality of the answers you give is so important. Providing incorrect information can be damaging, and customers are usually happy to wait a short while for things to be double checked or confirmed.
Know your Customers and their Expectations
As we’ve already mentioned, knowing your customers and their expectations is key. Two ways this can be achieved is to put yourself into your customer’s shoes, and to analyse your customer data.
Externally examining all of your potential customer touch points, provides an insight into your customer service and allows you to pinpoint areas for improvement. For instance, when contacting your business by phone, is it easy to speak with an advisor? Or are there complicated phone systems to navigate first?
Looking at data gathered through your CRM system, provides information on how customers are establishing contact with your business and allows you to look for patterns. Why are more purchases occurring after a phone call in comparison to an email enquiry? Does your email response time need improvement? Should you be adding online chat software to improve response times and first contact resolution?
Create Multiple Contact Points
Not every customer will require the same type or indeed level of service and offering multi channel engagement is a great way to cater for this. A selection of customers may prefer to find the answers themselves through FAQ pages or a less invasive method such as online chat software. However, other customers may prefer a phone conversation so your agents can walk them through steps slowly.
Ultimately, it’s about finding the contact methods that are relevant to your business and your customers. You can then analyse the enquiries that come through these channels to perfect your service.
Throw away the script!
Why not try personalising your customer service interactions? Talking to a customer service agent reading from a script and not deviating from it can be hugely frustrating. You can still ask questions and use flow charts to accurately identify and resolve customer queries. However, by personalising responses by email, online chat or over the phone, reassures customers someone is directly answering their query.
Be Open and Inviting
Being open and inviting to your customers is a basic but very effective tip. This applies through all forms of interaction from email to in-person. Don’t forget first impressions are key, especially in competitive markets when customers have a choice of vendors and businesses to use. Smiling and offering a friendly welcome sets a positive tone for the conversation. When combined with the earlier points, it produces a winning formula that will leave your customers with a great lasting impression.