4 Reasons Why You Must Use Technological Tools to Provide Customer Service
A company’s customer service department is one of its most essential divisions; after all, the customer service department is the place that helps maintain customer relationships, and without vital customer loyalty a business is sure to flounder. Fortunately, technology is starting to play a larger role in customer service as more and more businesses incorporate automation and other tech aspects into the way they respond to customer needs.
Those businesses that understand the importance of technology recognize that about 78% of customers will bail on a transaction because of a poor service experience, and they’ve vowed to not let that happen to them. If you don’t want to lose your customers either, read on to learn how companies are using technology to stay on top of customer service, and why this strategy improves the customer experience as a whole.
1. Improve Communication With Technology
One of the best ways companies can use technology to enhance the customer experience: Use it to improve communication with customers. Gone are the days when customers could only reach a customer support center by phone between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Nowadays, a customer should be able to get in touch with a business 24/7 and through a variety of channels such as text message, email, social media platforms, and live chat via the company’s website. This is not to say that businesses should abandon their call centers—there are still a large number of people who want to speak to a customer support representative on the phone. This classic avenue shouldn’t be ignored, just supplemented with the other options listed above.
In general, the younger generation of consumers would much rather contact a business through Facebook, or have their questions answered via text, whereas the older population likes the familiarity of being able to speak to a real human on the telephone. The point is, if you want your customer service department to be successful, make sure you offer a variety of options for your customers to get in contact with company representatives in order to have their needs met quickly and efficiently. Regardless of your audience, having options is the only way to really test what works.
2. Use Technology (and social media) to Resolve and Respond to Customer Problems
As a customer service center or team, your job is all about solving the problems of the customer, and technology can help streamline this process. In particular, social media is a great way to enhance the customer service experience. Facebook isn’t just for getting likes, and Twitter shouldn’t only be used to rack up followers. Most businesses have social media sites, and their users know that and are taking advantage of it to seek solutions to their problems.
If someone has a question about a product or isn’t happy about an interaction, they’re just as likely (if not more likely) to post an inquiry on the company’s Facebook page or tweet them about it as they are to picking up the phone and call the company directly. Thus, companies that recognize this and devote part of their customer service team to responding to these social media inquiries fare much better than those who ignore them.
3. Develop an App to Make Tasks Easier than Your Competition
The phrase “there’s an app for that” didn’t come from nothing; there literally is an app available for pretty much anything you need, from handling your finances to getting a ride to ordering a pizza. Many businesses have figured out what tasks and information their customers need, and they’ve incorporated that into an easy-to-use application that their consumers appreciate. Most airlines have apps that allow their patrons to check in to their flights, check flight times and routes, access wifi, and more. Retail stores show their product selection in their apps, allow consumers to store and access loyalty points, and provide coupons, all in an easily accessible application that anyone can download on their phone.
Simplifying important tasks for consumers is one part of providing excellent customer service, but you could even take that one step further. Consider devoting a section of the app to customer requests and complaints; just make sure you address those issues in a timely manner. Customers will appreciate how easy it is to just open the app and make an inquiry from their smartphone or tablet, and if your competition has an app, this use of technology is vital.
4. Use Technology to Keep Customers Informed
Part of providing good customer service is always keeping your customers informed of what’s going on with your business. Technology is a great and fast way to be able to do this. If your phone lines or website are down, consider tweeting an alert to your followers via Twitter. If you’re coming out with a new product or changing a current line, it’s not a bad idea to post a photo on Instagram alerting people of the change. And there’s always email; as long as you don’t abuse email marketing, most likely your consumers will appreciate an email update here and there. Don’t be afraid to use any and all channels to keep your customers informed of both problems and new information; they’ll definitely appreciate your transparency and willingness to get them the information they need in a quick and easy manner.
It’s safe to say that incorporating technology into your customer service department is a win-win for both businesses and consumers.