3 Customer Service Tools That Help Small Businesses

GuidesFor Team

Trends in consumption in the 1950s aren’t the same with the trends we have today. People’s tastes have been altered. Expectations for customer experience have grown. Techniques used to interact with the customers have multiplied. But despite all the dramatic changes, one idea continues to prevail: businesses succeed when there is an excellent customer service.

NewVoiceMedia reported that “$62 billion is lost by U.S. businesses each year following bad customer experiences.” To thrive in the industry, start-up companies and small businesses should really put a premium on their approach in customer service. The same study reported that a positive customer experience yields loyalty and recommendation – the kind of result every business would certainly love to obtain.

To deliver top-of-the-line customer service, you can start by integrating human power with technology. Shep Hyken shares  in his Forbes’ article that artificial intelligence is being recognized as a valuable tool in creating a better customer experience. An automated machine’s ability to interact like a human being is really a charmer, but Hyken also explains that “AI won’t necessarily take over the human function, although in some places it can and will, but it will assist customer support people, becoming an IA, or Intelligent Assistant.”

Now here are three tools that you can use to create magic in delivering an excellent customer service.

Chatbots

Excellent customer service can start with a suave communication channel. For this reason, chatbots’ popularity has risen. These chatbots can easily be set up with various social media platforms. Business2Community highlights that this technology can bring forth “faster external communication and better internal communication”. The speed and volume that can be handled by the bots gives way for human customer service agents to focus on more important tasks at hand.  

In a survey conducted on US consumers, 44% have claimed that they’d prefer chatbot interaction over humans. The automated experience that is given by chatbots has become highly preferable in the market especially when AI has also become so advanced that conversations with a bot can actually feel human-like. However, the study also notes that “automation service shouldn’t be offered in isolation”. The chatbot interaction must end with a human agent. After all, it is the personal touch that leaves the strongest impression.

Mobile apps

Salesforce lists mobile apps as a useful tool in making customers’ lives easier. A free mobile app for customers can “increase interaction” with the brand especially when 50 percent of mobile users prefer checking solutions from the service app first, before directly calling the support center. The mobile apps will let customers find their own solutions and get to know the product better. At the same time they increase business profit by reducing manpower required in handling voice calls, while maintaining an active interaction between customer and provider.   

Social Media

The popularity of social media is no longer surprising. According to TechCrunch, Facebook alone has 2 billion monthly users. It will be quite impossible to reach every social media user but the figure clearly tells us the there is a market in social media. Salesforce also reports that customers spend 20 to 40 percent for one brand if they have an active social media interaction with its representatives. Use the trends to your advantage.  

Small Business Trends says that rather than making social media simply as a ground for advertisements, businesses can use it to directly engage with their audience.  It reminds readers to “never forget that social media is not a place for conversions, but lead generation through connection.” Through daily and constant social media interaction, an ongoing conversation actually develops between the customer and the company. This conversation builds trust and engagement. The next time the brand launches a new product or service, the engaged customer does not have to be sold hard on it; all those short convos have affirmed to him that the brand has his best interests at heart–and because he understands that, he is more than willing to take a look at the new offering.

In this modern age, there are surely more ways that enrich customer experience. It’s now all about automation topped with extra human TLC. Since various studies also prove that customer experience trumps other marketing tactics, then maybe it’s about time to fully engage in digital modernity and make use of these customer service tools to win the hearts of a bigger audience.

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