How Customer Service Solutions Enhance Customer Experience

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SECTION:  TABLE OF CONTENTS

(PAGE NUMBER)       (COVER)                    How Customer Service Solutions Enhance

Customer Experience

(PAGE NUMBER)       (SECTION)                 What Today’s Customers Seek from the User

Experience that Brands Offer Them

(PAGE NUMBER)       (SECTION)                 How Automated Customer Service Enhances

Customer Experience

(PAGE NUMBER)       (SECTION)                 Summary

SECTION 1 –  COVER: How Customer Service Solutions Enhance Customer  Experience

SECTION 2:    What Today’s Customers Seek from the User Experience that Brands Offer

QUOTE:

“In the future, we see customer experience as the epicenter of brands’ success or failure. The road to excellent customer service isn’t an easy one, especially for legacy brands that were not built to be online-first. Digital customer experiences are becoming even more complex and difficult to track, as humans and devices are interacting with the Internet of Things and wearables.”

——PYMNTS.COM

Customer service experience can make or break the success of your marketing campaign – and spread good word or bad about your brand. Even during the pre-internet days, companies invested in public relations messaging  in order to quell voices unhappy about their customer service. The reasoning is sound: a happy customer who has a pleasant and productive interaction with your customer service representative will tell others about it. So will a disgruntled one who was dissatisfied  or frustrated with the way that your representative handled their problem.

But here’s the disadvantage of word-of-mouth feedback to businesses everywhere: the unhappy customers will tend to talk more about their bad experience than the happy ones. Many satisfied customers will not go out of their way just to praise a competent service that they feel that they had paid for. But in contrast, unhappy customers will want to air their grievances and warn their friends in order to prevent them from going through what they went through. And the more they feel their issues were not addressed, the more they will find other avenues to take them.

Think of it as dominoes falling, one negative buzz after another haunting your brand, spreading negative information and feedback about it.

This kind of shared feedback about the quality of the customer service experience has intensified in these days of real-time uploads and social media. Back then, disgruntled customers would have to wait a week before any of their letters could be published in a newspaper or trade journal. The same holds true for watercooler gossip to leak out to business lunches and tennis games.

But today, all it takes is one complaint – said powerfully, eloquently, and with all the necessary photos – to be posted on a social media network or a blogger’s forum in order for it to go viral. Friends of the aggrieved party will share the post to keep their friends and acquaintances away from the brand – and their friends will do the same. Media outfits and review websites might pick up the complaint and repost and share it.

Once it goes viral, the damage has been done. Rightly or wrongly, the company or the brand would have fallen from grace in the eyes of millions of internet users who want to get quality service for their hard-earned money.

The statistics speak for themselves:

  • 89 percent of customers will disengage from a brand or company if they experience one bad incident. (Source: RightNow Customer Service Experience Report)
  • Customers who had a bad customer service experience are twice as likely to talk about it than others who had more pleasant experiences. (Source: 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer)
  • A customer who felt he was short-changed by poor service or a product of dubious quality will buy from a competitor next time – and the chances of him doing this can go to up as high as 400 percent. (Source: Bain and Co.)
  • A customer who felt he had not been given his money’s worth by your company’s poor customer service *might* return to buy from you again only if he experiences 12 positive experiences first. (Source: Parature.)

What makes the landscape more challenging is that it is no longer enough to deliver on your commitments at the time that you promised it and according to the way that you described it. The digital explosion has allowed customers to become more vocal and outspoken about their preferences.They want a response time that is faster and more efficient than what their older siblings of a generation ago had been used to. They want customer service available at all hours of the day and night. And in an era where information can be downloaded at the click of a mouse, they want detailed, relevant answers to their questions—and ones which will make their lives a bit easier.

The customer of today rises and sleeps with his smart device in his hand. He knows he has a lot of choices when it comes to his favorite items, dream trips, health products, and other goodies. He knows he can unleash a strong voice online that will be heard. He wants to buy from brands that he can trust and do business with companies that he knows will deliver.

These are the things that you should take note of if you want to deliver excellent customer service to your client—and keep him engaged for the long haul:

  • Your customer is hungry for answers and is always looking for data that can help him in whatever situation he is at the moment. He expects to find the answers he is looking for once he interacts with your representatives. He wants them to be forthcoming about their solutions and knowledgeable enough to explain matters to him. For example, he would no longer be content with instructions on how to activate his newly built, but non-functioning smartphone; instead, be prepared to answer his queries on what the various buttons on it can do for him, the apps he can download, and easier ways to do the next upgrade.

The information you provide him should be thorough and accurate. Chances are he will do a search query to confirm the precision of the data you gave him. And if some of them are false or misleading, he will contact you again. That’s a positive response. A negative one would be his posting your error on social media for everybod to read.

As Esteban Kolsky, CEO of thinkJar, points out, 64 percent of customers will not accept any info you give them blindly. Another 44 percent say that they had been given wrong data by customer service representatives at one point.

  • Your customer wants a more personalized experience. As Forbes describes it, the one-approach-fits-all-customers approach has long gone the way of the obsolete talk-and-text phone. Customers want to feel special. They don’t want to feel like they are just another statistic in your database. After having purchased several products from you, or using your service for years, they do expect you to have a clear idea of the kinds of items that they like, or the kind of approach that would make them feel welcome.
  • It’s not just a matter of sending them cards and cakes on their birthday, although that would help, too. They’d expect your customer service representative to recommend the next summer wardrobe that would make them look attractive, for example. They might ask you about the kind of smart device that would suit their high-powered, high-paced lifestyle. Aside from knowing the names of their kids, your customer service representative would score huge bonus points if he can suggest fun activities that they can do with that virtual assistant device your customer who is a parent just bought from your company.
  • Your customer expects that your brand will be visible, its information and contact representatives accessible in all the channels that he visits, says Live Chat. It’s not enough that you have a website and are active in social media. There are dozens of avenues that your customer visits frequently at any given time, and your brand presence and its message must be noticeable in them. All the social media sites, influencers, blogospheres, webinar-driven communities, traditional media channels, and offline events – you need to keep a checklist of how frequently your customers visit or take part in these spheres, and then come up with a campaign or a communication tool to make sure that you are always connected. Missing out on one channel can lose you several customers, if not a thriving community.

    SECTION: How Automated Customer Service Enhances Customer Experience

FOR ARTIST:  ILLUSTRATION

How much bad customer service costs corporate America: $62 billion a year

The effects of positive customer service experience on customers:

 

  • 70 percent would become more loyal
  • 65 percent would refer their friends to the company
  • 43 percent would return for future transactions
  • 40 percent would buy a product or do some kind of purchase

 

-Source: New Voice Media

Mention automated customer service solutions, and the first thing that a business owner thinks of are chatbots that are driven by artificial intelligence (AI). That may be true, but there is more to automated customer service than smart, machine-learning software interfaces that communicate with human beings with a certain level of projected, if manufactured, emotion.

Here are some of the tools and facilities that are part of automated customer service solutions:

  • The chatbot (as mentioned earlier)
  • Live chat interaction between a human customer service representative and the customer
  • Remote desktop (or mobile) viewer which allows the customer service representative to have a first-land look at the predicament of and technical problems encountered by the client
  • Notification of customer requests through ticketing and the swift sending of the solutions
  • Omni-channel facilities that allow messaging and response time to customers simultaneously through various channels such as social media, emails, and text messaging
  • Self-service tools that empower a customer to find his own solution fast in the company website. An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page  is an example.
  • Databases that record conversations with customers and analyze their history to determine behavior and preferences
  • All forms of communication that have been performed through various channels are organized and classified for easy accessibility

How do customer service solutions enhance the customer service experience? By providing more than sufficient response to their needs as reflected in the trends cited above.

  • Customer service software can give service 24/7 to your customers across multiple channels. Your brand can be present in all the channels that your clients visit. Chatbots can respond to questions and provide assistance almost all the time or during the evening hours when their human colleagues have retired for the day. Automated replies can immediately answer queries that are posted on site or social media. The customer is never left hanging, waiting for a reply or wondering if his request is being attended to.

There are also options where human customer service representatives immediately are notified of a request and they can call the customer by phone or respond to him through email or text. The automated customer service solution can forward the complaint or issue to the right person in charge; it spares him that frequent customer horror story that makes him wait for long minutes while his call is being bounced from one department to another.

Some of the more sophisticated customer service software have come up with standard answers to the frequent issues and can email or post back a reply pertaining to that situation as soon as the complaint or issue has been posted.

  • Customer service analytics can spot behavior and the usual concerns of customers. It can also give the customer service representative insights into the real issues that are bugging the customer. For example, it can show that misuse of the device is the frequent reason why all the products that this particular customer bought keep on crashing just within a few months. The customer service representative can then respond to this query and minimize future similar complaints by teaching the customer proper care of his equipment without blaming him or making him feel guilty. Some customer service solutions that are designed for marketing and sales can alert the personnel in this department as to the popularity of certain products, the effectiveness of certain campaigns, and the shopping preferences of customers.
  • The most effective customer service solutions continuously give information to their consumers. They don’t stop at FAQ pages or regularly emailed newsletters. Blogs and social media posts that address current issues are one way they present the brand as always relevant to customers. Again, documentation of past communications can help the organization anticipate future issues and come up with articles or blogs that can tackle them. Even the FAQs and other posted materials can be updated, with notifications that will remind the human writer or content manager to do so within a particular time frame. Keywords of the said issues can also be placed on automated news search, notifying the content managers of developments that are of interest to the customer as soon as they happen or break into news.

SECTION – Summary

Relevant, useful, and upgraded information. The accessibility of customer service assistance at all times and across all platforms. A more personalized approach. These are the aspects of an enhanced customer service experience that the 21st-century consumer is looking for. Automated customer service solutions provide all these and thus assist the organizations in keeping customers loyal, engaged, and willing to recommend the brand to potential buyers.