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Did you know that businesses lose $62 billion a year due to poor customer service? That’s reason enough to refine your customer service strategy and cater to your audience better.
Your customers are the bread and butter of your business. Without them, it’s impossible to generate sales and grow a brand that thrives. So, if your business fails to cater to customers, you’re missing out on fruitful conversions.
Why does customer service matter?
It seems like a no-brainer that your business needs customer service to thrive, but why does it matter so much? The answer goes beyond making customers happy, although this is a core reason to boost your support efforts.
A whopping 89 percent of customers say they’ve switched to a competitor after a poor experience with a brand. You could have the best products and services of their kind on the market, but if your customer service isn’t up to par, it means nothing. Your conversion rate will drop and your business will fail to grow.
Customer service is a way for businesses to humanize their image and show consumers they care. Nowadays, people care about the brands they invest in and spend money on. There are so many options to choose from, especially due to eCommerce, that consumers don’t have to shop from businesses that don’t make them a priority. That might be why 84 percent say being treated like a person, not a number, is a crucial factor to win their business.
Customer loyalty is crucial for businesses to succeed, build recognition, and grow. Without it, it’s challenging to retain customers who make repeat purchases and speak positively about your brand. If you want your business to thrive, then your customers must come first.
Let’s look at five ways you can improve your brand’s customer service and cater to your audience better.
1. Monitor analytics
It’s difficult to know where to start with revamping your customer service department if you don’t have information to use. Collecting data is vital for your business to improve its relationship with customers and make them happy. It’s impossible to solve the problem if you can’t diagnose it, so gathering data is essential.
You can measure user engagement and other metrics on your website, social media, and email. They differ for each platform, so it depends on which one you want to focus on.
Start by examining your website using Google Analytics. Pay attention to the following metrics:
- Bounce rate: The number of users who leave a single webpage without visiting another
- Abandoned cart rate: The number of users who abandon their carts
- Average session duration: How much time someone spends on a webpage
- New visitors
- Returning visitors
Tracking specific numbers helps you determine what aspects of your website provide stellar customer service and which aspects don’t. If a webpage has a higher bounce rate than the others, it’s a clear indicator that something isn’t translating with your visitors. You can then go in, make changes, and continue to monitor your data.
2. Collect user feedback
On top of website analytics, it’s crucial to gather feedback from your customers to pinpoint specific issues and provide solutions. No one can give you more honest, critical feedback. So, it’s crucial to take their opinions into account when refining your customer service strategy.
Customer surveys are a great way to ask specific questions about things you want to know more about. Create a customer survey form that asks open-ended questions so users can go into detail about their experiences with your brand. It’s important not to ask too many questions. No one wants to spend 20 minutes on a survey, especially when they don’t get anything in return.
You can put a feedback form on your website, email subscribers the survey, create a poll on social media, and much more.
Try a conversational survey to boost the UX and receive more results. Unlike static forms, conversational forms ask questions one by one so it feels more like a real conversation. This makes it easier and more enjoyable to participate and complete. Since 81 percent of users abandon a form after starting it, it’s crucial to do what you can to increase its completion rate.
3. Train your team
If you have an in-house team of employees who handle customer support, it’s imperative to provide excellent training. There’s a special way of handling customers that requires patience, technical knowledge, and soft skills. If you have people working in this department who lack these qualities, they likely aren’t fit for a customer service position.
Training, in a sense, should begin with your job posting. Laying out the requirements in simple terms and highlighting expectations makes it easier to weed out applicants who aren’t suitable.
During the onboarding process, it’s crucial that your team understands what they’re expected to do and how they’re meant to handle customers. They aren’t only looking for solutions to their problems; they’re also looking to do business with an organization that’s supportive, accessible, consistent, and empathetic. If you aren’t able to educate the team, make sure a qualified trainer does.
There are several ways to train your customer service team:
- Role-playing. It’s fun to act out different scenarios where one person plays the customer and another plays the representative. It’s also a great way to break new hires out of their shell and see how they handle problem-solving.
- Videos. Informative videos are useful tools your team can use to get a better idea of their role in the company.
- Question and answer. It’s helpful to ask the team what they would do in different scenarios to gauge how they handle conflict and deal with customer interactions.
- Real-life examples. Discussing real-life examples of experiences your customer service department has experienced prepares your team for what’s to come and shows them how to handle it professionally.
4. Use live chat
Even with a stellar in-house team, it’s still impossible to cater to customers 24/7. It’s also challenging to cater to international customers who reach out to your brand online and may not hear back for a while because of the time difference.
That’s why live chat is such a useful marketing tool. On average, 73 percent of customers are satisfied after using live chat to find solutions. It uses artificial intelligence to engage with visitors via a chat interface. Not only does it provide immediate assistance, but it also reduces the need for users to fill out lengthy forms. This helps to improve your conversion rate and prolong engagement.
Take your live chat experience a step further by implementing chatbots. It helps to humanize your brand so you appear friendlier and more approachable to visitors who want to reach out. You can create a branded chatbot specifically for your business so users recognize it and build brand recognition.
5. Offer support on social media
With 2.8 billion social media users worldwide, your customers are active and engaged on these platforms. Social media used to be purely for fun, but in recent years, it’s become a way to offer fast customer support online.
You can use social media to:
- Answer customer inquiries
- Inform customers about products, tracking, and updates
- Start an authentic conversation and get to know your customers
When offering support, it’s vital to be proactive about customer issues or complaints. The longer it takes for you to respond, the worse your brand looks. It shows as though you don’t care about their problems, so responding quickly is a must.
It’s easier for users to feel comfortable reaching out to you through social media if they see that you’re active. If you can’t respond to every message or comment, leave a like instead, if the platform allows. Accounts with massive followings don’t have the ability to respond to each comment, but showing users you’ve seen them makes all the difference.
Personalize the experience by including users’ names and usernames into the conversation. When responding, you can include your name or a representative’s name at the end of the message to further humanize the conversation.
Over to you
Your brand’s customer service determines if it’ll sink or swim since your customers are the bread and butter of your business. It’s mandatory to create a customer service strategy that addresses issues, solves problems, and forms a connection with consumers. How will you improve your customer service department?