According to Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report, 55 percent of consumers’ customers service interactions are currently happening online, and 28 percent are through a mobile device. If your sales occur online, you may benefit from learning more about four core customer service processes that you should have in place.
Once the proper processes become routine, it’s much easier to outsource or delegate specific customer service related tasks and responsibilities. Most shoppers consider the quality of customer service to be the most important influence affecting their consumer choices and customer loyalty.
1. Invest in online chat and live agents
Providing the help your customers need right away is one of the most important aspects of maintaining quality customer service. Researchers in 2013 discovered that over 80 percent of your customers will need help before successfully making their online purchase, and over 70 percent expect help within the first five minutes. Many consumers think the most frustrating aspect of poor customer service is not having a live person available to help when they need it. Having an online chat window and live agent support provides consumers with a resource for immediate assistance available at their own discretion.
2. Improve guidance for employees and customers
Consumer rights, responsibilities and return policies should be presented to employees and customers in clear terminology. For 39 percent of your consumers, not having to repeat themselves or be passed onto another agent are the most important interactions associated with a quality customer experience. Having agents who lack the information or ability to resolve the customer’s problem is one of the most frustrating things about poor customer service. In the e-commerce sector, the degree of confusion and dissatisfaction felt by customers is the primary factor in determining the success or failure of your online business.
3. Align customer service processes with brand expectations
Consumers’ perceptions of a company brand are strongly affected by online reputations and social media platforms. Using the raw social media data online to improve customer service processes can help ensure that frustrated consumers are not left disappointed and lost over preventable issues. Nearly 50 percent of the consumers out there say business don’t take enough action on the feedback customers provide. When there are inconsistencies between consumers’ brand expectations and the customer service processes, your referrals, retention, goodwill and revenue start to erode.
4. Automate customer service processes with the cloud and IoT
Integrating the business model into an Internet of Things ecosystem and cloud application makes aligning, monitoring and controlling customer service processes and interactions much more effective. Improving system connectivity makes for better products, smarter employees and happier customers. These more innovative applications provide real-time feedback and may help prevent potential issues before they occur. Automating these systems according to your particular service processes helps eliminate much of the challenges associated involved with maintaining quality assurance.
Microsoft reported that 60 percent of their 5,000 consumer respondents stopped using a brand or business after having just one bad experience involving poor customer service. Among consumers between 18 to 34-years-old, the rate was even higher at 68 percent. In fact, more than half your consumers will have higher expectations for customer service with each new year, so make it a priority to implement these four core processes today.
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