Guest Blog Post By: Elaine Bennett

Customer service has become a crucial factor for business success in recent years. Consumers have become more aware and tech-savvy which emphasized their needs, demands and preferences. Businesses that are unable to cater to those needs will soon lose both their relevance and their competitive edge, which might result in business failure. 

In other words, the market is competitive enough that if you cannot meet your customers’ needs, they won’t hesitate to abandon you altogether and move over to the next business in line. That’s why focusing on customer service is of the utmost importance these days. The fact of the matter is that you can’t always predict what your customers will want but you can, however, be there for them and resolve any issues on the spot. 

Furthermore, consumers are no longer interested in only doing business with companies that can provide them with exceptional quality products or services. In fact, they want companies to provide them with exceptional experience, and customer service is an integral factor in that experience. That being said, here are a few ways to optimize customer service for ideal results.

Understand customer needs

As mentioned before, being unable to cater to customer needs can be very bad for your business. However, you can’t cater to their needs if you don’t know what they are, to begin with. This can be remedied with a bit of research.

Understanding what your customers want or need is essential in optimizing your customer service. Therefore, try to learn as much as you can. For instance, you can survey your customers and ask them directly for feedback. This method has two major advantages.

Firstly, consumers appreciate the fact that businesses ask for their opinions and they prefer when you act upon their feedback.

Secondly, you get the opportunity to learn what customers need from customers themselves which a much more reliable approach than any other source of information.

Be available to your customers

One of the most important aspects of customer service is your availability. In today’s digital world, consumers expect from businesses to be available at all times, as well as to be available at multiple touchpoints. For instance, if you only have a landline as a means of providing customer service and support, you can expect that your customers won’t be too happy about it. Today, with the help of technology, your business can improve and optimize customer service to meet or even exceed customer expectations.

As an example, reliable cloud call centre solutions can help you integrate customer service across multiple channels. That way you can provide support to customers through their preferred method and be available to them whenever they need to contact your customer service and support.

Leverage social media

Social media platforms have become an integrated part of our everyday lives. People simply got used to using one or a few of these social networks every day. The main reason is that you can find pretty much everything on social media these days. That being said, a lot of businesses have started providing customer service and support via social media platforms their customers are most commonly present at. These platforms are convenient to consumers and businesses today are building their social media presence anyway. 

However, if you’re about to add social media as one of your customer service channels, you’ll have to do it right. For instance, 32% of social media users that are contacting customer service expect a response within 30 min while 42% of them expect a response within an hour. Moreover, if you’re considering using automated responses for most common questions, don’t overdo it. After all, consumers prefer to contact a human representative they can interact with.

Consider live chat

Live chat has become one of the most popular customer service and support channels recently. As a matter of fact, 79% of consumers who prefer live chat do so because they claim they got their issues resolved fast. What’s more 46% of consumers state that live chat is one of the most efficient methods of communication. One of the main reason live chat became so popular among consumers is that its, in fact, quite convenient. 

While browsing the company website, consumers can contact customer service and support on the spot and as soon as they run into any difficulties. Moreover, the issue can be resolved straight away without any delays or inconveniences. That said, live chat is one of the best ways to optimize your customer service. Aside from providing help to customers straight away, you can also gather feedback from them so that you can leverage that information to further improve and optimize your customer service efforts.

Summary

Customer service has become vital for not just business success but also for the overall customer experience. Optimizing customer service depends on your business, as well as on the needs of your customers. That’s why it’s important to determine which is the best way to optimize that will suit both your business and your customer needs.

More about the author

Elaine Bennett is a blogger, currently writing for Bizzmark Blog. She’s a digital marketing specialist, passionate about helping small businesses grow. Follow her on Twitter to find more of her articles.

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