Businesses live and die by the quality of their customer service. Companies with products and services that seemingly sell themselves can struggle if their customer service is subpar. Meanwhile, businesses that offer optional luxuries and indulgent experiences can generate billions if they succeed at addressing the reasonable wants and needs of the consumer.
For example, Comcast became so infamous for lousy customer service that the telecommunications conglomerate had to rebrand their digital cable and high-speed internet division, which is now known as Xfinity. Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Company, another mass media conglomerate, has thrived on a reputation for providing exceptional customer service, particularly within their parks and experiences division.
With this in mind, business owners determined to reignite their revenue streams in 2021 need to place increased emphasis on offering excellent customer service. But apart from the basics of face-to-face interactions, what can companies do to elevate their customer service to a level that exceeds expectations? Keep reading to find out.
Intelligence on individual consumers has become increasingly crucial in providing excellent customer service. That’s where a customer data platform, or CDP, enters the picture. A customer data platform is designed to unify information gathered from multiple sources. In doing so, companies are able to develop a more refined approach to their customers without resorting to data mining and awkwardly worded prompts.
The classic call center remains a mainstay of customer service. However, most businesses are too small to justify a dedicated team of call center professionals. Fortunately, small businesses can utilize outsourced customer service solutions. These services include access to call center personnel, who can be trained to assist customers in troubleshooting and problem resolution efforts.
Though admittedly impersonal and incapable of fooling anyone with common sense, chatbot technology is nonetheless essential for modern customer service. That’s because, even though the customer is quickly aware they’re communicating with artificial intelligence, the sophistication of chatbot tech has made it more responsive and effective. Though reliable numbers are hard to find, it’s safe to assume half if not more of most customer service issues can be resolved through chatbot assistance.
Another classic customer solution that continues to be valuable to businesses is an online FAQs page. Short for frequently asked questions, FAQs should always be the first stop in one’s effort to resolve issues with a product or service. They don’t have answers for every question, but they can provide the information needed for customers to take the next step with minimal frustration.
An official online forum gives customers a chance to help each other out. With that said, it’s vital for companies to moderate these forums. Help forum moderating is another service offered by third-party customer service companies, but small business owners often find it easy to manage this task themselves. In doing so, they simultaneously enhance their image by acting as an involved business owner with genuine concern for helping their customers.
Sending out satisfaction surveys to customers at the conclusion of every transaction is a great way to improve your customer service. While you can’t please everyone, you can draw informative conclusions from reasonable feedback. Despite your best efforts to be in touch with the customer experience, there’s always the possibility of serious concerns going unnoticed until they’re brought to your attention via satisfaction surveys.
It doesn’t matter how good your products or services are; if your customer service is lacking, the result is no different than a large gash in the side of an otherwise seaworthy sailboat. Sooner or later, the negative repercussions of bad customer service will sink your business.