How to improve your customer service with digital technology
Customer service is more than just solving problems. It's a way to create a positive customer experience
Customer service is one of the elements that contribute to a company's success. In fact, a company needs to have happy and satisfied customers, and customer service is fundamental for customer satisfaction. Yet many companies struggle to provide a good one. However, today they can take advantage of technology to make it more and more efficient. Let's find out more!
Customer service and customer care
Customer service and customer care are two different but complementary concepts:
Customer service is the front line between the customer and the company.
It is the process of taking care of customers' needs and inquiries. The main focus is on providing a service to solve customer problems.
Examples of customer service are:
- Answering customer questions,
- Helping customers use a product,
- Giving customers information about products and services,
- Dealing with customer complaints and requests.
- Customer care focuses on developing a long term relationship with the customer. It goes beyond just solving problems: it focuses on customer retention and customer loyalty. To do this, customer care representatives need to provide an excellent customer experience.
Examples of customer care are:
- Following up with customers after purchase,
- Asking customers for feedback,
- Suggesting products or services.
Why is customer service important?
Customer service is important because it can have a positive impact on a company's bottom line. Here are a few reasons why you need good customer service:
- it allows your company to keep customers satisfied and to build trust between you and them;
- the more satisfied customers are, the higher their customer loyalty is.
Customer loyalty is the "ongoing emotional relationship between you and your customer, manifesting itself by how willing a customer is to engage with and repeatedly purchase from you";
- customer loyalty leads to customer retention, that is, a metric that measures if customers continue to buy your products;
- satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your products to other people through word of mouth or by leaving reviews online.
In other words, good customer service helps your company have a good brand reputation, pave the way for further purchases by loyal customers and attract new customers. It gives you a competitive advantage.
On the other hand, bad customer service can have a negative effect. It can lead to customer dissatisfaction, which can result in a high churn rate (customers leaving the company). In addition, unhappy customers are likely to tell people about their bad experiences, which can damage your company's reputation. All this ultimately translates into lost revenue. Indeed, 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.
How digital technology can improve your customer service
In the past, customer service was mostly handled by call centers. Nowadays, with the advent of digital technology, there are more and more ways to provide it.
Digital technology has also allowed companies to automate repetitive tasks, provide better tools for customer support staff or for customers to solve the simplest problems on their own. Furthermore, digital customer support is available 24/7 and can respond in real-time, drastically reducing customer frustration.
Last but not least, digital technology helps companies to collect data and feedback to improve the customer experience.
Here are some examples of digital technology you can use to improve customer service:
- Social media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are excellent channels for customer service. They allow customers to reach out to companies with their inquiries or problems, and they also give companies a way to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. In addition, on social media you can monitor customer sentiment and address issues before they become bigger.
- Live chat: Live chat is a tool that allows customers to communicate with customer support representatives in real-time. Live chats are available on social media platforms but also via plugins that you can install on your company's website or mobile app.
- Chatbot: A chatbot is a computer program based on Artificial Intelligence that simulates human conversation. Often chatbots present customers with a set of predefined questions that help them to solve a problem by themselves. Unlike live chats, chatbots are always available. Similar to chatbots are virtual assistants.
- Customer portals: Customer portals are websites that allow customers to access their account information, make changes, view FAQs, or access tutorials and other useful content.
Knowledge base: A knowledge base is a digital tool that provides customers with a self-service option to find answers to their questions. It is great for reducing the number of customer support inquiries, as well as to provide customer support 24/ seven.
As you can see, some tools allow the automation of some tasks, others give the customer autonomy. This allows your company to better manage the costs of the customer care. We are not saying that you can replace your employees with technologies. On the contrary, your employees will be able to stop wasting time on futile assistance and focus only on the customers who need it most or on those to whom you want to give a personalized customer experience.