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The Remastering Of Customer Service

Customer service remains to be one of the most important aspects of any business and should be implemented both before, during and after people use products or services. This is because customers drive business and impeccable customer service keeps them, and their friends, coming back, helping businesses grow and move forward.

Customer service expectations have grown over the years with the integration of email, web, text message, self-service, and social media support along with traditional telephone support agents. In fact, customer service is so significant that 82% of CEOs say that the expectations of their customer service have significantly increased over the past several years. In addition, around 89% of organizations say they compete based on customer service alone.

The Backbone Of Customer Service

View of three customer service reps with headsets on smiling

Now before we dive into the effect technology had on customer service, let us focus on the basics. Customer service has typically been driven by support agents and just like any other job, there are certain characteristics and abilities that make for a strong support agent. Support agents are still the number one response in most customer service situations, because not all organizations can afford completely automated systems.

While quantity over quality seems like a fair idea to help meet customer demands, a good support agent can save your organization a lot of hassle for a couple reasons. First, customer service can make or break an organization’s reputation, especially in an age of social media. Customers are accustomed to getting their services or products quickly and expect an open line of communication in case there is a problem. Second, over 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer service experience and return to a business based on their service alone. To help aid in proving the best experience organizations and reps can prioritize:

Understanding And Listening To Their Customers

A friendly greeting and active listening can go a long way in making a customer feel heard and satisfied. It is not only important to listen to current customers but past and potential customers as well. Taking into consideration what customers want and need out of a business and applying that to everyday customer service experiences can progressively advance a business.

Respond Quickly

Technology has made the standard for response incredibly high. This is because of customer service software that offer support such as automated systems and live chat messaging, customers are accustomed to having access to a business whenever. Organizations who offer faster response times, within 12 hours at least, have been proven to have an edge over their competitors who took longer.

Address and Fix Mistakes

Complaints are inevitable in any business regardless of how good the service might be because simply put, you cannot make everyone happy. When a complaint is received, an organization should immediately address and work on the mistakes while maintaining service transparency with the customer.

Set and Meet Service Standards

Service standards will vary from business to business, but it is important for all businesses to implement a set of customer service rules that are practiced daily to ensure the best customer service experiences possible. They should also be evaluated and adjusted annually to meet any customer or business need that is currently prevalent.

So, what exactly makes a strong support agent? Along with applying the practices listed above, there are plenty of key traits that lead to a great customer service experience. When filling the role of a support agent organizations should look for qualities such as:

  • High Emotional Intelligence
  • Being Tech-Savvy
  • Patience
  • Active Listening Skills
  • Willingness to Learn
  • Adaptability
  • Attentiveness
  • Positive Attitude
  • The Ability To Multitask
  • Time Management Skills
  • Clear Communication Skills
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Familiarity with the organization’s service or products
  • Assertiveness

Taking Support To The Next Level

The correlation of increasing customer service expectations and technology is no coincidence. Technology has revolutionized the way all businesses perform, and their customer service departments are no different. Now when choosing to implement better customer service interactions there is software for everything, and an organization should analyze their needs when choosing which software to add. There is customer service software for priorities such as:

  1. Switching Easily Between Multiple Platforms
  2. Live Chat Support
  3. Product Bundles
  4. Ecommerce Platforms
  5. Small Teams/Startups
  6. Nonprofits
  7. Call Center Support
  8. Living Messaging Tools
  9. Self-Service Tools
  10. Social Media Management
  11. SaaS Help Desk
  12. Data Management

Utilizing different customer service software along with talented customer service agents, organizations can see customer service experiences take on a new life breathing in efficiency and ease for all parties involved. As business, technology and customer service move forward together, there will be some surprising ways technology changes the way we interact with our customers.

Real Time Messaging Over Email

Hand holding smart phone with Live Chat app on screen

Email has been the king of communication since the introduction of the service, but real time messaging and live chat services have changed the standard of response time. Customers prefer live chats to waiting for an email response because they typically want answers to their concerns or questions as soon as possible. Chats also feel more authentic to customers and have a more 1:1 feel to them.

Bots Will Help, Not Replace, Workers

Bots are a game changer for customer service, and while they are not a true form of AI, they offer a fantastic way to engage your customers. Bots have the benefits of being able to assist during non-normal business hours, reduce expenses, and improve self-service for customers without having to hire extra customer service agents. As of now they mainly handle repetitive, automated issues while reps can be reallocated to help customers grow and derive value from the organization’s service or products.

Self Service is a Must

Bots and AI offer a new leg up of self-service with systems such as IVR phone systems, online discussion forums, interactive diagnostics, automated chats, and virtual assistants. Self-service also has the benefit of being cost-effective for organizations while still providing advanced methods of customer interactions allowing for efficient and effective customer service experiences.

Technology will continue to grow and change how organizations handle every aspect of their business and customer service will continue to be the same way. As technology, communication tools and automated systems advance and move forward so will customer service experiences. From offering faster response times, actively listening to customer’s needs, integrating customer service software, and providing quality products/services, a strong customer service experience means a better chance to not only bring back in current customers but gain new ones as well – making it essential for any growing business.