As technology continues to develop, customer service becomes a concept that needs some immediate change in what we have understood customer service to be and what it really is seen as today. How do you create exemplary customer service for your customers when a significant amount of their time with your company is via electronic communication and interactions? Today, customer service is not primarily through the phone, but it is through email, web, and numerous social media programs that have developed, including Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Many companies today have realized it is essential to communicate at a quicker pace initially and also find a way to consistently have communications with their current customers as well as potential customers. The time where you could wait to get back to your customer until Friday no longer works today, in part because of the explosion of the use of mobile devices as the end all be all to find everything. We are at a time of instant gratification and everyone today wants an answer now. If you as a company do not respond to an inquiry in a rapid manner, the next business that could provide the service is just a click away. Current customers have a high standard of expectations due to the fact that many answers to their questions are just a click away. They are only reaching out to you if there is something that cannot find on their own so they feel they have already spent time looking for the answers so they expect when they reach out to the business you will have an answer for them right away.
As a business how do you ensure you are meeting your customer’s needs? There are several different techniques that you will need to execute to come out on top! First, what does your website say about you? Is it easy to navigate? Can your customer find the answers they are looking for quickly? What are your call to actions on your page? Do you have support contacts easily recognizable? Do you have live chat? How committed is your team to responding to the questions? Is the content that is included on your pages able to answer the questions in a quick and concise manner that a customer would need?
Second, how often are you reaching out to your customers and are you following up in a timely manner? How do you make sure you do not miss your follow up? Many companies today are using a CRM (customer-relationship management) system to ensure consistent and timely communication between yourself and your customers. If your company does not have an automated CRM system, you will want to put this as a priority in your business development strategy as this will help you to be able to meet customer service in today’s world. Currently, experts estimate that one third of all companies have some type of CRM system in place and 93% plan to have on in place in the next 5 years.
Next, your customer service team needs to be more educated and sophisticated as when they are talking to a customer the questions they will be answering will be more technical as the customer will be able to find the easy answers online. The questions they will be asking will require your customer service team to be more educated with a larger knowledge base to be seen as the experts for your company. This will engage your customers and bring them back to you on a consistent basis. If your customer service team cannot meet the “new” demand of the customers of today they will go to another company quickly. How are you training your team members that will be interacting with the customers via the web, live chat, social media outlets so they will need to be highly skilled, have incredible communication skills and be able to engage your customers quickly.
Customer service will continue to evolve in this current world of technology as fast as technology itself develops. If you want to continue to grow your business you will need to assess your current business model and make the necessary adjustments to meet the customers at their level of comfort with technology. You and your business will need to become familiar with all of the social media vehicles and ensure you and your employees are able to speak through all electronic mediums in order to attract new customers as well as retain current customers.