Now that the holiday season is behind us and the reality of the new year is setting in, it’s time to take a look at where you want to take your business in 2015. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? With a few well-thought-out and well-executed customer service resolutions, you’ll be well on the way to a happy and prosperous new year.
1. Help your customers on their preferred channels
Research into customer service is full of conflicting messages. We get told that customers want to speak to a real live person, that they don’t trust email because they don’t believe they’ll get a reply. Then we get told that phone service is passé and everything needs to be done through social media. The fact of the matter is that different people like different things.
You need to meet your customers where they are. If someone contacts you via Twitter, don’t send them a phone number and ask them to call you. If you get a Facebook message, don’t ask them to email you. Today’s customers expect to be served on the channels they prefer. So if you offer it as a channel, you need to follow the interaction through on it from start to finish.
2. Don’t handle customer emails the hard way
When I worked in online customer service, I handled everything using my Outlook inbox. This was, well, complicated. I managed it by being extremely organised … and working very long hours. But I had an excuse: it was 2007.
It’s 2015 now, baby! There are tools available to help you manage your customers’ emails much more effectively. Help desk software like Casengo allows you to handle emails, chat sessions and social media interactions all in a single app. You can also add notes to a case (for example if you receive a call, or even – who knows – snail mail from a most peculiar customer). That means that you don’t have to keep everything in that poor overfull brain of yours.
In addition, software like Casengo makes life simple for SMEs which employ more than one customer service specialist. When a new message comes in, you can see the entire discussion – and any other contact with the client – to date, whether you handled it or someone else did. Then you can work to solve the issue without delay. Working faster and working better means happy customers and happy staff!
3. Don’t forget there’s a person at the other end
You can use the best helpdesk software there is, vow to process emails at lightning speed, and buy yourself a fancy new ergonomic chair to write them in. But the basics of customer service haven’t changed.At the end of the day, whether you’re working for the hottest new startup in town and dealing with multinational clients, or selling a pint of milk to Mrs Appleton at the village shop, your customers still want the same thing. They want to feel liked and listened to. It’s not about getting a speedy reply, or even getting a refund. It’s the feeling of being valued that will keep your customers coming back again and again.
We love our jargon in the business world. We love new technology, new metrics, new levels of profit. We’re always searching for a new and better solution that’s going to keep those customers coming back time and again. But however much technology develops, the fact is that human nature doesn’t change that much over the years. So while you need to keep up with what technology can do, both for you and for your customers, make sure you don’t forget that deep down we all just want to be loved!