If you run a busy website, you might find that customer support becomes a significant burden on your time, energy and budget. Today, however, businesses are increasingly using more innovative ways to look after their customers, helping to streamline customer service demands and improve the overall customer experience. Here are some of the ways you can improve customer service on your website.
- Organise your customer support
If you don’t have many staff to look after customer support and you are receiving a high number of enquiries, the first and most important part of the process is to organise the support you need to provide. This begins by sorting inbound support communications into their different categories, prioritising the most important so they can be dealt with first, and finding an effective way to escalate individual cases that urgently need pushing up the to-do list. While customers today want to use a wide range of communication channels in which to send customer support queries, you need to remember that the more channels you offer, the more challenging it will be to organise your customer service workloads overall.
By organising your workloads, you’ll be able to make customer services more effective and efficient and will have a better understanding of where to deploy automation to make the greatest impact.
One of the most valuable forms of automated customer service available today are chatbots. Essentially this is online chat where, instead of a customer speaking to a human, they chat with AI. Programmed to give the right responses using realistic language, they are capable of handling most types of interaction, cutting down the need for a real person to take over. And, as they use machine learning, just like humans, their skill at helping customers improves with experience. What’s more, chatbots can interact with multiple humans at the same time.
Chatbots can be used for a wide range of purposes, not just reacting to customer queries, but even initiating conversations with website visitors to provide them with help finding the right products or services.
The other advantage is that customers like them too because they are always available, easy to access and provide instant responses.
- FAQs and knowledgebases
FAQs and knowledgebases provide customers with important and detailed information on your website that can help them solve problems. Having that information in place improves the customer experience while reducing the number of queries that make their way through to customer service. In effect, it can filter out many of the less important queries, leaving you to focus on those with higher priorities, like complaints.
A beneficial side effect of adding FAQs and knowledgebases to websites is that they can have a significant impact on SEO and as they are searchable on the internet can attract new customers.
- Automated courtesy emails and texts
While an automated courtesy email might not resolve a customer issue or answer a question itself, it can have customer experience benefits. Sending a message that tells the customer their email has been received and will be replied to within a specified timeframe puts them at ease, prevents them from sending multiple messages, reduces complaints and shows them that you are considerate of their needs. The same goes for sending appointment reminders, order or booking confirmations, dispatch notes and delivery tracking notifications.
- Other automated messages
The deployment of a modern customer communications platform enables pre-written and approved customer support messages to be personalised, sent automatically at the most appropriate times and via the channel (email, text, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Messenger, etc.) that individual customers prefer to use. This not only improves the experience for the customer but increases the likelihood that they will see your response sooner.
With many customer support messages containing more or less the same information, it is easy to write them once and then save them for reissue whenever needed. Customer names can be automatically added and, if need be, individual messages can be tweaked. This saves a great deal of time and means support can be given quickly and automatically in response to a customer action: if X query is received, X message can be sent in reply.
When it comes to offering great customer service today, more than anything, customers want an experience that is quick and convenient, whether that’s helping them with information to make a purchase or solving an issue like a faulty product or delayed delivery. For online businesses, not only do you need to deliver this experience; you also need to do it in a cost-effective and efficient way that doesn’t overburden your operations. Hopefully, the information here will help you improve your customer service.
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