Which Interaction Channels are Best for Business? Despite mass advances in technology and communication over the years, customer service will always be a challenge; after all, you can’t possibly be all things to all people. So, what’s really the best way to stay in touch with prospects and hopefully turn them into customers/clients?
Regardless of the medium in which customer service is performed (phone, email and online chat, to name a few), there are some standard principles in which every organization should adhere. And truthfully, with all the options available at people’s fingertips, there really is no excuse in offering poor customer service in today’s digital age.
Beyond traditional face-to-face customer service at a brick-and-mortar storefront, companies today have countless ways to connect with their customers, and it’s high time they take advantage. Here are a few of the best customer service-oriented interaction channels for your business:
Besides face-to-face interactions, a phone call can be the best way to communicate with your customers. Say you want to limit confusion and explain a detailed process with ample back and forth. Well, speaking with a customer in real time can help you explain a process or resolve an issue more efficiently. More importantly, it can lead to forging stronger customer relationships.
Customer service via phone is also a good way to contact more technology-averse customers or people who may require more of a helping hand. However, in your attempt to resolve an issue or explain a detailed process, be sure you don’t come off too salesy. The last thing you want to do is annoy your customers.
Picking up the phone also provides great convenience for your customers, at least most of the time. For example, they can call your customer service line to receive timely answers to their questions, raise a service-related complaint, or obtain more information about their account balance or a new service.
But to create more company-wide efficiencies and decrease your customers’ wait times, your company may want to invest in a cloud contact center to better streamline customer service. Through this medium, customers can elect to reach you via traditional phone support, automated phone prompts, online chat, social media and more. Better yet, your support staff will be better able to capture customer data and provide more timely and efficient answers.
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These days, knowing that texting is the more preferred method of communication, your company should see the light by providing more quick and efficient texting support to a wide range of customers. It seems to make sense, anyway. According to Desk.com, people open 98 percent of the text messages they receive. Moreover, 90 percent of those messages are opened within three minutes, and that’s certainly a quicker response rate compared to phone or email.
Despite the convenience texting affords, many companies overlook this method of communication, while acknowledging it would give them the opportunity to reach more customers. Additionally, through geofencing technology, your company can target customers based on their real-time location, making the interaction more relevant and useful for your customers.
For all the talk about email being dead, 91 percent of people, whether for the purposes of work or personal use, still send and receive messages every day, according to Groove. Indeed, email is a convenient medium to deliver company updates, account reminders, and advertisements and promotions for your customers to peruse.
It’s also one of the easiest ways to communicate with people, as these conversations can be easily organized and looked back upon as a reference point. With that said, however, CIO.com recommends you keep email interactions brief and to the point, as your customers’ time needs to be respected.
If you want to keep up with your customers and competitors, and the digital age in general, then you need to be where people spend a majority of their time: social media. To better cater to your customers and prospects, set up support-specific pages on Facebook and/or Twitter and pay attention to what your customers are saying (good or bad) about your business before responding.
Because everything is public, this is a great way to show off your brand identity and customer service acumen by showing consumers how seriously you take their feedback. In fact, a Gartner study concluded businesses that fail to provide timely responses on social media, or even at all, experience a 15 percent increase in churn rates for their existing customers.
In addition to responding to customers’ feedback, take advantage of your social media platforms to promote ongoing or future business operation updates as well as any upcoming promotions or sales.
If you want help establishing yourself and/or getting new business, contact Will Sherwood, CEO of The Sherwood Group. He can help you reach your goals through offering ideas, suggestions and/or graphic and website design.
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