Let’s be honest: It doesn’t matter what your marketing strategy is if your customer service is lacking. And customer service doesn’t just apply to the retail industry. Every time you pick up the phone, answer an email (or fail to do these things), you’re showing your customers and clients how you really feel about their businesses. According to Walker’s Customers 2020 Report, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, so it’s time to up your game.
Here are some customer service trends you should be aware of:
1. Take Care of Your Brand
Your brand is all about perception. What do customers think about your brand and what are their reactions when your brand is mentioned? Make your brand perception one of a great customer experience and you’re off to a good start.
2. Remember the Convenience Factor
Customers don’t want to jump through hoops to try your products or services. Great customer service means making it as easy as possible to navigate your website, ask questions and find answers.
3. Add a Human Touch
Remember the classic toll-free numbers for customer service? They’re not dead. Some customers actually want to talk to a human voice when inquiring about a business. And voice is still the primary communication channel used for customer service (followed by self-service channels, chat and email).
4. Go More Mobile
Making your website mobile-friendly isn’t enough anymore. Think about ways you can help customers via their mobile devices besides making your website look nice on their smartphones. For example, add scanning capabilities, coupon downloads and more.
5. Get Personal
Taking the time to really get to know your clients can help you provide better customer service--and I don’t mean inquiring about their personal lives (although it can’t hurt). Install and study analytics to provide clues to your customers’ behaviors online. How long did they spend on certain pages and where did they go next?
6. Say You’re Sorry
When you’ve made a mistake, own up to it. Customers want companies to acknowledge when a mistake has been made and take steps to remedy the issue. If you ignore a customer’s unhappiness, you may find yourself fighting a reputation problem on a review site.
7. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Savvy businesses are reaching out to customers before they have second thoughts about doing business with you. Add chat boxes that pop up to see if customers have questions online or offer suggestions for similar products and add-on services. Good customer service is all about engagement, so why wait for the customer to make the first move?
Use these trends to help shape your customer service, and ensure that you are giving the best that you can be. Happy customers make for a happy business.
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