Customers expect faster response times, fewer interactions, and more transparency than ever before. Businesses are no longer competing on price or product alone – they also compete for the best customer service experience. Below are a few tools essential to ensure your business has a comprehensive service mix:
Self-Service Knowledge Base
Your customers often know what’s best for their needs. Let your customers ask their own questions and find answers, faster. Customers frequently rely on self-service options before taking any steps toward asking for help. Empower your customers to find their own answers by providing a broad knowledge base built into your site.
A knowledge base is a collection of well-organized articles, guides, illustrations, and videos that provide answers and helpful information. These tools educate your customers and offer your internal team a vast pool of resources to find solutions — in a perfect world, you could direct new internal hires to these same resources to resolve common customer questions or concerns.
Live chat is becoming increasingly popular and has a significant impact on the customer experience. It’s fast, efficient, and convenient. With live chat, you provide a way for customers to reach you at the exact moment they have an issue — customer satisfaction ratings are higher for live chat than any other type of support.
Providing a live chat option ensures your customers don’t need to contact a competitor, resulting in increased engagement, loyalty, and revenue.
Customers today often seek instant answers — as a result, e-mail is generally less preferred due to faster tools becoming commonplace. However, email still plays an important role in your customer service mix. Emails allow for templated responses for frequent inquiries – however these should be customized with a personal touch. You can automate repetitive tasks, or create rules to assign, tag, prioritize, and escalate so customers are not waiting hours or days for simple responses.
The customer service mix is evolving; however, phone or voice communication is still relevant. Channel preferences vary based on factors, like demographic, the type of products or services offered, the complexity of the issue, or how sensitive the information is.
Although email, chat widgets, and self-help tools may be quick to solve simple or common issues, they still have limitations.
Phone is the most effective alternative for complex issues and sensitive information. Offering voice communication lets customers know you’re happy to talk to them and offers the opportunity to make a meaningful connection. Humans personalize the experience and leave a lasting impression.
A help center system offers centralized customer support —including components like a shared inbox to resolve inquiries from any channel, ticket organization, automation capabilities and reporting functions to delegate tasks and track conversions.
The external (or consumer facing view) of the help desk is usually attached to the self-service knowledge base with clear paths to solutions and other contact channels.
Internally, your help desk keeps customer inquiries organized so individual agents can view any previous interaction with each customer — helping to resolve issues faster and more efficiently, ultimately leading to a better customer experience. Essentially, help centers streamline and reinforce all other customer support efforts.