9 Tips To Improve Your Customer Service

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Improve Customer Service|9 Tips To Improve Your Customer ServiceEvery business knows the importance of good customer service. However, sometimes procedures can slip, and of course, everyone is only human when it comes to dealing with situations that arise. The scale of business that can be lost due to poor customer service techniques is surprising. Now more than ever, people place companies on a pedestal when choosing where to buy. So, getting this aspect right is essential to get the right balance for your business.

So what does excellent customer service look like? Check out some of the top ways to incorporate typical company characteristics and techniques into your company processes.

1. Become an expert

Nobody likes a know-it-all, but when your company displays knowledge and expertise in a product or service, you can give precise and specific solutions to their issues. If the customer has to go through five different people to have a query resolved, they will not be happy. It’s also essential to have a troubleshooting or FAQ section on your website that can help in the first instance. If a customer can resolve an issue without needing to speak to someone, the more likely they’ll return.

2. Empathy

Companies should not act like robots. People want to talk to someone that understands their issues. To build a strong relationship with consumers, your team needs to be active listeners and establish a common ground.

3. Be personable

As mentioned before, customers want to be able to communicate with a human. Contact details should be clearly available on your website. If possible, integrate an option such as live chat to help people get answers quickly and easily without picking up the phone. This function can also help convert people. Suppose they have any immediate questions about an item. In that case, they’re less likely to leave the site to go and compare the information.

To help make your staff more personable, allow then to incorporate their personality into the customer experience while staying on brand. This is also important for any communication type, such as social media, live chats, and phone conversation. Consumers like to feel the personality of the brand and its staff, so they know they’re not buying from a faceless entity.

4. Clear communication

In short, don’t waffle or hit customers with sales jargon when they have an issue! If they contact customer services, it’s typically because they have questions or queries regarding an order. So don’t avoid the problem, just get straight to it and communicate clearly to resolve issues. If this does not happen, you could risk losing the customer and receive a request for a refund, as the issue was not resolved.

5. Flexible

The saying ‘the customer is always right’ is mostly true. However, this is only possible if your company is flexible. Adapting to different situations is vital for all team members. Unfortunately, some people try their luck when querying or communicating issues. The key to customer service excellence is to remain level-headed and calm. This can be easier said than done. However, investing in good training for your teams will help them tackle different scenarios and put their skills into practice.

6. Open to feedback

No company is perfect. While you may have a good reputation for excellent customer service, there’s always more than can be done to improve it. One of the best ways to ensure improvement is to be receptive to feedback. Of course, you may get the odd discrepancy in negative feedback. Still, constructive criticism is always important to take on board. A good way to collate feedback and reviews is to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. These will highlight areas of improvement and tackle any lingering issues that customers have, however small.

7. Listen to staff

One of the most significant aspects that can help improve customer service is by listening to your staff. They are the people face to face with the consumer and experiencing the issues they face. By collating staff feedback and frustrations they have with delivering good customer service, you can create a plan to implement changes. Staff may have various input from requiring more training on products to having insufficient authority to issue refunds, which hold the process up. Looking at each area and determining what can make the customer experience better will help consumers and staff in the long term.

8. Act on your promises

Getting feedback from customers and staff is all well and good, but what are you going to do about it. A company that says they’ll change and fails to doesn’t hold onto a good reputation for long. Act on your promises and give solutions to issues that are affecting the customer journey. In some cases, it may not be possible to implement changes straight away. Still, it’s also important to communicate this to customers and staff. An announcement such as ‘you told us this, and we’re working towards making it possible’ is a great way to let people know you’re listening but can’t do it straight away. If feedback is ignored, then it shows.

9. Don’t bombard the customer with surveys

While it’s essential to try and get feedback from customers, some companies make the mistake of bombarding customers with surveys about their experience. There are many ways that consumers can give reviews, including incorporating tools to encourage feedback on specific products. Giving customers the option to leave feedback is crucial, and if they say no – don’t push it. One of the best ways to drum up engagement is via social media. People love to suggest brands and let others know about their experiences, so be sure to interact and engage with others on your platforms to encourage tags and mentions in consumer social posts.

These are just some of the ways to improve your overall customer service experience and success rates. By implementing good practices and remaining consistent and on-brand, you will ensure customers get the information they require without confusion and hassle. Does your company cover the above?

6 Ways To Boost User Engagement With Your Business App

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Boost Engagement|6 Ways To Boost User Engagement With Your Business AppThe majority of businesses have their own dedicated app these days and if you don’t, you’re missing a big opportunity. Developing your own app is a brilliant way to increase brand awareness and it can be an incredibly effective sales tool as well. However, if you want to boost your business with an app, engagement is essential.

There are thousands of competing apps out there and it’s easy for your app to get lost in the crowd. If you are relying on a flashy design and a gimmick, you won’t find many long term users for the app and your business won’t benefit from it. If you want to be successful, it’s important that you have a clear customer engagement strategy in place to encourage people to download your app and, most importantly, to continue using it for a long time. Whether you are planning to develop your own business app in the future or you already have one on the app store, it’s important that you employ these techniques to boost customer engagement as much as possible.

Create The Right User Experience

If you want people to engage with your app, you need to make sure that they have a positive experience while using it. User experience is vital and a few small mistakes can make an app difficult and frustrating to use, which will seriously hurt engagement. A good user experience starts with the initial design process and extends throughout the build stages, and it’s important that you conduct regular usability testing throughout. Using the Infragistics Indigo.Design design-to-code system allows you to create basic designs and run usability tests, gaining a lot of insight into how positive the user experience is. When you base your entire design and build process around the user experience and use the feedback from testers to drive your decisions, you can ensure that the design is perfect and your app offers a great user experience.

It’s also important that you stay on top of maintenance issues and iron out any bugs right away. If certain features on your app don’t work or pages are slow to load, this will discourage people from using it again, so maintenance is very important.

Consider Your App Store Listing

Now that you have an amazing app that is easy and intuitive to use, you need to put it up on the app store and get people to download it. When you are writing your app store listing, you should consider it in the same way that you would a product listing. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t put enough thought into their app store listing and they struggle to get any downloads.

You need to think about why people would want to download the app in the first place. What problems are you solving? What are the best features on the app? Instead of simply telling the customer what the app does, you need to create a story and explain to them why they can’t live without it. If you are stuck for ideas, check out the listing on some similar apps and look at the listings on the most downloaded apps so you can get an idea of how they entice people and encourage downloads.

Get Your App Onboarding Right

Convincing somebody to download your app is the first step, now you have to convince them to use it on a regular basis. The onboarding process will help the user get to grips with what the app does and how it works. Unfortunately, there are a lot of common mistakes that people make with their app onboarding.

If you launch straight into a tutorial that teaches the user about all of the advanced features of the app, a lot of people will switch off. They are still not quite sure about the benefits of your app yet so you should start by giving more detail about what the app does. Using screenshots of different features is a great way to give people a sense of the utility of the app without bombarding them with a tutorial. Once they are familiar with the overall features of the app, you can then start with the tutorials. It’s best to have separate tutorials that run when somebody clicks on a certain section of the app. This prevents people wasting time learning how to use features that they are not interested in.

Login and authentication is another thing that people get wrong during the onboarding process. If you require a user to be logged into your app for any reason, don’t ask for this right away because you are instantly putting a barrier up and people are less willing to create an account before they even know if they like the app. It’s best to let them explore for a while and get to grips with the basic features and then ask them to create an account only when absolutely necessary. Forcing people to commit to your app too early is likely to put them off and cause overall issues with engagement.

Manage Permission Requests Properly

Permission requests are so important when developing an app because people are very cautious about online security. If somebody downloads a new app and it immediately starts asking for permission to access their camera and their contacts, they may be suspicious, especially if it isn’t obvious why the app requires those permissions.

Ideally, you should keep permission requests to a minimum and you need to be careful about how you word them. When asking for permissions, you should always explain why so you can put the user’s mind at ease. You also need to display a message if permissions are denied, explaining that this will affect the functionality of the app and some features will not work.

Deciding when to ask for permission is important as well and a lot of app developers make the mistake of doing it all as soon as the app opens. But bombarding the user with a lot of permission requests right away will make them more suspicious and it also stops them from getting to experience the app right away. It’s much better to split the permission requests and only ask when the user tries to access a certain feature.

Use Push Notifications

Continued engagement with your app requires some prompting because people may simply forget about your app. Using push notifications reminds them that you are there and demonstrates the value that your app provides, so people are more likely to keep coming back. However, you do need to be careful about how you use push notifications because if you get it wrong, you may encourage people to delete your app.

Constantly spamming people with useless notifications is the easiest way to get them to delete your app. If you are going to send somebody a notification, there needs to be a reason for it. For example, if you sell products through your app, you can send them suggestions or information about any new deals and offers. Whenever you update your app and add something new, send out a notification inviting people to give the new features a go. These kinds of push notifications provide value to the customer and offer them something, so people will respond to them. But if you send lots of notifications that don’t offer anything, people will get annoyed and delete the app.

Your notifications will be far more effective if you personalize them and tailor them to each specific user. It’s also a good idea to use deep linking on your notifications. This means that users will be taken directly to a specific page so, for example, if you send a notification with a product suggestion, they can go directly to that product by clicking the notification. This makes the process a lot smoother for the user and adds more value to your notifications.

Incorporate Live Chat

Being able to communicate directly with your customers through the app is very important. If you don’t have a clear line of communication and a customer has an issue, they will usually leave a negative review on the app store. Naturally, bad reviews make people far less likely to download your app, so engagement suffers in a big way. Introducing a live chat feature will help to avoid that issue because users can message you directly if they have a problem with the app and having that direct line of communication there is a brilliant way to improve overall engagement. You can also use live chat as a way to improve your customer service, so it’s definitely a great feature to add to any business app. If you use chatbots to answer the basic questions, your users can get an instant answer to their queries.

Developing an app with great features isn’t enough to be successful these days because there is so much competition on the app store. If you want your app to help you boost your business, it’s important that you focus on engagement and you have a clear strategy in place to encourage people to download your app and use it on a regular basis.

How To Use Your Website As An Effective Customer Service Tool

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Service Tool|How To Use Your Website As An Effective Customer Service ToolMany businesses don’t consider how important their website is when it comes to customer service, but it’s actually one of the best tools that you have at your disposal. It’s important that you have a well staffed customer service team that has the right training and knows how to deal with customers, but you also need to consider making changes to your website. If you manage it in the right way, your website is an incredibly effective way to improve customer service throughout the customer journey. These are some of the best ways to use your website to improve customer service.

Set The Right Tone

Many people don’t consider how their website sets the tone for your customer service strategy, but it’s important that you think of your website in the same way as you would any other customer service operative. If somebody calls your customer service line, do you want an operator that answers with no enthusiasm or do you want somebody that is friendly and welcoming? Do you want a long and complicated menu system that is frustrating for the customer to use or do you want to connect them to the right person immediately? These same questions can be applied to your website and they should direct your website design from the outset. If you create a website that is vibrant and welcoming, and take steps to improve the user experience so the process of browsing products is quick and easy, that sets the tone for your customer service experience as well. People will feel more comfortable buying products from you because you have given them a good first impression and they will feel confident that they will receive good customer service from you.

Make It Easy To Contact You

If people want to contact your company, they will probably start by visiting your website and looking for contact details. It’s important that you make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you if you want to improve customer service. You need a ‘contact us’ page on your site but you should also display your phone number throughout the site. Don’t just put it on one page, have it on the header and footer of every single page so people don’t need to search through the whole site to get in touch with you.

As well as a phone number, you should also include a simple contact form on the website. Many people prefer to contact you via email, and a contact form makes it quick and easy to do. If you just display your email address, the customer still has to open their email and input the details etc. But with a contact form, it’s all there for them.

Live chat features on your site are a must as well because they’re perfect for customers that don’t have much time and want to chat with you directly. Say, for example, somebody has a quick question about a product before they buy it. They’re not likely to take the time to call you up or send an email, so they will probably just leave the site and forget about the purchase. However, if they can fire off a quick question and get an answer right away, their first interaction with your customer service team is a positive one and they’ll be more likely to buy products. It also improves the service for existing customers because the response time is so much faster. Live chat apps also help you to save money because one customer service operative can deal with multiple queries at the same time, which is far more efficient than dealing with customers over the phone.

Provide Useful Content

Content marketing is a brilliant way to drive traffic to your website and it has many other benefits outside of SEO, but did you know that it is also a great opportunity to improve customer service for your existing customers? If you post content that addresses frequently asked questions about your products, you can solve customer issues without them having to contact you directly. You can also provide content that gives tips on how to get more out of the product, so you add value and improve the customer experience long after they have made their purchase.

Make Returns Simple

If a customer needs to return a product for any reason, it’s important that you handle it efficiently. If the returns process is long and complex, the customer will leave with a bad impression of your business and they are far less likely to use you again in future or recommend you to friends and family. It’s important that you have a simple returns process on your website so people can easily send products back and get a refund or replacement. Before any product is purchased, you need to make sure that your returns policy is clearly stated because this will avoid any conflict later on when a customer wants a refund but you will not accept the return.

Integrate With Social Media

Social media is one of the most important customer service tools that you have at your disposal. Many people prefer to contact companies directly on social media when they have an issue, rather than emailing or calling you up. That’s why it’s important that you integrate social media with your website. Adding simple follow buttons to the website helps you to build an audience on social media and makes it easier for customers to contact you on social media without having to manually find your account. You can also use social media to promote the useful content that you provide, which will boost likes and shares and expand your audience.

Many businesses make the mistake of viewing their website as a sales tool and considering it separately from the customer service branch of the company. However, the reality is, your website is a hugely important part of your customer service strategy and you need to consider that when building and maintaining your site in the first place. If you make these simple changes to your website, you can improve your customer service in a big way.

Hello, We’re Here To Help You Get On Top Of Live-Chat On Your Website

Given that you’re selling goods online, it’s likely you browse competitor’s sites often. How better to get an idea of what you’re up against? During such research, you’ve probably come across a few websites which offer live chats. You know the ones. You’ve been on the site for a while and a chat pings from the corner, saying ‘Hello, I’m Sam, and I’m here to help.’.

In truth, this is something you’ll now find from most internet based businesses. And, it’s nothing new. This is a 21st-century version of a staff member asking if there’s anything they can help with. It’s a tried and tested method which shows customers you care. As such, it’s worth incorporating this into your online store. But, before you do, ask yourself these questions to make sure you get it right.

Is your internet up to the task?

First, consider whether your internet is up to the job. The only thing worse than not offering online chat is providing one which loses connection. If your internet drops when a customer reaches out, that’s a lost sale. If this happens a few times, you can kiss goodbye to seeing any benefit here. As such, you should consider working with an IT Consultant like eSudo who can help you get a better connection for your money. Plus, such services offer ongoing support if you do run into glitches. As such, your chat should never be out of service for long. Then, you can sit back and start reaping the rewards of this extra mile.

How long should you wait until advertising live chat?

No customer likes to be bombarded the moment they click on your page. They don’t know whether they need help at this stage. As such, an immediate popup will only put people off. Instead, it’s worth delaying your live-chat. But, how long should you wait? Leave it too long and you may lose the sale. Get it too early, and you’ll annoy people. How you work this may be a case of trial and error. Consider, on average, how long people stay on your site, and how long it takes them to find what they want. Often, 30 seconds or so should be long enough. It’s time for visitors to get acquainted with what you do, and whether they might want your services.

How many people should you dedicate to this task?

It’s also worth asking yourself how many staff members you should set to this task. The thing to remember here is that no one person needs to focus solely on this. Live-chat won’t be going off at every moment of the day. As such, this can become a background task. But, you may want to put this in the background of more than one staff members’ workday. That way, there won’t ever be a time when a chat query goes unanswered. As a rule, then, you want to dedicate as many staff members to this as you can without compromising on workload.