Not that long ago, there were three ways a customer contacted a company: by phone, mail or fax. Today, customers can choose between phone, email, live chat, SMS, and social media. Digital channels have changed the way consumers and companies interact by empowering consumers to connect with brands at any time and through many channels.
Each online interaction influences public opinion and defines a brand's reputation, necessitating that every customer inquiry should be handled promptly, graciously, and proactively.
Why is this important? Satisfied customers become loyal customers, increase brand popularity, and grow sales. But the same mechanisms that enable a viral post to generate thousands of views can be turned against a brand and result in views of bad press in the tens of thousands.
Online customer service is not an option, it’s a requirement. Digital customer service is crucial to connect, listen and deliver satisfying experiences. Is your company ready to provide the best digital customer service? Here's what you need to know to provide the best customer experience:
Let's Start with The Basics
What people post about your brand on social media and how your team responds will establish your reputation, for good or for bad. So, what is digital customer service? Digital customer service is more than just having social media handles, it's assisting consumers via email, text, website support, online chats, and social media.
Digital customer service has become a marketing channel of its own. It not only solves your customer problems, but proves you care and gives you a favorable position with your customers. A digital customer service strategy builds customer rapport, reinforces your online presence, and echoes your company's values.
Personalization is Key
Customers are 88% less likely to return after an unpleasant experience. How can this be avoided? Excellent customer service should focus on creating personal experiences. Each customer service representative should reflect a genuine interest in your customer's needs. Every interaction has to make your customer feel cared about on a personal level.
Regardless of the channel, customers expect a seamless experience through all digital platforms. Reach out to your customers, understand how you can help them, and analyze ways to make interacting with your brand more accessible.
To err is human, but to be proactive must be by design. Believe it or not, online complaints are an opportunity for your brand to shine. Answering complaints can increase customer advocacy across all customer service channels.
Customers respond positively when brands listen to their needs, and if their expectations are met, will most likely become brand advocates. When a brand ignores a customer complaint, it sends a clear message that ‘WE DON’T CARE’. Answering a customer comment is about demonstrating care. When brands are engaged with their customers' complaints and know their customers' needs, they are then able to fix fractures in their strategy.
The clock starts ticking after the customer clicks send. 42% of customers who complain via social media expect a response within 60 minutes. It is necessary to promptly acknowledge their message and let them know you're working on an explanation or a solution.
When following up, know when to take the interaction offline. Moving the conversation to a direct channel keeps your customers happy and their personal data safe. Keep customers informed on the status of their query, ask for more data and solve their issue via message or email.
Put Your Time and Energy Where It Matters
The future of customer service is transitioning to digital mediums requiring brands to adopt an agile approach to providing digital services to customers. Companies that invest in their digital customer service strategy will be positioned to resolve their customers’ issues, exceed customers’ expectations, and stand out from the competition.