In any business, regardless of industry, customer satisfaction is crucial to success. Without happy customers, repeat revenue becomes all but impossible, and without sales an entire company can quickly crumble. There are many factors that fall under the customer satisfaction umbrella, but a well-trained, personable customer service team is one of the keys that can make or break whether a one-time customer becomes a repeat customer.
Some modern solutions that companies have been adopting are customer service systems that involve virtual intelligence and automated prompts. And while A.I. and call routing can be useful tools in certain scenarios, too much automation can take the human element out of customer service – and this can wreak havoc on your customer satisfaction. Rather than more technology, most customers are craving more human connection. Here’s why – and how you can provide it.
Meeting, and exceeding, customer expectations is one of the key performance indicators of successful businesses to ensure customers don’t leave you for a competitor. Keeping customers is hands down more cost-effective than obtaining new ones. Therefore, it is important that you keep the customers you have, grow your referral network, and wow the customers to come. To maintain superb customer satisfaction, make sure to implement these five secrets.
We all know that customer service within any industry is important and an undeniable part of the entire customer experience. But it’s not just something you should work on out of benevolence (although that’s the best place to start); it’s also good business. In fact, studies have found that even a moderate increase in customer experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues. That’s huge.
But if you want to improve your customer experience, you might be wondering what makes good customer service. There are some aspects of customer care, like responsiveness and kindness, that most people would agree on, but others aren’t so cut and dried. Consider which you would consider most important: A customer support representative’s knowledge of your company and product? Or their knowledge of your customers’ country and culture?
Here’s what we’ve learned.
The most successful and top rated businesses have customer service departments that stand out above others in their industry and are a positive part of their reputation. However, all too often, the best intentions of improving customer service practices fail to translate into reality. This happens for many reasons, most often because a business doesn’t have enough time to train its staff on all the nuances they need to know to be wildly successful, or because they don’t have enough resources to pay their staff better (and therefore get more experienced people).
If you’ve found yourself in a similar boat, you don’t have to settle for anything less than top-notch customer support. Here are some common mistakes many businesses make when striving toward this goal, and how you can avoid them.
As every company in the European Union is well aware, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws came into effect in May of this year. Along with it came some pretty stringent requirements around communication, security and compliance. If you’ve felt the weight of these regulations as so many businesses have, you might be frustrated by the impact it’s having on your customer service experience.
Even if your business isn’t in the EU and hasn’t been affected by something sudden and sweeping like GDPR, you might understand what it’s like to be under the watchful eye of a governing body. Healthcare companies, for example, have to adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and financial institutions have an array of regulations with which they must comply. Such regulations are usually put in place to protect the consumer (and often the businesses too), but there’s no question they can put a damper on your customer journey at the same time.
Here’s what you can do to maintain a high level of customer service and a seamless customer experience, despite how many layers of regulations you have to deal with.
You can’t be in two places at one time… or so we’ve always heard. But when it comes to your customer service strategy, the reality today is that you can’t afford not to be in two places at one time (actually, more than two). Consumers today are used to having their questions answered quickly and problems resolved immediately, so offering a customer service number as your only method of customer support just won’t cut it anymore. In fact, 72% of adults prefer digital communication with companies rather than speaking to representatives face-to-face or by phone.
Artificial intelligence (A.I.). Natural language processing (NLP). Machine Learning. Chatbots. You can’t read the news without hearing about a new application for these tech tools, and none of us can escape the reality that automation and machines have a definite, large role in current and future businesses. It’s been reported that 80% of businesses surveyed already have some form of AI products in production in their organization, and that number will surely grow.
Regardless of the industry, starting up a business is challenging. Many startup business owners and CEOs find themselves faced with tough hiring decisions. What positions to fill first, what service offerings or products need to be managed by someone and where will I find the time to recruit my new staff?
Entrepreneur Magazine states that, “Entrepreneurs have long seen outsourcing as a strategy reserved for big business, but technology has made it a more accessible tool for small businesses--and for some small firms, outsourcing has made a powerful impact on their growth, productivity and bottom lines.” If your business isn't quite ready to hire more permanent employees, and you have grown to the point where you can't do all of the work alone, outsourcing is an ideal solution. And the best part is that modern outsourcing service providers can start small and grow with your company at your pace. Here are four ways outsourcing can help you grow.