It is a well fact that excellent customer service plays a crucial role in steering businesses ahead. But with almost every company having dedicated customer service departments, the field is pretty leveled. This is where real-time customer service helps you to stay ahead of the curve.
Real-time customer service allows you to help your customers in real-time, that is, on the spot. Though more difficult to achieve than traditional customer service methods like mail, it has proven to be a game changer. So how exactly can customer service with real-time data improve things for your business? Here are some great ways:
1. Talk like a person
The compulsive need of customer representatives to be formal and the introduction of bots has left the customers confused. They can hardly figure out if they are talking to a human or a machine. And customers always want to talk to humans.
If you want to improve the customer experience, you need to behave like humans, rather, to be more precise, polite humans. It means that you do not need to have the answer to everything. If you make a mistake, inform the customer about this and apologize. It has been observed that most customers do not expect to find a flawless customer service experience, but a friendly one.
Even if you have the entire life history of your customer laid in front of you, do not act like a know-it-all. Ask your customers questions and make them feel involved. Two humans make a far better connection than a human and a machine.
2. Give your agents the right tools
To improve real-time customer service, you need to solve real-time problems. The mantle falls on your customer service executives. But solving problems in real-time is strenuous, and many a time can lead to human errors due to nothing but the pressure.
To avoid this, you need to train your agents properly for the scenario. "Let me transfer your call to my superior" can't always be the solution. Agents must have the necessary know-how and tools to solve most of the customer grievances in real-time and on their own.
3. Empower your customers
Customers appreciate it when there is someone to help them out. But what they value even more is being able to solve their problems themselves. Thus, the first line of defense must be the customers themselves.
Using customer service data analysis, you need to figure out the most common problems customers face and categorize them under FAQ. Similarly, give the customers more troubleshooting option (either on the website, call or via email), so that they can figure out themselves the solutions to their problems. It has been found that many customers are hesitant to call up customer service for petty issues, at the risk of sounding foolish. Giving them the tools to self-help will significantly improve their satisfaction levels.
4. Go mobile-first
Every passing day, the number of smartphone users is increasing. Every big or medium brand has a mobile app of their own. People love being mobile, and smartphones have enabled them to perform tasks anywhere on the go. This is what you need to exploit.
To improve real-time customer experience, you must optimize your customer service for smartphones. Having an inbuilt link within the app will make it easier for the customers to contact you. Many apps come with a built-in chat or call feature, which is much more convenient than going on the website and searching the number. Bottom-line: customer service with real-time data must be integrated into your app if you hope to improve the overall customer experience.
5. Be ready, always
When we say "real time", it essentially means "all the time". Customers might need your help at any time, and the "call us later" sign doesn't help. In order to improve the experience of your customers in real time, you need to be always available to your customers. Sure, it might mean extra resources and manpower, but it is quite essential to ensure customer satisfaction.
If you are only beginning and do not have the funds to ensure 24×7 customer support, our previous point of empowering the customers might help you out. If customers are able to solve their problems themselves, they would not require your help at odd hours.
6. Centralized database
One of the most important ways to improve customer service is to provide a centralized database. Your agents need to have access to a central database that has all the information related to the customers. If they have to traverse across various databases fiddling for information, solving problems in real-time would only be a dream.
CRM applications, thus, are a significant asset to companies. A centralized database taking care of all the information about the customer, both directly and indirectly relevant, can solve many of your woes. Many good vendors can provide the CRM system that is tailor-made for your needs.
7. Use analytics
Customer service data analysis has proven to perform wonders, and we can guess why. Called the "proactive approach", it simply means being ahead of the customers. In order to give a truly satisfying customer service, you need to anticipate and prepare for the needs of your customers, even before they tell you. This is where data analysis steps in.
Data analytics is known give wonderful insights if fed the right data along with the right model. The insights can tell you a variety of things, and some can prove to be highly relevant. The more you know, the better you can serve.
Real-time customer service is undoubtedly a great way to stand out from the crowd, given the intense competition in the market. A few simple steps, though harder to implement, can make a massive difference to the level of customer satisfaction your business provides. A happy customer is surely the best thing a company can hope to hear.