Customer service is a vital element in every business.
After all, no business exists without customers of some type or another. (Even your co-workers or staff are considered internal-customers!) Good customer service, however, is about so much more than merely interacting with customers. It is about building an understanding with them. Customers should understand who you are, what you do, why you do it, how your product/service can benefit them, and what they need to do to gain said advantage. That is the core of customer service. But the vital question is how do you provide good customer service?
Putting yourself in the customer's shoes is the only real way to empathize with their situation and feelings. From there, it can be relatively easy to ensure they have an excellent customer service experience with you. Utilizing the three 'W's of customer service can help guide you on ensuring they understand your side as well.
- Who will be helping them if you cannot help now
- When will the next time you talk to them be, or when will the issue be resolved
- What the issue resolution is or clarifies the issue if a solution isn't known so both parties can ensure they are on the same page.
The most traditional and still most effective way of providing customer support is to talk to your customers and answer any questions. Of course, this is not always practical anymore. While phones and webchats mean that anyone can speak to you from anywhere, unless your sole job is customer service, you probably cannot afford to spend all your time answer questions. Thankfully there are some ways you can simplify the customer service process without sacrificing quality. The easiest step you can take is to add a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page to your website. Websites can be used to educate and help support your current clients, just as much as they can attract new customers. By organizing and offering the answers to your customers' questions, you save time on both sides by cutting out the customer's need to have to send their questions to you and wait for your response.
Another excellent tool for handling initial customer interactions is a chatbot. A chatbot is simply an automated webchat powered by a program or AI instead of a human. Chatbots managed by programs are more common due to them being easy to create. They are usually a series of questions or prompts that a customer can select from the bot's predefined response. While this functions similar to a FAQ page since they get built to answer questions that a customer might ask an additional benefit, you can have a different chatbot for your website's pages. For example, a company that offers assistance with marketing and sales could have a webpage for each. Another chatbot on each page focused on answering questions related to that specific field.
While these are an excellent way to improve your customer service while simultaneously reducing the amount of time you need to spend personally performing customer service, they are not an end-all solution to customer service. Inevitably some fringe case will arise that you had not accounted for, and a customer will need to speak to a specialist who can go into more detail than a prewritten response. Customer service is vital to every business, and you should strive to make yours as excellent as possible.
Any profitable business should naturally have good customer service. After all, no business exists without customers, so they should treat those customers well. Of course, this means answering phone calls, emails, and webchats if you're feeling fancy, but did you know there is a way to provide good customer service without any human involvement from the business side. The easiest way to do this is to have a frequently asked questions page (FAQ page). If you know what customers will probably ask, write it down and put it on your website for all to see. Another smart way to do this is to enable a chatbot on your website. A basic chatbot can function similar to a FAQ page, offering visitors a series of options to select from and learn more about your business, except they are not limited to a single page. You could even have specialized chatbots for each page of your website. If you want to get advanced, you could even implement an AI for your chatbot. If done correctly, your customers could dynamically ask questions and receive answers.
Of course, while all of this can significantly improve customer service, it is no excuse to start slacking in cases where you will need to interact with the customers more directly. Inevitably some fringe case will arise that you had not accounted for, and a customer will need to speak to a specialist who can go into more detail than a prewritten response.
We know from experience that your website can be used to help with you company's customer service.
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