Many companies are offering their customers superior customer service through the use of engagement tools that encourage them to have greater interaction with their brand. This is a smart strategy, considering consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. By making services accessible to your customers, you’ll increase the likelihood that your customer will have a good experience and in-turn become a brand advocate.
Here are 10 useful customer service tools you can use to empower your customers and foster an environment for future success:
A forum is a specific type of online community that creates an opportunity for crowd-sourcing. Here, you can collect and respond to customer feedback. Popular forums will quickly grow in popularity and become a place where product experts who many not even work for your company can combine forces with your own customer service agents, creating a community that can chime in about a products or help to resolve issues in a much more timely matter. You get the benefit of seeing a lot of customer feedback, and you can see how customers react to the solutions that are provided in the community.
2. Social Media
Social media is an essential tool for businesses of any size. Maintaining a static social page is not enough. Nowadays an inactive social media profile is the online version of having an empty store. Create a social media presence and use it to engage with customers, connecting with them and responding to their problems or issues on a timely basis.
We know that customers who engage with companies via social media channels spend somewhere between 20% to 40% more with that company, so harness that opportunity to increase sales by maintaining good social practices.
3. Online chat
Offering an online chat option (like the one included in the ServiceTracker customer portal) is another way to foster a good online experience for your customers. You can answer questions quicker, save conversations, share media and provide support 24/7
As an organisation, you want to be where the customer is so you may want to add a new communications channel into your customer support mix by offering SMS as an option. SMS texts can reach the customer immediately via their phone altering them of forthcoming visits, compliance issues, follow-ups and billing information.
5. Automated Email Alerts
Using Automated Email alerts every-time a visit is completed, an inspection is non-compliant or there is an element of risk in any of the work carried out puts your customer directly in the driving seat and gives them real-time information on how their sites are performing. Nowadays you could even go completely paperless (As some of our customers at ServiceTracker already have) and deliver your Service Reports directly to a mailbox within minutes of the visit completion.
Consider offering a free mobile application for your connected customers (Just like the one ServiceTracker offers as part of the customer portal) to provide them with information on the move. Mobile apps can reach your customers in real-time and increase interaction with your brand, an important step when you consider that 4 in every 5 consumers use smartphones to shop and 50% of mobile users prefer to use a customer service app to resolve their issue before jumping on the phone.
Serving the customer through a mobile app, which is already optimised for mobile use, provides a quick and easy purchase and resolution experience. Another perk: Mobile apps keep your company or brand top-of-mind for your customer.
7. Action Management Systems
Action Management systems or help desk systems, such as the one offered through ServiceTracker, help your customer get a quick, accurate answer to their issue or call out request. Actions can track an issue from beginning to end and your customers can receive notifications as to the progress of their issues, so they know your organisation is being proactive. The new trend in this type of customer support is “predictive support”, which means a company can anticipate problems via software, and proactively work on fixing them.
8. Customer satisfaction surveys
Customer satisfaction surveys are important at various touch points, such as after a sale or after an issue is resolved. Allowing your customers to give feedback provides you with valuable information on how to build a better customer journey, and it can help instil trust in your brand. This trust is important to build, because it can cost five to 15 times more to acquire a new customer than gain repeat business from an existing one.
9. Customer portal
A customer portal is a dedicated internal system, usually within your website, that allows your customers access to personal data. Customers can view their purchase history, track visits, save favourite items, or get personalised assistance through their customer portal. Portals allow customers to personalise their experience, which encourages consistent interaction with your brand and repeat business. Customers that take the time to nurture their space on your online portal are making a valuable investment in your company by sharing and storing personal information.
10. Connected devices
Another way to enhance the customer journey is to offer connected devices (such as wearable technology) that can “talk” to one another. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more consumers are gravitating toward devices that can send data to other devices. More companies will continue to harness this trend to connect more intimately with consumers. Investigate this option when looking at ways to improve the experience for your customer.
Whether it’s as simple as providing online reviews or as complex as building an online community, you have the power to provide your customers with tools to empower them during their customer journey. The more tools you provide, the greater the chance that you’ll be building brand advocates along the way.
ServiceTracker offer many of these tools and services as standard through our ServiceTracker Operations Management software and we also are able to integrate with many companies to provide social media, SMS, Surveys, Forums and much more
Call us know to find out more 033 022 31022