It’s a foul equation, really. No customers equals no business. Nada. Zilch. Zero. No joy.
Not too nice to think about, eh?
If customers have a poor customer service experience with your company, 89% of them will begin doing business with one of your competitor, according to the most recent RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report.
In order to improve your customer support, consider utilizing the right technologies – CRM software, your call center systems, and your online and social media profiles.
Software saves the day
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is the primary tool in any customer service representative’s toolbox. This software collects important customer information like name, demographic information, purchase history, blood type, shoe size – wait, okay never mind the last two.
To some it may be a surprise, but CRM systems that are integrated with your website can track customer’s search history, time spent online, operating systems, and connection speeds.
Having this wealth of data collected in one location and accessible at your fingertips gives your customer support agents the information and context they need to answer consumer questions and complaints. And be ready for those complaints, unfortunately.
- Your CRM system contains all the information that your current customer spreadsheets use, but it can also run reports on that data that is beyond the functionality of your simpler systems. The inclusion of website and social media information in that system further strengthens the company-consumer relationship.
- A cloud-based CRM system is accessible to numerous employees at once, no matter where they are located. Let’s say you run into one of your clients while on an errand. You can pull up your CRM software on your mobile device and solve your client’s problem right there in the grocery aisle.
Call someone who cares
Whether your customer support staff is located in-house or is outsourced to a dedicated customer care center, you can customize your call center software and technology to give your customers the best possible experience.
- 90% of US consumers still prefer to access customer support over the phone, even as alternate methods of contact – email, online chat, text messaging, and social networks – continue to grow, according to the American Express 2011 Global Customer Service Barometer.
- Some customers want immediate access to a live representative. While your automated response system can help you sort your incoming calls into the appropriate queues, you should facilitate customer access to live representatives by making that the first option on your call menu.
Socially present and accounted for!
Having a presence on a number of social media sites – as well as your own business website – makes it easier for customers to contact you for a solution to their problem. The corollary to this is: you actually have to be present with your online presence.
- Simply filling out your profiles isn’t enough to impact your customers’ satisfaction. You need to engage your customers online, solicit their opinions, and respond to their comments and complaints in a timely manner. Otherwise you’ll end up with a profile full of bad reviews and no solutions in sight. Eww, yuck!
- Make sure that your website and online profiles have all your company contact information displayed prominently. If a customer has to bounce from your website FAQ page to your Facebook page and back again looking for your phone number, you’re far more likely to end up losing their business than fixing their problem.
What’s there to be afraid of?
Specialized business software and online technologies may seem complex because they deal with large amounts of information and customer contacts. However, the right technology, when utilized correctly, can help you streamline your customer support processes and improve your customer satisfaction.
It’s deceptively simple to put CRM wholly into the digital space – with the right tools on your side, of course.