Business development · 11 July 2019

4 essential technologies for great customer service

If businesses want to survive in the future, having great customer service is important. For customers today, being able to interact with a business in the way they want is a key component of their customer experience. By 2020, the majority of customers will consider customer experience to be the most important differentiator between brands, above price and product.

Technology is fast becoming the best way businesses can ramp up their customer service. But what are the most useful digital channels to use? How do you make them work to your advantage? How can you manage it when the boundaries between traditional and non-traditional communications are so blurred?

Increase your conversions 

According to a study, 44% of customers believe that getting live answers to their questions when shopping online is one of the most important features a website can offer. In addition, 68% of them stop buying from a company when they perceive that they are indifferent to them.

Live-chat is great

One of the most effective ways for any site to provide great service is through live chat. This channel allows agents to chat in real time with customers while they are visiting the website.

A great feature of live-chat is the use of triggers to create an opportunity to instigate that conversation. A live chat can be triggered according to specific criteria, such as the volume of products added to a basket, visits to certain pages or time spent on a page.

Offering a live chat conversation is a good way to accelerate the sales process in a proactive way, and remove any barriers that stop customers from completing a transaction.

Another live-chat feature to consider is co-browsing. This allows a customer service agent to view the same page in real time as the client. This can be done without any special software installation and can help the agent to highlight certain areas of a web page.

The benefits of WhatsApp

Have you considered using WhatsApp as part of your customer service?

Live chat is great for instant interactions but it has some limitations. Its synchronous nature means the customer must remain on the website waiting for an answer, which can be frustrating.

Messaging is a way to bypass these limits and will be more suitable for situations that do not require an immediate response.

By using WhatsApp, businesses can communicate with customers on a channel that they already use daily to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues.

Rather than being forced to use channels such as online forms or the phone, customers can simply send a message and be notified when they receive a response.

What else does it offer?

WhatsApp offers features such as sharing media, voice messages, and localisation to provide more context and facilitate problem-solving.

Another challenge for any SME is the management of customer reviews and comments. For example, 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.

This makes it the most widely used source for research, ahead of search engines and the wider website. One of the most important channels for reviews is Google My Business. This is where 44% of local businesses are already registered for free, with their reviews visible directly in search results.

A negative comment left unanswered can quickly have negative impacts on the brand.

As many as 96% of internet users are influenced by the presence of negative opinions during a purchase. This makes it essential for retailers to effectively manage Google My Business.

Make the most of your app investment

A mobile application can be one of the most important investments a company makes.

However, constantly updating and building applications, and making them an ongoing success is hard work, considering 96% of apps are no longer used after 12 months.

To make such an investment profitable you need to provide users with value-added features that justify its use in the long-term.

In-app messaging

In-app messaging allows customers to have an experience similar to Messenger and WhatsApp, directly within a business application.

This provides different advantages such as easily identifying customers via their account and having access to all their customer data, or location if relevant.

How to effectively manage these channels

Expanding the list of channels you use may seem like a headache, but they can and should be brought together in a single view for customer service agents.

By doing this, agents become empowered with access to all the information needed about previous engagements as well as simplifying the task of managing and recording their own interactions.

A centralised approach helps businesses reduce the complexity of their customer support teams, making them more efficient and effective. Here are the advantages of this omni-digital approach:

  • Smoothing of the activity of agents
  • Optimization of resources
  • Productivity gains
  • Reduced response times
  • Increase in customer satisfaction

Customer service will be the differentiator for brands for both B2B and B2C brands in the future.  It will help them win and keep customers long into the 2020s, as brand loyalty becomes a dim and distant memory.

Businesses that want to succeed, need to be able to interact with customers in the way they want. They must place as much emphasis on the technologies that support customer engagements, as they do on the web platforms that sell products and services.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Julien Rio is Head of Marketing at RingCentral Engage Digital, he is passionate about how essential technologies can help companies communicate effectively with customers and boost conversions.

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