Customer service horror stories are far too commonplace in a climate that claims to prioritize a person-first attitude. Long wait times, lack of consistency, and poor overall communication are just a few examples of the negative interactions commonly associated with customer service.
However, companies can’t blame their agents for these shortcomings. More broadly, customer service heroes are often under-equipped to support customers by responding to their requests and answering their questions effectively. When companies can boost productivity and streamline the customer experience as a whole, everything––including their heroes, their customers, and of course, their bottom-line––will benefit.
You don’t have to buy expensive technology or hire more support staff to improve your customer service. Instead, try out a few straightforward, low-cost approaches to increase your customer experience efficiency.
Reducing Repeated Interactions
Not surprisingly, many customer requests are duplicative, for example, customers asking about the same discount code or looking for the same product they purchased in the past. By utilizing templated responses, companies can equip their support team to respond to repetitive questions faster.
Templated responses provide dual functionality in expediting customer answers while also providing a consistent approach to certain inquiries that helps train new reps and strengthen their understanding of your company’s processes. The more a support hero can feel empowered to handle different types of communication, the more you’ll protect your staff from burnout.
Make Self-service Self-explanatory
Some companies think an always-available agent is the key to a positive consumer experience. But an over-reliance on a one-on-one phone or video conversation, as friendly as they can be, is time-consuming and often overwhelms a customer service operation. Instead, companies should create a balanced program that provides self-service tools with human interaction supplementing as needed to combat this.
A pivotal way to improve your self-service experience is bolstering your help center, FAQs, and whatever automated response service you employ. Receiving repeated requests or inquiries can not only help indicate how you should develop templated responses, but it can also indicate which pre-written help center or FAQ responses customers could find on their own.
You can design an automated response service, like a chatbot, to rapidly engage customers without overwhelming your support heroes. Equipping them with quick responses based on popular searches helps keep customers informed and moving along in the process. With that said, these bots can still kick requests up the ladder to a person if the customer needs a more personal touch. This kind of automation ensures that communication and quick response time are never a casualty throughout the experience.
Streamline Your Channels
As customer experience technology has evolved, its capabilities have expanded to include more and more communication channels. While this change provides an opportunity for even more direct interaction with customers, the options can become overwhelming for heroes to navigate. When your reps can streamline these many communication avenues, you enable them to be infinitely more productive and better-suited to keep customer conversations consistent.
A well-designed customer experience program like Gladly’s provides companies with the tools to gather all communication forms into a single conversation stream. This ensures each customer’s request gets a timely response while appropriately delegating to the service hero in charge of the inquiry, preventing collision. Your reps can see each customer’s experience history, while the customers themselves feel like your service is consistently reachable no matter the channel.
Companies also need to consider how they amplify certain channels over others. Depending on the customer experience team’s approach and size, your heroes could benefit from using channels like chat or SMS to manage multiple lines of communication simultaneously versus phone or video chat responses that monopolize their time.
Some companies even choose to hide or find their phone numbers more difficult to avoid high volume to that channel. While this tactic can help keep the lines clear, the flipside comes from frustrating customers who prefer that means of communication. Ultimately, the goal is to steer customers toward the channels that empower your reps’ productivity rather than simply hiding less desirable communication methods.
An effective customer support hero represents your brand and engages customers with ease, but they can only accomplish this if you provide the tools for a productive and streamlined customer experience. Using these tactics, you’ll unleash your experience teams to serve customers better and elevate your brand as a whole.