Customer service is one of the cornerstones of any successful enterprise. You can have a great product, memorable branding, and a skillful marketing department, but without helpful and pleasant customer service, you will struggle to attract any repeat business.
This is because commerce, like any sector, revolves around human interaction. People buy products from people, and if your customer service is poor, it can feel like a personal insult for customers. Moreover, if a customer has a serious issue with the product, or they need to return an item quickly, any inconvenience or delay is likely to make a considerable impact on their opinion of your brand. Word spreads quickly, so if your customer service department isn’t up to scratch, you could find yourself rapidly losing customers.
This is a shame because customer service is arguably the easiest element of a company to get right. As long as you make your customers feel valuable, listened to, and taken care of, there’s little more you need to do. When someone has spent their hard-earned money on your product or is considering it, you need to treat them with the utmost sensitivity. No customer should be taken for granted or be made to feel less than a priority, but this is exactly what can happen when your customer service team becomes overwhelmed or the success of your business allows employees to lift their foot off the gas pedal.
This is not to say customer service is straightforward. With the advent of the internet, it is no longer the case that you only need to be available during your work hours, smile, and say hello to your customers. Now, your customer service is in demand day and night, with customers repeatedly messaging you with questions and complaints.
The problem is that if your business attracts a lot of customers, these messages can quickly become impossible for your customer service team to reply to in real-time. There are just too many, especially if you want to provide detailed, mistake-free replies that reflect your brand image.
However, a potential solution to this problem has emerged in recent years – in the form of automated customer service processes. These processes allow customer service teams to stay on top of their workload and deliver service at a consistently high level. This is not to say automated processes are without fault, which is why it is important for you to understand both the positives and negatives of this technology.
Here’s what you need to know:
You can use specialist apps to help improve your ability to talk to customers
A great tool you can use to increase your ability to handle every customer interaction without falling behind or making frequent mistakes is to use a live chat app. Live chats allow customers to talk to your customer service team in real-time, answering questions and allowing customers to find immediate solutions to their issues. The problem with live chats is that they tend to become time-consuming, as your customer service staff have to remain glued to the screen day and night.
However, thanks to automated services like JivoChat, you can create templates for frequently asked messages, which saves you a great deal of time. JivoChat’s app ensures quality control because each of your team members will be using the same finely honed messages. This minimizes any miscommunication or confusion caused by spelling errors, badly communicated instructions, or off-brand responses.
It will also allow your team members to connect different devices to the live chat, allowing them to respond faster and work more flexibly.
Chatbots can help attract more customers, even in the middle of the night
Alternatively, if you want to increase your rate of responsiveness, and the accuracy of your messages, using chatbots could be the solution. These automated messages can be programmed to answer most basic, frequently asked questions immediately, with zero mistakes. These bots work around the clock answering your customers’ questions and referring them to members of the customer service team if necessary. This automated process acts as a filter, lessening the burden put on your staff members by removing the need to answer simple queries or issues.
Automated processes can help save money and boost profits
One of the most useful benefits of integrating automated processes into your company is the financial savings you could enjoy. This is because automated tools like live chat apps and chatbots can allow you to reduce the size of your customer service department, as well as create a stronger experience for customers.
Furthermore, you will be able to increase the efficiency of your staff, allowing them to concentrate on more important customer service tasks. This has the combined effect of lower overheads and higher profit margins.
Too much automation can make your customer service feel artificial
However, it is worth bearing in mind the downsides of automated customer service processes. Like most useful tools, the benefits of these processes can also work against you. If you become overly reliant on chatbots and templated messages, your customer service may come across as false and artificial.
One of the most important aspects of good customer service is the ability to make the customer feel special and listened to. If you only respond with generic, clearly pre-written messages, then you will end up losing the respect of your customers. To rely solely on these tools defeats the point of having a customer service team – which is to connect humans with humans and provide a personal service.
Instead, the best approach to using these automated processes is to maintain balance. You should consider these tools to be useful additions to your existing customer service team rather than replacements. Indeed, relying too heavily on automation could lead to your team becoming less sharp and well-prepared. This is bad news for your customer service and could lead to oversights.
You can end up annoying customers if your processes aren’t set up correctly
On a related note, if you have not set up these automated processes correctly, you could end up making your customer service experience worse rather than better.
For example, if your templated answers do not create the right tone of voice, you can quickly turn customers away from your brand. Furthermore, if you use chatbots, you need to ensure they give customers the correct information and don’t direct them to the wrong resources.
Having said this, as long as you pay attention to the details, you shouldn’t encounter any problems.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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