Despite the perpetual expansion of technology in business, did you know that talking with a real person is still the preferred method of communication 79% of the time? There can be no doubt that advances such as IVR, automated emails, and web-based self-service have made the way customers interact with your business faster and easier. However, no matter how good technology is, it will never have what humans have. Understanding.
Placing too much of a focus on advanced answering service technology detracts from the personal aspect of customer care. After all, the primary goal of any customer service department is to keep customers happy. Happy customers lead to word-of-mouth advertising, referrals, and greater revenue. But with business and automation so heavily intertwined, how do you find the balance between technology and personalized service?
Here are 7 quick ideas:
- When crafting automated email messages, make the language friendly and personal. Just because it’s an automated reply, it doesn’t mean it has to sound robotic and impersonal.
- Send automated reminders about things like billing, usage, balances, and any regularly-occurring info that can make your customers’ lives easier. Be proactive. Study their activity and anticipate their needs. As the Ritz Carlton says, anticipatory customer service is so high level that it manages to serve even the unexpressed wishes and needs of your patrons.
- When your staff is manning live chat and responding to email inquiries, emphasize the importance of conversational writing. People don’t want to feel like a number, they want to know you care.
- It seems obvious, but when you are answering calls, be welcoming, put a smile in your voice, and again, focus on phrasing that’s like a normal chat, as opposed to stock responses based on the customer’s request.
- If you are using IVR, have a professional record the different greetings and options. Or if you are doing the recording yourself, practice first and listen to how you sound. Is your voice upbeat, or monotone? Does it give the right first impression?
- When there is a high call volume at the call center and customers are waiting on hold, include an automated response that tells them their position in the queue and how many minutes they can expect to wait for service. Also, offer the option to leave a voicemail or phone number and receive a call back. Then, don’t forget to call them back.
- What’s your helpdesk like? Is it user friendly? Write articles that are straightforward and easy to understand. Consider adding a link to your knowledgebase at the bottom of every email. This might inspire customers to go online and resolve their own issues.
Take a good look at how you communicate with your patrons, and invest a little time more in ensuring that you really understand where they are coming from. In this day and age, if a customer doesn’t like the service they are receiving from one vendor, all they have to do is surf the web for a better option. So, when 85% of customers are willing to pay more for superior service, it’s your job as a business owner to see to it that the care your customers receive is the perfect combination of friendly and functional. It’s best to leverage an advanced answering service with superior customer service to keep your customers loyal, and loving you!