When a business sees a significant increase in customer service requirements as a result of an extra load of shoppers and the associated rise in sales and purchases, the requirements of customer service will rise with the numbers. The equation is simple to comprehend – the more you sell, the more people you have to serve.
Customer Service – Not Just For Holiday’s
The e-commerce retailers thoroughly understand that the onus, or responsibility, is on them to provide top-notch customer support to all of their shoppers in order to attract more buyers to their stable.
So, if your online store wants to maximize its growth and potential, then you need to offer premier support so as to earn the faith and loyalty of customers during a time when the streets are all aglitter with celebratory lights.
1. Show swiftness and urgency in delivering timely solutions and remedies
45 percent of people in the U.S. won’t complete an online purchase if their questions are not rapidly answered: Forrester.
The ability to resolve a customer’s issue quickly would certainly help you to woo more clients at a rapid pace. In fact, the happy customer that you serve swiftly would certainly opt to buy more or complete his or her transaction with you as a result of your promptness. During the holiday season, providing efficient service quickly is everyone’s utmost desire, as time will always be against you.
When you want to serve your customers faster, you can practice the following techniques:
· Improved IVR systems or using the best tools
If your business has installed a good interactive voice response (IVR) system and a customer relationship management (CRM) integration system, then the customers/users/executives would not be required to juggle for a long time. The interaction option that the systems would provide to your customers will help them to communicate with you, and vice versa, in a faster way, thus enabling speedier service.
Apart from these, there are certain tools and software you can rely on when you want to interact with your customers in a more quick and effective way, but more on that later in the article.
· Immediate or real-time response to all feedback, complaints, suggestions, or queries
If you are receiving numerous cases in a short span of time, then you must provide astonishingly quick responses. One of the things that you can do to accomplish this is to transfer specific cases directly to the applicable agent/department so that the appropriate executive can resolve the matter. This type of segmentation can be determined by classifying the customers beforehand.
We all know, customers do not like to wait, nor do they like to be repeatedly transferred. (The transfer of death.) Often, customers won’t waste a single moment of their precious time. Hence, early triaging would help you to sort problems/questions into the appropriate groups.
· Empower your people
Once you sort the issues, you can then resolve them faster. This is where decision-making authority would be very important; hence, your executives should have the power to resolve the issues. If your team has resolution ability, then personalized customer service can be realized.
· Reduce the turnaround time
Speed matters, and not surprisingly, it is one of the most important aspects of customer support. Ironically, 33 percdent of customers would still recommend a company that offered quick but insufficient help: Source.
There is no value to resolving an issue in 3 or 4 days when holiday season shopping is in full force, and generally this is the case at any other time of the year, as well. That’s why it is your team and your responsibility to resolve problems quickly, so that customers can actually start buying from you. You need to reply quickly, listen to what customers have to say, take company policy into consideration, make a determination, resolve the issue, and notify the customer. And this needs to be initiated sooner, rather than later.
2. Create a business culture where everyone thrives on providing excellent customer service
Fact: 9 out of every 10 U.S.-based customer’s state that they will pay more money in order to obtain a superior customer support experience. Yes, that’s how serious the game is!
At any time, but especially at a peak shopping season can provide you with millions of problems at once. This becomes especially true for businesses that rely solely on e-commerce to sell their products. Therefore, you have to prepare your team appropriately, so that they are able to rise to the occasion and service hundreds of clients with the same efficiency and speed during the holiday season as those in the non-holiday season receive.
A company’s culture plays a huge part in all of this. 81 percent of businesses motivate their teams to treat customers correctly: Peppers and Rogers Group
Your organization’s philosophy should influence the way in which you service your customers, especially during the crunch time of the festivities. You, as the leader of your group, must preach with the right tone when addressing your team and executives. They would then return that same enthusiasm when dealing with your customers. Your team will learn from your example, so pass on that same experience to your customers!
Stephen R. Covey states it quite well: “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers”.
When situations and particular scenarios get tough to handle, your work culture will define how your team responds to your customers and complies with their needs.
Indeed the going can get difficult when your website or online store has to juggle an enormous amount of traffic; which is why it is vital to entrust your executives with the proper culture and training. Be succinct with your approach. Make sure your people know the importance of your philosophy and likewise, tell them to serve the clients with a similar flair.
3.Be available 24×7 to resolve issues
Your work only just begins on the day your customers begin their shopping spree. Here, you cannot be lazy and expect everyone to relax. You need to up-the-ante in order to serve your customers in the best possible way. Being available to address their issues, 24×7, during the month of January is nearly as important as the earlier months, and can seriously win you some big brownie points with your cluster.
- Utilize a shift-type schedule so that you are not forced to exhaust your employees.
- Hire more people, if needed, to cover the scheduling gaps.
- Use tools and technology to better serve your customers at all times.
If you provide your customers with the peace of mind of timely and responsive service, even during the wee hours of the day, then you will surely win the hearts of all of your customers.
4. Use the data and the business knowledge that you have
A 10 percent bump in consumer retention brings about a 30 percent increase in the valuation of the entity: Bain & Co.
You can’t just assume that you will be always be ready to serve the extra traffic without any proper planning or formula. However, in order to plan, you also need to have access to previous data and stats that you can rely on. We are confident that, as a responsible business entity, even your venture stores accumulate gigabytes of data and business intelligence.
Use your former data to tackle the extra customer service traffic by making a plan to prepare for it. For example, train your team to respond to customer’s most frequently-asked questions during the holiday season. Similarly, educate your team on your products, especially the most popular and highly-discounted ones those customers try to purchase the most. If you begin early enough, you’ll have some precious data at your disposal that you can use to brainstorm a resolution for any situation.
You can also use the analytics and determine the best strategy for how to tweak your current system. Once you know where you stand, you can then relay the information back to your support team in order for them to be able to handle the sales appropriately in terms of customer service.
5. Utilize tools like Live Chat
Modernization is the key to dispensing the best possible support to your customers. If you are serious about providing top-notch service, then you must rely on the newest technology.
One such tool that makes life easier for your team and the customer is, Live Chat. The tool has all of the capabilities needed to offer optimal help and service to all of your customers, making the process a breeze for everyone involved.
Your team can assist with maximizing the technology, because they can use the tools to effortlessly divulge peerless service to users in an efficient manner.
Take advantage of some of the prominent features of Live Chat
- Video, audio, and text chatting: Your support executives can hold real-time, live chat sessions with your customers in any of these three formats. A simple video chat explaining a product’s essentials in an efficient manner could mean the different in your customer moving ahead with the transaction.
- Co-browsing and screen-sharing: Without forcing your customers to download anything, you can direct and assist them using these two options. Imagine how much more thoroughly your customer can explain a question or situation. You can even more promptly answer.
- Regular statistics and data: You can easily obtain accurate data and stats that will enable you to prepare a better plan and strategy going forward. Using this technology, you can get reports, real-time data, and KPIs, among other items, for the benefit of your company.
Remember, as we’ve stated previously, business intelligence is vital and Live Chat is a very useful tool that can be used to obtain it.
Offering world-class customer service becomes imperative for all businesses in order to capture the market and the attention of the customers.
This post was originally written by Sawaram Suthar on Startup Grind, the global entrepreneurship community.
Startup Grind is a Silicon Valley-based organization that educates and mentors entrepreneurs through monthly business events and speaking series in cities across the globe.