5 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

Practice makes perfect, right? But in business sometimes there's no time for practice. You've got to be perfect now.

At NICE inContact, we’re always thinking about digital customer service. We love finding ways to make customers happy and helping businesses raise the bottom line while doing it. We do the practicing, so you don’t have to.

We’ve looked at the trends, we’ve listened to customers, and now we’ve put our key learnings together.

So here are 5 ways to improve your customer service. Following these tips will cut costs and increase revenue — all while making your customers happier and more loyal.

1) Go all-in for digital-first omnichannel

Trends have moved away from phone service and email, and if you didn’t know that customers demand digital-first omnichannel solutions, you probably aren’t listening to your customers.

Customers want more options for customer service, specifically social media and digital channels. Companies that deliver these options will be much better off:

  • Companies that provide a consistent service quality across multiple channels retain 89% of customers
  • Companies that do not provide a consistent quality are only able to retain 33% (Aberdeen Group)

Like live chat, digital-first omnichannel customer service coverage is a necessity for today’s digital customers. When you’re doing omnichannel right, you can unify all your digital channels into one platform to capture customers wherever they choose to interact.

Companies using omnichannel customer service can unify customer requests and conversations from social media, live chat (consumers using chat was up 3x last year), email, forums, blogs, mobile apps, and contact forms in one platform. This makes it easier for agents to respond to high volumes of customer interactions.

Key takeaway: It’s vital to be available on channels your customers use. Conduct research to find out which channels your customers demand and maintain an active presence there.

2) Ratchet up responsiveness

Customers are less patient than ever. Social media is a relatively new medium of communication, and brands certainly must tailor their tone of voice and style of interaction to social channels.

But sometimes the customer gets lost in all the talk about what brands should do to keep up with the increased speed of today’s interactions.

  • 32% of customers expect a response within 30 minutes
  • 42% expect a response within 60 minutes
  • Fast response time is the single most important aspect of customer service, according to customers (CMO Council)

The increasing impatience of digital customers means brands must work a lot harder to respond to customers quickly. But the good news is that brands have more powerful tools than ever before. Digital customer service software, especially chatbots, enables brands to be available for customers at all times.

3) Check out chatbots

Chatbots do just about everything that customers want. That's why many customers are starting to demand them, along with other self-service options.

It doesn't have to be that way, thanks to chatbots. Chatbots always are listening, and they're always ready to get in touch with customers. You can set chatbots to pop up on a customer's screen while he or she browses the website, after abandoning a cart, or immediately when receiving an incoming query.

Programming bots to take care of FAQs and repetitive customer queries helps ensure that customers receive messages from the brand that get something done.

While it's true that bots have a limited range of capabilities, they are invaluable within that set number of common problems they can solve. Not having a bot to take care of simple customer communication puts more burden on agents and ultimately leads to fewer satisfied customers.

4) Start tracking satisfaction

Competition is a battle for the heart, not the mind, of the customer. Knowing when your customers are satisfied with your product and service are key to the health of your brand. And knowing how to measure satisfaction is important too.

Improving the customer journey has the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20%, lift revenue by up to 15%, and reduce the cost of serving customers by as much as 20% (McKinsey & Company).

You want to be able to measure your agents’ performance and see the quality of your customer care team during live chat sessions. To end a session, the customer should click the ‘end chat’ button.

However, when a customer does not end the session, the session automatically should be closed by the system after a timeout defined in the settings, allowing for proper measurement.

5) Practice being proactive

It’s important to be there for your customers on social media, but you’ve got to do more than wait for them to come to you. This is because unhappy customers often won’t reach out, they'll simply take their business elsewhere.

Check out the stats:

  • Only 4% of dissatisfied customers reach out to a company to voice their complaints
  • 91% of customers who have a bad experience with a company won’t want to do business with this company ever again.

In other words, for every customer who tells you they’re unhappy, there are likely 24 others who are equally as unhappy — they just haven’t said anything about it.

So, it's important to have the right listening technology in place so you can keep track of the conversations that customers are having online. Set your parameters for topics and key vocab, and you’ll have a better idea of what customers and potential customers are saying about you and your industry.

The right digital customer service solution will help you improve your customer service by doing all these things at once. This is why NICE inContact customers have reported:

  • 61% sale conversion rate
  • 70% reduced resolution time
  • 300% scaled operations with no additional headcount

If you'd like to learn more about what our digital customer service platform can do for you, request a demo today and we'll be in touch!