Five Tools to Help You Provide a Stellar Customer Experience

We’ve evolved the term “customer service” into the more apt phrase “customer care” as it encapsulates the delivery, process and results that contact center leaders strive to produce for their consumers. As such, contact center employees are now expected to do more than solve problems, but provide a customer experience as well.

Providing an all-encompassing customer experience means that contact center leaders must extend their services beyond the customer care hotline and into digital and mobile realms as well. After all, providing an appropriate combination of mobile support, live chat, self-service, social media support and omnichannel support will ensure that you’ve established touch points in every area that is now available to your consumers.

In fact, a recent report from online CRM comparison business Software Advice substantiates the need for contact centers to employ the aforementioned list of must-have customer care tools. Indeed, the report claims that these are providing a well-rounded customer experience.

Let’s dig deeper into the advantages afforded by each tool:

1. Mobile support: Make sure your website is optimized for mobile so that your consumers can reach you when they are on-the-go. What’s more, today’s consumers are attached at the hip to their mobile devices even when they are in the comfort of their own homes so providing a method of contact that is convenient and preferable to your consumers is of the utmost importance.

2. Live chat: Sometimes, an issue just isn’t pressing enough to call a hotline. In these instances a consumer can simply visit your web site and initiate a live chat with an online Communicator for a quick fix. Furthermore, live chat enables Communicators to make the first move in contacting an employee as they can just as easily initiate the live chat session when they are alerted a new visitor has entered the web site.

3. Self-service: Consumers tend to conduct their own research on the Internet before reaching out for secondary assistance. As such, be sure to include the appropriate collateral on your web site such as FAQ’s so that your consumers can answer simple questions on their own time. They’ll greatly appreciate this convenience as 65 percent of consumers enjoy the freedom of finding answers through an online search, according to the report.

4. Social media support: Social media affords a casual and quick method of communication between brands and consumers. It’s also highly visible so when your brand provides excellent customer care by way of a social media platform, your greater audience will likely take notice.

5. Omnichannel: If your brand stretches across nearly all demographics then an omnichannel approach to support is the right decision for you. This means you would employee all of the aforementioned tools to create an integrated marketing solution to providing high quality customer care. If you are a small local business that caters to an older crowd this support system might not be for you as you wouldn’t want to waste any of your resources.

It’s important to strike the right balance in support systems to enhance your flagship telephony support system. Just remember to choose your solutions wisely and only employ the tools that make sense for your company size and demographics.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

In Marketing, as in Life, Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

A successful investor on Wall Street is confident a hot stock is going to soar, so he throws everything into it. However, unaware that negative company news is about to hit, his entire investment is quickly wiped off the map. Just like that, he learns the hard way to diversify.

The same goes for marketing; no longer is a one-channel approach effective. Even businesses that have relied primarily on one channel for years—such as email marketing, social media, or blogging—have had to re-adjust their thinking and create a broader marketing strategy. That’s because customers expect to be able to interact with businesses through their favorite channels. In addition to providing what the customer wants, change is also a natural progression for innovative leaders in any space; in fact, it should be a welcome one. Accordingly, companies need to adopt multichannel marketing solutions.

According to a Zendesk survey, commissioned by Loudhouse, two-thirds of online shoppers said their purchases involved multiple channels in the last six months. Furthermore, 87 percent believe that companies need to put an emphasis on making the customer experience more seamless.

So how can businesses migrate to omni-channel customer service and sales strategies? To begin, they can look into collaborating with a one-stop shop marketing partner with expertise across a wide range of marketing channels. By teaming with an organization dedicated to providing customized marketing solutions, business can focus on their core competencies without worrying that customer experiences will suffer.

Here are some other reasons why omni-channel customer service is the way of today and the future:

Customers are Everywhere

Long gone are the days of customers simply sitting at home and ordering a product from a land line. People are now constantly on-the-go, purchasing from any Internet-connected device and reaching out to agents across a variety of mediums. Multichannel marketing solutions are necessary to reach customers as they traverse the globe and surf the Web.

Faster is Better

The more channels a customer can access, the quicker his or her inquiry/complaint will be solved. Faster is better for all customers, and if their experience is adversely affected because the company does not offer Web- or mobile-optimized channel capabilities, the consumer is more likely to head elsewhere (a.k.a your competitors).

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