Beating Customer Service Expectations This Holiday Season

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In business terms, getting to zero means just meeting customer’s minimum expectations. This might be delivering a product in good condition and on time, or being able to answer their support query without delay and with accurate information. As a business, it pays to think about what you can learn from past customer service successes (and failures!)

Take the case of Hasan Syed, who was trying to track down his lost luggage from a British Airways flight. Fixing a customer’s problem quickly creates brand ambassadors who will tell their friends about the excellent service. Inaccurate or slow responses do the opposite, and unfortunately customers are more than twice as likely to share negative stories far and wide.

When Syed couldn’t get the answers he needed, he took his annoyance to Twitter, and even paid for a promoted tweet where he vented about the lack of customer service from the famous airline. It took British Airways eight hours to reply. In that time 76,000 users had seen the tweet, and it had been shared further on creating an audience for what happened next.
Image: British Airways.jpg

british airways

75% of customers say it takes too long to reach a live agent. 67% of customers have hung up out of frustration at not being able to get through to a service agent. Syed certainly has a point here. If you want your company to have a successful 24/7 image, a large part of this is customer support. While Syed might not have been able to have his luggage located out of hours, there was no process in place for him to be transferred to the most effective path to get a response. Frustrated, he turned to social media.

A simple email reply or a notification that his problem was being looked into may well have stopped this story escalating. An effective channelling strategy and escalation practices can help you tear down the barriers between you and your customer.

Think about a company like Nordstrom which provides 24/7 chat, phone and social support. They’re also known for above and beyond in person customer service, including stories which have entered customer service folklore, like helping one customer search for the lost diamond which had been sucked up by their vacuum cleaner. Simply put, a customer never feels like Nordstrom are unavailable.

One effective idea for immediate answers are dynamic FAQs which are updated in real-time and can help customers find help without needing to pick up the phone. Rather than answer the same repetitive questions, call center staff can focus on the more important or complex issues.

The #1 support option however, is live chat. In fact, it is 63% of customerspreferred options for getting help when they need it.

If you don’t have the manpower to provide around the clock support agents via chat, AI could well be the answer. Not only do support bots help you skilfully improve coverage and efficiency, they can also help you extend your branding and show visitors what you’re really about. One great example is TacoBot, the new Slack-based support bot from Taco Bell. Not only can he help you get your take-out in super quick time, he’s funny, friendly and has some opinions on current events as well as your latest order.

Image: tacobell.jpg

tacobell

As customers engage with your bots, they are giving you valuable data such as their contact details, preferences, and even their interests. If you use support bot technology with Natural Language Processing, your customers can speak freely and receive situation-specific answers which suit their individual queries. Microsoft’s latest findings suggest that the average US consumer regularly uses at least 4 channels to engage with a brand. The latest customer service wins involve making sure these channels work in harmony, whether it’s state of the art technology which processes an order on Slack, providing around the clock omnichannel coverage, or simply answering a query on Twitter before it escalates.

Going above and beyond for your customers has become an expectation. How will you exceed this expectation and bring record-breaking delights to your customers in 2017?

Yifat Mor
Yifat is the VP Marketing at nanorep. She has a lengthy and comprehensive history in marketing. Yifat is passionate about her work and hopes to share her knowledge on how to grow business and reach the ultimate in digital experience.

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