Customer care is a core function of any business - but what does good customer service look like? Let’s take a look at some of the top customer care ideas in 2021.
Personalisation has been a buzzword when it comes to providing great customer service for a long time now - and it’s still a key trend for customer care for this year.
Adding a personal touch is one easy way to deliver excellent customer service at every stage of the journey. When a customer initiates contact with a brand, get the conversation off on the right foot by using their name.
If a customer is a member of your loyalty program, don’t send them offers and discounts for products they’ve never purchased. Instead, look at their purchase history to understand what they like to buy. Supermarket retailers can easily do this when they utilise the data harnessed from loyalty schemes. If a customer buys a punnet of strawberries every week, for instance, it’s a safe bet to assume that they might also be interested in blueberries and raspberries. That offers you a cross-sell opportunity that you can be fairly confident they’ll go for, increasing their basket value and leaving you with a satisfied customer who feels like they’ve got a good deal.
The Zendesk Customer Experience Trends 2021 Report showed that the number of users contacting companies via messaging apps has increased massively over the past year. Messaging apps were already used by many customers - particularly in Asian and Latin American countries - but it was found that the number of customers using messaging apps increased to 2.77 billion monthly users across the globe. Customers like to get in contact with a brand through their own messaging service or app (45% use embedded messenger apps) but they also use third-party services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
What does this mean for improved customer satisfaction? Well, customers are moving towards a more conversational style of communication with brands. That sometimes means that they contact brands across multiple different channels, as you might do with a friend. From initially reaching out on Twitter to following up via live chat, it’s second nature for customers to move seamlessly across different platforms.
However, businesses are often siloed, meaning that the social media agents who manage Twitter enquiries don’t necessarily have access to the live chat widget, so they have no idea that a customer has already been in touch. When this happens, customers feel frustrated. Why do they have to go through the story again? Why must they give their security details another time?
That’s why a joined-up approach will be more important than ever before in 2021. It’s crucial that all customer interactions are recorded in one central place with a CRM, so customers can spend less time explaining their issues with your products or services, and agents can resolve problems faster.
If customers can avoid it, they won’t contact your customer service team. They want to be able to solve their own problems - in fact, 63% of users with an issue start by searching a company’s website for the answer.
You can add a knowledge base to your website, ensuring customers have access to the answers they need, when they need it. If a customer forgets their password at 10pm, they don’t want to have to wait until the next morning to phone up and request a new one. That will result in an unsatisfied, frustrated customer - and likely a missed sale, as they’ll take it to a competitor that allows them to make their purchase immediately.
A knowledge base is a directory of content about your products and services and how they’re used, as well as FAQ content for simple requests as above. Not only are they important for improving customer satisfaction, but they’re also useful for internal customer support teams, as they’ll be able to quickly find information to respond to customers that do decide to get in touch.
Live chat software solutions are key
As we’ve already established, when a customer reaches out with a question, it’s often not the first avenue they’ve tried. Many will have gone straight to the knowledge base to try to find a solution themself, so when they do reach out, through social media, email, or your live chat service, they want a fast response.
SproutSocial found that 40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media, and 79% expect a response within the first 24 hours - and it’s safe to assume that, in 2021, these figures apply to all other contact methods as well.
Could a live chat solution, like Zendesk chat, be the solution to super-fast response times in 2021? It’s a method that’s certainly popular with consumers. Just as many customers will try to solve a problem themself before reaching out, 53% of customers prefer to use online chat before calling a company for help. And it’s the most popular method of online communication for your website visitors, with 42% of customers using a live chat tool in comparison to 23% using email.
You can provide a fast response via chat because, even if a customer agent isn’t available, you can reply using a bot. Bots might not have quite the same customer service skills as human agents, but they can answer basic questions clearly and quickly, signpost customers to relevant information, or schedule in a follow-up conversation if the query is too complex.
An omnichannel approach
We mentioned the importance of providing a joined-up approach to customer care when it comes to monitoring interactions across social media, live chat, email and phone conversations. This is part of an omnichannel approach to customer care that will be increasingly important for providing a great experience in 2021.
When it comes to omnichannel, it’s all about having the right conversation with the right customers, in the right place, without sacrificing any context along the way. This is why a customer relationship management system is so important. It ensures that all customer interactions are recorded in one central location, allowing everyone in the team access to important customer information no matter whether they’re a support agent responding to a complaint, or an email marketer who needs to know not to promote the item that was previously complained about.
How to achieve customer satisfaction
Following these five key strategies will go a long way to achieving customer satisfaction. Your customers will feel that they’re being listened to and that they have easy access to your company for any questions or complaints they might have (whatever method they choose to resolve them).
What’s more, in the background, your team will have everything they need to provide a seamless experience for your customers, keeping them happy at every step of their journey. A complete customer service solution can tie it all together and make it easier for businesses to deliver excellent customer care.