Article

Customer service types: learn about the main approaches, techniques, and news in the sector

By Douglas da Silva

Published March 21, 2021
Last updated June 28, 2021

One thing is for certain: the market is increasingly competitive and consumers are much more demanding, as research by NewVoiceMedia shows, which indicates that 60% of people will never use a company again after having had a negative experience. Therefore, companies that deliver much more than the obvious get ahead of the competition. With this in mind, offering different customer service types is an excellent strategy.

Just to give you an idea, according to the Future of CX report prepared by PwC, which interviewed more than 15,000 people, one in three customers would stop buying from a brand they like after a bad experience. At the same time, 92% of respondents said they would stop buying after two or three negative interactions with a brand.

According to the same survey, people are willing to pay up to 16% more on average for a product or service in exchange for good service. In other words, customers want to feel special, without being treated as numbers or as a target to be reached.

In light of this data, we can conclude that providing a unique experience should be among the priorities of any company, right? In this regard, certain aspects deserve special attention, such as differentiated approaches and service techniques.

Would you like to know more about this topic in order to gain a competitive market advantage? Then just read until the end of this post!

After all, what customer service types are there?

Telephone

Although the world is more and more virtually connected, the telephone is still a channel widely used by companies. In this context, it is worth emphasizing that medium-sized and large organizations use a switchboard, which can combine different services, such as Customer Service and call centres.

In general, people call a company to ask questions about the products or services provided. Therefore, the professional in charge of this channel must pay attention to the following ways of approaching customer service:

    Using the appropriate tone of voice;
    Having empathy;
    Being pleasant and assertive;
    Trying to resolve the issue on the channel itself, without transferring it to another.

Presence at the point of sale

The presence of the employee at the company’s point of sale is the most classic type of customer service on this list.

Quite often, potential customers come to this channel already with the objective of making a purchase. Therefore, choosing the most appropriate type of approach to customer service in order to encourage this process makes all the difference.

This does not mean that the approach has to be aggressive. Quite the opposite in fact! The tip here is that the employee should behave like a consultant. This means that he or she must be able to resolve any doubts and indicate the right products to eliminate the buyer’s troubles.

To help you understand the type of customer service approach, we recommend that you watch the TED talk “How to speak so that people want to listen.” In it, speaker Julian Treasure addresses essential issues on the topic, such as flexibility and empathy. Check it out!

E-mail

E-mail is also a widely used means of communication. One of its biggest benefits is that, unlike a phone call which requires the service agent’s full attention whenever a new call comes in, email allows multiple conversations to be managed at the same time. Therefore, while the agent waits for new information to resolve a question, he or she can answer another.

This feature, which, at first, is a great advantage of emails, can quickly become a challenge, because the conversations can accumulate if they are not well managed, thus delaying when customers receive a response and often preventing a response altogether.

Additionally, even if the team is organized and proactive in managing the requests for support they receive via email, the interface of traditional email services was not designed to handle a very large volume of simultaneous interactions. This is especially true if several agents use the same account.

In this case, systems like Zendesk Support which, among other things, allow agents to manage customer emails from its interface - which was designed to handle multiple agents and large volumes of calls - is a great option.

Social media

Social media also represents a usual type of service that promotes agility and low costs. As such, a company's digital presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram contributes to improving customer experience.

With regard to social media, the strategy is to understand if your business is able to take part in them efficiently. That is, do you have professionals who can interact with your followers using the right tone, voice, and approach.

It is also necessary to pay attention to another important factor: response time. This is because according to research by The Social Habit, 42% of people expect to be answered within an hour.

Chat

Today, chat is one of the fastest customer service types. Using this tool, the employee speaks with the customer in real-time.

For this dialogue to flow smoothly, it is essential for the employee in question to be good at written communication, as well as being able to solve the customer's problem quickly. Empathy is also essential for offering humanized support.

Self-service

At times, customers wish to resolve their issues more autonomously. In such cases, the self-service model is the best fit. In general, this channel is represented by the FAQ section of a website, which brings together answers to the most common customer questions.

A tip for successful serf-service is to prepare responses that meet the expectations of visitors to the site. A good strategy for this is to talk with the sales and marketing teams in order to find out the main troubles, suggestions, and doubts that customers have.

It is also worth noting that, currently, there are even proactive chat solutions that answer some of the questions submitted by customers with links to FAQ items to respond to such questions.

New customer service types

Novos tipos de atendimento ao cliente

To ensure an excellent experience for the consumer, the market has turned to new customer service types. Check some of them out.

Omnichannel support

This strategy integrates several channels. For example, a person can make an online purchase, have their questions answered via telephone, and then receive an answer to a question via email. Therefore, it is essential for all channels to work well together and to offer the same service quality.

More than just a convenience for the customer, omnichannel service also helps to reduce unnecessary friction. If you've ever been in a situation while contacting a company where you received information over the phone and then, at a later time, that same information was denied during a chat procedure, you probably know what we're talking about.

In order to avoid this, it is essential for the team of agents to be aligned in their work and to have at their disposal a system capable of integrating all the points of contact with a customer, thus bringing together in one place all the points of interaction with said customer.

Chatbot

A chatbot is a chat service capable of offering automated responses in order to answer customer questions. It can work with artificial intelligence or through a series of previously programmed responses. One of its main benefits is the ability to resolve simpler issues in order to avoid overloading the service team, in addition to reducing the customer's waiting time.

In this post, you learned about the different customer service type approaches, in addition to smart techniques and strategies to employ in your company.

Is your company prepared to offer a complete experience for your audience? To get help with this, learn more about the Zendesk Support Suite, which brings together all the solutions you need in order to offer your customers a more integrated, agile, and proactive service experience.

On just one screen, your team can access all calls and consult all interactions, which in turn boosts your team's productivity. Sign up for a free trial to find out more today.