Customer Service Tools
The thrust of customer-centric solutions over the last decade has changed the way we interact with brands and forced companies to up their game with regards to customer engagement and service. Startups have had a lot to do with this change, typically creating organizations that offer more personalized experiences and treating customers with higher regard. For today’s startups, outstanding customer service is no longer a nice-to-have and, particularly for those with limited resources, creating a bad impression is out of the question. How customers relate to a brand is often determined by customer service, and for those hoping to rely on word of mouth and social media marketing, there’s no room for a poor review. Unfortunately, recognizing the value of quality customer service and actually delivering it are two very separate things and for new and/or small organizations, it can be difficult to anticipate needs, manage inquiries, and tailor services to optimally suit customer desires. There are, however, a range of cost-effective tools to simplify the customer service process.
Get To Know Their Needs
Understanding customer needs is an essential part of building a strong customer relationship and, though there are various data analytics tools that could be implemented, this requires first that you have the data, and then that you have the right tools and skills to analyze it. For a more simplified approach, customer feedback can be collected using survey tools such as Survs, SurveyMonkey, and Google Forms that are easy to use and cost-effective. Though not as high tech as your data analytics tools, you’ll be able to measure everything from product satisfaction to service quality for a better idea of where you’re performing well and which areas need improvement.
Call center management is an essential but often costly facility, and though some companies feel comfortable relying only on digital communication, the telephone still plays a significant role in many businesses today. Many customers find speaking to an agent more personal and efficient, but managing a call center can be time-consuming and complicated. There are, however, a few applications that help streamline the process so no matter how many dedicated agents you employ, first-rate service can be guaranteed. CallScripter and Freshdesk provide some invaluable features that assist in ensuring customer happiness.
Of course, there are at least as many users who would prefer not to pick up the phone, and so providing options for live chat and support via social media should also be carefully reflected upon. Live chat provides the tools to interact with customers while they’re on your site, in real-time, often a primary driver of both customer satisfaction and sales. Another value for business is, of course, the ability for one agent to interact with several clients simultaneously. Solutions like tawk.to and LiveChat can be highly effective. On the social media side, it’s important to keep track of communication and respond quickly, but with the amount of social media platforms in play it might seem a nightmare of intricacy. Tools like HootSuite and IFTTT can help streamline social media communication and ensure customers are receiving the right levels of engagement.
Do It Yourself
A final category to consider is self-service tools that ensure customers can get satisfaction even when they can’t get hold of you. If systems are offline or customers need help after hours, having suitable self-service facilities in place can ensure customer need are met and loyalty remains high. Zendesk and TeamSupport are two applications that can help you create relevant self-service tools for your startup.
Many of these tools overlap, and some offer capabilities far greater than that discussed; there are also many other similar tools available with varying costs and facilities. Spending a little time understanding your target audience and deciding on customer service objectives will make choosing the right combination of tools a breeze.
By Jennifer Klostermann