Customer service can make or break any business. And because of that, today many businesses are using customer service to differentiate themselves from comparable businesses. A study conducted at Marketing at Work found that the average American business loses between 10 to 25 percent of their customers each year. Another study from Harvard Business Review found that businesses lose half their customers every five years.
Great products and services alone can’t hold a business up. And the truth is, the cost of bad customer service is staggering: poor customer service cost businesses more than $75 billion per year.
Customers want to feel appreciated, and want to be able to get the answers they’re looking for when they speak to customer service. If they don’t feel satisfied with the experience, they’ll switch brands. And as you already know, customer acquisition is far more expensive than customer retention.
If you don’t want to lose important dollars because of lack of strong customer service, you have to have great tactics in place. Here’s how you can avoid losing valuable customers:
Chatbots are making a huge splash in the customer service arena. Chat bots utilize artificial intelligence to help customers solve some basic issues. Of course, there are plenty of times when a customer needs to speak to a human, and your chatbot should make it easy for them to escalate an issue that can’t be solved by AI.
Part of the reason why chatbots are so popular are because they don’t sleep, providing service 24/7. They can handle a high volume of requests at once, make few errors (if at all), and can even handle simple transactions. Simply put, AI is poised to continue being a prominent force in customer service centers. To help you stay ahead of the curve, it’s best to implement Chatbots early on so you can scale as you grow.
Launch a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program can better the customer experience and help improve retention. If you aren’t sure how to structure your loyalty program, it helps to take a look at how some of the best loyalty programs are designed. Although loyalty programs are a great incentive for acquiring and keeping customers, many brands suffer from low engagement. If you want to succeed with your own loyalty program, you should be active. As you sort through those options for some inspiration, you’ll notice that the best programs make it easy for customers to obtain rewards, are beneficial to both the business and the customers, and are in line with the brand’s values and voice.
Create an Online Support Portal
An online support portal can be instrumental to your overall customer service strategy. The majority of customers would rather be able to solve an issue on their own, without having to speak directly to someone or make a phone call. Your online portal should be comprehensive, chock full of images and screenshots where necessary.
You should also be consistently adding to it. As you speak to more customers and build out your offerings, your online portal should reflect that. As such, everyone on your team should be on the same page. If one employee has a phone call with a customer who has a complicated question that wasn’t answered online, be sure to add it to the list. By making your portal as detailed and succinct as possible, you can also save money by freeing up internal time. It’s also important to note that your website should be able to handle the traffic that comes from customers looking for solutions to their problems.
According to DreamHost, a leader in WordPress web hosting, “a VPS hosting plan is almost always going to be faster than a shared hosting plan simply.
For these reasons, you might opt for dedicated or VPS hosting versus shared hosting, which can better support an influx of traffic.”
Implement Multi-Channel Support Systems
Having good enough customer service is no longer enough. To fulfill the standard expectation of customer service, you should be available to assist customers across multiple support channels. In addition to an online support portal and phone support, it’s important to be available via social media. After all, the majority of consumers have engaged with a brand’s social media for customer service needs. Other studies have shown that customers are willing to pay more money or recommend the brand if they have a positive customer service interaction on social media Commerce. With that in mind, there should always be someone manning your business’s social channels.