Archive for the ‘Customer Experience’ Category

How to Provide Excellent Social Media Customer Service

Posted on: January 31st, 2020 by dorarapcsak 2 Comments

Providing social media customer service is not an option anymore. It’s an absolute must for any business that wants to survive the fierce competition.

Research from the Institute of Customer Service reveals 1 in every 3 customers turns to social media to seek advice or communicate with a business.

Building a better relationship with customers by supporting them on their most used channels is the opportunity you cannot miss out on. So how do you do it? Below are a few tips from us!

Sometimes less is more

These days most companies represent themselves on as many social media platforms as possible. However, having a social media profile will only do any good for your company if you have the resources to take care of them.  

Keeping several social media platforms up to date is particularly time-consuming. What is more, some of these platforms might be completely useless for your business. Therefore, I suggest that instead of being everywhere you rather focus on the platforms where your customers are.

Also, don’t make the mistake of assuming that the most popular channel is the best fit for your audience. If you don’t know where your customers are, just simply ask them. An online survey, for instance, will be a great idea to do that.

Listen to what they say

Rule number one: make sure to have a person or a team (depending on the size of your business) who is responsible for not only reading and answering but also listening to what your customers say.

Your social media sites are not simply platforms where your marketing team can share photos and interesting stories about your brand. These are channels your customers will most probably use for communicating with your businesses.

But replying won’t be enough, you’ll also need to listen to what they say. Listening to your customers’ opinions on social sites will provide you with some of the most important information, particularly in terms of product development. After all, it is customers who use your services. 

Track and monitor volume

I’m sure you’ve already noticed that every year more and more people start using social media platforms in order to reach out to a business. As a result, chances are that the volume of your customer inquiries via these channels is on the rise as well.

Another important rule of social media customer service is to track and monitor the volume of your incoming queries, which will not only allow you to manage them in a timely manner but also help you plan your staffing responsible for social media messages.

You can easily keep track of your social inquiries by relying on contact center software that can be integrated with your social media channels. Our system, VCC Live, can be integrated with Facebook Messenger, the world’s most used social network, with only one click. This way, your agents will be able to handle your customers’ Facebook messages directly in your customer service system. As simple as that!

Hopefully, this article showed you the importance of social media customer service, and you’ve managed to pick up some essential strategies for providing efficient support your channels! Good luck! 

Don’t Let Bad Customer Service Affect Your Business! Here’s Why!

Posted on: January 17th, 2020 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Bad customer service will create a negative impact on your business no matter how great your products or services are. In the long run, poor service will result in losing your revenue, reputation, customers as well as employees.

In this article, we are showing you the dangerous side effects of bad customer service. Check it out and make sure you always keep your customer service standards high!

Revenue Loss   

Bad customer service creates a downward spiral for revenue. As a result of bad customer service, you can expect new customers to stay away and existing ones to leave. And of course, if your customer base decreases, you’ll have fewer sales, which will eventually lead to losing your revenue.

It’s definitely a vicious circle: your reputation gets damaged, you’ll start losing new sales, your existing customers will leave you and in the end you might even need to cut costs by downsizing your team.

And even if you decide to allocate more money for marketing purposes, if there is no effort made to improve your customer service, your newly acquired customers will soon leave you as well.  

Damaged Reputation

Without doubt, your reputation is one of the most valuable assets of your company. But in our ever-connected world, it takes only a few minutes to lose your reputation due to bad customer service.

Whether you like it or not, customers are your company’s most powerful marketing weapon. If they have a bad experience with your business, they will tell their friends, family and colleagues. In worst scenario, they will leave a negative online review about your company, which of course, will greatly damage your reputation.

Indeed, customers these days are quick to share their negative experiences online, leaving comments on review sites and social media channels. And for new customers it will take only a few minutes to check your company’s negative reviews, resulting in staying away from your business. 

Customers Leave  

With competition becoming fiercer than ever, customers these days can choose from many options when it comes to purchasing a product or service. And you can be sure that if they experience poor service, they will leave you for the competition in no time.

As acquiring new customers takes more effort than to retain the existing ones, losing customers due to bad customer service is something no business can afford.

Furthermore, when you lose a loyal customer, chances are they will share their bad experiences with their acquaintances, further damaging your reputation.

Employees Leave

Bad customer service will have a negative side effect on your team as well, resulting in not only losing your customers but your best employees as well.

When your company provides bad customer service, your employees will be the first ones to hear about it straight from your customers. And some of these upset customers will not be a pleasure to talk with.

As nobody likes to talk to angry customers, having to deal with constantly complaining customers will definitely take a toll on your employees as well. This will lead to burnout and eventually, your employees will desert the sinking ship.

Now that you really can see the dangerous consequences of bad customer service, will you go the extra mile to always provide exceptional service? We hope you will!

5 Customer Service Trends And Predictions You Should Watch Out For in 2020

Posted on: December 12th, 2019 by Elemér Erdősi No Comments

As 2019 increasingly becomes a distant memory, it’s time to gear up for the newest customer service trends in the ever-evolving contact center industry.

In this new age of customer experience, expect self-service tools, live engagement tools and integrations to continue their rise to the top.

In addition, although we’ve only recently started to embrace omnichannel customer service, it’s already time to take the next step and introduce the optichannel approach to your customer interactions.

And finally, will 2020 be the year that sees remote agents replace in-house agents as the preferred choice for contact centers?

There’s no doubt that 2020 will see both new trends emerging as well as some already-established technologies reaching their full potential. So, let’s take a closer look!

Automated self-service tools to become more important in customer support

Customers today are increasingly looking to solve their problems themselves, rather than spend time dialing customer service lines. As a result, customer self-service has become ever-more popular with companies, allowing them to provide a comparatively simple way to handle customer queries.

Self-service is nothing new to customer service, however, in 2020 we’re going to see further technological improvements which will allow companies to handle an even greater amount of their customer queries using self-service tools.

Self-service IVRs are definitely on the rise, and in 2020 we can expect a major increase in their use. It’s also worth mentioning speech-to-text and text-to-speech technologies, which, while relatively new AI-powered IVR technologies, are expected to gain significant popularity in the upcoming years.

The difference between Contact Centers and CRM systems will become a fine line

One hot topic customer service experts are increasingly focusing on is how to create  smooth customer journeys.

Walking customers through a smooth customer journey means successfully fulfilling their needs. But if you don’t know anything about your customers, then it’s not very likely that you will be able to provide them with the customer experience they will be expecting from you.

A CRM system allows your business to collect customer data, identify the most valuable customers over time, and eventually increase customer loyalty by providing personalized customer service.

But if your system is not integrated with your CC solution, you agents will have no choice but to switch from one system to another during customer interactions. And if your solutions are not capable of transferring data from one system to another, your employees will face a significant administrative burden, as they will be doubling the amount of data they have to deal with.

However, there are now an increasing number of solutions out there which offer easy integration with CRM systems. And as most contact centers are now starting to prefer such solutions, we can safely say that in the future there will only be a fine line between contact center solutions and CRM systems.

Solving real-time problem solving with live engagement tools to become more common

In our ever-accelerated world, there’s no doubt that time is our most valued asset. It is no different in customer service, with the majority of customers looking for fast responses and quick resolutions, but with the minimum of effort.

However, when communication is restricted to sending information back and forth via email or similar, it is often difficult to figure out what many customer queries are really about. But if your agents are instead able to utilize real-time communication capabilities, and engage with customers via live engagements tools, they can deliver instant support.

That is why more and more contact centers started to rely on live engagement tools such as video chat or co-browsing in order to boost customer experience through efficient problem resolution.

Besides boosting customer experience, live engagement tools also help improve team productivity, as faster support allows agents to handle customer queries more efficiently.

More and more contact centers will switch to the Optichannel Approach

The terms multichannel, omnichannel, and now optichannel, are often used interchangeably. And while all of these terms are related, there is a significant difference between them.  

Multichannel communication means leveraging several channels when interacting with customers. Omnichannel communication takes things to the next level by aligning the channels utilized. But what about Optichannel? Well, when it comes to interacting with customers, companies need to rely on the most efficient communication methods. And this is where Optichannel provides the best fit yet.

Indeed, having only just started to embrace the Omnichannel concept, Optichannel is the new buzzword taking over the customer service landscape. While Omnichannel allows customers to engage with companies on their preferred channel, with Optichannel communication it is your business that specifically determines the optimal channel for your customers based on your goals for each channel and available customer information.  

With technologies and strategies changing in the blink of the eyes in the customer service industry, there’s no doubt that it is the Optichannel approach that will rule 2020.

Remote agents to become increasingly more important

Hiring remote agents is not a new thing in the contact center world. Indeed, most contact centers already benefit from the concept of hiring remote agents in order to save costs and add multilingual talent to their teams.  

In 2020, customer service experts anticipate that the remote working trend will grow even more significantly, and for good reason: hiring remote agents is more affordable and economical, and it allows contact centers to gain access to a global pool of talent, which is increasingly a must for customer service departments operating internationally. Furthermore, according to a recent Forbes article, 91% of remote workers feel they are more productive when working remotely.

So will remote agents take over in-house representatives? Well, for now companies normally provides employees with partial remote working opportunities, but chances are that slowly, but surely, we’re getting there. 

So, these are my ideas for the future of customer experience, but I’m sure there are other trends out there in your mind we all could benefit from. So what are your customer service predictions for 2020? Share them with us in the comments section!

The Role of Customer Service in Marketing

Posted on: December 12th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

It’s not a coincidence that the statement “customer service is the new marketing” is becoming more and more popular among businesses. 

As customers increasingly turn to social media channels as a way of communicating with businesses, the role of customer service in marketing has become more important than ever. 

“Customer service is the new marketing” may sound a cliché but if you consider today’s customers, you’ll quickly realize that it’s true. People lost their trust in advertisements and even reviews a long time ago. On the other hand, a good first-hand experience with your company’s customer service continues to remain a great way to gain customer trust, even today.

So let’s see how the role of customer service in marketing can be beneficial to your company! 

Customer Support via Social Media 

Communicating via social media is customers’ top choice for contacting a business. As such, using social media channels to provide customer service is an absolute must for companies who want to strive in the long run. 

However, the question often arises who should be responsible for handling these customer service issues: someone from your marketing team or your customer service team? 

Well, your customer support team has received proper training and have the resources to be able to efficiently handle customer queries and resolve issues. So, it is likely that they will be more capable of handling customer queries than your marketing team. 

Luckily, it is simple for your customer support team to utilize social media channels. Advanced contact center software solutions such as VCC Live can be easily integrated with social media channels, enabling members of your customer service team to smoothly handle customer-related inquiries via those channels. 

Sharing success stories 

The fact that anything and everything on social media can go viral in the blink of an eye can be both a blessing and a curse. But if your customer service and marketing teams work together, you can easily leverage the power of social media and create free promotional value for your brand. 

How? Well, your customer service team are often the people who experience cases of customer satisfaction and success. So why not team up with your marketing team and share your success stories via your social channels? 

If your customer service team share some of their most positive customer experiences with your marketing team, they can create success stories together and share them with your customers using your social media sites. 

Another way the teams can work together is to utilize customer testimonials and share them with your audience, as well as encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your social media channels. 

Get to know your customers better 

In order to target your customers with relevant marketing campaigns, you’ll need to get to know them. And what better way to collect information than by asking your customer service team? 

The good news is that they talk to your customers all the time to help resolve their issues, meaning they are continually collecting and storing information about ongoing customer needs, which is more than valuable for your marketing team. 

Understanding your customers is critical for creating effective marketing campaigns, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to team up your customer service team with your marketing team to share their ideas.

Here’s How You Can Build Customer Rapport in the Contact Center

Posted on: November 27th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

More often than not sales calls sound way too scripted and lack credibility. The result is that companies end up failing to make the most of their sales activities. That’s why you should focus on building customer rapport from the very first contact you make with customers.

Building rapport with customers means making sincere connections, and, mainly through phone conversations, creating a common ground of trust. Showing genuine interest, building trust and creating an atmosphere of empathy with your customers is vital if you want to please them and increase your sales.

So, below are some tips on how to build customer rapport in the contact center. Make sure to read on! 

1.    Create a personal interaction

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of personalized customer experience. Adding personal touches to your customer interactions will help you stand out from the crowd. And in such a saturated business environment, you need all the help you can get.

The first thing to do to personalize your customer interactions is to address customers by their name. This is an easy thing to do if your CRM system is integrated with your contact center software, and it’s a small step that can make a really big difference.

When talking to a prospect, you have on average 7 seconds to make a good first impression. Using their name is a simple and effective way of doing so. So give it a try!

2.    Show genuine interest

During sales calls, customers want to feel they have the opportunity to share their thoughts about your product or services. More importantly, they want to feel that their needs and concerns are being addressed properly.

As you’ll need to learn about the real needs of your prospect before making an offer, showing genuine interest towards them is an absolute necessity. So, when you’re talking to a prospect on the phone, instead of engaging in meaningless small talk, try and make sure you show interest from the very beginning.

The more you can make customers feel they are being listened to, the easier it will be to build rapport with them.

3.    Use positive scripting

While many people are against the use of scripts, using a call center script can have a powerful effect on your business – but only if the script you use is powerful itself.

In particular, using scripts which focus on positive messages and positivity, rather than negative messages and negativity, will greatly help build customer support.

To give you a simple example, encourage your agents to say “let me ask a colleague” instead of saying “I don’t know”. By doing this, your agent will be generating reassuring, positive emotions during the conversation, whilst also conveying a friendly customer service attitude.

4.    Listen carefully and recap what you’ve heard

Active listening, in other words showing your customers that you are paying attention to what they are saying during a phone interaction, is a great way to build customer rapport.

For example, when talking to a prospect, after you have got an overall picture of their needs, make sure to repeat and summarize what you’ve heard before you make an offer.

Also, recapping what’s been said will not only reassure your customers that you understand their needs but will also help you avoid any communication misunderstandings.

Building customer rapport is a prerequisite if you want to gain customers for good. Make sure you follow our tips and start creating meaningful customer interactions! 

Essential Steps to a Smooth and Effective Customer Onboarding

Posted on: November 8th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Most companies think they’ve won a customer when they sign the contract with them. But the truth is that when your customer chooses your solution that doesn’t mean that your work is done. In fact, it has only begun…

Customer onboarding is an essential part of the customer life cycle: a positive onboarding experience will reassure your customers that they’ve made the right decision in choosing your solution.  

Check out our five important steps to effective customer onboarding below and make sure your customers stay with your company for good!

Assess Your Client’s Assets and Set Goals

The first and most critical part of any successful customer onboarding process is to thoroughly study your client and assess their assets. As every client is different, it is of utmost importance to know their processes, their results so far and also their expectations after choosing your solution.

In our ever-competitive business environment, providing a software solution will not be enough to ensure your client’s success. As a reliable solution provider, to win over your clients you’ll also need to offer proactive consulting services.

As such, start the onboarding process by making a list of your positive and negative findings. Also, remember to come up with improvement solutions for the negative findings in order to position your company as an expert in the field.

Set Your Goals Together

A successful onboarding process starts with setting goals. During the assessment period, your task is to identify what the client is hoping to achieve by using your solution. The next step is to turn your assessment into clear goals.

Once you have an overall picture of your client’s results, daily operations and expectations for the future, it’s time to set your goals together with an action plan to move things forward.

Again, use your years of experience in the industry and try to provide your client with useful consultancy services. After all, their success is your success.

Effective Communication is Key

Reliable and consistent communication is what many companies fail to provide when onboarding their customers. In such cases, clients often feel abandoned and for good reason.

Start by sending out a welcome email, thank them for choosing your solution and let them know how excited you are to be working with them.

The next inevitable step in your customer onboarding process is to teach your customers how to use your solution. While many companies just simply create a tutorial, make sure you provide them with a guided walk through during an interactive onsite or online training session.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check on your customers every now and then. By doing this you can show your clients that you care about their progress, as well as also help them get the maximum out of your solution.

Customer onboarding can help you retain your customers in the long run by creating a seamless experience between every touchpoint. So don’t miss out on this great opportunity to grow your business! 

Strategies to Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates

Posted on: September 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Acquiring customers is important but retaining them is what makes a business grow in the long term. Still, 44% of companies rather focus on customer acquisition than customer retention.

But did you know that it costs five times as much to acquire a customer than to keep an existing one? So, instead of focusing only on customer acquisition, make sure you put just as much energy into retaining your customers, and even turning them into brand advocates. Here’s how!

Offer next-level customer service

This might be obvious but, if you thrive to turn your customers into brand advocates, start by providing each of them with exceptional customer service because you never know who may later turn into your most loyal brand advocates.

Providing an overall good customer experience is a good first step, but chances are it won’t be enough for turning customers into advocates. Instead, you’ll need to take things further and know what your customers want, before they even know it, for example, by exceeding their expectations with proactive customer service.

Seeing your company is willing to go the extra mile to solve problems before they even occur will definitely make your customers feel that they are valued and respected, encouraging them to turn into loyal brand advocates.

Know your customers

What better way to show customers you value them than remembering their name? It makes customers feel like an individual and it also demonstrates that you actually care about them as a person.

In fact, thanks to today’s advanced technology, you can do a lot more than just greeting customers by their names. It’s no secret that customer service departments store a huge amount of customer data. And by leveraging data analytics instead of only storing your data, you can actually make good use of it. Proper analysis of customer data is the first step in understanding your customers. In fact, data analytics will allow you to better understand your customers’ behaviors and needs, and thus add personalization to your customer service.

By showing your customers that you know them, you’ll be able to make them feel treated as special customers and thus encourage them to commit to your business.

Ask for Feedback

Customer feedback is one of, if not the most valuable resource for your business. It is also an excellent way to gain insights into your company’s processes. After all, it is customers who use your products or services, so you better take their opinion seriously.

Customer feedback is giving you the opportunity to realize what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve your services. This allows you to better serve your customers by taking their feedback on board.

Furthermore, by asking for feedback, you can show your customers that you care about what they think and consider changing your product or services based on their thoughts. As a result, chances are better they will stick to your business and become brand advocates.

Create a community

Another great strategy to turn customers into brand advocates is by providing them with a platform (such as a forum) where they can interact with each other. As already mentioned in a previous article, one major benefit of creating a community around your brand is that it can significantly increase customer retention and engagement.

In order to create an online community, consider building as many social media platforms as you can manage, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora to serve as communication hubs where your customers can interact. You might want to consider creating a forum, as well, which is typically an ideal platform to create a community.

Giving your customers platforms where they can talk about your product will give you the opportunity not only to join the conversation and create a relationship with them but also listen to their feedback and deal with their complaints. 

Why Your Call Center Needs to Leverage Customer Segmentation

Posted on: June 28th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

These days customers are one of a business’ most valuable assets. And as we all know, in our ever-competitive world, it’s easier to retain customers than get new ones.

As such, it’s no wonder there’s fierce competition among companies to provide customers with an as-convenient-as-possible customer experience. As we already talked about in a previous article, one particularly popular method you can use to provide customers with a superior experience is by offering personalized customer service. Another less-known but equally important way is by leveraging customer segmentation, a method that allows companies to take personalized customer service to a whole new level.

So, let’s take a quick look at what customer segmentation is, and why your call center needs to be leveraging it!  

What is customer segmentation?

In short, customer segmentation is the method of treating customers in different ways based on predefined segments. For example, if a customer has recently experienced a number of issues with a business, then chances are that the company will place them in a segment for special treatment, in order to keep them as their customer.

Customer segmentation, however, is more than just offering special treatment to certain customers. It can be based on a number of factors, including demographics, customer loyalty and satisfaction, behaviors, needs and so on. Customer segmentation can also help companies decide which channel they should use to reach out to customers, in order to increase both customer satisfaction and the company’s benefit from the interaction.  

So what are the most important benefits of customer segmentation? Let’s dive in!

Meeting customer expectations and needs

One thing every business strives to achieve is to meet their customers’ expectations. And customer segmentation is a great method to help you do that.

Customer segments allow businesses to divide customers into segments based on their needs and interests, and reach out to them with personalized offers. You can also create segments based on new customers and old customers, or, using purchasing history data, satisfied customers and not-so-satisfied customers.

Analyzing customer data and purchasing history is vital when creating customer segments. In fact, if you can understand your customers’ expectations and needs by analyzing their data, then you can offer personalized offers that are a better fit than what your competitors offer.

Increased profits

With customer segmentation, you can also create segments based on value, so that you can work out who your high-value customers are. Value-based segments will allow you to evaluate your customers in terms of the revenue they generate and the costs of retaining them.

Let’s say, for example, that your call center is focusing on collecting debts. We all know these days that debt collectors utilize a number of channels to reach out to debtors. So how can you decide which channel to use with certain customers? With customer segmentation, of course.

By basing your customer segmentation on the value of their debts, you can utilize low-cost channels such as SMS reminders for customers who only owe your company a comparatively low amount of money, thus allowing your agents to focus on higher-value customers.  

Efficient customer retention

Perhaps the most important benefit of customer segmentation is that it helps companies create an efficient customer retention strategy.

Customers don’t like to repeat themselves when talking to a company, especially if they have been the company’s customer for a long time. As such, interacting with long-term customers on a more personal level is key when trying to provide a better quality of customer service.

Additionally, customers don’t tend to forget how you handled their past issues, so showing them you know their history by leveraging customer segments will definitely help you gain their loyalty for life.

You could, for example, create a segment for long-time customers who experienced issues with your services recently and offer them some kind of compensation. You can be sure that actions like this will increase their loyalty to your brand.

With customers’ ever-increasing expectations, it’s vital to leverage customer segmentation in the call center to meet those expectations, increase the call center’s profit and most importantly retain established customers.