As we grapple with the aftermath of an unprecedented attack by an invisible enemy, the world is now forced to embrace this new era of remote working. While this has surely ushered in its share of challenges, it’s really encouraging to see that businesses are adapting to the new normal with commendable zeal.
While the progress has been tremendous, we still have a long road ahead of us in terms of seamlessly managing processes and workflows remotely and more importantly, turning these not-so-ideal circumstances into an opportunity for business growth.
One of the key pillars of business success that you cannot afford to compromise with is customer service. No matter what, the customer was, is, and will always be King. Especially during these difficult times, when customer behaviour is driven by anxiety, emotions, scepticism, and impulses, it is twice as important for you to show empathy and double down on providing top-notch customer service.
To that end, let’s get right into how you can really up your game and set up a customer service model that drives growth in the new normal.
Why Is Customer Service Important?
Reduces Churn And Improves Customer Retention
As many as 75% of customers are willing to return to a business that offers great customer service. If these figures are anything to go by, they are a testament to the fact that customers deeply value and reward good customer service and will even go as far as paying a higher price for the product if they are sure to receive the desired experience.
More importantly, given the ruthless competition in the market, poor customer service is probably the easiest reason you could give to your customers to switch to your competitors.
As per Hubspot, a 5% increase in customer retention can translate into a 25% uplift in profits. Therefore, at a time when businesses have been deeply impacted by COVID-19, focusing on retaining customers can go a long way in helping you navigate through the crisis swiftly.
Turns More Customers Into Loyalists And Evangelists
If your customers have a great experience every time they reach out even with the slightest of inconvenience, you’ve gained their trust, which they are more likely than not going to pay back by choosing you over your competitors.
Customer service, therefore, is what can help set you apart in a sea of similar brands that sell similar products. Moreover, you can count on loyal customers to spread the word about your brand among their social circle and drive a significant amount of referral buyers, especially during these times.
Customer Service Is Directly Correlated To Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value is a critical metric that determines the cumulative revenue a customer brings to the business, over the period of their association with the brand. Improving the customer lifetime value is largely a function of the quality of your customer service as happy and satisfied customers are naturally more likely to be spending more and trusting you with their upsell and cross-sell recommendations.
Helps Build A Customer-Centric Company Culture
It’s essential for the entire company to be obsessed with customers and their needs, and ensure every decision is centred around it.
Improving your customer service game helps you build, foster, and strengthen a customer-centric company culture, which is the need of the hour. If all decisions are taken keeping customers first, all teams come together to achieve one common goal — which is to delight the end customer and ensure they leave satisfied.
Improves Brand Awareness And Reputation
Happy and satisfied customers do not shy away from sharing their positive experience on social media or simply among a group of friends. Either way, by delivering commendable customer service, you can rest assured that this word of mouth advertising is going to work wonders in improving your brand awareness and reputation, without you having to put any extra effort.
Helps Optimise Your Marketing Budget
By focusing extensively on marketing to and servicing existing customers, you can turn them into advocates who would be more than happy to promote your brand, in turn bringing in more business. This will help you optimise your marketing spends and save some big bucks, while your customers play the role of your sales reps in driving traffic.
Excellent Customer Service Directly Translates To Increased Revenue
As per a study done by Salesforce, 67% of customers said that they would pay more in order to receive a delightful experience We now know that happy customers willingly pay more, are happy to refer your products/services to their friends and family, are generally more likely to explore upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and remain loyal to your brand.
Therefore, ensuring your experiences are memorable and services, seamless is in your best interest as it directly translates to increased revenue for your business, and its benefits are not limited to enhancing your brand’s reputation or awareness. You will repeatedly notice customers picking you over your competitors solely for the service you provide. This is probably why there is much talk about customer service industry benchmarks that businesses aim for especially when they are rethinking their remote-first business model.
MyOperator and Exotel are offering free credits on cloud telephony services to help Inc42 Plus members manage business calls and enhance customer calling experience at a zero cost. Access Now.
How To Set Up A Remote Customer Service Team
Back To Basics: Understand Your Customers
To be able to troubleshoot and resolve queries, your entire team needs to have a clear understanding of your customers — the needs and requirements, motivations, and the problems they solve on a daily basis using your product(s). Therefore, the first thing to be done is to go back to creating prototypical customer personas and break down everything you know about them so your team can internalise this information and use it to provide strategic solutions to their queries, quickly. This also helps avoid a ‘one size fits all’ wherein every customer is bombarded with the same message whether or not relevant to their use case or not.
Set Up A Robust And Automated Voice Communication Channel With Virtual Numbers
Now that your team is working remotely, you need a software-based voice calling solution that centralises all customer communication and makes it possible for them to take calls remotely.
Automated IVR solutions work like a cloud-based call centre that allows you to set up a common virtual phone number for all your customer service reps, post which they can receive calls on their phones while working from any part of the world. It helps you automate and personalise your customers’ calling experience and offers a plethora of features including call recording, call routing, monitoring, performance analysis, and much more.
The virtual numbers allow you to easily set up this automated multi-level IVR calling system wherein calls can be routed to the relevant rep as per the callers’ inputs irrespective of the location. The best part? Setting this up requires no infrastructural or technical requirements as everything is stored on the cloud.
These platforms also easily integrate with your CRM so your reps have access to callers’ information and can rightfully guide them. You also get a rep or team-wise call reports that can be analysed to track performance.
Choose A Powerful Customer Service Software
Since you are now a remote-first customer service team, it is all the more difficult to manage, coordinate, and track the received queries and conversations seamlessly. What you need is a robust customer service software that provides a consolidated dashboard that all your team members can access remotely and track incoming customer queries, resolved issues, high-priority requests, those in the pipeline, and so on. It organises the functioning of the customer service team and also gives you a real-time overview of your team’s performance in terms of which rep is handling which query, the number of tickets handled and closed by a rep per week, etc.
Such a help desk software helps you quickly meet the evolving needs of your customers and provide uninterrupted support even if your team is spread all around the globe.
Create An Extensive Knowledge Base That Answers All Queries
Now that you cannot rush over to your teammate’s desk for confirmation every time you are faced with a challenging query, it is important that you create a centralised repository of all possible topics pertaining to your products and policies. This will have a multifold benefit:
- Customers who are trying to reach your representatives might just find their answers in the knowledge base itself which they can be erected to via a chatbot.
- Support representatives can access and refer to the information in the knowledge base to answer complex customer queries without having to fret over how to reach out and consult their colleagues.
- Reps can share relevant knowledge base links with customers over email or live chat that they can refer to in their own time for in-depth information on a particular topic that might be helpful to them.
Once you have built this repository, make sure you regularly update it to ensure it has the latest information at any given point of time.
Facilitate Swift Collaboration Within The Team
One of the most challenging aspects of virtual work is smooth internal collaboration, without which it is impossible to guide customers and run the customer service team like a piece of well-oiled machinery.
Whether it is choosing the right internal communication tool such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, or updating to a more flexible project management solution, you will need to revisit your tech stack and ensure you are fully equipped to facilitate seamless collaboration within your team. This is essential so that your team can discuss customer queries, open tickets, streamline workflows, and overall coordinate better so they can offer swifter resolutions to customers.
Familiarise Your Team With A Robust Video Conferencing Tool
In order to collaborate just like old times, you will have to ensure your team is completely comfortable hopping on a video call to discuss urgent tasks or priority tickets. This allows you to conduct training for your reps so they are not challenged by its functionalities and are able to connect with each other to resolve queries smoothly.
While there is always the option of a voice call, it definitely doesn’t make up for face-to-face meetings and catch-ups. Moreover, a powerful video conferencing app also allows you to stream, conduct webinars, and record sessions that can be watched and rewatched later. Therefore, setting up a video chat that your team is familiarised with is the closest you can come to working and collaborating like the good ol’ days.
Once you’ve set up a robust remote working system for your customer service team, you are all set to continue delighting customers and winning them over with your pleasant and efficient service.
Inc42 has partnered with the two companies to offer an exclusive deal to enable new D2C brands to tackle customer service head-on.
- MyOperator is offering credits upto $89/ month on cloud telephony services to help you manage business calls and enhance customer calling experience at a zero cost.
- Exotel is offering $66 Exotel Credits that are valid for 6 months to enable you to set up services like IVR and cloud call centre, call recording and more.
The deals are a part of the Inc42 Plus’ Startup Deals which brings a host of other discounts to empower your business. Access Now!