Be responsiveA culture of immediacy has developed. Businesses are under increased scrutiny and pressure to adapt in order to meet the demands of customer expectations in a marketplace that is centred around technology, mobility and social media. So, if a customer tweets or emails you, respond within hours (or minutes if you can). Businesses that ignore the needs of the modern consumer will lose customers and the bottom line suffers.
Be socialIn today’s social media age, the dynamic has shifted and businesses need to do a lot of work on the back end to ensure they really know and understand their customers. The findings of the report only highlight the importance of this, with social media overtaking the ombudsmen as the most popular third party for consumer complaints. Customer relationship management technology is helping businesses keep up with these developments and interactions. By capturing information across multiple channels and platforms, customer-service teams can have all the information they need at their fingertips to build a complete picture about the situation surrounding the complaint. When it comes to customer service, access to information is a life saver. Important details like what the customer has bought from you previously and what posts they have liked on your Facebook page empower customer service teams to respond and handle complaints effectively and efficiently.
Be ‘human’In a Which? Report, 53 per cent of consumers cited friendly and helpful staff as a good example of good customer service. Simply put, human touchpoints matter: a recent McKinsey report notes that only 80 per cent of businesses rely on a combination of digital AND human touchpoints to conduct their business – people connecting with people is still very critical in delivering exceptional customer service. Ultimately, people still want to talk to people. We just need human interaction that’s relevant. Connecting the digital and human touchpoints is what’s important, as well as giving customer service/sales reps context on what digital interaction customers have already had with your brand. With an ever-more confident consumer demanding higher standards, meeting customer expectations with engagement is becoming the true differentiator in the business world. Having the correct systems and processes in place to empower customer-facing staff to handle complaints effectively is fundamental to companies who want to keep customers happy and loyal to their business. Larry Augustin is CEO at SugarCRM Image: Shutterstock
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