When you have an issue or a query about a product or service, where do you turn to? In the past, there were only two options for customers: talk to a company’s representative in person or call them on the phone. Today, however, consumers have a wide array of options to communicate with businesses. Aside from a traditional phone call, customers and businesses can now interact via multiple digital channels, including email, live chat, and social media. But while digital customer care has made it more convenient for consumers to reach out to brands, it has also increased the pressure on companies to deliver consistent and superior service.
Digitizing customer service need not be such a Herculean task, though. Alan Masarek, CEO of Vonage, one of the country’s top Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers, has offered some excellent tips below on how businesses can digitize customer service.
- Upgrade your call center. The role of call centers has significantly transformed since its inception--specifically, that it is no longer limited to entertaining phone calls. There is now a variety of channels customers can use to get in touch with a business. Thus, call centers must now be referred to as “support centers.” Companies should also consider modernizing these support centers by upgrading from on-premises hardware to more flexible, cloud-based solutions. Cloud communications solutions, in particular, come with a range of features that enable companies to provide a faster, more efficient customer service.
- Work across various platforms. For Masarek, while the traditional phone call won’t be going away anytime soon, it remains important for businesses to consider other non-traditional communication platforms. More and more consumers nowadays are leaning towards other methods of contact such as social media, mobile apps, and websites. It’s worth noting, though, that in order for businesses to successfully digitize their customer service, they must be able to identify first which channels customers want to use.
- Be available to customers. Another tip Masarek offers to companies is to meet customers when and where they need you. Aside from opening different communication channels to customers, this could also mean providing 24/7 support. VoIP phone solutions make this possible for companies since work can be distributed to teams across the country or even around the world - thanks to features such as auto attendant, call routing, and virtual numbers, among others. Businesses can choose to combine their in-house customer support center with an outsourced service to expand their capacity to cater to the needs and demands of clients.
- Personalize your service. One of the factors that promote customer loyalty is personalized customer service. Prospects and customers that are treated with respect by a business feel valued and return the favor by showing loyalty to the brand. In the digital age, it has become much easier for companies to provide a more personalized customer service by using different tools and technologies. For example, the integration of popular Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software with phone systems enables companies to identify and cater to the needs of their customers better. As soon as a customer calls, agents will be able to view all the relevant customer information (including name, call logs, past purchases, support tickets, and other notes), helping them add a more personal touch to the service.
- Make relevant customer information accessible to agents. Another way to digitize customer service and improve the overall customer experience is by equipping your employees with all the information they need to serve customers better. As previously mentioned, syncing your phone system with your CRM tool gives agents access to all the information they need to meet and anticipate customer’s needs. Placing customer information at your agent's’ fingertips also means they can become more efficient and be able to find solutions to difficult questions or concerns.
If you want to take your business to a whole new level, keeping up with the times by digitizing your customer service is one way to get there. Digitizing customer service helps keep your customers feel valued and important and helps your business stay relevant and competitive.