A Guide to Customer Service and Its Importance in Digital Marketing
Do you know that 93% of customers go for repeat purchases when satisfied with the customer service?
Nowadays, customers expect a quick and personalized experience as they proceed through their digital buying journey. However, with the increase in complexity of digital channels, they become confused and frustrated.
Your team might be eliminating long, complex problem-solving processes. But, even after that, customers are stuck with vague answers and unclear proceedings. This occurs when your customer service team isn’t working well.
Successful companies maintain their positions with a happy customer base. Without them, you are likely to drop your retention rates and increase the cost of acquiring new ones.
This article will walk you through the right approach to customer service and understand its significance in digital marketing.
What Is Customer Service?
Customer service majorly involves getting rid of problems and confusion and acquainting customers with making the most of your product or service. Most companies jot down a process that focuses on serving the customers’ needs. But more often, they fail to stand up to their expectations due to poor execution or a lack of focus on customers’ actual queries.
Customer queries vary from software installation issues to the renewal of subscriptions. Here are some questions companies must focus on:
- Are your reps aware of the most common challenges your users deal with regularly?
- What are the most frequent questions they came across?
- Do you have a well-laid FAQ page targeting the most basic queries?
- Is your resource center frequently updated based on your users’ changing needs and expectations?
- How quickly does your team respond to the questions on social media?
- Are you putting enough emphasis on major social channels in your industry?
Think thoroughly and answer every question to identify the areas that require improvement.
One of the most crucial focus areas is walking your new customers through their execution journey. They are new to your product and require technical assistance at every point.
Remember that one poor experience could cost a lot. A Zendesk 2020 research showed that roughly 50% of customers switch to a different brand after one poor customer experience.
In such a scenario, brands must emphasize providing a personalized approach to customer service instead of a generalized guide to your product.
Next, the customer service interactions generally involve a similar process for all organizations. Here is how it follows:
- A customer comes across a query
- He contacts a customer service rep to get relevant solutions
- The representative offers him the required assistance
But, how does poor execution follow a process that looks relatively simple? Let’s walk you down the key to good customer service and how most companies fail to match the standard.
Key Skills for Customer Service
Good customer service skills are crucial for a business to grow and thrive in the industry. So, let’s talk about some essential skills your customer service team must be equipped with.
1. Excellent speaking and listening skills
Your customer service team focuses on listening to and resolving your customers’ concerns. Firstly, they must be good listeners to grasp the actual struggle and provide solutions accordingly.
Secondly, they must convey solutions after understanding the customer’s holding power. For example, a customer service rep must not use technical jargon while communicating with a customer. While you might impress your IT team with that knowledge, you will only add up to your customer’s frustration.
Try to keep it simple but explore the depths if necessary while presenting the solution. Keep your mind open to a different point of view. Understand their scenario and satisfy their expectation of quick assistance accompanying essential follow-ups.
Finally, treat your customers with empathy, as their experience revolves around how they are treated. In the end, emotions always outrun facts.
2. Availability on various channels of communication
Let’s say you provide an excellent customer service experience when contacted through calls. But there is a long list of emails, unanswered social media direct messages, and text messages. While you are thriving in one area of customer service, you lack the other.
People always pay attention to their convenience. Whether they contact you through a phone call, message, or email depends on where they are and what they are doing.
Also, sometimes a frustrated customer will ping you through every possible mode of communication. Installing a good CRM will help your customer service reps get back to these customers with ease.
3. Ability to solve issues immediately
Customers expect to receive solutions to their queries immediately without transfers. But most companies forward their requests, leading to unwanted delays. Your reps should be equipped with the necessary knowledge and expertise to impart immediate solutions.
However, merely providing solutions to problems isn’t enough. The way you deal with the issues at hand eventually decides whether your customers will stay. Patience is another key skill for customer service representatives. Customers often shout insults and get rude in frustration. Handling them with utmost patience is part of your job.
4. Willingness to improve
Perfection is a myth. Improving at every stage, irrespective of your department is crucial. Customer service is an area that doesn’t have much scope for rigid individuals. You must improve based on the satisfaction level of customers after they interact with you.
Customer expectations are ever-changing, and your reps must keep up with the same. Make sure they identify the areas they lag in and work on improving the same.
5. Knows how to deliver a personalized experience
Not every customer wants you to go through a generalized solution to every possible problem. They are frustrated with a specific issue and desire customized assistance.
Instead of using a general approach, work on understanding their case in detail. Once they are done, ask questions that will help you deliver a personalized response.
It’s essential to understand the details of their issue before trying to offer them a solution. The key focus area is to stop yourself from providing a solution with basic knowledge about their problem.
Personalization often leads to happy customers who can’t wait to boast about your excellence in front of people they know.
6. Effective use of social media
Most customers are tired of reaching out to businesses via social media. The queries remain unanswered as most companies are yet to make the most of social channels for customer service.
Not every frustrated customer will call you for solutions. Sometimes, they reach through your social channels and expect quick responses.
If their queries are left unresolved, they will mention the negative aspects of your customer service through comments or stories. Addressing these negative feedbacks quickly will help you protect your reputation and retain existing customers.
Training your customer service team for effective social media response is essential. In its absence, they will fall into a significant social media crisis.
Words are powerful and can often come back to haunt you. Therefore, stay aware while responding to individuals via social channels. Also, have a game plan ready in case of any mishap.
Importance of Customer Service in Digital Marketing
Digital customer service is becoming increasingly popular, and many businesses (including brick and mortar) have started servicing their customers online. This is because customers find online ways of communication more convenient.
But, every digital channel follows complexities and challenges, and modern consumers expect personalized responses online.
This increasing demand has somehow helped businesses in reducing costs. In fact, according to McKinsey’s research, the cost of digital approaches to customer care is significantly lower compared to traditional methods.
Let’s dive deep into the importance of customer service in digital marketing.
1. Develop a satisfied customer base
You must be active on digital platforms, as customers often seek information or complain about a particular feature. Sometimes, they also provide valuable feedback regarding further additions. Providing quick and relevant answers despite the time, channel, or device is crucial.
Here are some areas of customer service companies must focus on:
● Keep your resource or knowledge center updated. Most people refrain from reaching out to reps on minor inconveniences. For example, suppose a user is having trouble accessing a specific feature of your SaaS product. They will search your knowledge base to acquaint them with the correct information. Frustration occurs in the absence of relevant results.
● Your chatbots must deal with all the basic queries with efficient answering. But when required, the agent must be available to take up the discussion further. After all, no one likes waiting to get their problems solved.
● Introduce a video chat feature for better customer support as sometimes conveying information through calling or texting is less effective. Video chats often provide a personalized experience and improve customer satisfaction and interaction.
● Make it a point to respond to negative reviews as soon as they appear. Your prospects pay attention to these responses. Never let your existing or potential customers come across your ignorance of customers’ challenges.
2. Save the ever-growing cost of customer acquisition
Do you know that an increase in customer retention by 5% could lead to a 25% hike in profits?
Customer retention becomes increasingly important when you focus on saving costs. The concept is relatively straightforward, as your existing customers will likely spend more on your brand. Developing trust through effective customer service will help you improve your retention rate.
Studies reveal that companies not contributing to customer service often suffer high customer acquisition costs. Therefore, it’s incredibly crucial to invest in this area for profitable growth and the possibility of future expansion.
3. Improve your brand reputation and develop loyalty
Customers make assumptions about a brand through social media and review websites. Your customer service team is responsible for changing any outside perception by providing quality service. In fact, they can help you make or break your brand image.
They have heavy control over whether they interact with existing customers or prospective buyers. It somehow impacts brand loyalty to a great extent. Therefore, the customer service team needs to work towards creating a lasting impact in customers’ minds.
4. Develop customer advocates and reduce marketing cost
People often recommend brands to their friends, family members, and even to people they barely know.
For example, your customers are delighted with your product and the support offered by your customer service teams. As a result, they are likely to purchase more and even bring in new business.
Therefore, your marketing spending will fall when you get more business through recommendations and successfully retain your existing customers.
5. Helps in enhancing current digital marketing strategy
Frustrated customers do help you identify and improve your areas of functioning. But happy customers can tap into the areas you are least aware of.
For instance, the SaaS company, Chanty always thought that providing the product at a comparatively low price was why most customers switched.
But after discussing with customers, they identified that price was their least important concern. Instead, they were more attracted to ease of use, access to more options in the free plan, excellent customer support, etc.
They worked on changing their existing marketing strategy to highlight these key points. Less price now remains an additional benefit instead of a highlight in their current marketing strategy.
They realized the people targeting a better experience were far more than those trying to save some bucks. The company increased its sales by 18% after modifying its marketing strategy based on customer responses.
- Customers are more driven towards a personalized approach than a generic approach to problem-solving.
- Always provide instant responses to negative feedback on social media.
- Be available on all preferred modes of communication.
- Not every customer will reach out to your reps when faced with a query. So keep your resource center or FAQ page updated with relevant information.
- Equip your customer service team with excellent communication skills, a willingness to improve, and the ability to deliver a personalized experience.
- Focus on providing excellent customer service to retain existing customers and save your company from a high customer acquisition cost.
- Strengthen your brand reputation by providing excellent service to current and prospective buyers.
Grow your business by providing exceptional customer service. You will secure a loyal customer base with the right strategy and execution. Furthermore, it will also improve your chances of landing new customers.
Customer service plays a huge role in growing a business by retaining existing customers and significantly reducing customer acquisition costs. In addition, it further generates more marketing and sales opportunities.
Start by accepting that it’s hard to satisfy people. Next, apologize for the mistake occurring on your end. Your customers don’t expect you to be perfect, but they want you to make things right. Finally, try to search for solutions and discuss their expectations before presenting them.
Follow the 3 Ps of customer service: professionalism, patience, and a people-first attitude. You will likely observe relevant results with effective implementation in these three core areas.
Some essential ingredients to good customer service involve personalization, excellent communication skills, the ability to analyze different circumstances, and effective use of digital platforms.