Week 8: Helpful Customer Service

Customer ServiceWhen delivering customer service online, it’s important to think about the different ways you will allow your customers to contact you. Different people prefer different forms of contact, so offering as many customer service channels as you can will be beneficial - just make sure that you have the resource to manage it all.


Email

Perhaps the most obvious and straightforward way to provide customer service online is by email. Having a dedicated email address for customer service will help point your customers in the right direction for any questions they may have.

Using email for customer service queries will also give you flexibility in responding as you will be able to point the message towards the appropriate person (or allowing you the chance to discuss how to respond to a question with the rest of your team).


Social Media

33% of users prefer to contact brands using social media rather than over the phone, meaning that when planning the ways you will provide customer service online, it’s important to consider using social media as a service tool.

More than 80% of customer service requests on social happen on Twitter, meaning that this is a valuable platform for your business. When consumers want to speak about a brand (whether positively, negatively or just to ask a question) it’s likely that they will take to Twitter, so your brand will need to be actively responding to any messages you receive. You also might want to actively search your company name to catch any tweets that don’t mention you directly - you don’t want any questions to be left unanswered.


Nike Customer Service


Both Twitter and Facebook also allow for direct messages to be sent between businesses and users, so this is increasingly becoming a popular way for customers to contact brands. It allows for conversations to be held between brands and consumers privately, but on a platform your customers will feel comfortable with.

It’s important to remember that, even if social media is not your preferred customer service tool, monitoring the comments you receive from your customers on any and all social media platforms you use is crucial.

Because of how public social media is, it’s important that you always respond to your customers - both to keep them happy, and to show your other customers that you are a brand that cares.


Live Chat

If you have the resource to respond to your customers questions online in real time, offering a service such as live chat can be incredibly helpful for your customers.


Schuh Livechat


Having a live chat feature on your website will allow your visitors to send a message to your team, and discuss their situation there and then without having to wait for a response. In fact 44% of consumers say that having their questions answered by a real person while they’re in the middle of a purchase is one of the most helpful features a site can have.

When a consumer sends an email to a brand or contacts them on social media, there will always be the question of “Is anyone going to respond to this, and how long will it take?” Having a live chat feature in place reduces that worry and allows your customers' problems to be solved in an instant - just make sure you always have someone on hand to respond during working hours.


How Will You Keep Track of Response Times and Customer Satisfaction?

Ensuring that you respond to your customers as quickly as possible to resolve their issues is vital when aiming to provide high quality, helpful customer service. The tools you use to provide your service may show your average response time, as Facebook does with direct messages (shown below).


Facebook Response Rate


For tools which don’t track how long you take to respond, make sure that a member of your team actively checks your customer service channels. Most consumers will expect to receive a response within a few hours of contacting you, but if this is impossible (a message is sent out of hours, for example), you shouldn’t leave it longer than a day.

You should also consider how you will track customer satisfaction in response to your service. Whether this is measured more subjectively by the thank you messages and positivity you receive from customers you speak with, or you measure it by subsequent traffic to your site, it’s important to measure your customer satisfaction and improve your service where necessary as a result.


Our Advice

Offering a wide variety of contact options and actively monitoring these channels for messages from your customers will ensure that you continue to provide high quality, helpful customer service. If you need any advice for identifying the best channels to use for your business, tweet us @Statement and we’ll be happy help.

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