After two years of lockdowns, border closures, and business upheaval, it’s no wonder that customer service looks a little different. But, with workers returning to the office, and increased opportunities to see customers face to face (literally – no masks!), it’s time to reconsider how you’ll elevate your customer service this year.
The COVID-19 impact
The pandemic has had a profound impact on the way customers engage with organisations. Despite being in the era of ‘living with Covid’, there is a still a huge disconnect happening between people, which is why it’s more important than ever to engage with your clients in a personal manner. After so long stuck at home, your customers want to feel seen, heard, and connected with. Remember that human touch still has its place – people naturally crave connection and shared experience. A big focus of epic customer service in 2022 is building back up these relationships and re-establishing a culture of trust.
Research conducted by Harvard Business Review shows a huge increase in frustration and anxiety during customer calls throughout the pandemic. With changing priorities and continuous change, customer service was put aside in place of keeping the business afloat. But when your customers are already worried about the world around them, delays in communication have only heightened customer’s sense of unease. If you want your customers to feel supported post-covid, you’ll need to ensure your communication is prompt, to the point, and above and beyond helpful.
Customer service in the digital age
While Covid-19 has drastically impacted how people feel about customer service and organisational trust, there’s been another big change lurking – the digitisation of customer service. New technologies have slowly changed the way customers interact with organisations, which was only heightened during the pandemic. Just think how many businesses refused to consider WFH as an option… and how many businesses are now retaining a hybrid work model even after lockdowns have eased.
Making the most of digital customer service is all about touch points. Remember to include ‘the 3 c’s’ as part of all your marketing and communication strategies – clear, concise, consistent. Consistency doesn’t mean bombarding your clients with multiple emails a day. But it does mean laying out a strategy that includes multiple touch points across a week, with an omnichannel approach that includes email, social media and SMS, amongst other communication efforts. You should also offer different ways for your clients to get in touch with you when they have an issue. Sure, a chat bot might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for someone looking for a quick solution without having to make a call, it’s your best bet. For others, having both phone and email options gives them the choice of a quick reply, or a non-confrontational message.
The tools you need for epic customer service
So, we know you need to engage your customers on a personal level, alleviate anxiety and frustration, and implement an omnichannel strategy – but how do you achieve this? In our experience, it’s all about using the right tools to support you in providing unique, engaging, and memorable customer service. Some of our favourite customer service tools include:
- A good CRM – Customer relationship management is the first step in consistent communication with your customers. Look for a platform that gives you the ability to record not just client details but all interactions, creates workflows and automations, and provides integrations with other apps. The right CRM will ensure your team knows exactly where each client is at in their journey, and what the next steps are for their customer service experience.
- Seamless helpdesk software – the last thing your customers want is to call in with a complaint, only to touch base a week later with someone new who has no idea what they’re talking about. Keeping your customer support in one central location with a helpdesk platform ensures your customers are provided with quick, easy solutions to their issues. Platforms with live chat capabilities are becoming more vital, and a chatbot will free up your ‘human’ staff to focus on more complex issues.
- Social media support – to schedule or not to schedule is a heated debate topic amongst social media managers. But, having a platform that gives you this option will make life much easier when the need does arise. A good social media scheduler will also allow you to plan out your communications to retain consistency, and provide you with valuable analytics to see what posts give you the most reward.
Good customer service doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right strategy, your customers will become regular clients, recommending you to others without prompting. If you’d like a hand enhancing your customer service, or simply facilitating it, contact us to see what we can do for you.