Making Your Customer Service Experience The Best It Can Be

Providing a high quality of customer service is essential if you want your company to survive in the long term.  Today, consumers have a huge number of choices open to them.  No matter what product or service you provide, it’s unlikely you will have a captive audience, so if you want to make sure that people choose your product over the other options available to them, you have to keep them happy.

Modern customer service means more than just having a telephone number printed on the back of your product label.  Of course, contact centre services will be a part of the customer service package, but email, live web chat, and other support options should be available too.

Speed, Knowledge and Availability

There are three key elements to customer service.  Consumers want to be able to request assistance at a time that suits them, get an answer quickly, and have that answer be as accurate as possible.

Many companies make the mistake of covering the speed and availability issues by putting up a simple knowledge base on their website, leaving people who have questions not answered by the FAQ to either submit a support ticket or rely on contact centre services.  If the advisors manning those contact points are not well trained, then getting support for difficult issues can be a painful experience.

If you want to ensure that your customers get the best quality support, then you should invest in training for the agents at your contact centre.  A team of well-trained agents that can make use of unified communications to offer support via several channels (such as email, web chat, support tickets, the telephone, and perhaps even IRC if you are in a tech-focused industry) will be better for your customers than having several teams that lack the knowledge required to offer top-tier support.

Avoiding Contact Centre Confusion

Many consumers feel a sense of dread when they realise that they’re going to have to get in touch with a support team.  The thought of navigating an IVR menu, or having to click through a support website until the website finally allows them to raise a ticket can be too much to bear.

If you want customers to experience your support service, rather than write your product off as broken and buy a new one (perhaps from a competitor) without trying to have their problem resolved, then you should make your system as easy to use as possible.  Thanks to unified communications, you can route all support requests to a central contact centre – if the people at that contact centre are qualified to handle the most common issues, why not let consumers reach those people as a first point of contact.  There may be some consumers that still need to be passed on to your “second line” support team, but  those people should be few and far between.

There’s no need to make the process of asking for help with basic issues such as warranty problems or billing complicated. Every extra step you add to the process increases the chances of the consumer giving up and moving on to a rival company.

This article has been written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Maintel, unified communications and contact centre services experts. Visit their website to find out more about unified communications and contact centre services.

Photo: Holidayextras

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