Support is one of the most essential components that comprise a modern business. The right support can boost your website visibility and improve your relationship with customers, but there are a variety of tools that are pivotal to the overall customer service experience. Rather than just focusing on selling products to customers through numerous marketing tactics and tools, we’ve got to place the same level of importance on how a customer interacts with a business.
After all, good customer service is what will help customers to keep returning. But what are the most important customer service tools and technology that businesses need to put in place? Here are some of the most vital that should be part of your customer service.
Live chat is one of the most important tools that your customer service team needs. The modern customer needs a variety of ways to get in contact with your business. Therefore, it’s not just about having a telephone number or even an email address, but it’s about reaching a customer service specialist in real time. The right online live chat software can help you provide immediate support to your customers. When we incorporate live chat, we can immediately build a relationship with the customer on their terms.
Live chat is also beneficial to businesses because a customer service representative can, in effect, deal with multiple conversations at the same time. It also allows customer service agents to create a number of templates to respond to customer queries. We cannot forget that many customer complaints are ones that seasoned customer service representatives have seen countless times.
Live chat is an amazing way to boost your productivity in this respect. But it’s important to focus on the experience as well. You need to choose the right one for your business because a poorly designed one is not going to reap rewards.
Project Management Tools
Live chat can help customer service agents handle multiple projects at the same time, so it is necessary to have a project management tool that helps companies to organize tasks across multiple channels. The right project management tool doesn’t just help customer service representatives to streamline their efforts, but it can help them hit deadlines at the same time.
There are a wide variety of fantastic project management tools out there, but the question is which ones are the best? Asana and Trello are two of many out there that are free and incredibly effective.
Help Desk Tools
Naturally, customer service representatives are going to need a platform that helps them communicate with their customers. The right help desk software doesn’t provide organization but it ensures that your business operates with more functionality. The right tools depend on your business needs, but automation is one of the most important. Automation is the key to streamlining your business and making everything more effective. But automation doesn’t just involve the right CRM (customer resource management) tools, but it also ensures that automated tools such as chatbots can provide instantaneous responses to customers, either to keep them on the line or give them answers that have been offered to other customers many times before.
We can neglect the importance of customer service agents. They are the first line of defense when it comes to resolving customer problems and they need the best tools possible. It’s unfair to make them muddle through with insufficient technology; you’ve got to think about what encapsulates an effective customer service agent.
Automation is effective here, but shared inbox functions can help customer service agents communicate with each other, as well as ticket organization. When you have a variety of tools that offer automation and communication, from an internal perspective it can greatly make the customer service agent’s life easier. This is what we want to achieve because customer service agents are notoriously overworked and underpaid. They are going into battle with a customer every time they pick up a telephone- so you need to put yourself in the customer service agent’s shoes and understand what they really need.
The customer experience is what will either make a customer return or stay away from your business forever. Some customers prefer one uniform method, however, a modern business needs to diversify its efforts. As we’ve already touched upon, it’s not just about the telephone call or an email, but providing a wealth of opportunities to get in contact with a business is what will help. This doesn’t just mean live chat or telephone, but Messenger for Instagram and Facebook, WhatsApp, SMS, and anything that the customer deems to be the most important method for them. Therefore multi-channel support is going to manage customer service expectations, but can also offer 24/7 support if you incorporate chatbots.
It can also give you the opportunity to direct a customer from the chat box to a live agent if the query is not being dealt with. But one of the most important aspects of omnichannel support is that you can gain instant feedback from customers. It’s been used a lot in recent years, but an SMS survey asking a customer to rate their experience out of 10 or connecting them to lead generation tools such as sign-ups or opt-ins can all greatly help boost a brand’s ability to market itself.
Customer Feedback Tools
Surveys have been used for decades, and for very good reason- they are one of the best ways to get customer feedback. Sending out a customer feedback survey is important because their feedback can make your business operate better, but they can also make customers feel more valued. There are a variety of survey tools, but two of the most commonly used ones are Typeform and SurveyMonkey.
Customer feedback is critical to the customer experience, and if you are not focusing on feedback, you are ignoring one of the best ways to develop your relationship with the customer.
Social Media Support
Similar to live chat, social media is one of the most important platforms to improve the customer service experience. We bear witness to people slandering a company via social media, which is part and parcel of the customer service experience these days, but we can provide effective solutions because, although people will reach out using the tools that suit them, they will always demand an instant reply, which is not always achievable.
While there are many customer service agents that have the ability to monitor social media, there can be limitations. This is where a social media support tool like Hootsuite is a lifeline in the modern world.
Bug Reporting Tools
Customer service agents may need to report information back from customers, like bugs in the software or issues with the website. Having bug reporting tools in place can ensure that customer service agents get live updates if something changes. A frustrated customer is only going to feel more inclined to take their business elsewhere if you do not solve their problems. Internal bug reporting software is pivotal for the customer service agent to provide feedback to the customer based on what the unseen issues are.
When customer service agents get updates, they could immediately put them out to the customer base, either in the form of an email or a social media post.
It is not just about how customer service agents interact with their customers, but about how the customer interacts with the business as a whole. There have been great improvements in self-service. Therefore, knowledge tools can be invaluable to customers. If you provide adequate information on your website, such as in the form of a FAQ section, you can give your customers much more autonomy.
It’s important for customers to be able to find information by themselves, as this will reduce the number of people that will interact with you. Knowledge base tools can make a big difference to the overall efficacy of the business. It’s vital to provide customer service support when the customer needs it, but they also want to be able to find something quickly.
Internal Communication Tools
Customers need to have their expectations managed, and one of the best ways to bolster internal teams is to have internal communication software. There are a variety of great tools out there such as Slack.
Having the opportunity to collaborate in private can serve a number of affective functions: it helps to up school newer employees when they’re looking for answers quickly, but it also helps teams to collaborate and build that important sense of cohesion rather than having to communicate over a lengthy email chain, which can result in people missing salient points.
Customer service technology is the key component that makes a business thrive when delivering effective customer service. The right tools are invaluable in the modern day. Many organizations are using a lot of these tools, but surprisingly, a lot are opting for the bare minimum approach to doing business. It will be interesting to see how communication between customers and businesses will improve over the coming years as technology increases in quality and stature.