Customer service needs to be fast and efficient. But it can only be perfect when it anticipates and solves problems. No one can do this alone. But with the right technology working in the background, automated customer service can transform service into a selling point.
Fast, efficient, and simple: Customers put high demands on a company’s service department. Real-time communication takes place in just about all areas of life today – so why should it be any different with your favorite retailers? Shopping in just a few clicks is already standard with larger suppliers, and customers now expect this from every company they buy from, too. However, these demands pose an enormous challenge for customer service.
Without the necessary manpower and technical infrastructure, these standards are hard to achieve. What’s more, customers are using every channel possible to contact companies, including chat functions, email, online contact forms, and social media. Sooner or later, service teams will become the only point of personal interaction with a company. By this point at the latest, service teams will need to have all information about a customer at their fingertips and a defined strategy to deal with them.
Collaboration Between Man and Machine for Optimal Service
The more service employees know about a customer, the better equipped they are to respond to their needs and win them over. Automated customer service software can help. Continuously collecting and analyzing data enables capabilities such as predictive support. Sensors in a car, for example, won’t just report on maintenance that is due; they will allow a customer to make an appointment with a repair shop at the push of a button. Service employees will, however, become more important than ever before. Only through personal consultation can man and machine work perfectly together and best serve the customer.
Achieving Proactive and Automated Customer Service
- Collect customer feedback: Place feedback forms on your website, record complaints and praise, or browse forums where your customers are active.
- Offer self-service support: With self-service features such as community forums or detailed FAQs, you reduce customer support calls and position your company as a knowledgeable partner.
- Admit your mistakes: Inform your customer about an issue before they notice it and offer them attractive compensation.
Persuade Your Customer throughout the Purchase Process
In recent years, it has become increasingly important for service employees to take on additional sales tasks. With existing customers, this is best achieved through upselling and cross-selling, both online and offline. When a service employee knows a customer’s interests, they are able to recommend additional services that don’t just suit the selected product but the customer, too. For example, this could be an item from the same category but in a higher price range. Amazon generates 35 percent of its total sales through cross-selling. The entire e-commerce industry generates around ten percent of its revenue with additional sales.
Promising Success – Full Data Transparency, Even When Visiting a Customer
For a customer to make a purchase, they need to feel content. Field service employees play a crucial role in this as they are often the only personal contact between a company and the customer. With access via mobile device to all customer data and purchase history while on site, a field engineer can speed up repairs and maintenance, individualize quotes, and call up product information for a customer at any time. With a shared database for both internal and field services, a technician is able to avoid making promises they are not able to keep. Approximately half of all businesses worldwide consider mobile business applications for field service as essential to success.
Collecting knowledge of your customers is therefore a fundamental task that, with automated customer service technology, can be relatively simple to achieve – emails and chats can be analyzed automatically, as can audio files and geodata. And the internet of things presents further data sources: There are likely to be around 20 billion smart devices in use by 2020, whether for reading electrical meters remotely or for predicting machine malfunctions. Companies that start analyzing their customers and what their customers want will be able to automate many of their processes in the future. This will free up more time for personal contact, and service employees will be able to not only satisfy their customers, but inspire them in the long term.