7 tips for giving your customers an effortless experience
Happy and loyal customers, that’s what all organisations want. But customers are becoming more and more demanding, and at the same time it’s becoming more and more difficult for organisations to be distinctive in terms of customer service and customer experience. As an organisation, how can you ensure that your customer service not only handles all the questions, complaints and messages that come your way in the best way possible, but that you also strive for truly engaged customers? An effective way to achieve this is to make it as easy as possible for the customer throughout the entire customer journey. We call this effortless engagement. In this blog, we’ll give you 7 concrete tips to make this happen.
From loyal customer to truly engaged customer
Of course, good service goes much further than just answering a question correctly or offering a solution to a problem. In order to get truly engaged customers, you must not only strive to meet your customer’s expectations, but to actually exceed those expectations by making everything in the process as effortless or smooth as possible. Where loyal customers are brand loyal, they don’t necessarily convey this. An engaged customer is loyal to a brand, but also appreciates interaction with the organisation. Ultimately, these are the customers who truly become brand ambassadors. Make it as easy as possible for your customer, always be one step ahead, be correct, consistent and empathetic, but also be fun! These 7 tips provide practical tools for getting truly engaged customers.
1. Respond quickly and manage expectations
It seems obvious, but things sometimes go wrong here. Make sure you respond quickly to customer questions or comments. How smooth that should be depends on the channel. For example, it is acceptable if the response time of an e-mail is a few working days, but for live chat it is important to use no more than a minute or 2 as a response time. It is good to manage expectations and indicate within how much time the customer can count on an answer. This way the customer knows what to expect and you have the opportunity to exceed expectations by responding faster. At DHL they manage expectations by clearly indicating on the website what the response times are.
2. React in a correct en consistent way
Still an open door? You would think that, but as soon as a service team grows, there is a risk that answers, solutions or approaches will differ per agent. As a result, a customer who speaks to multiple agents may become confused or even irritated. Before you know it, you no longer have a happy customer.
Setting standard answers can be a low-threshold, but effective, solution for this. You can choose one of the preset answers with one click. But integrating a knowledge base is also possible. It quickly and consistently provides the service agent with the correct answer that can be passed on to the customer. We previously wrote about the usefulness and possibilities of a knowledge base in the blog “The importance of knowledge management in smart organisations“. But even if you don’t build a knowledge base, still make sure that everyone is on the same page and that agents follow the same approach.
3. Be where your customers are
If you want to make it really effortless, make sure you are right where your customer is, and be easily accessible via this preferred channel. Forbes research shows that there is a correlation between preferred channels and customer satisfaction. 27% of respondents indicated that not being able to use a preferred channel contributes to a poor customer experience. Which channels these are depends of course on your target audience. With 12.4 million Dutch users, WhatsApp has been fully embraced by both young and old. This means that the WhatsApp Business API offers great opportunities for customer service on this channel. But if your target group is characterised by, for example, a younger age, it is advisable to research the possibilities of, for example, TikTok or Instagram.
4. Be there at the times your customers are
Not only make sure you can be reached on your customer’s preferred channels, but also be available when your customer is there. Analyse when customers are active on your website. For a municipality and its residents it isn’t at all a problem that customer service is only open during office hours. But this is quite different for a webshop. If a customer experiences problems with the digital shopping cart in the evening or during the weekend, it is much better if they can be helped through the ordering process via, for example, live chat. If that help is not available, the customer will be more inclined to go to a webshop where the ordering process is effortless. In this case, keeping to office hours could be a missed opportunity!
5. Faster and more accurate through automation
The future of customer service lies in automation and self-service. Automating the entire customer contact process from A to Z would never happen because human agents will always be indispensable. However, through automation we can make it faster, more accurate and more fun for both customer and agent. In the future, chatbots will therefore be used more and more for handling frequently asked questions or as work planners who request additional information from customers. This leaves time for the human agent to focus on good (and fun) messages that not only provide the customer with the right information but also make them feel good.
6. Know your customer
We wrote a really interesting blog about this before, but would like to repeat it again: know your customer! Speak the language of your customer and make sure you know what is important to your customer. One way to achieve this is to keep the social care department in close contact with the marketing department, so that an up-to-date customer profile can be drawn up. Both departments usually have deeper customer insights through the many customer conversations, reports as target group and customer research.
In addition, make sure that you literally know your customer. In order to do this, get your CRM in order. By storing the customer history here in a structural way, you can quickly see through which channel and about which subject contact was previously made. This means you never have to ask for the same information multiple times and a customer doesn’t have to tell their story again and again. Completely effortless!
7. Surprise your customer
If you have the basics in order and your customer service department scores well on response percentage, response time and substantive correctness, then the real fun begins! Fun promotions or giveaways are a commonly used means. Organisations often use gifts when they have something to make up for. But it’s even more fun to surprise your customer, purely because surprises are just fun! For example like the Dutch company bol.com did. They sent Zeliha a lucky coin in response to a conversation in which she said she was getting married. With a little luck your customer, like Zeliha, will share this as befits a real ambassador, on social media. Nice PR and a loyal customer for your organisation!
Software solutions for effortless engagement
At OBI4wan we live for effortless engagement. All our solutions are aimed at making things even easier for your customers and for yourself. In our OBI Engage tool, all conversations and mentions are received in a clear and concise manner. This allows you to help your customers efficiently and quickly via their preferred channel. In addition to well-known platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, live chat and messaging, integrations with, for example, WhatsApp, telephony and a knowledge base or CRM are also possible.
Interesting white paper — for free!
Now that you’ve gotten a taste for it, are you ready to take that extra step in terms of customer experience and know-how in order to make it effortless for customers and yourself? Then the whitepaper “Webcare is more than online customer service” is a must-read.