In the old (read: “pre-pandemic”) days, good customer service was very much in your smile and handshake when a customer entered your workplace. These days, though, literal handshaking is obviously a no-no – and the customer might not be able to see you smiling behind your face mask.
The good news, however, is that many of the long-established essentials of good customer service remain relevant; you just need to adapt them, where necessary, for the COVID age.
Customers expect you to respond quickly
This applies whether the customer is simply asking you for more information about a given product in your selection or has a pressing grievance. However, these customers also have many different means of contacting you – including by phone, email, instant message and social media.
Doesn’t this situation put your workforce under pressure to essentially oversee multiple communication platforms at once? Yes, but the task is easier than you might have realized, as it would be possible for you to combine various platforms into one intuitive package.
You can’t afford to ignore customer feedback
On the internet, negative feedback about a business can spread like wildfire. Once someone has critiqued your company on a forum as public as Facebook or Twitter, many other people could quickly share that opinion with their own followers, leading to something of a snowball effect.
One way you can help yourself counter this risk is by implementing a unified communications solution. It’s easy to find out more about how to unify voice, video and messaging.
Customers expect authenticity
Your company isn’t a soulless logo or brand. At heart, it’s simply a dedicated group of humans doing their best – but we all make mistakes, and your customers know that. They don’t expect a perfect company – they just want one that is honest and committed to its fundamental mantra.
They want a company that is sensitive to their concerns and acts on them – that’s authenticity. It’s not strictly about eliminating mistakes but instead about making up for them when they happen.
You can let your workers’ personalities shine through
You won’t achieve this by just settling for auto-replies and scripts. In replying to customers with these on a regular basis, you risk leaving your company looking distant and uninterested.
Forbes Councils Member Daniel Plumlee suggests: “Allow things like videos to show your staff’s personality. Give potential customers the chance to identify with someone, and then carry that over to your online customer service.”
Social media marketing requires specialist expertise to get right
Social media is one weapon you should be especially careful not to leave out of your customer-service arsenal. That’s because, when you turn to social, it’s easier to satisfy a lot of the important customer-service criteria already elaborated on in this article.
These criteria include replying promptly to queries. According to research mentioned by Business News Daily, 42% of consumers anticipate a company responding to a complaint on social media within 60 minutes, while almost a third expect that reply to arrive within half an hour.
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