There is a difference between brand to brand and a reflection of the generation we live in as to what type of customer service to offer. It’s certainly not the same everywhere, and customer service isn’t always the same either. People used to have to physically come to the customer care department to resolve their problems in the ancient days. Most customers associate “customer service” with the memory of hanging on to a hold tone while waiting-while twirling their hair for a service representative to handle a simple refund.
Businesses offered customer service in numerous ways, including 1-800 hotlines and in-store service departments. Today, customer service is essential to a business’s success, but what types of customer service a business should provide depends on its needs and customers’ expectations.
Our post covers the most common types of customer service and which one is most suitable for your company.
Customer service used to be a department within the respective business establishments where we grew up. Customers could queue up in front of these physical customer service units to exchange defective products, receive a refund, or file a complaint. Few businesses still provide customer service in-house (mostly in the consumer goods industry). Today, it is a remnant of businesses that were formerly brick-and-mortar but have transformed rapidly into digital platforms.
Creating a customer service department within your business isn’t necessary if you sell online and want to take care of your customers. Spending less on a virtual customer service team can save you a lot of time and money.
Support by phone and email
From the dot com boom to the present, the internet has changed the way we do business. In the past, traditional businesses did not realize how much they could save by offering virtual customer service using phone calls and email.
Due to how sluggish this trend of customer service is in comparison with the speed with which online businesses are switching to higher and faster customer service standards, this trend of customer service is fast flattening. A long wait time for email responses and automated voice messages left customers quickly disenchanted.
Consumers are expecting businesses to provide them with more personalized services, faster delivery, and just-in-time service. Keeping up with the fast pace of life is difficult using phones and emails.
However, these methods are not completely obsolete. Customers may be happy with this kind of customer service, but not all businesses will appreciate it. Many companies, though very difficult, are trying to keep up with customer complaints over the phone. For instance, Optimum is an example. Not only are they catering to customer issues in English but Hispanic customers can also take advantage of Servicio al Cliente Optimum en español.
Support via live chat
Instant gratification has become the norm in our lives, and customer service is no exception to the pressure to deliver now. The business has duly heeded it because the other consequence is more hazardous. Customers want companies and brands to acknowledge their problems ASAP. In the event a brand fails to honor its customers’ complaints, a scathing 140-character tweet can result in bad PR.
The customer service channel selection is the right one since it is a mix of all the traditional ones and more. Customers can chat live with a customer care agent for personalization just like in person. Using a virtual service request is as convenient as contacting a company by telephone or email. Compared to its predecessors, though, it is a lot faster and cheaper.
By offering live chat support, you can provide synchronous and asynchronous support, so it is disruptive. It is possible to engage in real-time, ongoing conversations with live chat. Live chat allows customers from different time zones to report an issue at any time, regardless of the business’s working hours. Engagement is on-demand, and correspondence can be asynchronous.
Live chat capabilities allow businesses to communicate with customers in an audio and visual manner. Due to their ability to understand customers’ context, modern live chat tools are more accurate.
Self-service content provides customer service
In the past, we have viewed customer service as a volatile business requirement. Nevertheless, customers, today expect more than just instant, friendly, and accurate service.
Providing self-service gives you an edge over your competitors. In this way, customers are empowered to find explanations at their own pace. Self-service customer support is provided through chatbots, FAQs, product guides, knowledge base articles, video tutorials, etc. In today’s global economy, many customers find self-service liberating because they can use it when and how they want.
Self-service customer support is only available through live chat. The chat widget allows customers to search for answers to their questions or initiate a conversation if they wish and receive a response in real-time.
Service via communities and forums
Community channels are driven by users. Investing in this type of customer service allows businesses to have a very low overhead cost since it almost requires no staff to manage community and forum posts. It is necessary for a business to first be able to build a following and community around its brand for this to be possible.
This type of customer service has an arbitrary response time because it depends on how active members are in the community. Among its customers and members who come to look for solutions to their problems, moderators can influence engagement. The quality and speed of service in forums and communities are largely beyond a brand’s control.
A community-like following around your brand that can self-regulate is great for your business if you have (or, wish to create) great customer service through communities and forums. A majority of B2B businesses with peer assessment and collaboration as their target market will benefit from it.
The types of customer service available to your business are all listed above. If you want to ensure that your business survives as long as possible, you should provide excellent customer service by combining speed, convenience, personalization, and self-service. Including all of this in your customer service does not need to break the bank. Take a look at live chat – it’s cost-effective, offers the best of both worlds, and gives you the flexibility to scale up or down as your business grows.