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How to Have Your Customer Service Keep up with the Ages

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How to Have Your Customer Service Keep up with the Ages

Customer service (CS) is important in any business. If you operate a small to medium businesses intent on growth, excellent customer service is a strong factor in growing your customer base, boosting sales conversion rates, and improving your brand image.

 

Forward-thinking companies appreciate the value in quality customer care. Technological development has made strong CS more affordable and efficient. Here’s a number of solutions you can deploy that will enhance your CS systems.

Call Center Software

Helpful CS apps are becoming more sophisticated and more versatile. There have long been apps for automated call response and redirecting incoming calls, but today’s systems can integrate a number of channels, such as social media, text, and email as well as voice.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has led to the widespread use of chatbots and voice recognition technology that can emulate human conversation well. These become virtual assistants and in some cases even replace human agents. AI can also be thought of as “machine learning” solutions. Newer versions are so sophisticated that they can improve upon their own grasp not just of recognized language, but the communication patterns of each individual customer.

AI software can also allow for customer data capture and organization, AI streamlines customer interactions so well that human agents can focus on building relationships and upselling your products or services.

Data Management for Analysis

CRM (customer relationship management) tools are one of the most important assets in modern CS teams. Central data storage that’s constantly updated with information on customer activity and preferences makes agent interactions more informed and efficient.

Today’s CRM solutions incorporate tools for fast reporting that provides a complete profile of every customer and their past behavior. This allows agents to answer questions, offer personalized suggestions, and even make predictive analysis with minimal effort and delay,

Shared data allows real-time collaboration between your CS, marketing, and sales teams. This can also take the form of cloud solutions allowing connectivity between remote workers or locations, or third-party vendors. You get a comprehensive overview of what’s taking place at any given moment.

Automation in Processes

Automating processes helps keep costs low and productivity high. Responsibilities like data entry and validation, mutual support, call routing, and continuous, targeted training within contact centers are now integrated with the CRM and based on the rules or criteria that you choose to apply. Thus automated CRM functions can provide your company a unique solution tailored to your own needs.

This further escalates the value of the CRM in decision making and refining the customer experience. CS solutions are no longer a simple call center relying on the personal skills, training, and experience of human employees, but an automated machine for optimizing interactions.

At the same time, a more technically-oriented solution allows for real-time data caption, performance analysis, marketing opportunities, enforcing company rules, and supporting your current promotions.

Optimizing Self-Service

The perfect customer interaction increasingly comes from letting customers or prospects help themselves. Customers may reach out to an organization in a number of ways, including text chat, web pages, mobile devices, or proprietary apps. Not all queries require human intervention; indeed, more often in our fast-paced, mobile society audiences want quick answers, not conversations.

Tools are put in place to connect with the CRM and other solutions to ensure that your customers can find answers on their own any time of day, from wherever they may be, or whatever channel they prefer to use. The goal is to create an interactive platform for a growing variety of customer contacts.

It can provide access to knowledge bases with sophisticated search tools, instant access to GPS-locator maps, informational resources like video, and even include buyer incentives like digital discount codes and coupons.

Data-Driven Marketing

A comprehensive, CRM-backed digital platform can be a great convenience to your customers. Exemplary service and useful information are something they’ll return to. CS technology also supports marketing strategies. Automated tools on social media, for example, can both generate content and provide the means for direct communication.

Repeat customers and prospects can get more personalized interactions through the data generated by past activity. Through CRM data analysis, personalization can be extended to entire market segments and targeted promotions to craft the ideal message.

Customer insights lead to more focused marketing. Digital channels become powerful marketing engines through selected graphical or text ads, voice menu suggestions, or subscriber opt-in links.

The same data can be filtered and applied to email marketing, customer follow-up calls, and invitations for survey or feedback forms that further add to your storehouse of customer information.

Final Thoughts

Providing the best service means leveraging a number of these technologies. CRM and automation form a system where marketing, sales, and CS are all aligned effectively and efficiently. This raises a company’s brand and value both through higher profitability and improved customer satisfaction.

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Contact her @JazzyWilliams88

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