Customer Support today

Nowadays, when you are surfing on a website you expect things to be quick and easy. If there is something you do not understand, you  don’t wait long till you leave that site. It is important that you anticipate the customer needs, accompany him in his sales process and build a relationship that will last even  the transaction is finalized.

In a recent study by iAdvize I read that 77% of all customers want instant help and 76% want it for free. So this means free phone numbers or maybe easier, a chat system. For most startups or young companies, chat is the easier and cheaper solution. Livechat offers a pretty reliable and solid system and praises that they achieve 35% conversion rate, meaning that on average 1 out of 3 chats leads to a transaction. In the iAdvize study it is said that they increased the average order by 40% by upselling.

This does make sense. What does Micah Solomon say about it? Here are some general ideas on how to create a great customer service organization:

1. Make a lasting First and and a good Last experience. Just like in a film or a book, we remember the beginning and the end the best. Therefore you have to make sure that the first and the last elements of your interaction with the customer are particularly excellent. Do not only think about interactions in terms of chats and phone calls, but also the arrival on the website or landing page and the last automatic system-generated email you send out.

2. Speed it up a notch. Today’s customers expect services at light speed. With amazon and zappos as the big examples in e-commerce, you better hurry up and deliver fast if you do not want to loose the game.

3. Customers like to talk to real people. Make all interaction as human and natural as possible and don’t be afraid to show your face and real name. Genuinity will be appreciated. Micah suggests to start small and change the chat announcement from “you are now chatting with Jane” to “you are now chatting with Jane Yang-Katzenberg.” Yes! It is more fun to talk to a real person than to a seeming avatar.

4. Identify your returning customer. Remember all preferences of your returning customers, just like the girl at the bakery, the hairdresser or a beloved bartender would. Make your customer’s feel at home. You have all the knowledge.

5. Make customer-support communication part of your brand. Create a list or semantic field of words that you want to use with your customers and don’t leave it up to each individual to decide. It is equally as important to delete all words that could damage the customer experience.

6. Take your time with recruitment. One single “disagreeable or unresponsive” agent can destroy customer loyalty. Don’t rush filling the position but take your time to evaluate the candidates throughoutly. The people being in charge of delivering customer service have to be carefully selected, intensively trained and continuously evaluated to reinforce the importance and excellence of customer service.

7. Anticipate you customer’s desires. You have so much knowledge about your customer’s behaviour – focus on anticipating his needs, wishes and pains. Solving a problem before it is arrises shows that you care about the customer as an individual. This generates the greatest loyalty.

Try to incorporate this in your customer support strategy but also in your daily work! Soon you will see ‘another happy customer’ leave your online store.