4 Virtual Customer Service Channels For Businesses

An old business saying goes this way, “A happy customer will tell one or two people; an unhappy one will tell 10! “ According to Turban et al. (2002), “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.” The key word there is satisfaction that covers before, during, and after a customer’s acquisition of a product or service. It is imperative to keep them satisfied, and you can measure this satisfaction by simply asking their feedback and feelings (whether positive or negative) or a more rigorous way like research.

For a brick and mortar business, it’s the job of the person on the counter and the product itself to provide you the necessary assistance from pre-purchase stage to the post-purchase stage. For e-businesses, how can they do that? Thanks to the Internet, new customer service innovations are made available. Here they are:

1. Social Media

Originally made for social interacting, micro-blogging and video sharing – Facebook, Twitter and Youtube have become a customer service channel. Millions of users access it every day and it is easier for your potential and current customers to ask about product-related feedback through this customer service channel. Another good thing is the real-time information that flows through the stream of social media. It makes a brand personable with the ongoing conversations about your brand because according to Lynda Smith, VP, Care Business, Nuance Enterprise Division, “With consumers increasingly using social media to share feedback on their care experiences, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to ignore or hide from bad experiences.”

Based on the survey by Society for New Communications Research taken from Cutting Edge PR:

  • 59% of respondents used social media to ‘vent’ about a customer service experience.

  • 72% of respondents researched at least sometimes companies’ customer service policies online prior to purchasing products and services.

  • 84% of respondents considered the quality of customer service at least sometimes in their decision to do business with a company.

  • 74% chose companies/brands based on others’ customer service experiences shared online.

  • 84% of respondents considered at least sometimes the quality of customer service in their decision to do business with a company.

  • 81% believed that blogs, online rating systems and discussion forums can give consumers a greater voice in customer service, but less than 33% believed that businesses take customers’ opinions seriously.”

With their findings, it’s not surprising how much online conversations influence a customer’s decision-making in customer service channels like Social Media. Also, a lot of people may write something about your products or services through their blogs. Watch out!

2. Live Support

This is another good customer service channel which is about providing live chat and call support for any kind of inquiries your customers may have. A customer service representative can do the answering for you. Other great ways are the so-called webinars or streaming of demos.Before your customers wonder and wait for your responses, it is good being proactive in the first place. The last two will fill this up.

3. Ticket Tracking System

Have you heard of Zendesk or Web Help Desk? To keep up with the issues, an issue tracking system manages all of it as a system for efficiency and productivity.

4. Website Content

The on-page content should be customer-friendly as well. Here are 4 tips:

  • Create a comprehensive FAQ page in your website./p

  • Product and service details should be appropriately detailed enough to buffer expectations and lead your customers wander on your website for information. See Emphasize Key Details for Effective Product Descriptions; 5 Pointers

  • Make a dedicated page that can make it easy for customers to contact you.

  • Provide your customers that ability to rate and review your brand. Feedback paves the way for a better brand.

Just start utilizing these customer service channels and customer satisfaction will do the rest. If your product is not working well, customer service might save your worries. It makes you go beyond being reactive because it enables you to anticipate in advance your customer needs with these customer service channels.

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