The state of customer service is always in flux. Many things have triggered today's businesses to focus on improving customer support. For one, today’s customers don’t have the time or inclination to wait for answers. If you’re unable to keep up, you’re going to fail. And above all, things have moved in a "social" direction.
Customer support is growing up, and social intranet software is the perfect platform to cultivate this growth. It’s unacceptable for clients and customers to jump through hoops to get the answers they need. Phone support is fading ... everybody is online ... which is why companies have turned to social support and intranet help desk software.
Take a close look at how most people use the Internet today. Social media is at the top of the list. There’s a social media network for everyone, regardless of interests or leanings. Because of this, today’s Internet-savvy generation embraces the "social" experience. They expect it for everything ... whether looking for restaurant reviews or connecting with friends. So it's no surprise that today’s customers expect "social" in customer support as well.
Social customer service is a combination of classic customer service and today’s social experience. It’s what sets modern organizations apart from those stuck in the past. When things are working, an intranet help desk with social customer service capabilities benefits everyone involved.
Remember all the times you've waited for what seemed like hours on hold just to get a simple answer?
Yeah, so does everyone else. It's a total turn-off.
Why would you want this to happen to your customer base?
Well, you wouldn't. Customer service trends have changed, and businesses are solving this problem.
The world of customer support has shifted, with the following being just a few examples:
There have always been power dynamics in business, and chances are there always will be. You can't ignore that customers have taken control. The Internet has created transparency that has never existed in the past. For example, customers are always complaining about a company's mistakes on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Therefore, a lot of brand perception is in the hands of today’s customers and will continue to be in the future. For this reason, you must understand that great support is a must; and people want "social".
This shift in power dynamic has also created a shift in attitude. People may dislike dealing with customer service reps because of past experiences. We’ve all dealt with rude CSRs who care little about providing any real help. In today’s world, there’s no time for this. Approaching customers with a poor attitude will result in alienation, meaning they’ll go elsewhere.
Speed is essential when it comes to providing customer support. This is one of the reasons why the "live chat" format has become so effective. An intranet chat application allows people to get answers within minutes without picking up the phone. Speed isn’t everything though. It doesn’t take into consideration another important part of the equation ... personalization.
People want to know that they’re talking to an actual person rather than someone who is reading a script. An intranet help desk with personalization can go a long way to improve brand image.
There’s nothing worse than moving from department to department in search of an answer. And then nobody has your answer anyway. This happens all the time. Customer service calls don’t always give the results people are looking for. This leads to customer frustration. There’s no place for lackluster support, and customers know this.
One of the benefits of an intranet help desk is its collaborative aspect. Finding the right answers is easy when you can work with others in the organization. Wait times associated with consulting a colleague disappear when everyone's connected.
The next time you find yourself on a busy city street, take a look around. Without a doubt, people of all walks of life will be on their phones. Smartphones have completely revolutionized how we communicate with each other. They've also revolutionized how businesses approach customer support.
Social customer service that doesn’t take mobile into consideration is missing the point. There are many ways businesses can use mobile intranet software to improve customer service. Customers want it to be easy to get an answer on their phones, as not everyone is always near a computer.
In the past, the term "customer service" was almost only used in reference to making a phone call. Some people still prefer telephone-based customer service, while others prefer chatting or sending emails. Get rid of one, and you’ll alienate a part of your audience. The key is to provide a multi-channel solution.
Providing support over many different channels benefits businesses twofold. On one hand, it ensures that you’re not neglecting any particular part of your audience. This means you're providing them options. When people can choose how they get customer support, they feel empowered. Empowered customers are happy customers, which means they’ll most likely show brand affinity.
Social customer service is about more than providing by-the-book answers. This is not a math equation. Questions and answers are often complex and layered. This is why automated customer service often fails to provide helpful answers.
When you have an intranet help desk with social customer service capabilities, every interaction with your audience is a conversation. Maybe they have questions about how to better use a product or service. These are open-ended questions, and your customers want answers that make life easier. If you can create real conversation, you’ll be much closer to hitting the mark.
Today’s clients and customers are tech-savvy. They don’t need hand-holding and are capable of finding answers on their own. This means your CSRs will spend less time on the phone and answering emails or chats. This also means you'll have to provide a self-support option, or quality knowledge base, for your customers to browse.
You company knowledge base provides the information and documentation associated with products or services. Think of it as a giant FAQ. Providing an easy to browse, information-packed knowledge base is an excellent customer support solution. If they have any questions, a simple live chat can point them in the right direction.
Ignoring social customer service is no longer an option for companies looking to progress. As with anything else, getting from one point to another is all about choosing the right vehicle. While there are many tools available, none is more important than social intranet software, specifically, an intranet help desk.
Intranet help desk software has taken customer support into the future. People no longer have to jump through hoops to get the answers they need. It makes life easier for both customers and staff. Without it, there’s no telling where we’d be with customer support today.
Take the following benefits into consideration:
You want your customers to love your brand, right? Maintaining a solid, stable customer base is the only way to succeed in a crowded marketplace. When you use an intranet help desk for customer support, you're providing a personalized experience. There’s no jumping through hoops and no unnecessary headaches involved. People will trust and respect your brand. This leads to higher customer retention and less concerns about losing your audience.
When using an intranet help desk for customer service, you can gain real-time feedback from customers. This feedback can be a lifesaver, especially if flawed products or services aren’t addressed. Intranet help desk software takes the wait time out of the equation. Providing feedback, then, is easier than ever before thanks to this technology.
Answering complex questions isn’t always easy for customer service reps. Sometimes, it takes a little bit of digging. You might find yourself spending way more time than necessary to get to the bottom of something. With intranet help desk software, you’ve got a built-in knowledge base. Access to documentation and materials is instant. This allows you to come up with the right solution without wasting time.
After you’ve figured out a solution, it can be beneficial to follow-up with customers. You can ask how they felt the interaction went, what they’d like to see improved, etc. This is a great way to gauge your own performance, and the information you get will be useful going forward.
As with any customer service interaction, you want ensure your customers a great experience. This will never happen if people are going through mazes of telephone prompts. It’s enough to turn them off completely. Intranet help desk software is easy to use and intuitive. The result is a streamlined experience, and headache-free for both parties.
Social customer service is growing up, and there’s no way around it. Don't sit back and watch as your customers disappear. Listen to them, help them, and keep them engaged. Changing with the times is a must, and choosing the right intranet help desk is the answer.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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