The days of visiting your home town’s friendly grocer, hardware store manager or clothing outlet may be long gone, but your client’s desire for one-on-one interaction and personal attention certainly isn’t. For many companies, the biggest challenge of the digital age is giving every client the level of engagement they deserve whether they’re contacting you via phone, email, or through social media. It can feel like a lot of balls to juggle at once, but at the heart of it, the rules haven’t changed – it’s just your strategy that needs to adapt with the times! Read on to find out how.
Do social media right:
It can be tempting to try and look ‘with the times’ by having a social media account on multiple platforms, from Instagram to Twitter to Pinterest and everything in between. And this is great if you actually have the time and resources to manage all of these accounts, but many companies just don’t. If you aren’t comfortable using a social media platform, it can do your brand more harm than good to be visible on it. There’s nothing wrong with having just one or two (Facebook and LinkedIn or Twitter for example) if your presence there is going to be well-maintained and customers can reach you through them without having to wait days for a response. Quality is much better than quantity in this realm.
For the accounts you do use, make sure enquiries, questions and complaints (especially complaints) are dealt with quickly and professionally. If you can afford to hire a team to be online and available 24/7, that’s great, but if not, make sure you take advantage of auto-response features outside of office hours so your customers don’t feel their enquiries have been lost out in the ether.
Do corporate gifts right:
Just one of the ways Millennials have shaken up the customer service realm is their desire for the values of the brands they support to align with their own; and no matter what age range your typical customer falls into, social responsibility and good business ethics will never go out of style. Clients care about what your brand stands for, so use your corporate gift giving as an opportunity to showcase this. Fancy Inc, for example, offers a range of eco-friendly gifts and gadgets that are both useful for clients and good for your corporate image. Make sure all your corporate gifts are excellent quality and long-lasting – just like you want your relationship with your client to be!
Put technology to work for you:
If there’s one thing modern tech is great at, it’s gathering information about us (for good or ill!) Put this to your advantage by using it to gain insight into your customers’ desires and how you can serve them better. Having a chatbot, helpful articles and instructional YouTube videos on your website makes you a valuable resource 24/7 without you having to lift a finger.
Lose the bells and whistles on your website:
There is nothing more frustrating to a client trying to answer a simple question than having to navigate a stunningly beautiful but hideously difficult to navigate website. Even worse, this kind of website rarely translates well on mobile screens, so keep it clean, fast and easy to use. Sites that play audio or video without the user’s consent can be particularly obnoxious!
If you get asked the same questions a lot by clients, make sure the answers are easily accessible on your website so they can find what they’re looking for even outside of office hours and on holidays.
Ask for feedback, and act on it
You simply can’t know how you can improve your service to your clients if you don’t ask them for feedback. Make it common practice to follow up (politely and without pressure) after every interaction with a new customer. Don’t pester your existing clients, but make sure you check in with them every few months or whenever some aspect of your service to them has changed. In the digital age, someone actually picking up the phone to make sure a client is happy goes a long way!
Turn complaints into opportunities
One negative review online can really tarnish your image, so make sure it never comes to that. Go out of your way to turn an issue into a really positive experience, whatever it takes. Show that you really care, and your clients will reward you with positive reviews, and with their loyalty.
Remember that whatever department they work in or what their job description is, every employee needs to be in customer service. Make sure they’re trained, motivated and incentivized to be brand ambassadors, and you’re all set for customer service success!