Customer service has undergone a renaissance due to the advancements in software and what they’re capable of. Everything from emails to VoIP systems and the introduction of smartphones has changed the way that we look at customer service.
The tides are yet to settle down, and countless companies are still coming up with new approaches to customer service. Various customer service apps are already out there, but it can be tricky to pick the right one for your company.
As a matter of fact, the majority of consumers say that their expectations of customer service have raised as of late due to these advances in technology that makes it easier for companies to provide quality support.
Companies who don’t meet these rapidly rising expectations are suffering. $62 billion is lost annually as a direct result of poor customer service. Don’t contribute to that statistic, use the best business apps on the market to transcend those who fail to please their customers.
Today, we’re going to take a look at which features to look out for and some of the benefits that you can reap by using customer service apps and software. Let’s get right into it.
[Hungry for more? See how travel company TUI uses Falcon.io to deliver seamless customer service to over 832k followers]
Choosing a customer service app
If someone were to write a guide that covered all the customer service apps out there it’d likely be north of 50,000 words in terms of length.
We’ve always believed that helping consumers understand key details is better than spoon-feeding specific options without explaining why they’re good for your business.
That’s why we’re going to educate you on the intricacies of customer service instead, as well as help you identify key features so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.
Essential features for customer service apps
With so many different options to choose from, it can get pretty overwhelming. There are countless features that can sway your decision. Knowing what’s important is crucial, so here are some key features that you should look for in your customer service software:
Mobile customer service apps make it easy for your team members to handle tickets while on the go. After all, remote teams are becoming increasingly popular due to advances in technology, so you should ensure that the customer service app you pick is usable from anywhere, not just the office.
One of the key reasons that remote employment has been catching on in virtually every industry is the fact that it saves time. If your team members don’t have to spend hours in the public transportation system trying to get to work then they’ll be able to get more done daily.
Let’s face it, the revolution known as the internet has globalized most industries. It’s pretty rare nowadays to have a team that consists purely of local workers who all speak the same language.
Ideally, the app you choose should support the languages that employees can speak so they can navigate the interface with ease. English is a bare minimum, but it all depends on where your customers are based.
You should also look for two-factor authentication in your software of choice to ensure that no eavesdroppers make their way into your precious customer service app and poach sensitive data.
When customers contact a support department and supply sensitive information such as login details, they’re trusting in your company to keep that data private. Choosing customer service software that uses two-factor authentication guarantees that their trust won’t be betrayed.
Replying to a ticket should be accomplished with a single click. Some software makes you go through various pages just to send a response to a customer, and that’s far from ideal nor efficient.
It might not seem that significant to waste a few seconds navigating when trying to respond to a ticket, but after hundreds or even thousands of tickets that wasted time starts to add up until you notice that the entire customer service department is backed up.
There are also various reporting features that can give you a general overview of all your support channels. When you’re running a company, you don’t have time to constantly check in with every department and see how they’re doing.
Customer service software that provides detailed reports makes it easier for you to keep tabs on everything and ensure that the company is running smoothly without having to manually request an update from your employees.
[A tool like Falcon.io can help you generate quick and insightful reports on your social media marketing efforts, making it easier to keep an overview and prove marketing ROI]
Another advantage of using software for all your customer service needs is the fact that it will make it easy to set up a customer knowledge base. After all, one of the key aspects of automating customer service is establishing a source of reliable information.
When you leverage software to create a knowledge base, customers will be able to help themselves, thus reducing the load on your representatives. Any company that relies solely on live support will find themselves clogged with tickets sooner or later.
Any good customer service app should help you streamline the customer service process and combine all your channels into a single dashboard. After all, keeping your virtual desk neat is just as beneficial of organizing your physical desk.
If the customer service software that you went with does a poor job of aggregating all the channels and you still have to check on each one separately then you’ve defeated the purpose — and, honestly, should probably switch to a new option.
One feature you should look for is the ability to integrate a widget on all Magento and WordPress sites. This allows you to collect requests and feedback directly from your webpages, thus making your support team more accessible to customers.
Widgets are a very underrated aspect of marketing but they can be extremely useful. Rather than paying who knows how much to a developer so that they can code custom software, just pick a customer service solution that already supports this functionality.
While costly, it’s well worth the price since statistics show that satisfaction ratings for live chat are 29% higher compared to phone support. Customer satisfaction has always been important, but that importance has been amplified by the internet.
Now that review sites such as Yelp, Capterra, and others exist, it’s essential that companies make a good name for themselves by offering the best support possible to their customers — and that’s usually in the form of a live chat.
The benefits of automated customer service
Again, in the interest of conciseness, we’re going to stick to the three main benefits of modernizing your customer service system. While this isn’t going to cover everything, it should give you a clear idea of why you should make the switch.
The first and most obvious benefit of utilizing contemporary software for your customer service needs is the fact that you’ll save a lot of time. Things like automatic ticket management, chatbots, knowledge bases, and other functions will help things run smoothly without manual input.
You can always make more money, but time is a finite resource that you shouldn’t take for granted. Saving time on menial activities gives you more room to handle important tasks that will actually benefit your company.
This is also a win-win situation since the customers will be more satisfied when they spend less time waiting to talk to an agent or find the solution to the problems themselves through some type of help center.
By utilizing the latest software for help center creation, you’ll reduce the volume of tickets that your representatives need to deal with and actually increase satisfaction, so there’s no reason not to do it if you’re a logical person.
Lastly, by incorporating automated aspects into your customer service system, you’ll reduce the load on your human agents. This will lower operating costs (since you’ll be billed for fewer man-hours) and prevent burnout in your representatives. The same goes for marketing automation, which can further help you optimize your marketing and improve ROI.
This is especially important if you’re running a startup or SMB since every last dollar of funding is crucial to the growth of your company. Most successful corporations that you see today are here because they knew how to keep operating costs low during their early years.
[Curious to know more? A tool like Falcon.io allows you to build automation rules around the tedious and manual task of labeling and assigning content or templates to automatically respond to common questions from your audience so that you can spend more time where it really matters]
As you can see, there’s no shortage of benefits that you can reap by using customer service software, and certainly no shortage of options to choose from either. We genuinely hope that this article has made it easier for you to pick the right solution.
One of the keys to keeping your customers happy is using top-notch software that makes it easier to serve them. That can only be accomplished if you educate yourself on the topic and make an informed decision on which solution is right for your business.
If you found the information contained in this guide useful then pay the help forward by sharing a link with one of your colleagues. That’s all for today but watch out for our upcoming articles that will keep you at the forefront of the business world.
Author bio: Olga Mykhoparkina is a Chief Marketing Officer at Chanty, a simple AI-powered team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Having nine years of experience in the digital marketing field, Olga is responsible for Chanty’s online presence strategy, managing an amazing team of marketing experts and getting things done to change the way teams communicate and collaborate. Follow Olga on Twitter or feel free to connect on LinkedIn.