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8 Ways to Improve Customer Service Through Tech Upgrades

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Customer service plays a central role in your business’s success, and it’s crucial that you improve customer service continually. For example, customers expect speedy responses from service representatives. If you make people wait, they will do business with a competitor.

Customers also expect to have their problems resolved quickly, which requires a proactive approach. You can’t outsource your customer service and expect the team to know how to help your customers.

If you do outsource, you’ll need to train your team so that they know how your products and services work. Otherwise, they won’t be able to help your customers with more than surface-level issues.

How to Improve Customer Service By Upgrading Your Tech

The good news is that technology can help you improve customer service in so many ways. Here are some of the top recommended tech upgrades that will improve customer service in your business.

1. Generative AI

Many businesses have started to use artificial intelligence to improve customer service outcomes. Historically, AI has been lackluster, and chatbots have earned a terrible reputation for being impersonal and unhelpful. However, all that has changed with generative AI, which has the ability to construct humanlike responses to queries.

With generative AI powering customer service chatbots and self-help centers, businesses are able to help customers solve their problems faster than if they had to wait for a human being. In fact, most people prefer self-help options and avoid talking to live agents, so it’s a win-win all around.

2. VoIP Phone Service

Whether or not you take calls directly from customers, it helps to have a VoIP phone service for your business. Even if your customer service center is online only, your employees will still need to communicate with each other, and voice over IP has become the standard in voice tech.

If you do take calls from customers, VoIP will provide you with some seriously useful features. For example, you’ll get the ability to route calls to anyone in the company. When a customer calls your support line, they’ll be greeted with an automated voice asking them to make a selection regarding their issue. Their selection will determine where their call is routed.

With call routing, you can forward each call to a pre-existing phone number without the customer ever knowing. This makes it easy and convenient to handle all customer service needs smoothly. The best part is you can set it up to be as simple or complex as you need.

3. Central Project Management System

Managing all of your company projects from one central location will do wonders for productivity and efficiency. Since project management software allows you to assign users to groups that have separate tasks and projects, you can put your entire team on one platform and your project managers can create tasks accordingly.

Having one project management suite will eliminate the silos in your company that otherwise slow you down. People can be added to group projects as needed. This means you can add your data security team to the software development process, for example.

No matter what industry you’re in, project management software is essential for effective task management. When you bring everyone together, collaboration will improve and as a result, so will business outcomes.

4. Virtual Call Center

If you don’t have a full-time staff to sit in your office and answer customer calls, you need a virtual call center. This will work to your advantage because with a virtual call center, you can hire expert customer service representatives from anywhere in the world. You won’t be stuck settling for local options if they don’t work for you.

Having a call center is a serious upgrade from just offering online support through email and service tickets, and it’s something many customers appreciate. There are some things that just can’t be resolved through chat or email. For those things, having access to a live support agent is a must.

5. Customer Relationship Management Tool

Customer relationship management (CRM) plays a huge role in eliminating the silos that hurt your customers. When your teams aren’t sharing customer data, for example, the customer will have to repeat themselves and give the same information to multiple people. That’s bad enough when they have to explain their issue over the course of several different phone calls, but it’s even worse when they have to retell their details when they get transferred to different people during the same call.

When you use a CRM platform, all customer data, including employee notes, will be accessible to every team member who interacts with that customer. For example, if they’re contacted by a customer service or sales rep, their entire history will be accessible by the team member making contact. The same information can be accessed when the customer initiates the call from a phone number in their customer record. This way, whoever speaks to the customer will have all their information in front of them as they speak.

6. Ticketing System

If you’re still using old PHP scripts you found on a free website to power your customer service support center, it’s time to upgrade. If you aren’t using anything at all, it’s time to get on board with an updated ticketing system.

Customer support tickets are one of the best tools to implement because they actually help people find answers to their questions without your intervention. For example, when someone interacts with your chatbot, it can provide them with self-help resources in the form of links to your blog or FAQ section. Much of the time, people will be able to solve their issue by clicking on those links. If not, the chatbot will give them the option to submit a ticket.

When you do it this way, you’ll get fewer support tickets. This will be less of a burden on your customer service team. Then, the tickets you do receive can be worked on with a higher priority because your team can spend more time working on more urgent customer issues.

7. Website

Your website is likely how customers will find and try to contact you, so make sure it’s easy to use. Even if you just paid to have your site updated with a new theme or design, make sure it’s user-friendly. Have various people test it out and report on what does or doesn’t work. Then, make the necessary changes.

If you’re not sure what might be getting in the way of a smoother customer service experience, check out this list of things people hate about websites. This list is not exhaustive, but it is pretty thorough. Essentially, anything that creates a barrier between the user and their ability to get the information they need or contact you will need to change.

Test Your Customer Service Periodically

As a business owner, it’s crucial that you know your customers are being taken care of. The easiest way to do that is to test your own system. Go undercover, buy a product, and then request support for some basic and advanced issues. See how your customer service team responds and take notes on what needs to be improved.

It’s possible that your team might not provide support according to your standards, but before you blame your service reps, consider that it might also be a problem with the system. They might be limited in terms of how they can handle requests because of the software they have to use, or information they aren’t getting from the intake process.

Once you identify the problem, it’s easy to implement a solution. If you aren’t sure what to do, you can always hire an expert. They will assess the situation and then create a whole new system designed to meet your specific needs.

Prioritize Your Customer Service

When your customers feel taken care of, they’ll be more likely to do repeat business with you, recommend you to their friends, and post positive reviews about you online. The best way to provide stellar customer service – the kind that makes people talk – is to embrace the technology that will streamline your business systems and customer service experience. It’s all connected, and when your internal operations are streamlined, your customers automatically benefit.

The post 8 Ways to Improve Customer Service Through Tech Upgrades appeared first on ReadWrite.

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