5 Best Practices for Awesome Customer Service. How Yesterday’s Customer Service Is Not Enough

Customer ServiceI’ve asked Freshdesk (online help desk support service) to share their insight about customer service in 2014. What YOUR customers expect of you, today.

Customer service has vastly remained unchanged over the years. Customers called – agents answered and corporations ignored. But 2014 is going to be interesting for a multitude of reasons.

On one hand, corporations have truly realized exactly how powerful their “always online” customers are thanks to hashtag gaffes and tweets promoted against their brand.

On the other hand, we have companies like Amazon with their Mayday program. Instant Help. Anywhere. Anytime. And once Google Glass enters the picture, the concept of on-site service will be redefined.

All in all, 2014 is shaping up to be an eventful year for those in customer service arena. Here’s what we think will change this year:

Being everywhere doesn’t matter anymore

Being there on all different social channels to deal with customers doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to set the expectations right, and deliver a consistent experience over the phone, on Twitter and your support portal. If you open shop on Pinterest and forget it after a month, it’s only going to put you in bad light. So businesses, in 2014, need to clearly communicate and meet customer expectations than ever before.

Service wins subscriptions

In the subscription economy, where everything from shaving kits to enterprise software is available for a nominal monthly fee, the only way to keep customers from ditching you is by providing great service. The more you go out of the way to keep customers happy, the longer they will stay with you, and higher the CLV.

Self Service is a big deal

Customers today can’t wait. They’re also smart. And they don’t want to talk to support. And with Google putting a premium on pages that answer natural language queries, businesses will focus more on crafting better self-service experiences over the web. Keyword-ridden pages will be purged, and portals that walk users through products and services will thrive.

Swipe to Support

Last year, we saw Amazon introducing the Mayday button in their Kindle Fire devices. When in trouble, customers can reach a support rep anytime by hitting a single button. Hold times are passe. In 2014, offering instant, over-the-air, video support for troubleshooting issues will be the new norm. Businesses will also be hiring remote teams to deal with the flood of questions coming in from across the world.

Gamification will see further adoption

Integrated game mechanics has existed in consumer centric apps for years, but we’ll see more and more enterprises leveraging gamification to boost employee productivity and morale more than ever before. In addition, an increasing number of big businesses will tie leaderboard scores to tangible employee rewards in the real world.

Customer service is changing and companies need to make sure they are staying on top of it all.

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About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • Makolli

    Customer service will make or break a company. I cannot tell you how many times I tried to speak to a company’s customer service department only to find out the customer service hours are Monday to Friday 9-5! You see, how can working individuals have the chance to call when the call hours are during the work day? I really think if a business cannot handle the call volume that they use an inbound call center to help. I want to know that the company I give my business to is there for me when I have questions.

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com/ Ramon Ray

      Makolli thanks so much for contributing and sharing. Phone support is important

  • bradleeWot

    The reputation of our business is paramount. Unresolved complaints can build to a point where they can nullify all of your positive marketing and PR efforts. This is largely because those who complain tend to shout the loudest whilst compliments are often whispered. I think complaints need to be resolved in person or at least on the phone. Emails & letters only encourage a belligerent, often litigious attitude from the get go where as face to face (or voice to voice) people tend to be more reasonable. Things go wrong in all businesses (I know they have in mine 3D and it took me a while to realise that a business can be measured by the approach it takes to resolve complaints and fixing mistakes.

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com/ Ramon Ray

      Bradlee,

      Much appreciated and indeed unresolved complaints are terrible and bad for business