Table of Contents
- Distribute a Standard Operating Procedure
- Combine SOP with Customer Relations Management (CRM)
- Use Omnichannel Marketing
- Provide Personalization
- Respond Quickly
- Keep it Public
- Make Yourself Memorable with Vanity Phone Numbers
In our age of connectivity, succeeding at customer service online isn’t optional. When you interact with customers, you’re not only interfacing with them but any prospects or community members who might be reading along.
To keep your customer service team focused and your responses actionable, you can encourage easy encouragement to call with clickable vanity phone numbers, or encourage your customer service team to continue the conversation online. Consider these seven tips for succeeding at omnichannel customer service online.
Distribute a standard Operating Procedure
Consistency within your customer service team can create a smooth customer experience. To do this effectively, create a standard operating procedure (SOP) document for your team. After new team members complete onboarding, introduce them to the SOP, which should outline the policies, procedures, rules, and tone they should use when interacting with customers.
The SOP should be a document that is:
- Easy to navigate and searchable
- Clear and understandable
- A living document, open to additions and updating, with a stated procedure about how to make changes to the document
Consider including information such as how to refer to your brand and whether customer service employees should sign their own names at the end of branded replies.
Your SOP should answer common questions and empower your employees to operate self-sufficiently. For example, if you run a coffee shop and you occasionally receive complaints about wrong orders or stale coffee, consider empowering your customer service team to provide complimentary drink coupons when they respond to a dissatisfied customer who has proof of purchase. This way, the customer service representative is able to handle the concern immediately, the cost of fixing the problem is minimal to the company, and there is no hold up for approval when it comes to giving out free drink coupons. The best way to ensure seamless customer service experience at a nominal price is to outsource customer service to third-party agencies like Deskmoz.
Combine SOP with Customer Relations Management (CRM)
Your next step should involve ensuring your SOP includes how and when to use whatever CRM your company has implemented. Whether it’s a simple spreadsheet or an enterprise-level Salesforce implementation, you should let your employees know how to record customer interaction information in your CRM so that other employees can find it when needed.
Make sure you include information regarding how to search the CRM. Your CRM and SOP should also be set up to ensure fast turnaround times for responding to customers.
Use Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing ties all of the above customer service coordination together. Customers want to be able to start a conversation with you on the phone rather than messaging through your web platform.
Omnichannel marketing services integrate with your CRM to help you time marketing messages and handle customer responses. This will help your customer service team locate customers in your database effectively and track conversations across multiple platforms.
Additionally, smart omnichannel and CRM setups also protect your business in case of customer service team turnover, ensuring everyone’s notes stay in the system even after an employee leaves. Another team member can easily pick up the conversation where a previous team member left it. To achieve seamless communication across all customer touchpoints, consider implementing omnichannel contact center software alongside your omnichannel marketing efforts.
In the 2020s, no one should be getting snail mail, email, or text messages addressed to “customer” or “resident.” Your CRM, and in turn, your outgoing customer service and marketing messages, should include a customer or prospect’s appropriate name and pronouns. When a person signs up to receive messages from you or puts their name in to request customer service support, they supply this info.
When a customer support team service member replies, they should be able to address the customer properly, for example, “Dr. Smith,” “Ms. Jones,” or “Mx. Allen.” This can immediately increase the level of rapport between your team member and your customer.
The longer a customer has to wait for an answer, the more likely they are to stew about their problem, complain about it on social media to other people, or make a finite decision to use a competitor’s product or service next time.
Ideally, you’re able to provide an initial response to a customer before they can even navigate to your Facebook or Google page and leave a negative review. At the very least, assure them you’ll get back to them soon or provide an automated message promising to get back to them within 48 hours (this works best for email or unattended chatbot).
Keep It Public
When a customer poses a question or complaint on social media, which can happen in a comment, in a post on their page that calls you out, or on one of your ads, do your best to keep the entire conversation on that thread and in the public eye.
Even if you cannot resolve the problem, the person with the complaint or question isn’t the only one reading: you have an entire social media audience, including some who might be interested in buying your product. They are paying attention to if and how you resolve the conflict or how thoroughly you answer the question. If your team can do so quickly, publicly, and professionally, it’ll go a long way toward helping you earn or retain other businesses.
If you need to have an offline conversation with the customer and require something like their phone number to look up their records, consider coming back to the social media conversation after the matter has been resolved to summarize it and thank them for being a customer.
Make Yourself Memorable with a Vanity Phone Number
The average American spends over 5 hours on their phone and checks their phone nearly 100 times per day – meaning they’re likely to use it to contact you via web message, email, or phone. If you would rather your customer reach out to you than complain publicly on social media, you should take advantage of their reliance on their phone.
Give yourself a memorable vanity phone number to encourage customers to contact you. If you’ve got 1-800-BRANDNAME, your customers are likely to remember that if they really need your help.