In the past, customer service was more about responding to customers’ complaints and inquiries. But nowadays, with the rise of social media and mobile technology, customer service has become a more proactive endeavor. Today’s customers expect personalized attention and interaction from brands.
However, one of the most common customer service mistakes companies make when implementing new technologies is not investing enough in training employees to use them properly. This means that customers are often left with unanswered questions about their problems just because help desk personnel have not mastered such systems.
Companies should invest in improving customer service as part of their growth strategy. Providing great customer experience (CX) leads to more referrals, positive feedback, lower churn, increased brand loyalty, and high-value customers.
Statistics from Forbes say customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those who do not invest in improving their customer service strategies. Another notable statistic from ReviewTrackers is that 46% of customers do not easily forget negative experiences from a company, even if they happened several years ago. Those bad experiences affect their purchase decisions as far as that specific brand is concerned.
Come to think of it, IT and sales are crucial parts of the customer experience. These business units have a significant impact on how the customer perceives the company, and they can either help or hinder this experience. Here’s what you should know about how IT and sales can contribute to an excellent customer experience.
The Role of IT in Customer Experience
The right technology can be an important tool in enhancing your brand’s customer experience.
As a step toward this goal, you should provide a seamless and engaging interaction with customers from the moment they connect with your company to the time they leave your channel or platform. This type of approach can increase the likelihood of having satisfied customers who, in turn, will recommend your business to other people.
Aside from quality products and reasonable pricing, exceptional customer service should also be part of your brand strategy. In the first place, companies will not thrive, grow, and earn profit without customers. That is why companies should take care of their customers. Several IT tools can help with that objective.
In choosing the right IT tools to serve customers better, you could look for features that can vastly improve the quality of the products or services you offer. For example, a chatbot can be an effective way of solving customer problems faster. Augmented reality (AR) in a shopping app can help customers view the products right in front of their screen and assess them before going ahead with their purchase.
Here are useful IT tools that can play a positive role in enhancing customer experience.
Virtual agents and chatbots
Again, chatbots can help solve customer problems more instantly while being efficient through automated responses culled from your database or the internet. On the other hand, virtual agents utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to enable them to solve complex customer issues and deliver the information or assistance that customers need.
For best results, you should tap chatbots and virtual agents as the first level of customer support, then have human agents take charge of customer concerns that are considered complex, critical, or highly specific.
Access to different channels
Customers use different channels to learn more about brands and help them with their purchase decisions. They want immediate responses to their queries and want to get their tasks done with a few clicks and touches.
This makes it vital for brands to reach their customers wherever they are – in-store, on a web browser, or on their mobile devices. Brands with omnichannel strategies are more likely to succeed in their customer retention efforts thanks to an overall positive CX.
When you hear the word “forum,” you probably think of Reddit and other similar websites where users share memes and post anything under the sun. But more than that, is a community where people can engage with one another. From a business perspective, forums can help you become more visible and accessible for customers.
For instance, your website administrators can use forums to track common customer problems, initiate helpful conversations, and offer a satisfying customer experience.
The Role of Sales in Customer Experience
As mentioned, a business is not complete without customers. They give life to a business. Without them, popular brands might find it impossible to thrive, earn a profit, and grow their businesses.
Sales are a typical entry point for customers and have the potential to help the company form a fruitful relationship with customers. A high-quality product will satisfy customers and, in return, build a positive reputation in a particular industry.
The right sales tools and techniques can also provide superb CX. Here are ways customer service and sales can work together in delivering the best customer experience possible.
Sales could get information on key aspects from customer service
Salespeople should prioritize establishing a good relationship with customers. Here, they should have constant communication with customer service agents. Those conversations could focus on customer feedback, common pain points, and proposed solutions. Happier customers mean more sales and fewer complaints – a win-win for all parties.
Find opportunities to cross-sell or upsell
Customer service personnel are often in the frontlines and deal with customers. They are often the ones who are more familiar with customers’ buying behavior. They can use this advantage to upsell or cross-sell new products or services as an “upgrade.”
Skilled customer service agents should know how to offer a cross-sell or upsell without sounding pushy. Instead, it should come across as something that will benefit customers in the long run.
Thus, the sales process should be clear to customer service staff. Your sales team could conduct product knowledge seminars to help customer service representatives explain their value to potential buyers.
These are just some of the most effective ways sales and IT departments can help in providing excellent CX. However, all company departments should work together and strive to provide the best service for their clients.
Customer service is not only about responding to concerns and solving customers’ problems. It’s also about establishing a good and long-lasting relationship between the brand and its customers while building a positive reputation that will help them gain new customers and ensure customer loyalty.
Trevor Michael is a Customer Contact Industry Specialist of Select VoiceCom, an inbound call center with telemarketing and IT support services. He has operated successfully within this niche industry for over ten years across Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. He enjoys writing, golf, and going to social events.