Posted by Paul Anderson
Are you prepared for this Christmas
Most of you might think that talking about Christmas is quite early now. True, however, if you are a business entrepreneur or a business associate – then indeed you should start discussing points for the coming festive season. Wonder why? We’ll give you the reason.
According to one of the researches held recently, the big organizations have already armed themselves to capitalize on the Christmas fever. New products/services, POS material, special offers, festive adverts are all prepared to attract the general public. And most importantly, most brands have already equipped their business system with software tools to offer best customer service (that generally becomes challenging in such celebrations).
Christmas planning is seen more in the retail sector. According to a report, Christmas-oriented marketing, sales and customer-service strategy are already under way in most top retail brands. In fact, a few experts have already predicted the winners for this December.
How can you come to the race?
Gearing your company’s products or services for the Christmas is not tough. The real challenge lies in meeting the customers’ expectations (which is at peak in Christmas) across different channels. With Christmas being one of the most lucrative times for small and large enterprises to generate good revenue, good customer service across different mediums can help them achieve their target.
A good multi-channel customer offering is especially important for companies in US & Asia where consumers are shifting fast from the traditional contact channel to the more modern ones. According to the report by America Express Global Customer Service Barometer, here is how the US consumers are behaving presently –
- 90% US customers prefer resolving customer service issues using the telephone
- 75% US customers prefer resolving customer service issues face to face
- 67% US customers prefer resolving customer service issues through company website
- 47% US customers prefer resolving customer service issues through online chat
- 22% US customers prefer resolving customer service issues through social networking
Why is multichannel customer service tough?
According to one of the reports by Forrester, in spite of multi-channel customer service being adopted by most companies, there are huge loopholes in how companies are using it. Most large and small businesses still have a long way to go in managing customers across different digital touch-points.
In fact, the failure of companies to offer proper multi-channel customer service is resulting in huge losses annually. According to a recent report, poor customer experience across different digital touch-points leads up to (approx) $83 billion loss by US companies annually.
How can you get it right with multi-channel customer offering?
Train your customer reps with the nitty-gritty of the products/services: Today a consumer is well-knowledgeable. Probably they have already searched about the product/service before coming to you. As a retail manager says – “I was surprised to see that the customer conversing with my customer rep had more detailed knowledge about my product. Social media or through online forums, the customer had acquired more information than most of my staff had. This was indeed a big blot on my customer-service strategy”.
Arming the customer rep with updated details about the product/services will help them deal better with clients. They can quickly understand the customer problems and resolve the issues in the first instance itself.
Mobile-friendly web design: Often consumers complain about navigation while accessing websites through their mobile devices. Make sure your website has a large touch-friendly interface with smooth navigation. Important information should be easily accessible for the consumers to quickly shop/contact you using the phone.
Round-the-clock customer service: A Live chat integrated in your website can prevent customers from calling your business contact center or escalating enquiries to e-mail. CRM solution integrated in your business system can help your customer reps in doing live chat with customers. With all the crucial data of the customer available in one database, the customer reps can have a fair idea of the client history before starting the chat.
Social media: According to a report by Gartner, social media is the emerging customer service touch point. The best way to harp on this channel is through customer software tool such as CRM. Using the CRM, it can be easy for you to create a combined platform for your customers and employees to collaborate. Monitoring the customer updates in social media and answering them on moment are a few benefits that you can get with CRM.
Final words – be consistent
Consistency is where even the top companies (who are renowned for their excellent customer service) struggle. While multiple digital customer touch-points can be mapped together, maintaining the same level of service and information across every touch-point is a greater task.
Experts recommend adopting a centralized knowledge-base (such as CRM) for all channels. Doing this will ensure a joined-up customer service to give you benefit this and many more Christmas to come.