We have spoken a lot about the importance of good customer service on this blog. It forms a big part of the overall customer experience, which then determines how well you are rated, reviewed, and regarded in general by those who shop with you (as well as those who don’t).
But good customer service takes effort and it certainly isn’t easy to put up with the demands of today’s customers, especially if you want them to keep coming back.
If you find it difficult to keep on top of your emails, frustrated by the constant stream of communication from your customers, and can’t for the life of you remember how a particular query was resolved six months ago, you may need more than a spreadsheet to sort you out. You also shouldn’t have to log into all your social media accounts individually every day to find out what your customers have been asking you or saying about you. That sort of an approach is passé, time-consuming, and not at all effective.
If you value customer service but are found wanting on certain occasions despite your best intentions, there’s help at hand – and it does not involve hiring more people.
Here are three tools that can help you organize your customer service efforts better so that you maximize your chances of attracting positive feedback and reviews from your customers, as well as build relationships with them as you grow.
This is a comprehensive customer service software program to help you take total control of your customer service operations.
Never miss a customer email or let it fall through the cracks with Freshdesk’s “team wide support inbox.” Set priorities, assign tasks, and keep a note of who was assigned what, all via an easy-to-use interface. This makes resolving as well as escalating cases faster, leading to more satisfied customers.
Freshdesk also offers a ticketing system which aims to do away with long chains of emails, thereby aiding faster communication and reducing the chances of important points getting lost in emails with multiple replies.
Assigning tickets to customers makes it easier for customer service representatives to keep track of the status of a problem. Since support conversations can be a part of a customer ticket, such a system helps agents bring themselves up to speed on cases in a matter of seconds. Agents can also see which other customer service representatives have been working on a particular case, their comments, as well as the exact status of their efforts. As the owner of your business, just one glance at this feature will tell you how well your customer service people have been faring.
Freshdesk has several features, such as self-service, app integration and analytics, which are specifically designed for startups. You can try it out for free for 30 days, after which they have a number of pricing plans to help you keep going.
Get Satisfaction enables you to create whole communities for your customers. They call themselves “a community platform that helps businesses build better relationships with their customers, by learning of their views on the products and services on offer.”
This continuous engagement with your customers will primarily serve a two-fold purpose:
- It will keep bringing to you a stream of feedback, giving you many chances to improve your services, as well as present a good testing ground for your new products
- By addressing customer concerns you’ll nip them in the bud, meaning they won’t spiral into scathing reviews elsewhere, negatively impacting your online reputation.
The community spirit would also mean your customers would be able to help each other out and learn from each other’s experiences with your company, thus presenting a bigger and richer picture of your business.
This can be a very helpful tool for those who are convinced of the importance of engaging their customers on a day-to-day basis, rather than only acting when contacted.
This software, however, does not come cheap and the website does not indicate a free trial offer. Give them a ring to learn of the pricing plan applicable to you.
This is a simple yet effective application for businesses that don’t have the need for elaborate software. You could consider this a stripped down version of enterprise-level CRMs, with an easy-to-use interface with customizable features.
Kayako collects all your customer communication – from emails, live chat, phone calls or web forms – in one place so that you can make sure none of your customer queries go unnoticed. Your customer service agents can generate tickets quickly, tag and prioritize cases, as well as keep tabs on customer activity and when the response to their queries is due. Prompt resolution of grievances is likely to invite positive feedback from your customers.
Kayako also helps you create self-service support centers for your customers so that they can manage their own support tickets and find questions to their problems even when your support staff isn’t around.
There is an embedded live-chat feature that gives you the chance to address visitor queries in real time, which has the potential to convert them into customers. It generates reports based on the helpdesk data to give you an insight into how you are faring on the customer satisfaction front.
If this description intrigues you, give Kayako a try for free to see if it helps you improve your customer service. If you decide to keep it, plans start at $24 a month.
Over to You
People love companies that are known for good customer service. If you haven’t made customer service a priority for your organization yet, NOW would be a good time to do so. And remember the golden rule of customer care: cut costs, not quality.
The tools we’ve discussed here are just a start. There are many more out there – Zoho Support, UserVoice and HappyFox are good ones too. Try out as many as you can with an open mind, and you will definitely find just the tool to give your customer service the boost it needs.