According to new research published today by eCustomer Service solutions provider Transversal, many organisations are failing their customers by not even providing the most basic of customer service via their online services. In an attempt to better the practices of online organisations, Transversal has released ten top tips for successful online customer service:
- Provide intelligent search that understands your customers. Ensure that you have intelligent search options in place that enable customers to receive answers to questions asked in their own words.
- Put answers at your customers' finger tips. Don't hide search options or FAQs away - make them visible all over the site, particularly within online forms and alongside shopping baskets. Forcing potential customers through complex registration and log in procedures just to ask a question will simply drive them elsewhere.
- Only an accurate answer will do. Answers must be both accurate and consistent with other channels, such as your contact centre.
- Use eService to cut down email volumes. Put eService in front of all email options to give customers faster access to answers and cut inbound email volume by around half.
- Provide easy escalation to customer service agents. If customers cannot find answers to queries, make sure that they can quickly escalate to a service agent without the need for re-keying their question.
- Use eService to help you sell. Maximise conversion rates by using the opportunity to respond to specific questions with targeted offers, links to forms and calls to action to maximise conversion rates.
- Adding new information should be easy. Adding new answer content to your eService knowledgebase should be no harder than sending an email - and certainly not require complex hand-coding or programming.
- Systems need to be self-learning and self-organising. Opt for an eService solution that can automatically understand and organise information rather than needing to manually group similar information and concepts.
- Feed your eService knowledge back into the business. Customer questions give invaluable insight into what is important to them. Capture this information and use it to improve your products, services and web content.
- Use eService to train staff. Provide contact centre staff with access to your eService knowledgebase - both to update and train agents, quickly and cost-effectively.
Davin Yap, CEO, Transversal says, "Organisations need to use the same standards and common sense principles applied to other channels. Online customers want fast access to the right information without the need for complicated, time consuming searches that don't provide the right answers," said. "Customers who choose the web as their preferred way of evaluating a company's products and services shouldn't have to endure the frustration of being forced back to contact centres every time they've got a few questions."