Customer service is more important than ever, with the modern-day customer expecting to be able to have their queries answered rapidly and efficiently.
Therefore, ensuring you have reliable and effective channels of communication can help separate you from your competitors.
Gone are the days of letters and fax machines. With the advent of the internet, there has been an explosion in communication methods.
However, not all communication methods are equally valid.
Though customers expect a range of options to be available, companies need to decide which channel to put the majority of their effort into, requiring an understanding of the customer base and their expectations.
In this guide, we will examine the most effective channels currently available.
Email is a given. It is the modern form of letter writing, perfect for long-form communication.
Even if it isn’t your most used form of customer service, every company must have a contactable email address.
The downside of email is that it can take a while to reply to a customer.
Customers expect to receive a reply within 3-4 hours, not 24 hours. However, as 91% of consumers use email daily, it does cater to almost everyone.
If people want to talk to someone, then there are few other options than a phone call.
Just like email, most customers expect it as standard. It still accounts for 68 percent of all support interactions.
For older customers, the phone will be the first port of call, though younger customers may opt for live chat.
Although it is still the preferred method of contact for every demographic – you just can’t beat the personal touch.
3. Forums and Messageboards
Forums and message boards have become less popular following the rise of social media.
Once upon a time, it was the go-to way to get an answer to a problem.
These days forums and message boards work best when your product or service has a dedicated community: computing, gaming, hobbies.
They can enable members of the community to assist each other, creating loyalty to your brand.
4. Social Media
Social media is fast becoming the leading way to contact companies, especially with younger generations.
Interactions can go viral if a company handles it right (or poorly), enabling free advertising to millions of people.
Plus, instead of sending out troublesome and cluttering emails or texts, customers can see adverts and announcements for new products in their feed, creating more natural engagement.
5. Live Chat
The modern replacement for the phone: live chat, either with a chatbot or a person, allows customers to receive tailor-made answers to their questions rapidly.
Within a matter of minutes, their problem can be solved, leading to faster purchases.
45% of online consumers reported answering questions mid-purchase to be an essential feature of a site.
6. Knowledge Base
The most recent addition to the customer service channels, knowledge bases are like beefed-up FAQs. They allow customers to find their answers from a database of information. They are reliable and best of all, 24/7, allowing customers to access them whatever the time.