Customers can use many different methods to get in touch with your company, so your contact center agents need to be prepared to deliver excellent customer interactions on each channel. Your contact center agents must grow their skillset and offer communication through new outlets as your company expands.
No matter the channel, there are unlimited opportunities to create positive customer interactions. Let’s dive into the channels that your organization can effectively manage for specific types of customer interactions.
Types Of Customer Service Interactions
Every platform has the opportunity to provide your customer with a positive customer interaction, whether they start the initial conversation via email, on-demand chat support, social networks, forums or message boards, a direct phone call, or self-service. The key is to meet customers where they are. Finding answers or resolutions shouldn’t require a lot of effort from your customers.
Each type of customer service interaction channel also provides an opportunity for businesses to receive actionable data — data you can use to improve customer satisfaction. As you review data from customer interaction channels, you can uncover communication gaps or other poor practices. By understanding the changes that need to be made to improve customer interactions, your contact center can adjust its customer service strategy to provide a more helpful experience.
What Do Customers Typically Notice During Virtual Interactions?
For agents to ensure your contact center is at the top of its game, it’s important to keep tabs on what customers are noticing during virtual interactions — and when to adjust accordingly. If customers begin to notice that the answers to their questions are canned responses, they may feel their customer interaction isn’t as personal as they would like it to be.
According to McKinsey, companies that excel at personalization see 40% more revenue growth than companies that don’t. To avoid impersonal responses, start by reviewing your chat data to spot answers that cause a customer to disconnect from the chat, looking for common phrases that might strike customers as automated or too scripted. Then, train your team to alter responses based on the customer’s statements and the tone of the interaction. Adjusting to each type of customer interaction appropriately will keep customers satisfied with your service.
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The Art Of The Email
Almost every website has a Contact Us page with an email address or a contact form on it. Either way, customers are used to sending emails and will generally do so when they are in search of less urgent answers.
They aren’t as likely to go on angry rants in an email, so email is better for short exchanges that are not time-sensitive, like checking shipping status or asking for product details. And even though email can be a less personal way to interact, customers are still expecting a positive customer interaction experience through this channel. It may seem trivial, but don’t hesitate to customize the information in your emails, even if they begin with a template.
On-Demand Chat Support
Chat functions are great for technical issues. Particularly for technology companies, chat support can be an enlightening customer interaction channel because you can work through issues with your customer in near real time. Customers can share any error messages they receive, see your instructions written very clearly, and, on some platforms, even add photos to help diagnose their problem.
Chat support can deliver a personal, quick customer interaction that leaves a customer very satisfied. Having programmed answers that can be copied and pasted is a great way to answer quickly and effectively, but be sure to adjust responses accordingly for a personal customer interaction experience.
Related Article: 8 Benchmarks to Improve Your Live Chat Metrics
Everyone’s Favorite: Social Networks
Social media can be a challenging customer interaction channel to master, but it can be extremely beneficial when you do. Customers often write on your brand’s timeline or send you an instant message hoping to get quick information, so customer service agents must be monitoring those platforms to ensure positive customer interactions at all times.
Try to turn any public outcry you find on social media into a public statement that you’re committed to resolving the issue and providing great customer experience. With the right approach, positive customer interaction can be the norm (and not the exception!) on social media.
Community Interaction Through Forums And Message Boards
While forums and message boards are customer interaction channels that need your team’s moderation, they can also be very helpful for both your team and your customers.
In these spaces, there’s a golden opportunity to learn new things. Your customers are learning from each other and helping each other with questions and issues, which offers your organization valuable insight into the ways your products or services are being used. By monitoring and actively participating in these forums, you can scope out areas for improvement in your business and customer service offerings.
Always keep in mind that the information there isn’t being consumed by only those participating. You can be sure there are just as many (or more) customers who use this resource without actually posting. Use this customer interaction channel to distribute important information that participants and lurkers alike can put to use.
You’ll have to keep an eye out for any rogue customers, but that’s a small price to pay for a customer interaction channel that’s so widely accessible to all.
The Classic Phone Call
The phone is a staple for customer interactions. Even in an age where people are becoming increasingly digitally driven, the personal customer interaction of a phone conversation will always be a preferred method of service for a portion of your customer base.
You should be prepared to handle any situation over the phone. Whether customers want to check on an order status, ask a question about your product or service, troubleshoot a problem, lodge a complaint, or make a suggestion, dedicated contact center agents should be ready to deliver effective, polite customer interactions.
This is arguably the most versatile customer interaction channel because discussing issues in real time and hearing the problem straight from the mouth of the customer can lead to quick breakthroughs and solutions. And if a customer is truly angry, a phone call provides abundant opportunities to de-escalate negative customer interactions and make things right.
Many of your customers will likely want to get answers without having to interact with a single representative, verbally or digitally. This is likely the second most versatile customer interaction channel because you can put any information you want into your self-service knowledge base and make it as informative as a live agent.
Customers using this channel are likely browsing for answers at their own pace without the desire for personal customer interaction. They’re probably also using community forums or social media to source their own solution. A well-stocked library of knowledge articles and FAQs are powerful tools as demand grows, allowing some of your customers to stay out of your support system entirely because they’ve resolved their own issues.
You never know what request, question, or concern will result from each customer service interaction. You have to be prepared for anything. To achieve this, have a variety of channels set up, staffed, and ready for problem-solving at the drop of a hat.
As you grow, your customers will expect your service offerings to grow — and they are right to expect that. You can’t keep up with a widening customer base without expanding your capabilities and efforts. Mastering communication through every customer interaction channel possible is a critical part of ensuring that your customers’ experiences are positive and productive — and lead to continued business.
Learn more about how Playvox can help your contact center master the art of customer interaction on various channels and platforms by requesting a demo today.