6 Must Try Ideas to Improve Customer Service

Today, we’re going to look at six must try ideas to improve

customer service. This is an important issue, and one that even fortune 500 companies could benefit from taking the time to meditate on.

In the business world, customer service is just as vital as the service or product, and bears just as heavily on a company’s reputability. With poor customer service, customers will be quickly turned off by a company, and feel discouraged from consuming their service or products in the future, and may even outright boycott them for being offensive and apathetic.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at 6 must try ideas to improve customer service and therefore the reputability and quality of a company or service as a whole. These aren’t the only solutions out there, but they’re the ones most worth a try by the widest range of businesses and target demographics.

Number 1 – Social Networking

Social networks have moved from a novelty and status symbol to a way to stay in touch with people important in one’s life. However, in the second decade of the 21st century, it’s becoming a powerful tool for CRM, and businesses must accept this and change how they view the social cloud as a whole.

Social networks as a platform for customers to express concerns, seek help or ask questions regarding services and products is powerful. In CRM, speed is a constant problem, as phone systems are just obnoxious, help desks are slow and constrictive, and other systems just seem to have come and gone over the years.

Social networks offer an instantaneous way for customers and CRM professionals to get in touch, with minimal delay and all the convenience of mobile and digital access. Moving CRM at least partially to social networking is definitely something everyone should try.

Number 2 – Crowdsourcing

This one’s a bit experimental, but in its community forum incarnation, it has shown significant levels of effectiveness. When it comes to ideas to improve customer service, there is always the possibility of eliminating the need to bog down service personnel with routine problems that other users may be able to help with.

Implementing crowdsourced CRM can allow the routine issues, questions and topics to be handled by the user base itself, allowing serious issues or concerns to be addressed more rapidly by the CRM professionals whose attention is so heavily consumed otherwise.

This will improve speed on both ends and when that happens, everyone wins.

Number 3 – Skype

Migrating partially from phones to Skype may become one of the biggest innovations in CRM over the next few years. The only thing holding it back is directional calling, ease of QA recording, and redirection services inherent to Skype itself.

However, Skype now offers corporate systems with CRM in mind, and as a result, this may be one of the cheapest and most effective ideas on this list, but also one of the most innovative.

Number 4 – Self-Service

Self-service platforms, especially when it comes to web services and products, is a new and interesting idea, and one that many companies have been afraid to try. However, with a multitude of intuitive tutorial and interface systems being developed in HTML5 and AJAX in recent years, this is far more viable than it once was.

Some of these systems are content-aware and can solve problems before they arise, and can assist customers in ways FAQ pages cannot. Coupled with crowdsourcing, this is something that can’t be overlooked.

Number 5 – Dynamic FAQ

This has been tried before, but only recently has it been really feasible with existing technology. With the refinement of algorithms and regular expressions, as well as the Google custom search API’s public release, dynamic FAQ is one of the more interesting ideas to improve customer service.

Basically, it allows a user to ask a question, and it can then search the community forums, various blog posts and other helpful data your site may have and produce a series of links that will likely solve the problem, if the problem has occurred for other users in the past. This continues the effort to alleviate CRM professionals of routine issues so that they may more quickly dispense with helping customers with larger problems.

Number 6 – Incentive CRM

Incentive CRM is an experimental new concept, and one that may not be for everyone, but should be tried by everyone. With incentive CRM, you may offer some customers (who have tested skilled for the job) discounts to handle some technical problems or other routine problems for other customers, basically making it a type of targeted and controlled crowdsourcing.

This will basically double the CRM staff at your disposal, while motivating the crowdsourced elements more properly than pure altruism may.

Realistically, these are just some of the must try ideas to improve customer service , but the ultimate idea may be to try to blend them all into a unifying theory.

 

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Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe