Customer service is an integral part of a business and not an extension of it. The exponential increase in competitiveness among businesses and corporations has resulted in consumers changing over from service providers that fail to satisfy them. Then, how do you mould your service to suit the ever changing customer behaviour and business dynamics? The answer is simple. A small business’ lifeblood is its customers, and good customer service is all about retaining your customers and winning new ones to your business. Below are some of the current customer services trends that you can implement in your business and see the magic happen. Engage Today, social media has clearly become the medium used to express customer discontent over a company. According to ‘Maritz Research and evolve24 Twitter Study’, only 29 per cent of Twitter complaints received responses from companies; though almost 83 per cent of those who complained appreciated it when the offending company responded. It is a given that you have to be adept and fast in such a communication channel, because your customers are definitely agile! Hence, you can use such platforms to constantly monitor and address your customer concerns and feedback instantly. Service on the Move Mobile Customer Service enables customers to access your services and support from their mobile devices. It’s a deliberate way to improve your competitive advantage by enabling convenience, simplicity and security for everyday services. With the growing mobile penetration and popularity of smartphones, wherein you can integrate social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, the gates are pretty much open for companies. If your brand permits, then having a dedicated app would do a world of good! ‘Brand in the hand’ apps ensure customer loyalty by supplying them with speedy interactivity options. Community Building Online customer communities are engagement platforms for customers to connect with each other to ask questions, share ideas, report problems, and truly engage with the brands and companies they care about. Customers get their issues resolved by their peers who are the customers again. In this way businesses can cut down on the customer service resource allocated. Customer engagement platforms like “Get Satisfaction” help companies nurture customer engagement platforms and build better relationship with their existing and potential customers. On the Cloud According to a Forrester Research, cloud based customer service will gain popularity. This will assist companies in maintaining the right amount of balance between practical prerequisites and virtualisation. SaaS (Software-as-a-service) will provide you with resources for online customer service. Thus, operating costs can be minimised and businesses can focus on other core competencies. Video Help In the present scenario, people flock to video tutorials more often than reading manuals, finding help on the internet or asking a local dealer or agent. It has become essential for a company to put up informative and instructive videos, either on their websites or on other social video hosting sites. Another useful thing would be to have direct dealer-customer interactions via video in order to focus and accelerate service. An effective video tutorial makes the process simple and cut down further complications. The year 2011 has been a challenging one for companies and customers alike, due to extensive pressure of competition. And, so far 2012 looks as though it will be similar making it imperative for you and your company to deliver better service with constrained budgets. You have to successfully address upcoming challenges, while keeping in mind factors such as customer loyalty, retention, and revenue. Customers seldom forget high quality service. All it takes is a little attention to detail like responding to problems with favourable resolutions; and you will have made a customer for life!
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