Customer service via email, chat or phone - what to choose?
Business owners should be aware that a brand's success relies heavily on its customers. Consumer satisfaction in terms of the quality of a product or service is only one part of the company's success. Appropriate customer service is mentioned among the factors determining the competitiveness of a given brand on the market. This assumption is confirmed by a study by American Express, which shows that 58% of consumers are willing to pay more for products or services from companies that provide excellent customer service. In order for communication with him to be effective, it is worth considering which contact channel will be the most convenient for him.
Customer service and image building
Today, in addition to the quality and price of the product, an extremely important factor in terms of consumer interest in a brand is its image. The way a company is perceived has a huge impact on customers' purchasing decisions, and choosing the right communication channel is therefore the first step that determines how the brand is perceived by customers. Companies that have decided to provide customer service through any form of contact should act in the belief that it is important to evoke a sense of comfort for the recipient, which will make communication with the customer pleasant and at the highest level of professionalism. The consequence of poor service may be not only the failure to develop a group of trusted and loyal customers, but also the loss of existing ones.
The survey conducted by PwC shows that as many as 62% of respondents will not decide to buy again in a given place, if the previous customer service and communication with the company were negative for them and below the expected standards. A similar phenomenon is observed in the b2b sector, where 62% of respondents in the Dimensional Research survey for Zendesk indicated they were willing to buy more if the contact was high.
Mail, chat, telephone - how do customers prefer to communicate?
The first step to be taken is to define the group of recipients, because when choosing a communication tool, the most important factor is the age of our clients. Direct contact is the most common form of brand communication with the client, preferred by consumers. Such conclusions were presented in the study by the aforementioned PwC. It follows that both telephone, e-mail and chat contribute to this, and thus as digital channels they are equally effective and should not be underestimated.
Depending on age, the highest percentage of interest in making a telephone call (74%) is shown by the group aged 50-59, and the lowest (65%) - by people aged 18–24. Digital channels, such as e-mail or chat, are the least frequently preferred form of contact by people over 50 - they were indicated by around 30% of respondents. Not surprisingly, this method of communication is most favored by young people. In the survey, on average, 50% of respondents aged 18–34 answered that they are willing to use them (source: Client in the Digital World, PwC).
3 practical tips for communicating with the client
Multi-channel - no matter what product or service you offer, your customer base is diverse in many respects. One of the differences is, for example, age, which may determine the choice of the most convenient way of communicating with the brand. Therefore, it is good when a company provides contact through various forms, which not only gives the right to choose, but also facilitates reaching it.
Action - reaction! - time, or rather its saving, is valuable to everyone. So if you are taking any route of contact with the consumer, it is important not to wait long for a response from you. Customers' requirements regarding the speed of response to their inquiries are high and are constantly growing. In addition, it is worth remembering that not only the speed of the answer is important, but also the solution of the reported problem. Communication with the client should follow the principle that faster is not better.
According to Deloitte, as many as 73% of surveyed consumers believe that respecting their time is one of the most important factors in customer service.
Professionalism - in each of the possible ways of contact, focus on "quality" instead of "somehow". Responses should always be prepared with due care and at the highest level. An e-mail or a chat conversation will not be perceived well if their content contains numerous linguistic and stylistic errors. In addition, an inaccurate message may be misunderstood by the recipient, which in consequence results in, for example, prolonging and irritating the finding of a solution on an inquiry.
Customer service - summary
Regardless of what form of contact consumers prefer and which, according to companies, is the most effective, there is no doubt that the most important skill is to ensure professionalism and speed of response. After all, there is nothing more irritating than disregard, so it is worth referring to every inquiry from the recipient. The application of this principle in brand-customer relations will give the recipient the impression that he is important to the company and that his needs are not underestimated. After all, what should distinguish valuable brands from the competition is appropriate communication with the client, which can be well managed as a result of acquiring lasting and long-distance consumer relationships.