In today’s business world, customers always demand more the minute goes by. Providing customer support from 9-5 on business days on the phone or emails is no longer enough for your customers these days. Here’s what they really want: a 24/7 round the clock customer service that fits their availability, not making them fits yours. It’s not the service that they look for; it is the quality customer experience that they want the companies to fulfil, and being available for them when they need help is a big quality factor.
What Is 24/7 Customer Support?
Whenever someone purchased a product or service, it’s not only the quality of the product itself that they are looking for, most of the time they value the customer service that goes along with the product even more than the product itself. The whole customer experience is what makes it valuable to the consumers and make them come back again and again for you. The shared hosting support services are usually provided by the web-hosting companies. The services provided to the customers are free and without any time limitations in general.
Companies usually deploy customer support channels when consumers purchased certain services online. You will probably see more often of the anti-virus software that you installed on your computer, online store purchase or even your weekly fruits delivery in the office. Other real-time self-service for customer service platforms such as social media, live chat or messaging apps are a few examples of that.
Integrating 24/7 Support into Your Customer Service Strategy
Gone are the days when industry-leading companies could expect to corner their market based on nothing more than brand recognition and a differentiated product mix. Today’s consumers come armed with 4G Internet, smartphones and social media.
With these tools in hand, they can seek out and connect to a range of relevant businesses from all over the world in mere seconds.
In order to stand out amidst this growing competition, companies need to move their focus past products, services and pricing. Instead, they must create unique purchasing journeys that extend seamlessly across multiple channels. From websites to social media and chat messengers, modern businesses have to be accessible to buyers at every possible interaction point.
At least 64% of customers now expect this kind of experience from their preferred brands, and businesses that manage to deliver omnichannel customer service enjoy 10% higher revenue and over 50% greater customer retention than their single-channel counterparts.
Despite the obvious benefits, many organizations are still failing to meet rising expectations. In a recent ICMI Toolkit study, 80% of survey respondents said that companies were more focused on selling, than on improving their customer service.
Today, an increasing number of customers prefer using self-service tools to solve their product or service concerns. It makes sense. With time at a premium, people want to be able to get the answers they need when they need them on a 24/7 basis. Any organization that wants to improve its customer service needs to use the wealth of feedback accumulated across various communication channels to develop FAQs and in-depth knowledge base resources that can serve as a first line of support for enquiring customers.
With these features in place, you have all the tools you need to provide true 24/7 support to every customer. No matter when or how they choose to interact with your business, you’ll be there ready to offer assistance and guide them on to the next step in the purchasing or after-sales process.
The Benefits of 24/7 Support
As your business scales up and expands into new markets, you will need to grow your customer service capabilities to meet these new audiences. If you can integrate the principles of 24/7 support into your outreach strategy then you should be able to offer the same experience to customers from Nepal all the way to New York. This is especially important if you’re offering premium products in the B2B space, in which case, 24/7 support should be baked into your existing offerings. As you develop a reputation for high-quality service, customers in new markets will willingly pay more to work with your company.
With 24/7 you can engage with users in real-time on any device. By making the most of each interaction you can gain a wealth of data that would otherwise remain undiscovered. For example, your Facebook chats could provide you with key insights on how your products and services need to be improved. Proactive website messaging could help to inform you why visitors aren’t converting once they hit your landing page. By tracking these and other metrics across disparate locations and timings you will be able to understand the purchasing patterns and customer behaviors that are directly impacting your business.
From a pure customer service standpoint, the more feedback you handle the greater your ability to resolve future customer complaints and concerns.
Nurture Leads and Retain Customers
Almost 80% of customers are willing switch to another business after just one negative customer service interaction. It just goes to show how important it is to maintain an engaging presence across all platforms. With 24/7 support you have the ability to nurture and retain every single prospect whether they’re first time buyers or long-time customers.
You can also qualify leads at an early stage by asking the right questions during the initial engagement. If a website visitor or social media respondent doesn’t fit your profile in terms of budget, relevance or interest then they can quickly be abandoned in favor of more lucrative leads. .
Cutting Costs with AI
The biggest obstacle to implementing true 24/7 support is of course resource limitations. Offering high-quality customer service across call centers, digital channels and physical outlets requires well-trained professionals and a cutting-edge infrastructure that can serve the needs of an international customer base. Unfortunately, this level of investment is beyond the scope of all but the largest corporations. That’s where technology can be so effective. When it comes to cutting costs, automation is definitely the way forward. Gartner predicts that by 2020, up to 85% of customer service interactions will take place without human intervention.
With a one-time investment in the right AI platforms you can reap the benefits of an intelligent, intuitive customer service system that can be trained to understand and respond to the needs of a diverse array of customers. Here at Rocketbots, we have a help desk software that uses AI to learn from your conversations. The more the AI learns, the more the Rocketbots platform can automate replies to your customers once your support team clocks out for the day. Handling even 40% of FAQs overnight helps clean up your next day's pipeline of tickets, removing the need to have humans at the helm at all hours.
Predictive Analytics and User Tagging
Looking to the future, perhaps the most important benefit offered by AI is the possibility of predictive analytics. These systems are purpose-built to derive actionable insights from the vast volume and variety of customer data flowing through your enterprise. Through machine learning, AI can process everything from customer purchase histories and website analytics to live support conversations, and use this information to reach conclusions on what your customers actually want. From generating suitable responses for a customer-generated complaint ticket to offering proactive recommendations for website visitors based on their purchasing history, these capabilities can unlock a world of possibilities for your business.
Legacy 24/7 Support Tactics (that just don't work anymore)
With thousands of new media being uploaded on the internet every second, it became extremely difficult for businesses to grab, or even keep customers’ attention among the overflowing information platform. And that’s why customer-first business model become the new trend of customer support today.
For email, the average response time was 7 hours and 51 minutes, but for Facebook the average response time was one day, 3 hours and 7 minutes! The expectation of customer experience is constantly changing and more demands like real-time response (or even at the point of synchronous reply), automated customer and technical support for users in providing the least deliveries.
Let Customers Take The Wheel
One thing that you should know about customers these days: Never keep your customers waiting. Not even having your chatbot to wait for a 1-minute reply. When the time span gets longer than that, you can almost guarantee your customers walking away in an instant.
Though customers expect companies to foresee and solve the problems that they could’ve potentially encountered of their received service, customers still enjoy the power to resolve the problem themselves in a more efficient manner than having a human agent that takes ages to handle their queries. And that’s when customer self-help services step in to do the trick
40% of consumers now prefer self-service over human contact. Self-service allows you to provide online support to your customers without requiring any interaction with a representative from your company. You might’ve already encountered a few if you pay attention to the bottom of the web page that you viewed – FAQs, discussion forums or even some knowledge base.
The New Customer Self-Service Solution
With real-time self-service being introduced into customer service platforms. Artificial intelligence replaces human agents and becomes the new major response assistance. Because of machine learning and natural language processing, every aspect of your business, including loyalty, brand reputation, generation of revenue streams, online customer experience, and even preventive assistance, can be improved with the new AI-powered digital solution.
It is expected that more than 85% of all customer support communications will be conducted without engaging any customer service representatives by 2020. AI-assisted automation of customer service platforms can generate responses with accuracy and speed that humans can’t deliver.
In the old times, only one channel is available for you to contact the company. Not only it’s the choice of being incredibly narrow, but you also have to take a chance and squeeze yourself into the busy hotline. Honestly, you wouldn’t even be surprised if you receive “please call back later while our customer support is able to take your call.” Because that is almost certain within expectation. But good news: now more companies are providing multiple channels for customer support services.
There's Email and Live Chat of course. But there's also Facebook….Whatsapp, Skype, Twitter, Kik, Line, WeChat, Viber, Twilio, Telegram, it goes on and on. Users have no shame in reaching out every which way to get a business's attention. Being multichannel lets you organize and capture every user who comes to you, no matter where they're coming from.
AI also provides instant support, boosting the customer service path. The AI system is able to direct customers into parallel support on multiple channels when triggered by a certain keywords. If the AI cannot solve the issues, the ticket will be passed to a human. Retaining customer's expectation to talk with humans.
Some Tips to Wrap Up
1. Integrate Messaging Apps into Your Customer Service Strategy
Messaging apps are taking over live chat as a preferred method of business-to-consumer communication. A user who chats with you on email may not get their reply for hours or even days. A user on a phone call is just a number that in most laws, cannot be user for spam calling for upsell purposes. A user who chats with you on live-chat may bounce before you get their contact information, lost forever. Website-based live chat is miles away from the engagement messaging apps bring to customer communication.
Leveraging messaging apps is the only true way to get a permanent record of your conversation that never goes away. The moment a user chats with you on a messaging platform, that's the moment you know who they are and can reach back out to them at any time. Facebook has even launched it's own Facebook Messenger Customer Chat Plugin for websites to leverage Messenger as their live chat function, rather than clunky third party live chat tools.
2. Use AI so You Can Have 24/7 Support (without Hiring 24/7 Staff)
AI is a great way to automate some of your responses. Bots these days have been shown to have issues if businesses use them as a customer service cure-all. Failures and miscommunication tend to put a bad taste in a customer's mouth. After all, humans still want to talk with humans. That doesn't mean AI doesn't have it's place.
Using AI to tackle FAQs and suggest responses to human agents is the way to go. If an AI that learns how you answer inquiries can answer for you when similar questions come up in the future, you're already saving yourself 40% of the hassle it would have taken you to answer those questions yourself.
3. Turn Tickets into Customers
Tying into the messaging apps tip and AI together, you should really consider leveraging your past tickets into marketing and sales efforts. Predictive AI, or AI that tags users, will help you collect data on user interest, giving valuable insights. For instance, a range of your tickets were based on help with a certain product in your catalog, but of course they didn't want help with all your products. Now you updated the product and want to let them know so they would re-consider purchasing.
AI collects and tags users who mention certain products related to you, so you can segment your audiences and prepare a campaign to up sell or cross sell new products relevant to them. Remember when we said integrating to messaging apps helps? Here's a prime example. Simply broadcast an update to that segment of users. Very little effort, and you may have piqued the interest of those users. Now your tickets are becoming customers.
Sign up for the Rocketbots platform for free and explore each of these great strategies in your customer support efforts.