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  • Acquisition
  • Loyalty
  • Automobile
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  • Article
15.12.2022

Maximize the effectiveness of customer service to better convert and retain

In concrete terms, how can we make after-sales service a powerful tool for acquiring or retaining customers? Here are 5 key points.

For a company that markets a product or service whose purchase involves potentially complex handling, or presupposes after-sales service or user assistance, customer service management (CRM) is key. As much as the quality of the product itself, or even sometimes more, it determines the ability to convert or retain customers. The quality of customer service is a relationship marketing lever in both B2C and B2B, and improving it is a way to increase conversion and loyalty rates.

In concrete terms, how can we make after-sales service a powerful tool for building customer loyalty? Here are 5 key points.

1. Make sure your customer service is easily accessible

Analyze requests, and adapt customer service hours

Nothing is more frustrating than falling on an answering machine indicating a service unavailable when, as a customer or consumer, you try to reach the assistance of a brand. This frustration automatically leads to the loss of loyalty points, due to a degraded experience with the brand.

To avoid this, it is therefore necessary first to try to adapt the organization of the company to best cover the days and times when the company statistically receives the most incoming calls. The analysis tools make it possible to quickly visualize these periods. During these periods of high demand, it is a question of strengthening the teams of operators.

Adapt the information to the client

In terms of customer experience, it is very important to properly inform the customer. Thus, it is advisable to clearly present to him the opening hours of the service, and even to indicate the times at which he is most likely to minimize his wait.

Then, you also have to make sure that the on-hold message tells the customer all the information they might need, and that this information is clear and up-to-date: service opening hours, alternative contact channels, content available to find an answer to his question, etc.

Finally, it is often relevant to adapt the contact page of the company’s site depending on whether or not customer service is open, so as not to display a means of contact that is not available when the customer visits the site. . Here is a very good use case of intelligent adaptation of the content of a website to improve the user experience (UX)!

Use solutions to take messages intelligently

However, it is not always possible to adapt the organization to meet demands at any time of the day. In this case, it is advisable to propose alternatives to the customers, to avoid impasses. Voice mail that can take a message, with a route in the form of a “voice form” is an excellent solution: this is what the Grand Optical brand has implemented, in order to take messages via incoming telephone calls in outside service opening hours.

In 2019, Google launched the CallJoy solution in the United States to help SMEs solve this problem. CallJoy makes it possible to record a message and to exchange by SMS with people calling the company, thanks to artificial intelligence.


 

Offer more user-friendly contact functions via the web

The web call back

Some consumers, for fear of having to wait too long for a response from customer service, prefer to be called back by it. The web interface should allow this with a function called web call back. The consumer enters his telephone number and chooses a callback slot. This also helps relieve customer service, by allowing them to set these reminders when available. By eliminating customer waiting, this function greatly optimizes their experience and contributes to greater satisfaction.

More ergonomic and educational forms

Making contact via a form is generally not the solution that a client chooses spontaneously, although it is often the most effective. How to better suggest to the customer to use the form? By working on its ergonomics, and the contextual messages around the form, to reassure the customer and give him relevant information on how his request will be processed. Here is an example with the site of the company Prêt à Pousser, whose UX is particularly effective:

FAQ-Pret_a_pousser

 

Filter requests with an “intelligent FAQ”

The best way to increase customer service efficiency is…to avoid customer requests! The most effective way to do this is to identify the most common questions and provide answers directly on the site. The questions must be contextualized according to the stage of the customer journey: home page, product page, purchase tunnel… Solutions such as Zendesk or SmartTribune (French solution) make it possible to display certain questions, in connection with the context of the user: these are the intelligent FAQs (Smart FAQs).

Here is an example, still with the website of the Prêt à Pousser brand, which uses the Zendesk solution:

Smart_FAQ

 

2. Enable it to respond effectively to customer questions and concerns

Connecting customer service to CRM data

Once the conversation with the customer is initiated, it must be effective and direct, to increase customer satisfaction. This is another key phase for optimizing customer loyalty when they make contact: let’s not forget that if they make contact, it is because they have a particular expectation, because they are faced with a problem, and that this expectation vis-à-vis the brand can turn into a very positive or very negative relationship depending on how the request is handled.

To enable the after-sales service operator to be precise, fast and concise, various technical means exist to assist him in processing the request.

First, the customer service management tool must be connected to the CRM and trace all known data about the customer: his profile, his purchase history, his after-sales service history, etc. The customer is identified by the operator on the basis of personal data, and the operator then accesses all the useful information to understand the customer’s request and not waste time.

This CRM connection issue also exists in a proactive loyalty process on the part of salespeople, called “clienteling”. This loyalty technique based on CRM data is very commonly used by luxury brands in retail. It shows how a loyalty strategy can be based on the teams deployed in the field, and how the customer relationship must combine both the commercial and marketing expertise of a company.

Decrypt customer call information in real time

During a telephone call from a customer, it is possible to analyze the content of the conversation using artificial intelligence, in order to assist the operator by helping him to analyze the request and providing him with answers.

This artificial intelligence, offered by Allo-Media with its “voice cookie” technology, is based on both semantic (the terms used in the conversation) and emotional (the tone of the conversation) analysis. By suggesting answers to the operator, it allows him to better respond to a situation by adapting to the customer and to save time by providing answers, to streamline his intervention.

3. Offer additional, more interactive contact options

To adapt to the expectations of different customer profiles, there is nothing more effective than offering different channels, in line with new uses. To do this, using chat solutions on brand websites, or via messaging applications, is a good option.

The chat allows you to interact immediately and in a non-intrusive way. Requests can be qualified and filtered, thus optimizing the responsiveness of salespeople or customer support operators.

To go even further in the process, some retail or distribution brands rely on the potential of their in-store sales staff. These salespeople are a valuable resource, close to the needs of customers and prospects, and their experience brings great product expertise to respond effectively to prospects and customers online. Asking them to respond to customer requests online helps to strengthen their role, and make them true brand ambassadors. This is what, for example, Darty understood very well.

Conversational marketing solutions facilitate the implementation of such devices: this is the case of the French solution iAdvize.

4. Establish clear procedures to handle customer complaints efficiently and quickly.

Train the teams in charge of customer relations

To make customer service a loyalty lever, it is necessary to involve the teams that manage customer relations on a daily basis in the company’s CRM strategy. Who are the most important customers? On what points does the company have to be irreproachable? What room for maneuver is there in the face of a situation of dissatisfaction? These questions are all important for teams in charge of customer relations. It is important to present them with concrete case studies.

On the other hand, these teams must be regularly informed of company news: new offers, new promotions, critical situations, etc.

Finally, clear scripts must allow operators or customer service agents to answer frequently asked questions, and especially customer complaints, in order to limit the impact of dissatisfaction.

Allow customer service to compensate for dissatisfaction

Ideally, agents, sales representatives or operators of a customer service must have a solution to compensate for any dissatisfaction for which the company is responsible. This is not a “legal” compensation, which is another subject, and which is not in the hands of customer service. But with a gesture of attention, in order to appease or strengthen the customer relationship, when this is justified. In accordance with the guidelines set by the company, with a framework controlled by marketing, customer service must be able to be reactive and offer a coherent and proportionate gesture of attention.

Thus, thanks to the Codes for Gifts solution offered by the relational marketing agency Dékuple, La Banque Postale provides its agents with a “gesture of goodwill” platform, allowing them to send a gift code to a customer, with different levels of value possible.

5. Use analytics tools to track your customer service performance and identify areas where you can improve its effectiveness

As in any marketing device, performance measurement is essential to progress. Thus, customer relationship management is no exception: setting up tools to monitor the quality of the answers given, and the satisfaction of customers who have called on your customer service is therefore essential.

This performance must be monitored at different levels:

  • offer customers the opportunity to leave a review after an exchange with your customer service: it’s a simple, effective way to measure the impact, and in addition, it further strengthens the bond with the customer, who feels the attention paid to him the brand. This involves programming a scenario for sending a survey email: this email must be triggered quickly, a few hours after the closing of a customer request at most, in order to optimize the response rate.
  • record calls, with the customer’s consent: this allows for random listening. Even if large-scale measurement solutions based on data are necessary, nothing can replace a qualitative analysis of calls to get a concrete idea of ​​the quality of customer service.

 

Learn more about our expertise in loyalty marketing

 

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