It's not just about what you sell anymore. More than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily on customer experience: the total sum of a customer's journey, or their perception of how a company treats them and makes them feel.
A key ingredient for exceptional customer experience is customer care, or how well you take care of your customers when they interact with your brand, whether it's with sales, marketing or service.
Customer care is about all team members listening to their problems, helping them find solutions, and truly caring – 73% of customers fall in love with a brand and remain loyal because of friendly customer service, after all.
It's not always easy to stay on top of customer care, however, especially as your business scales. That said, using customer support software is the most powerful way to deliver consistent customer care. As there are so many benefits, you're doing yourself and your customers a disservice if you're trying to get by without it.
Here are nine ways to improve customer care with technology and boost your customer experience, satisfaction and retention for the long-term.
How to improve customer care with tech
1. Choose helpdesk software that your team loves
The quality of your customer service is vital to your business's success. Nearly 75% of customers who leave do so because they aren’t satisfied with customer service, but companies think just 21% leave for this reason.
Having kind and helpful people on your team is the best way to provide exceptional customer support. But even the best employees can become overwhelmed and frazzled when a flurry of support tickets start rolling in. This is where quality helpdesk software comes in.
With a tool like Zendesk or Freshdesk, you can bring a sense of calm to your customer support team. Both of these tools do a fantastic job of combining your customer support channels in one place and giving you a unified view of customer care.
2. Offer self-service tools like a knowledge base
Although your business should offer email, phone and chat support, sometimes the best customer care means helping your customers figure it out for themselves.
According to Forrester, customers prefer knowledge bases over all other self-service channels. Tools like Zendesk make it easy to create a knowledge base that organizes your customer service documentation in a user-friendly way. You can even integrate your help articles with your bots.
3. Have a great CRM
For most businesses, your CRM is the most important tool in your tech stack. It's where you store all of your customer data throughout their entire journey.
DIY spreadsheets and workarounds just don't cut it for contact management – if you're going to invest in anything, make it a CRM.
4. Improve the data in your CRM
No one benefits from shoddy data. Your reps, management and customers will all get frustrated by missing data, duplicate information and inaccuracies in your CRM.
Having reliable and comprehensive customer data in your CRM is the only way you can really know who's on the other end of the phone, understand the intricacies of their business and not make your customers repeat themselves.
When you improve the data in your CRM, you give your service reps easy access to information that allows for a personal touch, quicker problem-solving and more memorable interactions – all powerful ways to improve your customer care.
5. Automate manual customer support tasks
Automation is one of the best ways to improve customer experience. Even though a machine, not a person, is handling certain customer care tasks, this has several benefits:
- You can use a bot to give customers instant solutions to common problems, even when your team is out of the office
- You can quickly route customers to the best support agent
- You can check in with customers more frequently
- You can automatically alert account managers when a customer is unsatisfied
6. Provide live chat on your website or app
HubSpot research shows that 42% of customers wish to communicate with brands via live chat. If your customers are in that segment, it can be well worth the investment.
However, slow or non-existent responses can harm your business more than not offering live chat. Almost two thirds of buyers expect a response within 10 minutes when you're online, so make sure you can guarantee this before implementing it.
7. Collect customer satisfaction data – and act on it
One of the biggest customer care pitfalls is not measuring customer satisfaction correctly. Don't fool yourself into thinking everything is wonderful if you don't have the data to back it up.
Three of the best customer satisfaction measurement strategies are Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES). Wootric provides a popular solution for all of these.
NPS surveys ask: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Customers who are promoters score 9 or 10. Passives score 7 or 8. Detractors score 6 to 0.
CSAT surveys ask a customer how satisfied they are with a recent interaction – like a live chat conversation – on a rating scale
CES surveys ask the customer “How much effort did you have to expend to handle your request?” and is scored on a numeric scale.
Of course, no business is perfect. When a customer is disappointed in your customer service, make sure you recognize it. You could do this by alerting account managers of NPS scores lower than 6.
8. Measure customer happiness on team dashboards
Once you've collected customer data using your helpdesk analytics or surveys like NPS, don't hide it away or keep it for management's eyes only. If your customer care reps can see your reporting dashboards and know they have the power to impact the numbers – and be rewarded for it – they’ll be more invested in improving your brand's customer experience.
Dashboards are also a powerful way to identify bottlenecks and issues in your customer care processes. Once you have the data to show where your biggest problem is, you know what to focus on fixing.
9. Integrate your tools to optimize customer data
"Where can I find information about this customer?" If you're asking this question, it's time to integrate your apps. As a rule of thumb, key customer data should be linked back to your CRM – it's the heart of your business operations and should be your go-to tool to find contact information.
Sync all customer service tools with your CRM to make data easy to find – this can include your live chat, ticketing, helpdesk, email marketing and accounting tools. You'll then get the most accurate and in-depth information about your customers with a glance at their CRM record.
Get started with a PieSync free trial to get your customer data in order and use it to provide the best customer care.