It’s safe to say we all know that customer service matters. But just how much? Well, when you consider that studies from Dimensional Research show that “42% of B2C customers purchased more after a good customer service experience” and “52% of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction” then it’s safe to say it matters a whole helluva lot. It can mean the difference between declining participant retention and significant top-line revenue growth.
And while it's often just one touch point in their entire journey, lousy customer service is enough to keep them away from your business and share with others about subpar experiences. In fact, while happy customers might tell nine friends, unhappy customers, on average, tell sixteen, according to GrooveHQ.
So we've established just how critical customer service is to your success, but how do you provide impeccable customer service? With the right strategy and technology partner, it can be easier than you think. Let's talk about what a good customer service strategy should look like first.
Make it Multi-Channel
Customer service is not a 'one size fits all' solution. And in today's perpetually connected world, your customers can get almost anything they want or need at a moment's notice, driving customer expectations sky-high. So how do you fulfill their need for convenience, timeliness, control, and choice? With a multi-channel customer service strategy.
But what is it exactly? Well, a multi-channel support strategy includes some combination of traditional phone, email, or live chat support alongside social media and self-service offerings.
Self-service is a no-brainer and win-win solution for you and your customers. It checks all the boxes for customer expectations and brings your business bonuses. From reduced operational costs to improved team member productivity and customer satisfaction, empowering participants to self-service whenever possible just makes sense.
But wait, here's a major caveat: The quality of your self-service tools matter. A lot. They'll only improve satisfaction if you give your customers a pleasant and straightforward experience. Otherwise, they're in for an inconvenient, time-wasting, frustration-filled interim step before they're forced to call support.
Nailing a self-service solution is two-fold. First, choose the right technology partner. A quality technology partner should provide excellent self-service tools for your customers and participants. Whether it's deferring a registration or buying additional products after registration, they should be able to do what they want, when they want to, with ease. And this part is crucial, whether you have a technology partner or are evaluating new ones: Use the platform as if you were one of your customers to see what the experience is like for yourself. This will help you make sure your participants and customers are getting a top-notch experience and serve them better when they do have questions.
Second, give your customers access to quality FAQ content on your website. It should serve as a knowledge base to make it easy to get answers to the most common customer service questions. See a topic keep popping up in your customer service efforts? Consider adding the question and answer to your knowledge base - it should be evaluated and often revised to address common customer questions.
Want to differentiate your events and provide the gold standard in customer service? Turn to live chat. It gives your customers and participants much-desired convenience and immediacy, and in a recent Zendesk research report it was rated the #1 support channel in customer satisfaction. The reasons why live-chat is beloved by consumers are many.
1.) It gives customers support at the exact moment they need it. In fact, 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. Live chat is the most effective support channel in helping your customers get across the finish line of the buying experience when they come to a stop in the purchasing road.
2.) Live chat doesn't require their full attention. Instead, it empowers them to multi-task and continue with their day while still getting the support they need.
3.) It creates an opportunity for seasoned support staff to upsell or cross-sell additional products and registrations the customer may like based on past spending behaviors.
Phone & Email Support
Phone and email support are must-haves, which is why you’re probably already doing them. However, there's always room for improvement.
Here are some general takeaways for making sure your phone and email customer service are always on-point:
- Be human: According to research done by Genesys Global Survey, the most requested improvement from customers was "Better Human Service." No one wants an impersonal experience, so try to have a real live person on the other end of your customer support channels. When someone calls your customer service number, ask them their name. Pull up their info in your CRM to understand who they are and how you can better serve them. Remember, always try to add a level of humanity to your support even when it's automated.
Need help humanizing your email? Read this excellent guide from Help Scout.
- Be quick, but be complete: Customers want timeliness, but don't think that's all that matters. Aim for first contact resolution whenever possible. SQM Group reports that "for every 1% improvement you make in FCR, you get a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction, too. They also found that on average, customer satisfaction drops by 15% every time a customer has to call back about the same issue."
Mission Critical: Why Your Technology Partner Can Make or Break Your Customer Service
So all of that is great knowledge, but how do you go about implementing these solutions for your business and events?
Well, when you partner with haku, we do it for you, providing you and your participants the best customer service in the industry. With unparalleled self-service options to unbeatable first call resolution rates, haku can bring your customer service to the next level. You see, we work to really understand your events and policies, which empowers us to become an extension of your team. We'll field calls, emails, and live chat to answer technical and event questions, only escalating the issues you need to see. In fact, haku provides first contact resolution on 82% of the support outreach it handles for our customers' participants. Every issue gets ticketed and tracked so we can constantly evaluate our performance and ensure your participants are getting the best support available. With haku, giving your participants stellar customer service has never been easier.
“HAKU HAS SOME OF THE BEST CUSTOMER SUPPORT I’VE DEALT WITH. NOT JUST THIS TIME, BUT EVERY TIME! THANK YOU”
- Kevin Fry, Mercedes Benz Corporate Run Participant