Nowadays, choosing the right type of customer service plays a crucial role in the lives of every company.
Customers are granted the power of providing an instant complaint that – what’s key – can be seen by anyone on the web!
Providing them with a well-organized service can greatly reduce the risk of listening to bad opinions over and over again.
And remember, one negative review can completely change the way a company is perceived. As Seth Godin has mentioned years before, trust is the new currency that companies and their customers trade with.
Thus, if you lose the trust you lose the customer and, at the end of the process, you lose money.
Not to let such a daunting scenario come true, companies are building different types of customer service teams whose mission is to make sure every customer is happy with the service they receive.
Such a trend has led to the emergence of new types of customer service that companies can make use of, to provide the best-quality experience a customer can get.
Today, we’re going to break through all of the types of customer service and show you which ones your company should focus on, not to end up being roasted on Yelp!
What’s more, we’re to show the best solutions that you can use to implement each of the different types of customer service within your company right away!
Ready to go?
Fasten the seatbelt as we’re taking off!
Table of Contents:
Types of Customer Service
First thing first.
We’re going to start with the most popular types of customer service. This will give you an idea of available options that are out there and that you can utilize for your own business.
Each of these options works great as a customer service solution, yet each of them serves different areas of customer service.
Taking that into account, you’ll surely find solutions that fit your type of business, as well as, such that would be a waste of time in your case.
Enough for the introduction, let’s get to the core of this article.
Self-serve Customer Service
While we’ve been talking about companies building customer support teams within their entities there are still customer service solutions that are fully unlinked from customer support reps.
This works great for people who would rather take some time and conduct the research on their own than go on a live chat with a customer support rep. That might be because such a person is an introvert and want to limit his or her interaction with another human to the bare minimum.
The other reason for that may be the fact of that person’s expertise. If he or she knows how to operate with this specific type of service or software, looking for viable information on their own will probably end up being the best solution.
Taking all of that into account, every business should include some sort of self-serve customer service solution as surely there will be some introverts and industry experts using your product or service.
What’s best about this type of customer service is the fact that once it’s published you can forget about the thing. Of course, there might be a need for updating such a resource, but unless you make changes to your offer, it will do the work on its own.
Live Chat Support
Sometimes, customers have a need to get their issues quickly resolved. In such a case, the best type of customer service for them would be to contact an expert who’d provide a comprehensive solution and guide them on what to do.
One way to provide such type of direct customer service is by implementing live chat on your company’s website.
How does it work?
After you implement the solution of your choice (there are many out there) everyone who visits your website will be able to instantly kick off the conversation with one of your customer support reps. Unless everyone is busy!
Depending on the solution you chose, the implementation of live chat may differ. The main advantage of it is the speed.
Your customers and leads are able to get a response in a matter of minutes if not seconds which may make them continue using your product or – in case of leads – buy it.
Most of the customers don’t want to spend too much time looking for an answer to their query, as well as, they want the ability to get any issue resolved instantly. Live chat serves as a great solution to both.
Social Media Support
Hey! It’s the 21st century, everyone uses social media! They can work as a customer service solution too!
The truth is, 2.38 billion monthly active Facebook users is a number that makes this medium hard to overlook.
What’s more, Facebook gives its users the ability to give business reviews which makes it even more important to utilize this channel.
To make use of social media you have to constantly monitor all of the available channels. Or at least the main ones. That’s because you never know if someone, right now, doesn’t feel the need to tell the world how bad of a service your company provides. If that happens you have to act quickly!
The best way to do that is to – one – have a person on your customer support team dedicated to resolving social media queries and – two – use a proper social media monitoring software that will notify you whenever someone mentions your brand or product.
There is also another way to serve your customers and leads via social media.
Namely, you can use a solution similar to what live chat is and let anyone who visits your Facebook business page chat with one of your customer success reps via chat. This will serve great if there are many people visiting your company’s Facebook profile. This way you’ll utilize the traffic coming via that particular channel, as well as, make sure none of them gets bad service.
Additionally, you can always hire a virtual social media assistant to help you manage your online inquiries. Virtual assistants are a cost-effective solution to hiring a full-time employee.
This one might feel a bit old-school but it is still a very viable type of customer service.
Just like with the latest two types of customer service, here, you’ll also need a person or a team that’ll be responsible for answering your customers’ and leads’ queries.
All you have to do, to let people contact you regarding your business is to showcase the email address in a visible place on your website. Most companies put all of the contact details on the dedicated Contact webpage, as well as, they put them in the website’s footer.
Email support gives people a way to contact your customer support team without the need for direct interaction with another human.
Also, an email is a good way of explaining complex issues as you have all the time you need to write down the overview of your matter.
What’s more, some of your customers may simply feel much more eager to carry out the conversation via email than, for example, via phone or video.
Well, when thinking of different types of customer service you simply can’t overlook the phone support.
It is the most common way of providing feedback to your customers and works great for anyone doing business online.
What’s more, the phone is probably the most versatile solution – everyone has it, everyone knows how to use it, and everyone will appreciate the ability to make a call to get their issue resolved.
Nowadays, thanks to web-based solutions it’s much easier to get a phone support solution implemented within your business.
You can utilize the power of international phone numbers and grant your customers and leads the power to call your business using their regional phone numbers.
Thanks to such a practice, your customers will be much more likely to call you which will result in a better service.
As we’ve mentioned before, there are some people who either rely on their own expertise or simply don’t want to contact another human.
Yet, most of us, whenever we feel a need to get an issue quickly resolved, we look for a way to directly contact another person and advise them about our problem. It gives us confidence in the fact that the issue will actually get resolved thanks to this direct human contact.
Taking all of the above into account, every business should provide a way for their customers to get into contact via phone.
IVR – Interactive Voice Response
While every previous type of customer service was a solution on its own, IVR is a part of the telephony system that a company may utilize.
Yet, it’s so powerful and can help you achieve great results when it comes to customer service that we simply can’t skip it!
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephony system that interacts with the callers through the dial pad, keypad, or voice requests. I bet there was a time in your life when you’ve called a customer service department of some company and have heard “Press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish…”. That’s what IVR is responsible for.
While it may seem unattractive and futile, a well-organized IVR can truly help your customers.
First of all, not every customer service rep is knowledgeable enough to answer all of the customers’ queries. Yet, in a standard way, the telephony system will distribute all of the calls equally, simply taking into account whether a particular rep is able to take a call at the moment.
Such a system will cause problems, especially when there’s a high volume of calls coming in. Then, anytime a caller has to be redirected or put on hold will make other callers (waiting for the opportunity to talk to the rep) get upset.
To limit the number of times your reps put callers on hold or redirect them, you can implement an IVR to sort callers in regards to their issues. This will result in a lesser number of times when a particular rep can’t answer a query and has to use additional solutions.
Setting up IVR in Channels is easy as 1, 2, 3
1. Upload – Choose a file you want to be played to your callers when they reach you. Make sure it briefly explains which key they should click on and what action will it prompt.
2. Map – From 0 to 9, you can map all the numbers on the keypad to either prompt an internal transfer or forward the call. Choose the option and insert the appropriate phone number.
3. Tweak – Finish with the settings such as the interval between welcome message replay or times it will be played before disconnecting the caller. You can also set the working hours so they match with operating hours of your business.
All in all, if you’re using a telephony system then you should definitely consider implementing the IVR.
How to Choose The Best One for Your Business
Depending on the type (and size) of business that you’re running, different types of customer service will appeal to your liking.
Yet, there are some key features that you have to take into account when making a choice to make sure you provide the proper customer support to all of your customers across the world.
Here, we’ll briefly describe two of such aspects so your customer service is always a hit and never a miss!
Times have changed and nowadays people are not only present online, but they’re also present across various online platforms.
This leads to a shift from a single-channel approach to an omnichannel. The premise of such thinking is exactly the fact that your customers may want to get into contact via phone, but they may also want to chat with your via Facebook and maybe also Twitter.
You simply can’t overlook how spread people are across various online platforms and just settle down with one customer service solution.
In fact, according to the study conducted by Dimensional Research, 28% of customers said multiple communication options are part of a good customer experience and 27% said not being able to contact customer service with their preferred channel contributed to a bad customer experience.
As you can see, not being present on channels that your customers may want to use can hit you hard!
Thus, don’t settle and make sure you satisfy (at least) core audiences that make up for your customer base.
The best solution would be to provide an instant way to contact your company – both online and offline. In such a case the combination of live chat support and phone support will do fine.
To top that with more passive ways, you should also include a self-serve solution for people who like to resolve issues on their own.
Plus, I bet your business is present on various social media platforms (if not you can skip that part and go back to your cave), thus you’ll need someone who’ll be responsible for monitoring all of your accounts, as well as, will be responsible to answer possible queries that happen there.
To prevent or to react?
The other aspect of the customer service solution you choose is whether it is the more proactive or reactive type of providing the service to your customers.
While the reactive types of customer service have been a standard throughout the years, meaning a company would wait until the customers themselves report the issue and then react and fix that, recent times show that implementing proactive types of customer service is a must.
As we’ve mentioned before customers are everywhere, meaning there are more ways than ever to connect with various businesses. This means that more people are going to interact with what you offer, thus you have to make sure you satisfy all types of customers.
Namely, you should equip your company and therefore your customers and leads with both reactive and proactive types of customer service.
Taking all of that into account, make sure you implement some type of self-service customer service solution, as well as, the easy way to get into contact with your customer service team – in this case, phone support will do just fine.
Customer Support Solutions
At this point, you probably have a clear image of what types of customer service you have to implement within your company.
Thus, it’ll be a good idea to match those types with actual solutions that you can use to make it happen.
Here, we’re going to show you a few of such solutions that will cover all of the earlier mentioned types of customer service. What’s more, we’re are currently using (or used to) all of these solutions, so don’t treat it as typical listings, but rather as a sincere roundup.
When it comes to self-serve customer service the best way to let your users do the research on issues (and their solutions), is to build a knowledge base.
Knowledge base serves as a one-place stop for anyone who wants to find out how your product or service works and how they can fix some of the issues that may happen.
At Channels, we support our users with a knowledge base built using Zendesk.
Browsing this knowledge base, users can get to know how to use various features, how to install new things, and how to understand some of the solutions that our product covers.
All in all, a properly designed and updated knowledge base is a great way to support your customers with a self-serve solution.
I bet you know what this one does!
Livechat produces a live chat solution that you can implement on your website. As we’ve mentioned before it is a great way of providing quick, reactive customer service and let your customers get into contact with customer support reps.
What’s more, a live chat solution can not only help your current customers but also lead to new buys and sign-ups, as your leads may want to ask you a few questions before making a purchase. Then live chat serves as the low-friction way of getting into contact with someone that could be eligible to provide them with an answer.
At Channels, we utilize a live chat solution on our website and let visitors chat 24/7 with our support agents. This helps us close all of the requests in a quick manner, helping us serve more customers in a shorter period of time.
Although currently, we’re not using this solution, Brand24 is a great software that lets you monitor social media and get feedback whenever someone mentions your brand.
That to such solution you can react whenever someone criticizes your brand (or praises!) and resolve such issues before they spread across the web.
Nowadays, it’s well-known that companies try to avoid getting bad press from customers that were unhappy with the service they got. Yet, there’s no way you can browse all of Facebook and check if everyone is happy with your product.
With a solution such as Brand24, you’ll get instant feedback whenever someone talks about your brand. Therefore, you’ll be able to react quickly and makeup to an unhappy customer before he or she goes on a quest to inform the world how bad of crap you produce.
Phone support serves as a great way of providing reactive customer service and letting your customers and leads contact your support agents.
Channels works as a great customer service solution thanks to its ability to execute both inbound and outbound calls. Thus, you can nourish your customers by providing them with a way to contact you via phone and also reach out to them whenever you need.
What’s more, Channels grants you another feature that may serve as both customer service and lead generation solutions.
Namely, you can implement a Callback Widget onto your website and let your website visitors input their phone numbers and request an instant callback from one of your reps.
This solution may convince some of the users that wouldn’t make a call on their own but when granted a solution to request a callback they would utilize it.
Make your customer service top-notch!
At this point, there is nothing else to add!
You know all of the types of customer service, what aspects you have to take into account when choosing actual solutions, as well as, the solutions themselves.
Now it’s the matter of making the right choice.
Remember, it’s important you serve your audience the way it wants to be served. Research how your customers are looking for a solution right now and provide them with an easy way to resolve all of their issues.
Hopefully, you won’t end up with a one-star review on Google!
Till the next!