5 Tools To Simplify Online Customer Service
Customer service isn’t a game of defense. When you’re prepared to answer guest’s questions and you’re on top of your offensive game as well, it will provide a return on your investment. The 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey by Gladly reports that:
“Of almost 1,000 consumers polled, 92% say they would stop purchasing from a company after three or fewer poor customer service experiences. Twenty-six percent of those would stop after just one bad experience.”
Churches and organizations that have cultivated a close following might be given more grace than, say, a company that’s selling wireless phone service, but any guest has the right to expect a level of responsiveness to their questions.
Smart Insights recommends seeing guest service “as a marketing channel. Because news spreads around – and fast.” Are your followers getting the help they need and experiencing quality customer service?
Read ahead and explore these 5 tools for your guest inquiries.
1. FAQ Page or Subdomain
This webpage should be your first line of guest service defense. From a management perspective, you might find the appeal of an FAQ page a mystery. But put yourself in the shoes of your followers, and consider how comforting it is that:
- Other people have the same questions as me!
- I might get my question answered without leaving this very website.
In the same way, a Q&A is a more engaging and memorable mode of interview, the FAQ page is a scannable, helpful method of covering the basic guest inquiries. Some examples might include:
- What should I wear to a Sunday morning church service?
- I notice your church doesn’t distribute paper bulletins. Is there a place online for that information?
- Does your organization accept donations?
- What are the core beliefs of your organization?
- I’d like to learn more about partnering with your Bible-based company. Can I schedule a meeting with someone?
The questions can run the gamut, and oftentimes you’ll find the answers are located on your site and simply require a short statement and a link.
Pro Tip: Easily set up Facebook Messenger with automated questions and answers. From your organization’s Messenger account, set up auto-feeding FAQs. Write a common question or two in the text area, which will be displayed when a contact opens your Messenger link. The contact can select that question and read your pre-written answer, or write their own question or comment in the Messenger window.
Learn more about using Facebook Messenger like a pro.
2. Live Chat
Implemented via one of the many software platforms available, live chat is the real-time pop-up window you often find on websites.
At a moment’s notice, guests can inquire about a service, product, or even a technical difficulty. For questions whose answers are short and relatively objective, this route is faster and more efficient than a phone call or email.
In data compiled by Quick Sprout, live chat checked all the boxes:
- Customers’ most important guest service experience attribute was fast response times.
- 79% of guests queried said they prefer live chat because of the response speed.
- Live chat had a 92% satisfaction rating.
There are a variety of user-friendly options for implementing a live chat feature on your website. We like the simple and inexpensive Olark or JivoChat, the popular LiveChat, or Chatra, which supports multilingual website setups.
Once you choose your tool, implementation is simple and includes adding a few lines of code to your website. Also, be sure and take advantage of your software’s function that allows you to send your guests a transcript of the exchange.
3. Telephone or Text Support
While phone calls may not be the preferred mode of guest support for all generations, many of your followers and targeted individuals will appreciate the option to make a good, old-fashioned phone call.
The direct and familiar platform of talking live will help guest support workers more easily recognize the emotions of the guest and better assess the situation. And when the issue at hand is complex or requires specific, detailed instructions, the verbal interaction will make the experience that much better for everyone involved.
As reported by Tidio, “in the private sector, many customers feel more secure to resolve high-priority or sensitive problems over the phone.” Although it shouldn't be your organization's only guest support tool, it will earn credibility and trust with those who are faithful to this mode of communication.
4. Email Templates
Email is a dependable and trackable means of communicating with followers and guests. Campaign Monitor reports that not only are there almost 4 billion active email accounts in existence, but email usage is predicted to grow by 2-3% every year from 2018 to 2023, according to Statista. Needless to say, email platforms are a busy thoroughfare where your followers and guests likely spend a great deal of time.
As far as utilizing email as a guest service tool, the pros start with a library of templates. Each email template roughly anticipates a handful of the common questions and provides answers and resources, with plenty of room to personalize. For instance, we like Acquire’s best practices, which includes empathizing with the guest’s situation and also making sure you have enough accurate information. After that’s secure, here are more ideas listed on the Acquire blog:
- Address your customer by name
- Look up the customer’s role in their company, if needed, to respond with the right information
- Be friendly, but measured
- Include links and references (if appropriate)
- Follow up on your initial response
If you're a church or parachurch organization and you’re interested in a personal relationship with your guests, then email communication might be the start of a longer conversation.
5. Social Media Facebook Pages & Twitter Feeds
As Len Markidan states at Groove, the companies and organizations that “deliver excellent customer support do so in the channels where their customers are.”
Know your people. Are they prolific Tweeters or Instagramers? Having fun on TikTok? Do you see a lot of your guests posting regularly and interacting on Facebook? Make your presence known with an active posting schedule on that channel, and then interact with your followers by regularly commenting on their posts and inviting interactions on yours. Comcast/Xfinity has had an incredible customer service perception turnaround, and it started on Twitter.
When your guests have a question or inquiry, they’ll know where to reach you easily because of your shared space on that channel. But don’t forget the most critical piece of making this tool successful: clearly assign staff to intercept and attend to the questions. Depending on the content of the question, this can be done as a responding comment, or done offline through one of the other, more private means.
Expand your guest service experience by implementing a new channel, or improving an existing method. Make it fast and simple for every one of your guests to get what they need, and to get their questions answered.
What method have you found to be the most helpful in your organization? Leave a comment and share your experience. We’d love to hear from you!
Learn more about digital marketing and best practices on the .BIBLE blog.