Do happier customers translate to higher sales is the question we often ask. Is customer happiness really worth it? Yes it does! It is revealed that 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience according to an American Express survey. That is more than 3/4 of your customer base gone just like that and huge amounts of sales gone like that. Therefore to not lose these precious sales dollars, companies need to retain and attract new customers by improving their technological solutions for customers to be continually engaged with the brand.
A technology small businesses can tap onis to create a customer service portal where customers can have direct contact with the organization without the need to rely on expensive call support staffs. Through this portal, customers can track their purchase and enquire on an issue they are facing with a recent purchase and other services to improve satisfaction and repeated purchases with your customer.
Furthermore, the portal also provides data analytics solutions for large amounts of customer data, providing more efficient systems for employees. So why should you jump into the bandwagon to integrate a customer service portal? Here shown below are some great benefits for you to do it:
1.Customers welcome it!
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It is clearly seen as a welcomed solution for customer as seen by a study conducted by the analyst firm Coleman Parks found that 75% of the 2,900 users surveyed said they preferred to use online support and 40% said they only contact a call center after they can’t find the answer via self-service customer service options. We also see this is a trend among a growing consumer group which is the millennials in which they prefer automation instead of human interaction. In a recent study done by Aspect group, it found that 69% of Millennials say that they feel good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they resolve a problem without talking to customer service.
2.It saves cost and time
Instead of incurring direct labour cost of hiring call centre support staff for customer enquiries, the process is now automated, saving you precious cost on labour for other more important issues in your budget such as business development and improvements to your website. In addition, a front page on the portal telling customers of the FAQ commonly asked on the site helps reduce recurring and common enquiries and allow customer service staffs to only focus on the ones that are truly important and urgent.
3.Increased customer satisfaction
On the dedicated customer service portal, customers can redirect their enquiries based on the category of problems they are facing or perhaps send it directly to the relevant department. This is as opposed to a mass or one-stop email most companies have for customers to redirect their enquiries or feedback on which lacks efficiency. Most importantly, the customer is now happier as there is visible ownership of their enquiry in the company and because of that now there is faster response time from the employee to the customer, making a win-win situation for all!
Now since we have established the need for customer service, let’s zoom into what features you can add in your customer service portal!
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As we mentioned above, a customer service portal should allow customers to categorize their enquiry based on the nature of the problem they are facing. This is needed to streamline the process and to save time for redirecting enquiries. It also makes it easier for customers to toggle on the portal.
One categorization companies can look at is based on the department the enquiry is eventually going to be send to. For example, if a customer has not received his/her parcel within the promised 7 working days, he could click on the option of sending send to: the logistic department where the direct employees could attend to immediately. This helps the direct employee to get the problem faster and also rectifying the problem even faster, improving customer satisfaction and also efficiency. For large organizations with a large geographical presence, a good categorization can be layered on regions, countries and cities before streamlining into the departments.
#2: Discussion board
How do you benefit from customers themselves? The answer is through discussion boards where seasoned customers with the brand can answer basic or mainstream enquiries of new customers. This can be also linked to your organizations’ Facebook page to gain higher amount of responses on the discussion board. In addition, customer service staff could also respond there, which answers mass volumes of the same enquiry, saving time for all.
#3: Search engines
If your organization implements both the categorization and discussion board feature as said above, your customer service portal would be filled and customers of course would want to zoom into their specified requirement. Your search engine must enable your customers to search across discussion boards, categories, files and support documents and other information on your website.
Quicklinks in the form of drop-down list appearing in the upper right part of the homepage or on all pages on the intranet can also be a way to work around poor search results or outdated navigation structures. This navigation shortcut list can be a way to work around poor search results or outdated navigation structures. This is when you might need a web developer to integrate such features: you could try sites such as Thunderquote, a B2B marketplace that allows you to get and compare up to 5 vendor quotes for web developers.
In conclusion, customer service portals are a preferred choice for customers instead of the traditional call centers and it saves cost and time and customer satisfaction for the organization, creating a win-win solution for both sides. In addition, features such as the discussion board could also integrate seasoned customers into the portal and help in the customer service process while search engines can streamline to what the customer is looking for, allowing small businesses to create top notch services.
ThunderQuote is the “Gebiz for businesses” and most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.