What To Do When Customer Interactions Turn Into A Full Time Job
When businesses dealt in limited face-to-face communications, it was far easier to manage customer interactions that, often, didn’t extend far beyond polite chat or complaints handling at the till. Now, as any company looking to succeed extends its reach online, more businesses than ever face the reality of sometimes extensive consumer interactions across a range of platforms and priorities. And, many are struggling to manage that onslaught while still keeping other crucial areas of business operations on pace.
This is especially true as always-on and fast consumer interactions become not just a benefit but crucial for increasing your customer base. In fact, as many as 39% of consumers now expect social media replies in as little as 60 minutes. It’s hardly surprising, then, that things like product development and in-office priorities are too often taking a back seat.
The trouble is that, while customer interactions matter, they can’t do you any good if you take your eye too firmly off those other balls. That’s why we’ve put together a quick-fire guide for what you can do if you notice that customer interactions are quickly becoming a full-time job in themselves.
# 1 – Consider outsourcing this service
Given that our interactions with consumers are the best and most direct chances we have to reflect brand values and set the right tone for sales moving forward, many companies are reluctant to risk handing them over to an outside source. In reality, though, seeking the right outside help for customer interactions including comment replies and even customer services can prove invaluable in more ways than you might expect.
As well as having a far more specialized skill set than you can manage in house, outsourced agents who take the time to work closely with you will especially focus on understanding the messages that you want to send, as well as the best ways to send them. In many ways, this is no different from training your in-house team, only you’ll be building from existing knowledge sets, as well as saving yourself a small fortune and a whole load of work in the process.
# 2 – Find more efficient routes to connection
For obvious reasons, platforms including social media have become synonymous with building an effective and loyal following for companies of all kinds. That said, with social media platforms generally difficult to manage when messages can come from all corners and each land in the same inbox, this also isn’t always the best platform for successful interactions. Of course, that’s not to say that you can skip this now-crucial business step, but it does mean that you may also want to consider directing followers to more efficient platforms.
An alternative like using these tips for running an online community using Geneva or similar platforms can especially see you managing a far better organized, more generally monitored source for interactions that rely not only on your input but also on all-important consumer-to-consumer conversations. This can take a significant amount of pressure off your shoulders, while always ensuring that you can access relevant chats, queries, and conversations in half the time that it would take you to trawl through your social media inbox otherwise.
# 3 – Perfect training from a customer service standpoint
Even from a more obvious and in-house perspective, poor training where customer interactions and CS is concerned will inevitably lead to a much slower complaints or comments handling process in general. That’s inevitably going to lead to backups in your operations elsewhere. By comparison, prioritizing customer training as much as you do focuses like product understanding is sure to result in a more efficient, informed handling of even complex queries that takes half the time.
Of course, to some extent, it is worth mentioning that you don’t want to rush customer queries that leave you looking like a careless company. That said, with efficiency and speed benefiting both parties, even consumers are far more likely to appreciate your efforts if your customer service agents, in particular, can handle things quickly and satisfactorily at all times. Immediate training focuses, and ongoing refreshers, are therefore crucial for both setting the right impression and stopping customer interactions from taking over everything that you’re trying to do.
While there’s no denying that an increased consumer reach can prove transformative for companies looking to take advantage of it, you also need to keep your other business balls up in the air at all times by using pointers like these to find balance at last.
Categories: Outside Contributors