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As customers increasingly integrate social media and smartphones/tablets into their daily lives, the way they want to communicate with customer service representatives (CSRs) is changing. Keeping up with shifting customer service expectations can mean the difference between having a good customer retention rate and having one that is unacceptable.

How Customer Service Affects Business

Call centers that have historically relied on phone lines will need to take a more comprehensive approach to customer contact through cloud computing. Customer retention rates depend heavily on support services. Retaining customers only costs about 20% of what it takes to acquire new ones, making it crucial to keep those individuals satisfied to keep them coming back. American companies lose about $6.5 billion a month due to service from CSRs that customers perceive as poor. Because so much money is being left on the table, nearly 9 in 10 businesses say that they will strive to have a better customer experience than their competitors.

In addition, customer behavior is important to consider since:

  • 60% of people expect more than they did last year when it comes to customer service.
  • 70% of people who have a positive experience with a brand’s social presence will likely recommend that company.
  • 95 out of 100 people who have a bad experience with a brand will tell others about it.

Anticipating the Desires of Customers

Technological expansion has created a more informed consumer who relies heavily on what they see in reviews, on social media, and from their own experience. The four customer service aspects they desire most include:

  • Communication Options
    While a phone number used to be good enough, today’s consumer wants to be able to contact a business in the way that is easiest for them. Having support that is capable of communicating via phone, email, chat, and social media is important to accommodate every customer.
  • Reliable Self-help Systems
    More than 90% of customers expect a company to offer some type of self-help platform. This may include YouTube videos and FAQ pages, but it is important to understand that even with a robust self-help platform, many people (more than 60%) still find that they contain too little information.
  • Mobile Usability
    If a customer has a concern, complaint, or question, they want to be able to convey their thoughts immediately without regard to whether or not they are in front of a computer. Being able to handle mobile users is a must for companies serious about making their customers happy.
  • Fast Responses
    Few people are willing to wait more than 10 minutes on hold, and nearly half of customers want their questions or concerns addressed within 24 hours when sending an email or posting a support ticket. Being able to respond quickly to customers can help keep them from going to a competitor.

Staying Current

Approximately 96% of call centers are focusing their efforts more around a comprehensive support system as opposed to a telephone-only platform. Finding ways to integrate more communication options as well as improving the current level of support are key to building a more effective customer service infrastructure.

Contact the team at thinQ for more information about how to manage customers’ expectations for support.