4 Tools to Help Reach Consumers in the Era of Mass Connectivity

Is your business making the necessary changes to improve the customer service experience? Sometimes being stuck in your ways isn’t good for business; these 4 tools can help.

4 Tools to Help Reach Consumers in the Era of Mass Connectivity

Today’s consumers now demand a smarter, faster and more personalized customer service experience. But despite these new demands, many businesses are continuing to operate in an old-school fashion — or miss the mark entirely.

Consider a recent American Express study, indicating consumers spend 9 percent more with companies that provide great customer service. Looking for new ways to respond to customer inquiries? Give your customers what they desire — and your business a boost in revenue — with these four customer service tools and tips.

1. Optimize Your Website

Consumers want to help themselves; it’s really that simple. As a business owner, you can help your potential customers find the answers they’re searching for by regularly updating and optimizing your website. It’s an investment that should pay big dividends, too: Research from Forrester found that consumer use of help and FAQ pages increased from 67 percent in 2012 to 76 percent just two years later.

Additionally, a recent Microsoft study found that 90 percent of surveyed consumers expect a company or business to employ a FAQ page as well as some sort of customer support feature on its website. With that in mind, take a good, hard look at your website — you might want to get an outside, unbiased opinion — and identify areas of improvement.

2. Make Use of Chatbots

Sometimes, though, you can replace the human touch with a more seamless digital experience. Shep Hyken, a contributor for Forbes, says the technology behind chatbots continues to improve due to the rollout of more robust functionality. In particular, thanks in large part to improved artificial intelligence, the best chatbot services can respond to consumer questions and requests without much wait time.

Chatbots can also recognize when consumers are confused and when it’s appropriate to transfer the conversation to a live agent. While AI is gaining steam, Hyken says it won’t necessarily take over all everyday customer service duties. Rather, the technology will continue to act more as an intelligent assistant by helping customer support reps when needed.

3. Provide Timely Social Media Responses

A 2016 Sprout Social survey found that more than 90 percent of respondents have used social media in some capacity to connect with a brand. And 34.5 percent of respondents said they prefer this communication method over traditional email or phone support.

It’s time to get online, pronto. If your business lacks a social media presence — or tends to go weeks and months without posting new content — you’re missing out on an opportunity to reach customers where they spend a majority of their time.

While many consumers flock to Facebook and Twitter to engage with brands, some companies may find their audience and customers are active on other social media platforms, like Instagram or Pinterest. As a means to feel out where your customers are spending a majority of your time, be sure to search for brand-specific mentions or hashtags on each of your social accounts.

4. Invest in a Cloud Contact Center

While phones are used less frequently these days, this customer service contact method is not going anywhere anytime soon. And although turning to tools like chatbots and social media are a consumer’s first choice, it’s always nice to have a human-to-human connection via phone.

But there’s a new contact solution on the block. Cloud contact centers can better streamline the customer service experience with workforce optimization and software tools by connecting customers to the appropriate department in a seamless fashion.

Cloud contact center solutions also offer business owners insights into consumer data and employee performance metrics that are housed in the cloud. Ultimately, this information can help business owners fine-tune the customer service experience, which, in turn, will keep consumers coming back.