Why better customer service is worth striving for

The majority (51 per cent) of people in the UK would happily pay over the odds for something if it meant they received better customer service, a study shows.

Features such as live chat can improve the customer service of an online operator

Features such as live chat can improve the customer service of an online operator

A third (33 per cent) of Britons are particularly angered by poor call handling services, while 29 per cent cite unhelpful store staff as their biggest bugbear, according to a survey by virtual assistant service provider ava.

Bad websites, slow responses to email queries and a lack of social media interaction also grind our gears in the UK.

Those businesses that will succeed in today’s cutthroat market are the ones with a focus on facilitating the customer journey. Marketing company Splitter HQ vows to reply to customers within 18 hours on weekdays and 36 hours on weekends. However, managing director Laurence Ridge says that customers usually receive a response within six hours – even if it is out of hours.

Chatty customer service

Recently the company also added support chat on its website. By clicking the ? on the website customers can ask questions or report issues to the technical team. The customer will then be followed up via phone call or email within two hours.

‘I also tend to give customers my email address,’ Ridge says. ‘I constantly check my email throughout the day and evening, which allows me to pick up on things and at the same time provide great customer service to my clients.’

Another company to have benefitted from a chat function is job management software app Okappy. Director Gerry So says that the feature means customers can instantly send a question and will get a reply immediately. ‘With live chat, we also ask our customers to leave their details so it’s also a good way for lead generation,’ So adds. ‘We have had quite a few lead conversions from live chat. It’s easy to use, we have it on our computer as well as mobile so we can always get back to our customers as quickly as possible.

‘You can also set it offline, and we do that when we have our team meeting. That way it’s better to let your customers know that you are away rather than a no reply.’

This quick turnaround with queries is a key reason customers buy the service, So adds.

Customer service success is a key part of Instasupply‘s platform. ‘We work with procurement, finance and operations within businesses so support is vital,’ says the company’s head of partnerships, Simona Pop. ‘We believe that [having to endure] an 0845 helpline playing Sade’s ‘Smooth Operator’ while you wait just to change your password is ridiculous,’ she says.

The company has installed Intercom on its platform, both on the main site and on the actual portal post customer log in. ‘We find that the ability to respond to customers across the business within minutes is of huge value to both the customer and us as a business. We can track patterns and make sure we improve certain niggles that keep popping up, for example,’ Pop says.

Further reading on customers

 

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