Customer service is a must-have for every business. Customers have the ability to share both good and bad experiences, which can influence potential customers, so businesses must work hard to reach the channels where their customers are.
Customer service types are not constant; they differ from brand-to-brand and the times we live in. For instance, there was a time when customer service interactions had to be done in-person, or over the phone.
Now that we live in the age of the internet, we have social channels, live chat, and chatbots, on top of the other pre-existing customer service methods available to us.
The customer service type your business should offer depends greatly on the types of customer needs. For instance, if you’re running an online business, you can have an online knowledge base for any frequently asked questions.
At the same time, you’ll also need phone support to walk your customers through solutions, should they encounter problems. Here are some of the top customer service types:
Phone support may be the oldest customer service support channel available.
Even though it may seem outdated compared to other solutions, it’s actually the fastest and most efficient way to resolve issues. Agents can walk customers through solutions in real-time and give them personalized support.
On the down side, it’s also the most expensive type of customer support because you’ll have to hire and train multiple agents to cover shifts throughout the day. You’ll need multiple agents to give speedy service because each call takes time to process, and agents can only service a limited number of people per day.
Phone support is ideal for businesses that require personalized support and troubleshooting, such as software.
Email is an easy way to communicate with companies because everyone uses email in some form or another.
Customers can detail their problems, and emails are an easy way to organize, prioritize, delegate, and sort. However, compared to other methods available nowadays, email support is much slower.
Email support is good for a company’s internal support team, as well as issues that aren’t as urgent. But don’t forget to respond within 24 to 48 hours!
Live chat brings the best of both phone and email support by giving instant and personalized updates.
It’s more cost-effective than phone support, can be automated (via chatbots), and can be delivered through multiple channels –meaning you can reach your customers on the channels they prefer using, such as social media.
Use of the customer live chat feature has increased from 38% to 58% over the last 5 years. If you do decide to use live chat, ensure that the agents you hire have excellent written communication skills and can diffuse difficult situations on the fly.
Millennials prefer solving problems on their own, thus having a knowledge base (or self-service option) would benefit greatly.
It does not cost as much as other customer service solutions, and what’s great about this is that the hard work to create your product guides, FAQs, and video tutorials only happens once. Once created, all you have to do is update the content to account for any future changes.
This is recommended for industries whose policies and information don’t change often.
To Sum Up
The customer service types you need depend on the industry you’re in and what customers typically expect.
When in doubt, it’s best to take a multichannel approach to customer service so you cover all your bases and provide customers with an option that best suits them and their situation.