Customers are at the center of every business. Keeping customers happy is what makes the business grow. While simple in its essence, customer service is often an overlooked aspect. For many it is a thing that would be best kept at a comfortable distance – to outsource it to call centers abroad and maintain a variety of email/web forms through which customers can interact. Quite often one might wonder whether the crafted email will reach a service representative or end up in a black hole.
We just came back from Cologne where we attended dmexco, Europe largest marketing and advertising tech expo with around 50,000 visitors. Spread across 4 halls, the expo was spectacular with almost every major internet company present together with a myriad of advertising and marketing agencies. After visiting the expo and talking to dozens of agencies, service providers and product companies it became clear that customer service is in the minds of many. Here are 3 lessons related to customer service that we learned from brands and agencies.
- You have to differentiate as a brand. Attention is the most valuable commodity online and the price to gain it keeps rising every year. No wonder, since as consumers we have seen it all and are unfazed by marketing gimmicks. Yet, businesses have to provide consumers something new and different or they risk the chance of seeing their customers flee to competitors. One way to differentiate is good customer service – taking each customer personally and providing a personalized experience that stands out from the crowd.
- Chat is seen as a way to bring customers closer. Brands are all about providing experiences through engagement – delighting customers and making them feel good about themselves. Messaging is seen as a medium where people can freely enter into a conversation with brands. It is a place where customers are comfortable because they use messaging daily with their friends and expect similar friendly service from brands as well. Providing relevant content and positive emotions through messaging can keep customers coming back and strengthen their affection for your brand.
- Bots are seen as a way to differentiate with customer service. Many liked the promise of automated and personal chatbots that can provide users with positive emotions. Analyzing user intent is important because the more accurate the understanding the more accurate answers we can provide customers. With that in mind, bots that are able to provide intelligent conversation to customers 24/7 are a way to stand out from the crowd for a brand.