Rewind to early December, when I placed an order for a present for my 8 year old nephew which was supposed to be delivered in 5 working days. And yet, 12 days later, it had barely made its way out of the warehouse.
Fearing that I would join “creepy clowns” on the list of things that make my nephew cry on his birthday, I went on the hunt for answers.
Rather unhelpfully, there was no “do it myself” solution in their help center. Nor could I find a valid customer support email address. And then I tried calling, to no answer…
In the end, the best “solution” was an automated reply from a non-personalised Spanish-speaking chatbot (having detected I lived in Portugal, a country next to Spain) on the company website.
Guess who I’m never buying from again?
We’ve all been in similar situations, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably on the other side too, tasked with keeping ever-more-demanding customers satisfied and loyal.
Not only do consumers give very little time to resolving issues (a recent survey on Customer Effort found out that most consumers are only willing to spend up to 10 minutes on that), they’re extremely likely to switch brands if they feel like they’re being treated like a number (according to this report from Salesforce).
So what can you do?
Create the best customer support self-service options
The good news is that 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative.
Do-it-yourself transactions cost mere pennies, while the average cost of a live service interaction is more than $7 for a B2C company and more than $13 for a B2B company, according to Harvard Business Review.
In breaking down some common myths, Gartner research shows that Level 1 support costs (how-to requests, FAQs, password resets, etc) can fall dramatically with effective self-service.
Just to give you an idea, here’s a great example from Atlassian’s Help Centre (their knowledge base gets 4.6 million page-views from over 1 million users per month).
Combine chatbots with real customer support agents
You can automate many common queries through the use of chatbots, as almost 50% of consumers prefer customer service interactions via text, chat, or messaging.
But, just like with managing a knowledge base or help centre, you’ll need to ensure that there’s an up-to-date library of content feeding the chatbots. The results can be brilliant, with 62% of consumers saying chatbots provide faster customer support, while 65% consider it to be friendly.
Just make sure that you make it clear to customers they’re talking to a robot assistant, not a real person, and to always have the option to transfer to a live agent (82% of consumers insist on this).
Speak your customers’ languages
If you’re selling products or services across geographic borders, then keep in mind that 75% of people search online for information in their native language — with 58% claiming that this also increases their brand loyalty (Common Sense Advisory).
No wonder I hated that Spanish-speaking chatbot…
[Ed: and now a word from our sponsors…]
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