It’s been said that customer service is the new sales, and when it comes to upselling and customer retention this makes absolute sense. Your customer service officers are in contact with your customers every single day. They need to know the most frequently asked questions, the historical information of the customer, and the best upgrades they can offer to customers. To achieve that, your support agents need to have immediate access to complete customer information when a customer calls. A few seconds is all it takes to turn a brand advocate into an unhappy customer, a closed deal into a bad review, or the other way around.
66% of customers switch brands if they feel like they are treated like a number rather than an individual.
Offering agents easy access to a single source of truth about customers prevents that scenario of “the 20 open tabs”. That instantly improves customer experience and makes life easier for support teams.
Here are 3 problems with data that can be easily fixed. Solve them to obtain that single source of truth and you will turn every customer interaction into a positive experience.
1. Working with Out-of-date or Incomplete Data: Lost Time and Increased Frustration
Imagine Sophie, a customer, is calling you. She is a photographer who has a problem with her camera. The agent is not able to find Sophie’s records immediately because her phone number wasn’t updated. She has to spell her name again and repeat her address before you can pull up her data. This leads to frustration because Sophie just wants to use her camera as soon as possible without wasting time repeating her name and address.
While setting up your customer service tool, you usually import historical data, attributes, and tickets. But you are importing only a snapshot. After a couple of months phone numbers might have changed, prospects would have become customers, customer’s spend might have been miscalculated, etc. These changes might have been recorded in your CRM or your customer service tool, but rarely in both. To keep up with the data changes you need to do real-time bi-directional sync— from your CRM to your customer service tool and vice versa.
This will ensure that up-to-date data is accessible to everyone in the team across different devices and platforms they might be using. Therefore, customer service becomes more accurate, your agents save time, and you reduce customer frustration.
2. Working with Fragmented Data: 20 Tabs Open and Counting
Often, you can find essential customer information in your customer service tool, but you might need other details that are available on another platform – perhaps your billing platform or a survey app. Constantly switching between multiple tabs can be time-consuming and also leaves room for errors.
In many instances, a dedicated agent is assigned to a particular contact/company. With Freshdesk’s customer 360, this agent can capture details about a customer in ‘Notes’.This ensures that your customer support agents can track previous conversations in an instant. In addition to this, if you use a third-party app such as PieSync to integrate Freshdesk with your CRM and marketing tools, you’ll eliminate all data silos. Having all your information stored in different apps is fine, as long as they communicate with each other. In Freshdesk you can store all your incoming tickets from multiple channels.
When you integrate your business apps, please make sure that you have automatic sync set up. It’s vital to be able to dynamically pull all that info from separate sources and aggregate it in the customer support plane.
So once you’ve identified Sophie, you don’t need to open another app to check which items she purchased and when.
3. Inconsistent Data: Who Do You Trust?
What if Sophie’s number appears in both your CRM and customer service tool, but the digits are different? Which one is right? This happens because of data silos, meaning, your apps are working next to each other and not with each other. Your marketing, sales, and customer service teams are working with different sets of data when they should be pulling information out of the same database.
Decide which database you want at the heart of your company. In most cases, this will be your CRM but you are free to decide. There is only one rule: make sure all your other apps pull their information from your main database. If a phone number changes or a customer buys a new product, this information should be altered in your primary database. Another pro tip: by using enrichment services like Clearbit or FullContact you can build a complete unified view of your customer without losing any time.
Quick Tips to Boost Customer Service with Quality Data
A positive experience can lead to positive reviews, word-of-mouth advertising, referrals, etc. Working with accurate data is the basis for customer support success and customer happiness. But I would like to leave you with 4 extra tips to take your customer service to the next level.
#1 Share Knowledge and Provide Content
Start a knowledge base so that every agent is able to answer your customer’s query without having to transfer him or her to another colleague. Have help articles ready on your website to refer your customers to, in case they need them. You can make use of data and analytics to help make decisions on the effectiveness of your content.
#2 Let Your Customer Service Team Give Feedback on Your Products and Services
The information your agents get from your customers provides an accurate quality check of what you are offering. Their feedback will help your company improve its products and services. Let your customers know you appreciate their feedback and also make sure that your customer support agents reach out to your customers when you release a new feature or service that solves the problems they’ve been encountering.
#3 Provide Regular Training
Give your agents the opportunity to improve their customer support skills. How are they dealing with an angry customer? Give them a space to share their experiences and lessons. You can also offer them short workshops with tips and tricks they can implement.
#4 Offer Your Happy Customers an Incentive to Write a Review
According to BrightLocal, 91% of consumers between18 and 34 years trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If you don’t have a lot of reviews yet, you can gather feedback by offering a small incentive to happy customers when they provide an honest review of your product or service on your website, Yelp, or other industry-specific websites.
Whether customer service is “the new sales” or not, businesses are evolving to become more ‘personal’ with customers. Up-to-date and complete data is key to this evolution. The customer information gathered by each tool across the company can be in sync through your contact synchronization tool, guaranteeing a complete view of the customer’s interactions with the brand.
Ultimately, contact synchronization gives you an edge over your competitors. Companies working with a compact software stack, are equipped to offer a better service. Therefore, the effectiveness of your support strategy depends on having a data-aware team with the right tools.