Online customer service is gaining space on the communication between companies and their audience for a very long time. This growth is a result of the customer’s behavior because they’re each time more immediatist and connected to digital media.
By little, the service on online platforms with chats, apps, and social networks are replacing telephone calls and even real-life communication.
This scenario increased even more in the face of the world’s new situation, arising from the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the report on the global scenario of customer service, delivered by Microsoft, 90% of customers hope that companies offer an online page for automatic service, as well as 52% claim that their first interaction with a brand is in the virtual environment.
Can you notice why offering an online customer service is important to your clients? If you have not adopted this customer service strategy yet, read this text!
In it, you’ll understand the importance of computerizing your company’s customer service. Take a look! 🙂
The importance of online customer service for your company
If a telephone line and an email were good enough for customer service before, today the case is quite different.
We’re in the digital era and we’re dealing with customer 4.0. This client has very specific characteristics, defined by the high level of demands, experience enhancement, total adaptation to the digital environment, and easy access to information.
But what does that mean? Well, it means that to reach, enchant, and involve this new customer, companies need to be really present in the virtual environment and have digital service.
All of this to fulfill the user’s need in a good and fast way, providing excellent customer service.
It’s important to understand that the new customer has a growing need for faster answers and proactive communication that can only be offered by online customer service.
And it’s a mistake to think that online customer service is only important for the customer. By computerizing its communication, the company makes internal customer service processes better, having more agility, productivity, and ease in measuring results.
But where can you start? By making your company really present in the virtual environment and creating customer service strategies for each of these channels. Let’s learn more about them next.
Online customer service channels: making the digital presence of your band be noticed
Have you ever heard that “Who is not seen, is not remembered”? This Digital Marketing motto says a lot about online customer service.
After all, your brand must be where your audience is and, as we said before, clients are getting more familiar and present on digital channels.
And there’s more, we can say that the modern customer is each time more omnichannel, that is, present in many channels. According to Microsoft’s research, we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this text, 44% of the users are on 3 to 5 different customer service channels.
That’s why way more than being on online platforms, you have to be ready to serve, interact, and engage customers through them. Next, we’ll see the main online customer service channels.
Having a website for your company is a way of being present online, showing your work, reaching potential clients, and delivering relevant information about your products or services.
However, a website is not simply a means of information. It can be an important customer service channel by integrating the page into a chat platform.
Chats can be reactive when the user gets in touch, or proactive when an attendant — either human or a chatbot — reaches the user offering support.
Being online and available to the user at the moment they visit the page can increase the conversion rate and sales, besides offering good customer experience, because the user is assisted in a fast and good way.
Company’s own app
Did you know that in Brazil there are already more than 230 million smartphones in use?
Considering this fact, it’s clear to see how important offering good online mobile customer service is.
Way more than a responsive website, many companies are investing in their own apps so that their users can have the same positive experience on their smartphones or computers.
Offering client support through social media is an important module in online customer service.
The modern client hopes that their requests are answered on the channel they are, at the moment they need. That’s why way more than engaging platforms, we can say that social networks are becoming relationship channels.
It’s worth mentioning that the attention on social networks shouldn’t be only related to private messages, on Facebook Messenger or DMs, but to all user’s interactions, such as comments, for example.
Did you know that 76% of users use WhatsApp to communicate with brands?
The app is on 99% of Brazilians smartphones, and there’s no doubt that the messenger is establishing itself as an important tool for customer service inside companies.
Most people wish that the service is conducted through cell phones, and they are less likely to have time and willingness to be on phone calls.
In the digital era, the attention should be in the micro-moments users have on the day, as they wait in a bank line, on public transport, or on their lunch breaks when they reach their cell phones to fulfill their needs and solve their demands. And WhatsApp is the ideal tool for that.
When WhatsApp Business, the corporate version of the app, came out, WhatsApp got specific resources that help companies on their customer support, such as:
- Setting for quick response;
- Sending of automatic “greeting” and “absence” messages;
- Business profile with relevant information about the company;
- Product catalog.
Besides the corporate version of the app, WhatsApp also launched its API, which enables the messenger’s integration into many software systems that can transform the app into a real online customer service system.
WhatsApp Business API can be integrated into ERPs, CRMs, financial systems, marketing automation systems, livechats and chatbots, as we’ll see next.
Chatbot and Artificial Intelligence as tools for online customer service
As you can see, online customer service should be done through different channels. For fast and efficient communication between brands and their audience, the solution is relying on the use of technological tools, such as chatbots and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
A chatbot — also known as a virtual assistant — is a software capable of establishing dialogs with a person in a natural way and fulfilling their needs in a fast assertive way.
However, to have a working chatbot, capable of attending to customers and interacting with them, it must have AI, systems that have human-like intelligence and emulate our capacity to think and solve problems.
A smart chatbot can be integrated into the different online channels your company has, as we said before: website, social networks, apps, and messengers like WhatsApp.
A virtual assistant can:
- Offer full-time support;
- Answer to frequently asked questions;
- Analyze users’ requests;
- Conduct simultaneous conversations;
- Transfer chats to specific human agents;
- Carry out monotonous and repetitive tasks;
- Send copies of bills;
- Capture user’s information;
- Help in qualifying users;
- Send content and surveys;
- And much more!
The more integrated into your company’s systems and stronger the IA you use is, like BotHub, the smarter and more capable of attending to your audience your assistant will be.
By being available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, an assistant is capable of reducing users’ response waiting time and solving their requests at the moment and on the channel they want. That’s all the modern customer wishes!
Benefits of online customer service
By implementing an online customer service, your company gets many benefits. Let’s see some of those next.
More agility in contesting users and solving their problems
By using digital tools with which clients are already familiar with, online customer service comes with more agility in communication.
And by automatizing support in those channels with the use of AI and chatbots, you save even more time for responding users and solving their problems, making client experience better.
It’s possible to have a better idea of your target client’s profile and behavior
One of the major benefits of online customer service is that the digital platforms store data and information extracted in every interaction users have with your brand.
This way, by analyzing these data, it’s possible to have insights about your audience profile and behavior and to use the information to plan marketing actions and more assertive sales.
Constant and instant contact with clients
Online customer service enables the brand to be in constant communication with its audience, informing and nurturing users, leads, and clients with relevant information about your company, products, and services.
Through social networks and messengers, it’s possible to interact and engage, reinforcing, and improving relationships with your audience.
And with the help of a virtual assistant available full-time, this contact can be instant, fulfilling your clients’ needs at the moment they need, making their experience with the brand better.
Influencing the buyer’s decision
Good support is, no doubt, one of the factors that influence the buyer’s decision the most.
With online customer service, your company will have good and efficient communication, which improves client experience and, therefore, leads to sales.
Have in mind that for 89% of Brazilians, the buyer’s experience is so or more important than the product or service themselves.
Essentially, online customer service is already a reality and its adoption increased because of the moment we live in.
Therefore, if you are still not using digital channels, it’s time to look back to your communication strategies and optimize your company’s support.
Should we take the first step? Get in touch with our experts and get familiar with Push Platform’s customer service chatbot.