It’s no secret that consumer expectations are changing. Broadly speaking, customers increasingly want more attention, and expectations regarding customer service are no exception to this trend. Customer loyalty has become harder to attain - many shoppers will leave a brand for a competitor after a single negative experience. To quantify this trend in 2014, 76% of consumers reported having ended their relationship with a company due to a bad experience, while in 2016, that figure rose to 82%. With that said, efficient and reliable customer service can be an invaluable asset to a brand.
Here are three things consumers report they would like to see from brands’ support channels:
1. Fast and Easy Access
According to Kleiner Perkins, when customers were asked to pick two things companies could improve upon in regards to customer service, 60% of respondents said they would like to see easier access to online support channels and 53% reported wanting faster agent response times.
When a company makes support readily accessible, it shows that it stands behind its products and is eager to develop a relationship with its customers.
What does this mean? Customers don’t want to go searching around a site to find help. Easily accessible support demonstrates a company’s willingness and desire to assist customers if they are having trouble with a product. When a company makes support readily accessible, it shows that it stands behind its products and is eager to develop a relationship with its customers. Developing positive relationships with customers is key to retaining their business over time.
2. Real-Time Conversations
Shoppers want to chat. Real-time conversations started through online support channels have increased at an extremely rapid clip in recent years. In 2014, 50 million conversations were started. In 2015, that number rose to 150 million, and at the start of 2018 nearly 500 million conversations had been started. That’s a huge increase in just four years.
Utilizing a simple and engaging platform like Zendesk Chat or Intercom to communicate live with customers is a great way to help resolve any issue they may be having. Fast and efficient troubleshooting leads to happy customers, and happy customers are likely to be return shoppers and refer their friends to the brand as well.
3. An Understanding of How Your Product Works
Shoppers want to know how things work. On average, the “How It Works” page of a website is the second most visited page after the homepage. This fact highlights how important it is to be able to answer questions about a product. Shoppers shouldn’t be left scratching their heads. If a website can effectively explain how a product works, those shoppers will be more likely to convert.
The bar for customer service is getting higher. The companies that are best equipped to meet these elevated expectations will be rewarded with greater customer retention and brand loyalty.