Monday, 21 August 2017

I don't need a customer service app!


You’re a small business. You have a handle on all your messaging – You don’t need a customer service app! Think again. Have you ever sent a “please help me” message to a business and got frustrated when you never received a response?

Your business are your customers. Whether you’re a tech giant, an accountancy practice or small distributor, keeping track of messages from your customers, and more importantly, responding to those messages is crucial to keeping your customers happy. You need to quickly see messages whether they are emails, facebook messenger or Twitter messages and get someone on your team to respond.

Think of all the email addresses you see on websites - Hello@, Contact@, Sales@, Booking@, Events@, Support@, Operations@, accounts@, Careers@, Orders@, bugs@ , Feedback@, press@ , partners@ , marketing@.

Do you know where messages to these email addresses end up in your business and who, if anyone , is responding to them?

What is a customer service app?


At it’s simplest it’s just a way to keep track of who sent your business a message, assign it to someone in your team to respond and make sure it’s closed out and the customer is happy. That’s it. Of course you can add a ton of options but this is essentially what all customer service (or helpdesk) apps do. 

Something to think about:

- 220B emails sent every day
- Growing at 6-7% every year
- 55% business related.
- Facebook Messenger/Twitter messages of growing importance to businesses
- A website is vital to your business. Where do messages from your Contact us page end up?


But my business is too small


Really? If you have more than a couple of staff then things tend to get lost, people sometimes fail to follow up and get distracted. Do you really know what's going on with your customers?

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Have you ever wondered if someone did actually respond to that customer? 
  • What was the update? 
  • How do you know who is replying to these messages?
  • How do you know that the customer is happy?
  • Do you know which customer is taking up more of your time

You shouldn't have to ask "did you send a reply" , "did you cc me on that?" or "Can you forward that message to me?".  

Customer service apps or Shared Inboxes mean you never have to ask these questions again. You can instantly see who has responded, what they have sent and importantly, is the customer now happy.


They don't have to be complicated (or expensive)


Some are, but they don’t have to be.  Keeping it simple and focusing on the basics is what makes Customer service apps work for a business. You don’t have to train your staff, don’t have to roll out any complicated servers. Everything is in the cloud and can be up and running in minutes



Email is still king, it still vitally important to every business but don't forget that you need to be on the channels the customer likes to use. Whether this is Email, Facebook, Twitter or your website, make sure you connect to all your channels.

Some customer service apps are big on service level agreements, multi-timezone support. A small business doesn't need this added complexity. 





Getting the most from your Customer service app


A small business needs features that make sense to their business. You don’t need complicated SLA’s, handing off tickets to support staff in different time zones. Keeping it simple is what makes success come easier.

- Keep it simple. Less complex apps mean your team can be up and running faster and will enjoy using the app more.

- Don't treat your customer like a ticket! Instead make them part of the solution, part of the team and they will feel more connected to your business.

- It's a team effort. You don't have limitless resources. Make sure your app lets everyone on your team contribute to solving a customer problem, and learning from it.

- If the app supports "tags" or categories then use them. It will make a big difference when you try and figure out what is taking up most of your (and your teams) time.

- Use "due" or "Complete by" dates. We all get busy but by using close off dates you can focus your team to actively work on issues and keeping the customer happy.

- Analytics. Data is important. You need to look at who and what is taking up your teams' time and how you can make it better.




- Connect to multiple channels. Customers are changing. 10 years ago email was the only way to communicate with your business. Now Facebook Messenger and Twitter are gaining ground. Make sure you connect to all your business channels.

Capture first, respond second. Make sure your customer service app updates your contact manager with new contacts automatically. This will save you team and ensures you never lose a customer contact.


Remember the old saying - "It takes years to get a customer, only seconds to lose one". Make sure you have the right tools in your business to keep your customers happy.