Digital Customer Service: Tips for Keeping Customers Happy

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Whether you’re an e-commerce business or not, digital customer service is probably a term you’ve heard thrown around a bit. It’s a bit of a catch all, and it can mean something different across different industries. As your resident “texperts” on the topic, we’re going to break down exactly what digital customer service means and the key takeaways you need for your digital strategy to succeed.

What is Digital Customer Service?

The best approach to breaking down a concept this large is to start as zoomed out as possible. We’ll start by saying, although our name is SimpleTexting, digital customer service can be provided by email, online chat, video chat, social media, in addition to SMS for customer service.

Each platform provides unique advantages and disadvantages. The tips and tricks in this article can be applied to whatever platform you’re using! While we believe texting is practically made for this purpose, all of our suggestions can be extended to whatever you digitally fancy!

With that in mind, we define digital customer service as the meeting of customer needs through electronic means. Customer needs tend to include things like: returns/exchanges, questions, technical support, pricing questions, and onboarding support.

While digital customer service has been around pretty much since the dawn of email, the practice has certainly evolved. With websites often featuring live chat bots and brands fielding customer requests via social media platforms like twitter, customers have come to expect businesses to reach them where they already are. Growing your digital strategy to meet these expectations will be what separates your brand for your competitors.

Why is Digital Customer Service Right For Your Business?

There are a few reasons why going digital is advantageous for your customer service team:

  • Handle customer requests faster as almost all digital platforms deliver messages instantly.
  • Actively reach out to people in a soft-touch, less invasive fashion
  • Monitor the ongoing conversation about your brand online
  • Remain available 24/7 to your customers
  • The ability to multitask and handle multiple customers at once
  • Timestamps and backlogs that can help prioritize conversations and promote transparency

As we previously mentioned, customers have heightened expectations for how brands meet their needs. According to a survey run by Microsoft, 54% of all consumers say that they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago. The speed, agility, and accessibility digital customer service offers allows you to keep up with customer needs.

How Does Digital Customer Service Work?

In order to create the best online customer experience, it’s not enough just to “do” digital. You have to do it well. Digital customer service only works if you’re committed to creating opportunities across multiple devices, staying on top of (or better yet stay ahead) of requests, and being open and honest with your customers.

5 takeaways necessary for businesses to succeed in digital customer service

1. If a human isn’t available to chat, don’t let the lead slip.
If your business isn’t large enough to keep support staff available 24/7 that’s okay. However, your inboxes will remain open. It’s important that you automate responses to people who contact you outside your business hours. Let them know when they should expect to hear back from you and stick to that! You can quickly turn a customer from calm to cranky by giving them the impression they’re being ignored.

Screenshot of autoreply in customer service chat

2. Optimize customer service contact for mobile devices.
52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones. With more than half of the population browsing that way, the customer service experience should be just as easy to access on a mobile phone. For example, you should consider adding a Click to Text button on the mobile version of your site or another third-party solution such as Intercom.

Screenshot of digital customer service chat on phone

3. If you have a social media platform, check it every single day. (More than once!)
If you have a social media page, customers will find you…which means you have to be ready for them. The number of people who tweet companies their customer support requests has grown by about 70 percent in the last few years alone! For some, that may be the preferred location for them to send their questions. If you don’t check, these requests could sit there, unanswered, for long stretches at a time. Similar to our first point, nothing turns customers off faster than feeling ignored.

Example of digital customer service being provided via twitter

4. Supplement your auto-responses and chat bots with plenty of digital resources that can help proactively solve customer issues.
One easy way to get ahead of customer needs is to write evergreen blogs and help desk articles addressing FAQ’s. Although some people will ultimately prefer the one-on-one support, a lot of people will appreciate the chance to solve their issues on their own. Just be sure to ask your users if the resources answered their question, so that they can still connect with a support representative if needed.

Screenshot of help center articles and videos for digital customer service

5. Push messages out to customers to address upcoming changes.
Digital customer service platforms enable you to build relationships with your customers. This means the platform will no longer just be a reactive space, but a proactive one as well. Without inundating people with too many messages, feel free to send valuable information to all your customers regarding upcoming changes or maintenance. In the case of a website crash or anticipated high-volume usage, your customers will appreciate the heads up! You can also use your customer service channels to announce good news like the launch of new features.

Example of using digital customer service for announcements

The name of the game is constant vigilance. As long as you’re committed to monitoring your platforms, you’ll begin to see success in your digital customer service acquisitions. Have questions on improving your strategy with SMS? Click the blue chat button in the bottom of your screen and connect with one of our stellar support team members. We’ll be happy to help!

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