Small Business Advice

Upgrade Your Customer Service with These Top Picks

Customer service seems to be always changing, and yet elements remain the same. If you’re in charge of a customer service team, you’re probably staying on top of the numbers and might even be impressed with the steady upward climb. However, everyone can be doing better, but it takes embracing change and new technology.

The better customer service you provide, the more customers you’ll attract and the more loyalty you’ll build. Ultimately, happy customers are the best form of marketing. They’ll tell their friends about your business, service or product. When they write reviews, “great customer service” is always sure to catch a few eyes. It’s also proven to be up to 8x more productive in attracting the right people.

Ready to upgrade your customer service? Here’s what to embrace right now:

1.Customer Service Software

If you don’t have customer service software such as CRM, or if your software isn’t working for you, it’s time to get on this bandwagon. Your customer service team might be wonder-workers, but there are parts of their job better left to programs. For example, keeping track of past phone conversations, customer orders, number crunching, instantly seeing current prices and other nitty-gritty details can (and should!) be incorporated into a software system so your team can do what they do best—serve customers.

2. Marketing Automation Software

Marketing and customer service go hand in hand, and marketing automation software can be easily integrated into CRM software and every other program you depend upon. Just like customer service reps, your marketers have tasks that are best “outsourced” to a program. This can include tracking campaigns, analyzing data from marketing efforts, and ensuring vendor information is regularly updated.

3. Visualization Software

When you have tech giving you visualization reports on where you stand, you can literally predict the future. Forecasting is paramount for any sales- or service-centric business, and visualization might be part of your existing software program(s), or you might add in on as an a la carte option. For customer service reps, the more information they have before, during and after they interact with a customer, the more likely they are to be able to close.

4. Big Data Analytics Tools

Data is useless unless it’s expertly and routinely mined, analyzed, and put to use. A lot of the data customer service reps handle has a short shelf life and needs to be utilized immediately. Crunching all those numbers, generating reports, and creating plans of action can take hours—but not with the right software. Data is pure gold and can help direct marketing efforts, dictate how a customer service rep interfaces with a customer, and provide insight that intuition alone cannot. For example, if you want to get Instagram analytics, you can use a tool like Owlmetrics and use the data to get ahead of your competitors.

5. Social Media Software

Going social is vital for most businesses, especially as more and more customers prefer to first connect on a social platform rather than visiting a company’s site directly. Some platforms, such as Facebook, have their own built-in analytics tools. However, if you really want to make the most of your thriving social pages, opting for a quality third-party social media analytics software option is a great idea. There are options for nearly every budget, and many of them create a “hub” for all social media accounts so you can easily keep track.

6. Access To The Right Hiring Boards For You

Customer service notoriously has a high turnover rate. Knowing which job boards fit your industry, niche and other factors are key to hiring the best candidates for the long term.

7. Quote To Cash Software

Certain industries, such as car dealerships, regularly need to whip up customized quotes for customers. These numbers are negotiating fodder, and you can bet your customers are price comparison shopping even when they’re on your site or in your store. Quote to cash software provides fast, accurate and highly competitive numbers that you can share with customers.

These seven tools have the power to up your customer service game like never before. Don’t your employees, and your customers, deserve it?