Service based companies can save a lot on customer service expenses and improve their client experience by providing certain conveniences on their websites.
The Website as a Customer Service Provider
It may be obvious that websites are effective tools for marketing and generating awareness about products and services however, due to emerging technologies, they have only recently started to be utilized as customer service platforms. You don’t want your website to only be a place that new prospects visit to find out about your business. Your site should be a touch point for existing customers to connect with you as well.
Statistics show that while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%!! -Marketing Metrics. (check out other fascinating customer service facts at HelpScout).
Delivering existing customers relevant information, enabling them to access personal information about accounts or services and offering the ability to fill in forms and make transactions gives your customers reason to visit your site and keep you in mind.
According to the White house Office of Consumer Affairs, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
The more information and convenience you offer, the more they will use your site and consequently the happier they will be with your service. Even though you want to offer exceptional customer service in person or by phone, website visitors consider a good user experience to be one in which they can self-service and don’t need to pick up the phone.
Website Guidance As Customer Assistance
Customer assistance and interactive guidance features such as live chat, personalized walkthrough platforms and intuitive recommendation technology (like that used by Amazon) are constantly improving and providing individualized customer assistance in real time. Site visitors get the feeling that they are not left to their own devices yet, these technologies encourage self-service, reducing customer service needs.
The Telecommunication Example
Let’s use the example of a telecommunication provider and have a look at how they can use onsite guidance technologies on their website to enhance the customer experience and reduce customer service requests.
A telecommunications company typically offers a bunch of different services; residential phone, cable and cell phone services, Internet, long distance calling plans, business solutions, mobile devices and accessories etc...That is a lot of information to cover on a website and chances are current customers are looking for something different than new customers. Existing clients might want to see if they can upgrade their device, they may want to see their most recent bill or find out some details about their phone plan. Prospective clients on the other hand want more generalized information about what is offered and the options are that are available.
An onsite guidance system can specifically help existing customers to get the information they need by directing them to relevant pages on the website, deliver targeted messages and calls to action or communicate directives on utilizing features on the site.
For example, the platform can provide a guided walk through for a new cell phone user to understand his first bill. Using text, audio visual scripts or animated characters you can guide the customer through the different parts of the bill, eliminating confusion or questions that may have required a customer service call.
You can also use this platform to review service plan details and deliver calls to action about upgrades, deals or special offers. Of course, the possibilities are endless but the point is that you are creating personalized scripts to address the most common needs of your customers to help them navigate and engage in your site without the need of real life personnel.
A personalized walk through platform delivers interactive guidance based on the user’s behaviors that enhances self-service and customer satisfaction and reduces customer service needs.