In today’s climate, customer service is an essential part of any business. With so many  choices and resources at a buyer’s fingertips, companies must continue to invest in their customer service infrastructure in order to get ahead of the competition. That’s where digital customer service comes in. If you’re asking, “what is digital customer service?” then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will define digital customer service, provide some examples, and discuss ways you can improve your own customer service across the digital channels your customers care about. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Definition

The most basic definition of digital customer service is the practice of meeting customers’ needs across digital channels and platforms. Customer service can take place across multiple digital channels, such as live chat, SMS/text, or Apple Business Chat. The popularity of direct messaging with brands on social channels like Whatsapp, Facebook, and Twitter have also opened up new ways for consumers to engage with companies.  

The channels that are best for your business will depend on your customer’s preferences. For some businesses, offering live chat on the company’s website may be the best way to serve your customer, while others may find consumers reaching out to them on social media. The biggest benefit of digital customer service is deflecting phone calls to lower cost digital channels. Reducing customer wait times and automating part or all of a conversation resulting in higher agent productivity are huge benefits that Quiq’s clients have realized in addition to higher customer satisfaction scores 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at a few examples of digital customer service channels and dig a little deeper into the benefits they provide.

Digital Customer Service Channels

Business Text Messaging

One of the most popular channels for digital customer service is business text messaging. SMS text messaging has grown exponentially in terms of popularity and use due to the fact that 66% of consumers prefer text messages over calls. 

Consumers use their cell phones for everything from banking to shopping. Business text messaging gives customers resolution in 25% less time than a phone call or an email. From an operational standpoint, messaging is a real boost to agent productivity, With asynchronous messaging, agents can handle multiple simultaneous conversations.

This is accomplished largely through the automation of routine tasks that were once handled with expensive manual labor. Make sure you are automating every routine task in your customer service pipeline. This will free up labor hours to work for you in another, more profitable area. When digital customer service is done right, it saves you and your customer both time and money. 

Social Media Messaging

The ability to engage with a brand over social media has become a foregone conclusion for most consumers. It shouldn’t come as a shock that people expect to see the brands they trust on these apps since they spend so much time interacting with others. For example, Facebook Messenger has over 1.3 billion monthly users and Twitter has 145 million daily users 

It’s also not a shock that companies have responded by meeting their customers where they already are.There are 60 million active business pages on Facebook and 92% of companies tweet more than once a day. That’s a lot of activity and companies have seized the opportunity to engage with their consumers.

Live Chat

Using your website as a portal for customer service issues is a great way to make use of the digital infrastructure you already have in place. You can efficiently meet customers’ needs by being exactly where they expect you to be, waiting to talk with them about their needs or concerns. While this feature used to be a high-priced upgrade, it is now considered an essential part of a web presence by 44% of online consumers.

If a customer is browsing your site and has a question, it is much easier for them to click on a chat bubble than to call your contact center With messaging you can offer customer service without having to interrupt their  experienceAs with SMS or social chat, customer service agents can handle multiple conversations.

How to Improve Your Digital Customer Service

Now that we’ve looked at a few examples of digital customer service, let’s talk about what you can do to improve customer service channels. Since everyone’s business, market conditions, goals, and budget are different, the best way to approach the improvement of your digital customer service channels is to ask yourself a few questions:

Are you accessible…enough?

When you look across the channels that are available to your customers do you see lengthy queues or spikes in abandonment rates in any channel or during certain times of the day? These are definitely signs that your customers aren’t reaching you on their terms. There may be others you should keep an eye out for but Quiq clients have found long wait times and abandonment rates are the tell tale signs that they aren’t being accessible enough.

Many of Quiq’s clients have implemented messaging to reduce wait times and help customers after normal business hours. Messaging, along with features like routing rules, suggested replies, and bots have helped Quiq’s clients manage conversations with the efficiency their customers  need.

Do you know what options are available to you?

Have you done your research on the latest digital channels? Offering SMS/Text, live chat, and social media channels are the basic channels that your customers expect. Are you familiar with verified SMS, Apple Business Chat, and Google’s Business Messages?

These messaging channels are some of the latest developments that help brands present customers with trusted, secure channels to get pre-sales support or post sales service. For example, Apple Business Chat and Google’s Business Messages are rich communication services (RCS) that can expedite appointment scheduling and shopping. These messaging channels even enables customers to complete transactions without ever leaving their conversation.

Are you keeping it simple?

By encouraging you to keep things simple, we’re not advocating for you to rely on traditional channels like email and phone calls. Quite the opposite actually. We’ve seen companies simplify engagement by adding digital channels. Adding digital channels or implementing more advanced features like chat bots are not as complex as you may think and makes initiating and managing conversations simple for both your agents and your customers.

Quiq’s messaging platform has an intuitive agent desktop that makes it easy for agents to manage multiple, simultaneous conversations across all of our supported channels. Your customers get the freedom to choose their preferred channel to engage with your company while agents have the technology they need to deliver great service.

Quiq customer service messaging platform on mobile and desktop

Final Thoughts

As you begin to investigate your digital customer service strategies and methodologies, remember that the fundamentals of customer service have not changed. People still want to be treated fairly, with respect, and in a professional manner — they just want to get that treatment when and where they want it. As you look to vendors to help you accomplish your customer service goals, look for those can provide all of the things your customers are looking for in a manner that is seamless, fast, and integrated.

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