The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes with a caveat: even functioning systems can be improved. Apple’s recent iOS 13 update is a perfect example of this — the tech behemoth didn’t change the way we use or relate to our phones, but instead introduced what TechCrunch termed a “quality-of-life update.” The introduction of Dark Mode and extra privacy controls were the biggest changes the company made, but it also added numerous small improvements, such as swipe-to-type, faster animations, and default-installed automated shortcuts. Apple showed us once again that you don’t need to remake the wheel to improve people’s lives.
The same can be said in customer service. Small quality-of-life improvements can have an enormous impact on customer satisfaction. Considering that 44 percent of Americans would rather clean a toilet than interact with customer service, there’s clearly plenty of room for improvement.
Of course, not every customer service team has the resources of Apple to continually upgrade and improve their processes. That said, every team can make small changes that have huge pay-out in terms of loyalty and customer satisfaction. Here are three ways you can improve your customers’ quality of life without breaking the bank:
Don’t miss out on messaging
Brands including Amazon, Uber, Geico Insurance, and countless others have all adopted messaging as a primary support channel – and with good reason. Messaging is not only a preferred communication channel for consumers; it also allows for scalable processes because of its amenability to AI and automation, asynchronous communication, and easily-viewable conversation history. Additionally, it’s easy to start small and scale up – some brands offer only web chat, others offer messaging via Twitter DM, while still others offer in-app and web messaging with bot capabilities and AI-powered routing.
In a conversation about Apple’s quality-of-life offerings, it should come as no surprise that we bring up messaging. Apple’s iMessage is a primary reason why many of its customers are so loyal (90.5 percent of iPhone users plan to upgrade to another iPhone – higher brand loyalty than any competitor!). Having a simple, intuitive, and consistently effective communication platform can go a long way — both between consumers and between businesses and consumers. Scott Forstall, Apple’s former senior vice president of iOS software, said that iMessage was developed because Apple wanted “messaging to feel more like a conversation.”
Brands can likewise make communication with customers “feel like a conversation” by leveraging any number of messaging platforms and SDKs.
Communicate about next steps
Hold times are the bane of customers’ existence. This isn’t just because they’re a waste of time; it’s also because often customers have no way of knowing how long they’ll have to sit idle waiting for someone to join the call or “live” chat. If they leave, they may face even longer hold times the next time they attempt communication. To resolve this all-too-common issue, customer service teams can do two simple things: use simple automation to give estimated wait times, and leverage push notifications to re-engage customers once an agent is available. This strategy has been a staple of high-performing call centers for years, and can now also be extended to messaging (a la Uber). By keeping customers in the loop and allowing them to go about their days without being trapped in a customer service limbo, CX teams can drastically improve
Help your customers help themselves
The vast majority of customer service inquiries are the same — whether they be about shipping, payment, app upgrades, etc. While many companies choose to leverage bots for answering these common questions, some customers would prefer to simply find the answer themselves. Making this process easy goes a long way toward improving quality-of-life for your customers. CX teams can do this by offering intelligent search for FAQs, suggested knowledgebase articles based on past behavior, and through proactively sending knowledge base articles when customers perform certain actions (e.g. getting to a new level in a game, ordering an item internationally, purchasing a plane ticket, etc.).
Small changes go a long way
Every business has an equivalent to the iPhone’s new swipe-to-type. CX teams that want to make impactful changes without breaking the bank need to identify these quality-of-life factors and leverage technology to address them.