What usability can do for customer service (and vice versa)

04/26/2019 - Jordi Ordoñez

We have a tendency to divide a company’s different departments like they’re watertight. In this post we are going to talk about how the customer’s experience can do a lot for your website’s customer service.

Different aspects of one reality

It’s important to understand the company as a whole and the interactions that occur between departments need be part of ouroverall knowledge. Only then will we be able to adapt to our customers, processes, services and even products.

Understanding the customer

If there are particular dynamics that mustwork together, they are usability, customer experience and the attention paid to it.Teamwork is evident. It’s ridiculous to think that we can optimize a page or a shopping experience without listening to what those who buy our products have to say.

However, an efficient website simplifies our agents’job immensely when it comes to providing an efficient service (excellent, even, which is what we should always aspire to give). Though the two disciplines revolve around the customer and have many aspects in common, each one has its own characteristics.

  • User experience (CX): this is a very in-depth discipline where we try to focus on making smooth purchases, minimizing friction, and ensuring that our customer has a positive perception of us. Ultimately, we want the business relationship to continue as long as possible, by keeping the customer loyal and converting them into a brand ambassador who can recommend us directly. Obviously, customer service is a pillar within this experience.
  • Usability (UX): we’re talking about the processes and actions that contribute to making a website user-friendly. There are contributions from marketing to psychology, meaning it’s multidisciplinary and each discipline has a unique design component.

 

Customer service within the CX

This is a critical aspect that is best understood with an example. Imagine that the customer looks at several products in the search engine of your e-commerce without any problems (good job, UX), and then decides to solicitan agent through the livechat. The agent will assess and recommend the best options to meet the customer’s needs, meaning customer service is acceptable. If the order shipson time, arrives with no problems, and you even get a gift, this is a great user experience!

Let’s look at some tips to enhance these interactions.

#1  Create a customer-centric philosophy

We’re not talking about that overused phrase, “the customer comes first”, but almost. Actually,it implies that the whole project revolves around the customer. There are guidelines set that each person within the organization must have clear, even if their job doesn’t directly relate to the customer in the end.

It’s a code that enablesyou to build lasting relationships and trust and, to a great extent, everything happens so the customer feelsthehuman touch and the emotional aspect of the business. Thinking about how retail used to be, nothing does more for loyalty than making contact with the seller, looking them in the eyes, and realizing that behind everything there’s a person. Some of this has been lost with e-commerce but can be replaced with technological tools like Oct8ne’s coviewer.

#2 – Create communication flow

Like we said, we have to break uptheseparation. Establish a protocol that sets periodic meetings where the managers and customer service agents have a relevant role. Share all the information and let it flow. Imagine that changes have been made to a process like checking out and openly ask for user feedback.

Other times, the comments collected by customer service agents can shed light on qualitative issuesthat analysts might miss; imagine that the conversions from cellphones have decreased but there has been no fall in traffic or other parameters. Perhaps there’s an operational problem like the buy button being hidden. If the agents have the communication channel open, these issues can be resolved without sounding the alarm. In these cases, real-time is vital.

#3 – Be consistent in communication

This is something that is often overlooked: our website, advertising, social networks, etc. all have a common tone whenaddressing the customer, which needs to be constant in customer service so that the experience is consistent. If we characterize ourselves by having a relaxed and personal approach, it doesn’t make sense to address the speaker formally when we pick up the phone or use the chat.

#4 – Anticipate your needs

There are quite a few tactics we can use to be proactive. In many cases we’ll have a thorough knowledge of our target audience, but in others we can automate the task using tools.

This predictive part of customer service is more than covered with Oct8ne. Thanks to the search and purchase histories, the agent always has an accurate picture of what the customer might be interested in. This way, they can offer a range of products, which improves the experience and conversion.

The automatization portion is covered with triggers that activate the chat window when certain conditions are met, like if the customerspends more than a pre-set time on a specific page or accesses a critical URL. To bolster the automation, we recommend adding value to all feedback collected by the agents. They know better than anyone what the potential hesitation points are.

As you can see, there is enormous potential when experience and customer service work together. How will you apply it in your business?

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