How to avoid rampant customer service costs

Great news: the sales are up! Bad news: so are the customer service costs. Sad but logical reality, right? Not quite. Here’s how to keep the customer service costs from rising.

It makes sense that a growing number of customers would equate to a rise in customer service costs. All those customers need to be looked after. But there are ways to keep the costs down, without skimping or cutting corners.

  1. Track, measure and monitor

What are your customers’ questions about, and what situation causes the questions to arise? If the questions don’t directly contribute to an increase in sales or customer loyalty, spending time answering them doesn’t make sense. By tracking all your customer service engagements and tracing the conversations back to a source, you can identify the step on the customer journey where rationalisation, automisation or improved information can make for a smoother journey – and savings at your end.

  1. Automate

So what should you automate, and how? Remember that no customer ever really wants to contact customer support. They do because it’s their only choice, but truly brilliant customer service gives the customer back the power by providing the right information at the right time. Your UX probably needs to be improved, you might need confirmation messages and better navigation – anything to make your customer feel safe and supported in her purchase.

  1. Add the human touch when it boosts sales and loyalty

There are times when nothing but a real human will do, when a customer just needs to hear a real person’s voice at the other end of the line or get an actual human being to answer a specific question live. That’s the thing about technology: it’s fantastic in so many ways, and it can save you both time and money, but it can’t replicate the experience of talking to a fellow human being. Because it’s in conversation with another person that trust arises. And this is what we mean when we say not to cut corners. When your customers really want to talk to a real person to feel safe and secure in their purchase, that’s what you should give them.

  1. Measure more

How was the shopping experience for your customer? Would she recommend you? Did she feel looked after? These are traditional, simple questions, but few e-commerce businesses realise just how valuable the answers can be. By combining customer satisfaction surveys with the customer journey each customer has been on, you can get detailed, specific knowledge about the aspects of the process that boost customer satisfaction – and the aspects that don’t, and which you should improve.

Further Reading:
The 10 Most Effective Types of Customer Surveys

Why doesn’t everyone work like this?

In some cases, it’s about short-sightedness. Getting set up to track and monitor customer queries can seem like a hassle, and no one likes hassle. Luckily, 3C Online can take that work off your hands.

In other cases, however, it’s got more to do with lack of insight and expertise. Can you blame someone for wanting to give their customers the very best of customer service at all times? It’s not surprising that a lot of business owners think that a boost in sales automatically means an increase in customer service costs, after all – because the idea that staffing the phone lines and live chats to the max is the only way kind of seems logical, at first.

The above, in other words, should be good news. And if you need help, we’re only a phone call away.