How to Choose Customer Service Channels for Your Business
Posted Apr 20, 2018 by Olga Kołodyńska, LiveChat

How to Choose Customer Service Channels for Your Business

If you have a business to run, you probably know how important customer service is to make it successful. But do you know exactly how it helps to convert visitors into customers?

Research shows that by the year 2020, 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience.

It means that if your service is not satisfying, customers will go somewhere else. Even if it comes with a higher price, customers are willing to pay just to get memorable experiences from a brand.

Knowing this, it’s safe to conclude that by improving customer service, you retain customers and increase your sales.

Let’s see how can you choose the right customer service channels for your business to satisfy your customers.

Related: The Art of Positive Communication in Customer Service

Choosing the Right Customer Service Channels

Choosing the right social media channels is related to the industry your business is in. Email, phone, live chat, or all kinds of social media channels? The choice is yours.

Customer service through social media

Social media is a fragile place: if something goes wrong there, you can be sure that the whole internet will know about it. Whether it’s a customer who complains about your service or an unfortunate tweet you published before your first coffee.

McDonalds tweet

Before you decide what social media channels to set up, you need to make absolutely sure you will be able to cover them. The basic rule of social media customer service is to react quickly. Customers expect immediate answers there, and you need to follow the standards.

For example, when you face a bug in your product, come forth and react before customers come to you with complaints. That’s what HP Support did:

Hp on twitter

HP Support Twitter. The perfect example of providing customer service through social media

At some point, you will face obstacles, but that shouldn’t stop you from being present on social media. So what channels should you choose?

Facebook is suitable for all businesses. Most people use it, and even if they don’t have an account, they can view your profile and read the reviews.

Twitter is best for technology businesses and all the companies that work online. If you can promote your business in short and informative posts, then it’s a good place for you.

If you’re an interior designer, there’s no need for you to set up a Twitter account for your company. For you, the perfect place would be Instagram. A place where all the beautiful things in the world are displayed in all their glory.

Watch out for the crisis, though — never fight with customers on social media (or anywhere else for that matter). When someone complains, try to understand their situation, be nice and find a solution.

Related: Designing and Executing Social Media Marketing Strategy That Works Best

Customer service through email

I believe email is necessary for every business. Even if you think there are better and quicker ways to communicate with customers, you still need to give them a chance to write to you and not expect the immediate response.

So let’s see what you can do to make communication better there.

Start by making sure you don’t send too many emails. Then make sure all of your email campaigns are personalized.

A long time ago we were sending emails from “LiveChat” without a specific sender and with a generalized title. After we changed it to “Olga from LiveChat,” added my picture to it, and started emails with a subscriber’s name, we doubled our open rates. People were reacting to our emails, and I was able to help them more with their queries.

You can start your email like that:

“Hi Monica, Last time I wanted to teach you about customer experience, now let’s see what you can do to improve your customer support…

When you address a subscriber by name, they’re more likely to open emails and respond to them. This way you gather feedback, and have more information about how to improve your service or product.

Related: How To Write A Welcome Email That Sells

Customer service on the phone

Using the phone as a customer service channel is somewhat polar. Some people will prefer it to any other way to contact you; many others hate calling.

Phone calls are very personal and can help you prevent a negative customer experience. A polite, quick, and helpful phone call can turn an angry customer into a loyal one.

On the other hand, phone calls are very time-consuming. If you place your phone number on your website, you can easily drown in endless conversations.

Make sure your time spent on the phone is worth it. Customer service on the phone will help if:

  • You are a local business
  • It’s traditionally used in your industry and customers expect it (for example, if you sell food for pickup)
  • You have a very large assortment or customizable products and your customers often need assistance with making an order.

Ecwid Starter Site

If you sell with Ecwid’s Starter Site, you can highlight your phone number above the fold

You’d better not use the phone as the only customer service channel. Especially if you sell to millennials — they will very likely be reluctant to contact you.

Customer service through live chat

LiveChat works great as a first point of contact with customers on your website. Besides having a chat window on your main page, you can provide a personalized experience on each of your webpages.

It comes in handy in many situations users experience online. For example, in e-commerce stores, when they have trouble finishing their order, or when they have just one quick question about a product but it’s too much hassle to call a company (at least that’s how they feel). While chatting, users can easily start a conversation with an agent, who can dispel their doubts within seconds.

To engage customers to start a chat session, one of our customers — Exact Data — used an eye-catcher. It’s a small graphic above a chat window that makes the chat option more visible and increases the number of users starting conversations.

LiveChat’s eye-catcher

LiveChat’s eye-catcher on Exact Data website. It makes the chat more visible

Companies can also start a conversation with users. For example, on your pricing page, you can greet customers by saying:

Hello, do you need any help with choosing the right plan for you?

This kind of personalized experience is much more effective and increases customers” responses. That’s how you engage website visitors to chat with you.

But it’s not only about sales. LiveChat can be used in many industries, for example in Human Resources. The recruitment process for universities can be complicated sometimes. With LiveChat, an employee from the university can see that a user struggles with finishing their application. To help those users, they start a chat with them and guide them through the whole process.

There are many more examples of using LiveChat in LiveChat Case Studies.

Meet Customers Needs Whatever They Are

The more communication channels you can provide, the better. The needs of different customers vary widely and if you can meet them, that’s great for your business. But you can also focus on fewer customer service channels to make sure you deliver an outstanding support across all.

The choice is yours, just remember that:

  • On live chat, you need to learn how to encourage visitors to chat and handle many queries at the same time.
  • Over the phone, some people would probably want to close a deal — as they feel the need to hear you (that’s why you should have information about them beforehand).
  • Other customers hate calling and would rather write you emails.
  • If a customer wants to complain, he or she will likely use social media to do it.

When you understand the types of customers you have and their needs, you can focus on providing an outstanding customer experience on the channels you chose.

The smoother the service you offer, the more likely it is customers will stay with you. As a result, your sales will increase and that’s what I wish for you. Good luck!

About The Author
Olga Kolodynska is a content writer for LiveChat. She’s responsible for preparing articles and monthly newsletters. If she’s not working on her newest post, she’s probably hiking somewhere in the Polish mountains or cooking dinner for her family. You can read more of Olga’s articles on the LiveChat Blog.