Skills & data; the best combination for efficient customer service

Linsey • 7 minute read • 15/09/2020
Online customer service
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The digitsation of customer contact means that organisations are looking for new ways to organise webcare and customer service as efficiently as possible. The role of service employees is changing drastically and the skills required for this therefore change accordingly. What does the ever-changing role of the service employee entail exactly? And how do you use the predictive power of data to set up the webcare department as efficiently as possible?

The multi-skilled online customer service employee

We’ve been seeing it for some time; today’s service employee is now getting an ever-broader range of tasks. The role is not only reserved for dealing with customer queries, but also plays a role in other departments as well, such as marketing, sales and product development. Service employees are your ears and eyes to the outside world. They identify recurring problems, but also opportunities for product development. They also help customers make purchases.

In short, the service employee nowadays is at home in all markets and helps your organisation move forward in several areas. So, time to set up that webcare department in the best and most efficient way possible!

Top-notch webcare really starts with knowing and understanding the customer well

Your customers are the fuel for your organization. But how do you ensure that you take the right steps at the right time throughout the customer journey? Providing effortless service and achieving optimal customer satisfaction is done by really knowing and understanding the customer well. This means not only knowing what kind of person you have in front of you and how you treat that person in a specific situation, but also knowing the history of previous contact with this customer. This can be done by making optimal use of a CRM system, in which all previous contact moments, regardless of the channel, are registered. Because you know the customer’s history, it is not necessary to request information that has already been requested. This way you avoid customer frustration and it’s a great way to help someone quickly and efficiently.

Set up your webcare tool optimally so it doesn’t matter which channel the customer chooses for his or her question. Does the customer enter via a Facebook message, but does the conversation shift to WhatsApp? No problem! By properly applying CRM you can still help the customer directly, because all the necessary information is ready for you. This also applies if a colleague continues handling the case at another time.

Opportunities for lead generation thanks to proactive webcare employees

Easier-to-reach digital roads mean that service barriers have been lowered and that customers are asking for help and advice much earlier in the process than before. Many times a service employee will have to act in the interest of sales, in order to help the customer on their way to a purchase.

Monitoring tools allow you to monitor based on searches. What kinds of questions do your potential customers ask? Or is there a conversation that shows a need for your product, which you can respond to from your webcare department? By finding out what terms are used in the messages of potential customers, you can actively monitor these terms and connect proactively when the opportunity arises.

Brand reputation (partly) in the hands of the webcare department

With the advent of social media, the number of service messages that organisations receive via social media and messaging channels has increased significantly in recent years. At the same time, the consumers’ expectations of organisations and their services are growing steadily. The threshold for consumers to share their experience about organisations online is lower than ever. Webcare employees must therefore be aware of the fact that they influence the reputation of the organisation.

“Complaints about bad service or negative events can go viral on social media in no time and can really hurt the reputation of a company,” says Alexander de Ruiter

Online customer service for product development

The webcare department is the place where questions and complaints from customers are signaled. By tagging questions and comments within the webcare tool, you are able to find out where the most questions or complaints come in. Is it about a particular product or service? Then it’s important to discuss this with the Product Development department.

In short, the webcare department is the eyes and ears of your organisation. Direct lines of communication with other departments, such as Sales, Marketing and Product development, ensure that this department can function optimally. But how do you ensure that you’re always aware of everything that’s going on around the organisation? And how do you keep a close eye on the performance of your webcare department so that you’re able to optimise? Data helps to create this overall picture, both beforehand as a predictor, as well as afterwards to improve performance.

Optimise webcare based on online data

Predicting call traffic in order to optimise a customer contact centre has been going on for years. Predictions can also be made on the basis of online data, for example, to determine the required staffing of the webcare team or for insights on (recurring) events. So make good use of it. Below are a number of useful tips and tricks!

Data as a predictor during real-time occurrences

News spreads like wildfire online. Is there any news that makes it into the newspapers that could affect your organisation? Then it’s wise to keep an eye on this reporting in real time, for example by means of narrowcasting. Consider, for example, a new press conference with measures regarding COVID-19, which directly relate to your organisation and can raise questions among employees and customers. The reports can be an indication of how busy it may possibly get in the webcare department. So also make sure you keep a close eye on the reporting, so that you are well prepared for the questions that may arise.

Find relevant take-charge moments based on data analysis

If a particular holiday is important for linking up with a campaign, it’s advisable to analyse what was said in previous years before and during this holiday. How cool is it, when, based on the reports from previous years, you can also monitor specific needs this year and then respond to them in real time? You don’t get more relevant than that! Analyse, for example, in a report about Valentine’s Day, what people are talking about and whether they need something that you can respond to and take charge of.

Product launch? Be prepared!

You can expect some questions when launching a new product or service, so it’s good to know what kind of questions you received during the launch of a previous product. In order to do this, you can retrieve data on comparable products from your company or the competitor. For example, you can analyse the number of questions the webcare team received during a previous product launch, so that you can take into account having more staff available for the upcoming launch.

Data analysis for optimal webcare configuration

Finally, webcare tools also offer you the opportunity to perform good analyses of the performance of your webcare department. So, make good use of this and let the tool do the work for you. Webcare statistics provide quick and easy insights into the number of (completed) conversations, response times and frequently asked questions, with which you can make data-driven decisions for improving the department. As a result, service managers can gain more insight into the work of the webcare team and they can aim for even better effortless service. The ultimate result: satisfied customers and a higher NPS!

After reading this article, you’ll now be able to set up your webcare team as optimally as possible with the right skills and data. Want to get started right away with optimal webcare for your organisation? Request a free demo!

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Linsey Jepma
As Content & PR Coordinator, I am involved in the wonderful world of webcare, chatbots, reputation management and data insights on a daily basis. Writing really is my thing and I have an inexplicable passion for neuromarketing and behaviour. Do you want to exchange thoughts? Connect with me at LinkedIn.

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