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In 2020- how to implement effective customer service solutions

The Future of Manufacturing: 2020 and Beyond was a recent joint research study conducted between Industry Week and Kronos. Overall, the results were positive, with experts hopeful for strong manufacturing industry in the following years. An overwhelming number of manufacturing leaders believe that the industry is poised for significant growth, 5% estimated. To accommodate that growth, several challenges must be addressed. One, in particular, stands out, customer service.

In the manufacturing structure, a customer representative may not be a dedicated role, especially for smaller companies. However, the need to strengthen customer relationships is as important as ever, especially in a growing increasingly competitive industry. Customers now have the access to research every company, vetting them before reaching out. Once contact has been made, a customer does not have the time or patience to wait for a response or solution.

It should go without saying that a strong customer service experience is key to a successful business. In these times of competitiveness, improving this area can only help retain and grow your manufacturing business. Technology has improved the speed of responsiveness by offering helpful tools including “live chat.” Although this real-time option is affordable and easy to install, it is time sensitive. Customers need a response within 60 seconds and therefore require a designated and knowledgeable employee at the ready.

To avoid frustrating potential and existing customers, be sure to study website traffic and analytics to narrow down the busiest times on your company website. Your company analytics will offer a ballpark estimation of when it is imperative to have a representative available for all questions and queries. For those interested in pursuing a live chat option, please read this helpful article with the top software picks of 2019.

How to improve customer service without a live chat option? Let’s backtrack and begin asking, how do customers measure excellent customer service?

To begin, effective solutions are key. Customers need to find a reliable company that exceeds their expectations by delivering the desired results. That may seem like a no-brainer, but just as important. To ensure the desired results, the company representative, whether that is a dedicated customer service rep or an inside sales rep, must be a knowledgeable and effective communicator and resource. Determining the needs of the customer by asking pertinent questions is an efficient way of finding a solution. Remember that it is ok to say, “I am not sure, but I will find out the answer for you.” In this case, be sure to find the answer in a timely fashion.

Customers want multiple options of communication and they want it quickly. Whether it is an online contact form, live chat, direct call, or email. This provides the convenience factor that every customer now demands. It also offers an advantage over the competition and an opportunity for the company to respond in multiple channels. No matter the channel, the majority of customers desire a response within the hour, or else the company is in jeopardy of losing the sale.

Specifically, the communication should be personalized. It goes without saying that if a customer does not personally gel with a rep from sales to customer service, the transaction may be one-and-done or not at all.

Do not let this stress or strain the way you conduct your business! Listen to the needs of the customer, provide solutions, be kind, and be ready to seek assistance if you are unfamiliar with the customer’s question- as long as you communicate and respond promptly!

As the new year approaches, add customer service and strengthen existing customer relationships to the list of company resolutions.

Track the results by implementing a quick survey to gain immediate feedback on your business approach from customers. Try one of these software tools to conduct a quick and easy survey for each of your customers. 

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