The internet generation ushered in a new wave of immediacy. Gone are the days when clients were willing to wait for five to seven business days for a response. This puts additional pressure on companies to increase availability.
Accomplishing this involves more than just lengthening operating hours or providing 24/7 customer support. It also requires evaluating how clients prefer to communicate, so they can access your services in the way that works best for them. Fortunately, there are tools available that can help you field customer queries and provide personalized responses, any time of day.
Learn more about the different ways your business can expand its availability to clients while also connecting with them in different ways.
More commonly known as the customer experience, this refers to clients’ perception of their interaction with your services and your business overall. Because of this, client experience is closely tied to client satisfaction. In fact, it takes just three or fewer poor customer service experiences to lose 92% of clients.
When clients value the experiences they have with your brand, they become more tolerant of instances when things go awry. The ability to address complaints quickly and easily also reduces the likelihood of a client’s frustration simmering and then exploding in a public forum.
Improved availability can quickly push your business to the top of your clients’ shortlists. Responsiveness is especially important in fields where companies provide services related to emergencies and sensitive issues, such as law and medicine. These are some of the ways being more responsive can improve how people feel about your company.
Consider a situation where Andrew has just learned his spouse has pretended not to know of his whereabouts and intends to file a secret and fraudulent divorce. He panics because he does not know what the divorce entails and worries it could lead to a default judgment he does not agree with.
Andrew finds two law firms. He calls the number on the website of the first one, but he gets transferred to a phone tree. While he’s on hold, he tries the chat feature on the second website and is able to book an appointment.
Which law firm do you think is more likely to get Andrew’s business and a five-star review? When clients need quick responses to pressing questions, availability can make all the difference in what company they choose and how they feel about that choice.
Consider the example of Mona. She is hard of hearing and prefers to communicate via text rather than over the phone, when she can. Mona had recently fractured several bones in her arm in a slip and fall at a restaurant. She is beginning to understand the serious financial, as well as physical, toll the accident will have on her life since it could be weeks or months before she can work again.
Mona looks up the information for two personal injury law firms. The first one allows her to call in by phone, but it does not accept texts. On the second website, Mona notices a chat box that allows her to connect to someone directly at the firm. Through the chat box, she is able to explain her situation, and within minutes, she has an in-person meeting scheduled for the next day.
Which law firm do you think Mona will be hiring? When clients can conveniently access your services, they are likely to remember you favorably.
Consider Bianca’s situation. Her husband was seriously injured in a truck accident, and Bianca is not only concerned about her husband’s recovery, she is also worried about her family’s future. How will they cover the medical expenses? How will they cover the cost of living if her husband can’t work anytime soon?
She knows she needs to talk to an attorney, and she tries to narrow down her options to the first two that caught her attention. Though it’s after hours, Bianca then calls the first company but receives a recording that she’ll hear back from them within 24 hours.
Feeling discouraged, she calls the second phone number, and this time she reaches an attorney who immediately understands and empathizes with her situation. The attorney makes plans to come meet her and her husband at the hospital at their earliest convenience.
Bianca ultimately will have good things to say about the company that was compassionate, respected her difficulties, and made itself accessible. The other company could have probably done all of this too, but it was not available.
There are several steps companies can take to improve availability. They require time, effort, and a strong commitment to providing excellent service.
Different demographics tend to prefer varying methods of communication. For example, older generations still prefer to handle business on the phone. Meanwhile, younger generations often prefer to tackle issues in a chat box. Take some time to learn who your main customers are and plan accordingly.
Customer service and support teams generate a lot of data related to why, how, and how well they serve your clients. Even if you have a small office, your front desk person might be able to note how often clients have to call in to resolve the same issue. From there, you can determine whether you need additional availability and how to provide it.
It is important not to make communication decisions based purely on generalizations. A much better approach involves asking. You can submit surveys to existing customers about how and when they prefer to interact with the company. Then, make your adjustments based on that information.
There are a lot of companies out there promising to provide the best chat service you can get your hands on. Sadly, not all of them live up to their promises. You might also have different encryption needs based on the type of information transmitted via chat. Consider your needs carefully when making a decision.
We create customized chats that fit the design and function of your website. From there, we handle basic customer support on your behalf. Our team is available 24/7 to serve your customers. We can help you customize the chat scripts that will work best for your customers, and then we’ll help funnel those customers to your business, so you can tend to their more specific needs. To find out how to get started with Client Chat Live, call (808) 495-0231 or visit our contact page.