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The Importance Of Evolving Customer Service And Communication Strategies

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Customer service and its importance is nothing new. For as long as businesses have been around, customer service has always been at the forefront of their success and failure.

What has evolved is what customer service looks like and exactly how we interact and engage with customers. Previous generations grew up understanding the importance of the face-to-face handshake mentality. Customer interaction came from a visit to your store, or perhaps a phone call.

Fast forward to the present day, and customers learn all about your business without ever picking up the phone or visiting your establishment. Nowadays we have Google reviews, websites and, of course, social media. Businesses now have to look at customer service in an entirely different light.

All of these mediums have created new challenges. First on that list is instant customer feedback. I’ve found that most customers expect near-immediate responses to their questions and concerns. They also have the power to brag about your business or bash your business with the click of a button.

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You must also consider how you can be present on all these platforms — or if you need to be. How will you manage them? What will you look for regarding return on investment?

Here are five of the biggest lessons I think brands need to learn to succeed in customer service in today’s age:

1. Right Platform, Right Message

Chasing all the various platforms can be more damaging than being on none at all. Companies must first look at staffing and create a game plan for each platform they plan to interact with. When considering what platform(s) to use, you must ask yourself: Are my customers there? If so, how do those customers consume content?

A simple blanket approach does not apply here. Each platform has different demographics, some with crossover demographics. And the messaging consumed by customers is relative to that platform.

You must also ensure you will have the time to dedicate to interacting with customers and potential customers on the platforms you choose. Unanswered questions and comments are like not answering the phone.

2. Analytics And Agility Are Key

One of the great things about social media, in particular, is the fact that it’s instant. You can quickly and easily measure the success of a campaign or promotion with little effort. Utilizing that data/feedback and being agile enough to make adjustments on the fly is the key to successfully navigating social media.

It’s important to learn who your audience is and how they interact with your business. It’s equally as important to consistently measure and adjust your messaging based on analytics.

3. Don’t Ignore Feedback (Positive Or Negative)

Just as important, if not more so, is to not ignore customer feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. As I stated above, social media has created the opportunity for real-time feedback from your customers and potential customers. It’s important to treat every one of these interactions as though the customer is standing in front of you.

Individuals are utilizing these mediums to learn about you, and how you interact with them can make or break that relationship. Current customers apply here as well. They can be some of your best influencers and brand loyalists online, or they can quite easily turn off a great number of future customers.

Consider this: Before the advent of social media, a person who was unhappy with your company may have told a few of their friends about their experience. Those friends could have potentially shared with their friends. Now, with a simple click of a button, they make it easy for all their friends to see the negative feedback, but also make it quite sharable. Now it’s reaching friends of friends of friends, and that’s hard to undo!

4. Be Authentic

Hand in hand with “don’t ignore feedback” is being authentic. Point No. 1 talked about the right messaging, right platform. That’s ensuring you are on-brand and providing the correct content. Being authentic is sticking to your brand, your company mantra.

We all make mistakes. How we handle those mistakes is often what sets truly successful companies apart. It’s difficult to hide from mistakes, and customers are not looking for the perfect company. They’re seeking a business that treats them fairly and is always honest and authentic.

5. Have Fun, And Let Your Personalities Show

Much like the days of a face-to-face meeting and handshake, it is important to connect with the customer. Creating auto-replies and scripts does not allow your company’s personality to shine through.

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You want customers to feel connected to you and your brand. Your content should align with this as well. Allow things like videos to show your staff’s personality. Give potential customers the chance to identify with someone, and then carry that over to your online customer service.

With all that being said, yes, the way we interact with people has changed dramatically over the years, but the principals of good customer service have not.

Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

CMO at Walnut Ridge and Primeaux RV. He lives with his wife, son and two corgis in Indiana. www.walnutridgerv.com. Read Daniel Plumlee’s full executive profile here..

Source: The Importance Of Evolving Customer Service And Communication Strategies

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Apple Confirms Radical New iPhone Technology – Ewan Spence

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While Samsung fights the hardware behind it’s presumptively named Galaxy F folding smartphone, recently published patents show that Apple continues to experiment with the same transformational technology. Details of the new patent have been highlighted by Jack Purcher at Patently Apple. In essence it extends the previous folding iPhone patent to include new hinge arrangements and new materials to cover the workings of the hinges……..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2018/10/16/apple-iphone-xs-folding-smartphone-ios-patent-published/#be833dc6d437

 

 

 

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How to Lower Business Costs Using VOIP Technology

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If you are looking for a way to lower your business costs it may be worthwhile to consider how much you may be able to save if you make the switch from standard telephone systems to VOIP service.

For many people they may have heard the term VOIP but may be unaware of what it means and how it can benefit them. Here is what you, and they, need to know

What is VOIP?

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. It sends the packets of digital information that make up what you are saying in your call through the Internet instead of through traditional phone lines.

Not only does it make it possible for a company to lower your rates there are many different additional functions that can be possible using VOIP technology. A VOIP setup may allow you to send and receive messages that would otherwise not be possible under a standard telephone set up.

How can VOIP save your business Money?

Employing Voip can save you money in a number of Ways:

  • Saving on Line Fees

There are several different ways that using a VOIP system can save you money. The first is that they can often allow users to get rid of using a cellular phone and a desk phone. Because calls can be sent to a cell phone quite easily with VOIP there may not be the need to use both of these communications devices. Because you are not paying for both lines your monthly billswill automatically go down.

  • Saving on call charges

Also there is the saving on your phone calls using VOIP. The rates for using VOIP are normally substantially cheaper than standard fixed telephone providers. You can obtain price packages that can include all local, national and even international calls for a fraction of the price.

Even without a price  package sometimes these national & international calls can be for free as they avoid using the normal phone network where the charges are incurred.

  • Saving on infrastructure costs

Another reason is that the cost of VOIP service is much lower than comparable services from a standard telecommunications provider. If you are just starting up you will not need to add the same wiring and infrastructure that can increase start up costs to the point where some companies are unable to afford them.

Part of the savings comes from the fact that there is no longer a need to establish wiring for data and telephone.

  • How it can Increase your Productivity

Using VOIP for your business can also increase your productivity. Not only can you access your telephone calls from your computer whether you are in the office or not you can also access things such as phone messages and faxes that you may receive at the same time as you are accessing your email.

This means that regardless of whether you are actually in the office or not you will be able to continue to deal with business decisions quickly and effectively. There are many reasons to choose VOIP for your business. Choosing the right provider is only the first step in getting the flexible and affordable telecommunications system that your business needs.

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