“$1.6 trillion is lost by companies in the United States due to customers switching as a result of poor customer service.” - Accenture
We all know the value of good customer service. And, as the quote above displays, we also know the danger of giving a bad customer experience.
As a customer service manager, it’s tempting, when you feel you don’t have the time or the resources to give the level of customer care you want to, to reach for the big red button marked ‘HIRE.’
When considering how to relieve pressure on stretched support teams - hiring new staff is not the right solution.
In fact, the following 6 solutions can be far more efficient and cost-effective ways to solve many of your customer service challenges.
1. Improve access to internal knowledge
Often, one of the key blockages to efficiency in an organization is sharing knowledge in a fast and user-friendly way.
If your customer service team spends too much time searching for information, then they have less time to do their jobs and empathize with the customer.
Our clients have found that their search time has been reduced by a massive 85%, displaying the value that intelligent AI solutions can have for businesses.
2. Train better
The Society for Human Research Management estimates that the cost of directly replacing an employee can run as high as 50 to 60 percent of their annual salary, and total associated turnover costs can rise to 90 to 200 percent.
In comparison, the average annual cost of training and developing an employee is just $1,208. Conclusion: retaining and training current employees is much more cost-efficient than hiring new ones.
Raffle Workplace Search is the perfect tool for training customer service employees on the job. Because it has all the answers, they can dive straight into the action, meaning less time wasted on training and more time working!
3. Empower your customers
Giving your customers the means to serve themselves is an extremely effective way to reduce customer requests and the pressure on your customer support team.
Increasing numbers of consumers actively expect to be able to resolve simple problems themselves; any company failing to provide this will be marked down.
With simple-to-implement AI solutions available to help the process, there is no excuse not to get started with self-service.
4. Improve customer support staff morale
Customer service agents who feel unappreciated, under-trained, or bored will not be the best advocates for your business, nor will they prove very efficient!
Look at your processes. Are you onboarding your staff well? Are you offering them development opportunities? Are there too many repetitive tasks in their workload?
According to data from SnapLogic, 90% of employees are burdened with boring and repetitive tasks that could be easily automated.
Unmotivated staff won’t perform at a high level. Our clients have reported a 97% cut in repetitive tasks with Raffle Workplace Search, releasing them to do the part of the job they love: delighting their customer base!
5. Resolve issues quicker
It’s increasingly important that customers get an answer quickly. In fact, 89% say a quick response to an initial inquiry is important when deciding which company to buy from, while 65% of Millennials expect customer service to be faster now than it was five years ago.
When your website is the first port of call for so many customers, it’s important that you have something to immediately respond to their inquiries and resolve issues quickly.
For very simple requests, that could be a chatbot. Still, if you’re hoping for something a little more sophisticated, you’ll want a more state-of-the-art AI option that utilizes Natural Language Processing, like our Raffle Site Search.
Resolving issues quickly means less time on each customer request, freeing up more time and resources, enabling you to avoid hiring.
READ MORE: Conversational AI: to chatbot or not to chatbot?
6. Get better data on your customers
The more you understand about your customer journey — where you are meeting their needs and where you are not — the better you can improve your performance.
Raffle Insights helps our clients understand where they are succeeding in giving accurate answers and where there are gaps in their knowledge base.
It also constantly retrains the data that powers our products, allowing it to learn from your daily customer interactions.
Hiring new employees can be an exciting process, but it’s also expensive. Consider the above six criteria first before making that hire, and you’ll ensure any new employees enter an efficient organization that gives them every chance to succeed.