3 Rules for Going 24/7 With Your Customer Service
One of the key limitations of insurance agents in the days before social media and the Internet was having to shut down customer service and confine it to hours when your customers were probably at work. Nowadays, that is no longer an issue. You can provide great customer service 24/7. But how do you do so without sacrificing quality of life? The answers are in technology, of course! Here are some things to remember if you’re sweating the idea of a 24/7 customer service offering.
1. Customers won’t abuse it like you think they’re going to
Increased availability to customers — like sharing a cell phone number, accepting text messages, inviting personal email, etc. — never usually results in the worst case scenario of your customers refusing to leave you alone. They have lives the same as you, and most of them would rather be living those lives than pestering you with endless reams of questions. To offer 24/7 customer service and hold onto your quality of life, the first thing you’ll need to do is accept the idea of doing it and hoping for the best. You likely won’t be disappointed with your customers’ behaviors.
2. Social media is your friend
Social media is such an easy way to connect. While that may not translate well to sales, it is an excellent tool for existing customers or prospects, who may have pressing questions. The great thing about social media is that it’s convenient for them and it’s convenient for you. You don’t have to be parked at a computer at all times or have a phone pressed to your ear or be sitting down with the customer/prospect in the same room looking eye-to-eye. Most people — you included, I would bet — check at least one of their social networks several times per day. That means the really important stuff won’t slip by you so easily, and the not so important stuff can be easily assigned a reminder, so you can get to it later when you’re not as busy. On the flip side, your customers can send you a message, and if on Facebook, view when you actually looked at the message. That gives them peace of mind that you can capitalize on with a consistent response time.
3. An online platform can take care of most customer service issues before they ever reach you.
Most business websites have something called a FAQ page (or Frequently Asked Questions). The beautiful parts of this: 1) You can use it to tackle most of the questions that your customers will throw your way; 2) You can add to it any time that you solve a previously unforeseen problem; and 3) You can use it in your marketing and branding so that leads and prospects never have to wonder about having their questions answered. Best of all, you can provide an outlet on that FAQ page where a customer can send you their question directly if it is not covered by the page. Aside from the page, your blog posts can provide a lot of insight to customers, and many times, they can answer questions that the FAQ doesn’t cover, allowing you to simply share a link instead of typing out response after response or making an abundance of phone calls to clear up customer questions and concerns.
Many agents have asked me over the years why it matters to be so heavily involved online when their business is about qualifying leads, meeting with prospects, and turning those insurance leads into loyal customers. The information above provides some insight on just how you can get things working in your favor. What will you do with it?