5 ways to turn customer service into a profit center with visual assistance
Essential to the business of most companies, customer service is often perceived as a cost center, and rising customer expectations in recent years have further accentuated this perception. Customers have become more demanding, more informed, and more volatile. According to a Hubspot study that surveyed customer relationship professionals in companies around the world and of all sizes, 93% of them consider customer expectations to be increasingly important. The same study shows that 31% of respondents consider that their company perceives customer service as a cost center instead of a real growth lever to generate profits. What if customer service became a real profit center for you? In this article, we propose you to discover 5 ways to transform customer service into a profit center thanks to visual assistance.
How visual assistance is used in customer service
When customers call a company’s customer service, they have many expectations, regardless of the reason for the call. The main expectation of customers is that their needs are correctly understood and that they receive a simple and quick response to their needs. However, a recent study conducted by OpinionWay shows that 72% of customers who have had a bad experience with a customer service department mention the advisor’s lack of understanding of their request as the main cause of their dissatisfaction. This lack of understanding can be linked, for example, to a difficulty in describing a situation on the phone or the stress generated by a problem they face. To better understand the customer’s needs, support agents should put themselves in their shoes and visual assistance can be a great ally in this type of situation.
Visual assistance is a communication solution that allows a company to assist and troubleshoot its customers remotely. Customers can give a visual access to their problem to the advisor thanks to the sharing of their camera. Very often, remote assistance solutions are equipped with collaborative tools to facilitate exchanges such as remote snapshots, file sharing or shared annotations.
This tool allows to understand very quickly the customers’ problems, to guide them and to give a faster answer to their request. It can also provide a privileged point of contact for a face-to-face exchange with customers.
Turn customer service into a profit center with visual assistance
1/ Reduce costs
To transform a customer service into a profit center, it is first necessary to improve the organization of the service and to reduce the costs it generates. Visual assistance helps to increase efficiency and consequently, to reduce costs.
First of all, visual assistance improves the first call resolution rate. This means that the customer gets a satisfactory answer from the first interaction with the company and does not have to call again. As a result, customer service advisors receive fewer requests, which leads to lower costs, and can focus on other issues, which saves time. On the technicians’ side, they will not need to travel if the problem is solved with visual assistance. The company avoids the costs linked to these unnecessary trips and can optimize the schedule of its technicians. Finally, it also reduces product returns, which are generally very costly for a company.
2/ Accelerate the processing time of support requests
According to a CMO council study, one of the most important factors of a good customer experience is a quick response to customer service requests. A slow response time is a frustrating factor that can cause customers to take their needs elsewhere. By allowing the advisor to see the problem the customer is facing, visual assistance can better support the customer, process their request faster and speed up the resolution of their problem. Indeed, customers spend less time describing their problems since they can simply show it to the advisor. The diagnosis and the resolution are thus faster.
3/ Generate more cross-selling and up-selling
Cross-selling or up-selling consists of encouraging a customer to buy a product that is higher-end than the one initially desired. Cross-selling consists of offering a complementary product or service. These are very interesting practices to increase the value of a customer’s purchase.
Initially, customer service was dedicated to assisting customers. Today, it has a major role in the development of sales. Indeed, customer service advisors benefit from a privileged and personalized relationship with a company’s customers. They are therefore able to detect customer needs and propose new products and/or services. By transforming a simple customer request into a sales opportunity, advisors turn customer service into a real profit center.
The visual assistance allows to establish a privileged contact with the customers, to know them better, to answer their questions and to detect potential needs which could generate new sales.
4/ Improve customer advisor satisfaction
Customer service advisors are valuable to a company. That’s why they need to be considered, given the right tools, and trained sufficiently so they can perform well. A Gartner survey of service managers found that companies that invest in improving the experience of their employees saw a 19% increase in productivity and an 11% increase in customer satisfaction.
Dealing with customer dissatisfaction or simply trying to understand their problem over the phone is not an easy task. With visual assistance, customer support advisors can see and better understand their needs. This will reduce the effort of advisors everyday.
5/ Improve customer retention
Customer loyalty is the act of encouraging existing customers to continue buying a company’s products or services. This is an important element to keep in mind for two main reasons: keeping a customer is less expensive than acquiring a new one, and a loyal customer buys more often and in greater quantity. A study by Bain & Company showed that a 5% increase in customer retention rates increased profits by 25-95%.
To build customer loyalty, a company must understand their needs and meet their expectations. To achieve this, it can rely on the customer service department, as it is a direct point of contact with customers. It will therefore be able to retain customers and maintain a loyal customer base. Advisors and customer support agents can also influence customers and convince them of the company’s strengths compared to competitors.
By strengthening the loyalty of existing customers, the company will win. Actually, loyal customers will help the company to acquire new customers, for free, by sharing their good experience around them. Positive testimonials are very effective in recruiting new customers. That’s why service agents should be trained to interact with customers to collect comments and opinions.
Visual assistance provides human contact with customers, creates a stronger bond and helps reduce customer effort. This helps to create a memorable experience for customers and gives them the best chance to stay loyal to the brand.
Customer service has an undeniable strategic role within a company and has become indispensable over the years. Without it, customer loyalty and the success of the company would be impossible. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with the best tools to offer the best possible customer experience and turn their activity into a profitable one for the company. Visual assistance is an innovative solution that allows companies to make a difference in their interactions with customers. At Apizee, we provide easy-to-use, 100% web-based visual assistance solutions. We support companies such as Fnac-Darty, Auchan Service or Groupe Atlantic in the implementation of visual assistance for customer service. Do not hesitate to contact us to learn more or to get a demo.