If you’ve ever used live chat with a company for a customer service issue, you know that business has come a long way from 800 numbers and long hold times. The ability to talk instantly with a customer service rep is empowering and helps solidify the customer/company relationship, and the cloud is to thank for allowing customers and businesses to get in touch with each other anywhere, from any device. Did you know that most of those live chat representatives work for cloud-based firms that handle customer service for multiple companies?
More than 40 percent of small businesses have moved at least some part of their IT functions to the cloud, according to Small Business Computing. To date, the majority of those functions are data storage. However, more and more businesses are finding the cloud to be useful for their customer support, as well.
Companies That Take Your Customer Service to the Cloud
A good customer service department used to mean hiring dedicated employees to power a bank of phones that seemed to either all ring at the same time or all sit idle. However, customer service isn’t just about telephone skills anymore. According to a 2013 Harris Interactive Poll cited by Wired, 68 percent of consumers feel a company that only offers a 800 number for customer service is outdated, and 70 percent feel that mobile app capabilities are important for a company to offer. Throw social media and instant messaging into the mix, and you’ve got a customer service melange that’s difficult for all but the largest companies to handle by themselves.
Cloud-based customer service companies offer businesses the option to enlist just the support they need when they need it. Below are three companies taking the stress and hassle out of customer service.
- Salesforce – Salesforce offers multiple customer service features all from one dashboard. Customers can connect via mobile apps, text, and chat without getting lost in the different media. Salesforce even offers a community board function, where customers can post messages and help each other. Learn more about customer relationship management (CRM) in the cloud here, and find out what to look for in a cloud-based CRM.
- LivePerson – LivePerson, as the name implies, offers online customer service via live chat, as well as mobile chat, customer service software and online community assistance. Using this service guarantees someone is constantly available to act as a representative for your business, no matter where your customers are.
- Zendesk – This cloud-based customer service software offers reporting and analytics, allowing businesses to track the most common complaints, as well as time spent resolving issues, to help optimize your customer support team’s efforts. The software has 99.9 percent uptime and has been used by brands such as Groupon.
Advantages to Using a Cloud-Based Customer Service Company
In addition to saving on personnel costs, using a cloud-based customer service company saves the office space, energy costs and IT expenses associated with hosting your own customer service department. Cloud companies can also help you to offer a better standard of customer service, since they enable you to offer 24/7 service and allow customers to talk immediately to a representative, even during peak periods.
Cloud-based customer service isn’t right for every company. However, if you haven’t considered making the move to the cloud, it’s time to see what off-site, virtual customer service is all about. You can bet that your competition is looking to the cloud.
Does your business use cloud-based customer support? Share your experiences in the comments.