We are in an era that has witnessed numerous marketing strategies that are known to benefit customers as well as business firms or service providers. Recent developments have brought about a major change in the relationship between customer service providers and service receivers.
Consumers dominate the market. Thus, it is quite essential to establish a good bond or relationship between service providers and service receivers. There are multiple ways in which this objective can be achieved. One of the different strategies followed to create a good bond or attract consumers towards any particular brand or the services provided by them is through Inbound Customer Service.
Inbound customer service is specifically designed to build a loyal customer base in a market that witnesses constant change. A loyal customer base is considered to be the most precious asset in today’s time. The process of inbound customer service involves engaging and attracting customers so that they become the most “efficient unpaid brand advocates” of a particular brand or service.
If we connect this situation to personal experiences, we often defend our favorite brand in front of others. This situation can arise because of the good customer experience of the service receivers. In simple words, inbound customer service aims to attract maximum customers, thereby providing the best of services to them in order to create a loyal consumer base.
How does inbound customer service operate?
The method of inbound customer service operates in the most unique way. Unlike other strategies, it focuses on equal benefits for service providers and service receivers. The three major aspects that determine the success of inbound customer service are as follows:
Attract the customers
Inbound customer service’s most important step is attracting the right customers. It is very important to note that there should not be a limit fixed on the number of customers. The more customers, the better it is for the purpose of branding. Maintaining the relationship with the old customers; is also essential to attract more new customers. This can be done in multiple ways, such as by producing valuable content, understanding the interests of the customers, and then producing blogs accordingly. Therefore, one of the steps of the workings of inbound customer service is attracting potential customers.
Engaging the customers
Keeping the customers engaged is a difficult task, but it is worth the time and effort. The interesting pattern of each customer is different. Some may like a particular service longer, whereas others may get bored with it very quickly. It is practically impossible to keep in mind the interests of every customer and then curate the services. Therefore, instead of bringing changes in services, inbound customer service focuses on keeping the customers engaged through various means. One can do this by quickly resolving the queries of customers, introducing self-service resources, and much more. Engaging the customer is yet another aspect of inbound customer service.
Keeping the customers delighted
Attracting and engaging customers is not enough. In order to build a loyal customer base, it is also very important to keep the customers delighted, so they refer to the brand and become “efficient unpaid advocates”. To have a delighted family of customers, it is very important to conduct regular checks on them to ensure that their needs are met, whether they are satisfied with the services and much more. Working on the feedback of the customers and replying to their questions are considered to be signs of good customer service. These are the three major principles followed by inbound customer service that is making it immensely popular and customer-friendly. The process is customer-centric and is thus gaining popularity.
Why is inbound customer service trending?
Some of the reasons inbound customer service is trending are as follows:
Beneficial for both sides
Inbound customer service creates a balance of benefits for both parties—the service providers as well as the service receivers. The service providers prioritize the needs of the customers’ problems, provide timely service, consider their preferences, and much more.
Further, the customers become unpaid ambassadors of the brand and defend its name. In this way, the objectives of both the users and the brands are achieved. The customers get good service, and the brand gets a loyal customer base. This is one of the reasons that led to the growth of inbound customer service in the market.
Emphasis on customer needs
One of the goals of inbound customer service is to focus primarily on the needs of customers. It makes sure to take all the measures that ensure better customer service and assistance. The concept of “customer is the king” is making inbound customer service very popular among the consumer base.
More opportunities to showcase goods and services
Inbound customer service is known to increase customer interaction through different means and channels. The option of feedback provided in it gives the brand a better opportunity to analyze the preferences of customers. It also helps in fixing things that consumers do not like. Thus, inbound customer service provides an opportunity to improve services and provides more opportunities for customer interaction as well as a showcase of the services.
How to Improve Inbound Customer Service:
Some of the steps to improve Inbound Customer service are:
Providing multi-channel support to customers
The introduction of multi-channel support in inbound customer service can prove to be a game-changer. This channel will be an easy way for the customers to put forward their queries, and at the same time, it will be easy for the team to answer the queries more efficiently.
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Experienced team to handle customer requirements
The queries of the customers should be handled in the most professional way. There can be many different customers with different styles of approaching customer care. The team should be experienced enough to control the queries of the customers and efficiently provide solutions to them.
Looking for new ways to attract customers
In order to bring improvement to the services of inbound customer service, it is important to introduce diversity. This diversity acts as a pull factor that attracts customers to explore the new range of services.
Ensuring the satisfaction of already existing customers
In the race to acquire new customers, do not forget the existing ones. The existing customers form a loyal customer base; thus, they should be treated as a priority. All the measures should be taken keeping in mind the interest of the already existing customers.
The Advantages of Inbound Customer Service
Some of the advantages of inbound customer service are as follows:
Increased awareness about business
Inbound customer service ensures increased awareness of the particular brand or business in the market. In such a strategy, customers who are happy with the services tend to promote the brand too.
Loyalty of customers
Inbound customer service helps in building a loyal and efficient consumer base that one cannot easily find. The loyal base so formed helps the brand grow in many different ways.
Fulfillment of goals
Inbound customer service ensures that the goals of both parties are met. The service providers have to make more efforts, but their efforts are paid off because of the customers’ appreciation.
Disadvantages of Inbound customer service
Some of the disadvantages of inbound customer service are as follows:
Too much effort put in by service providers
Unlike other marketing strategies, inbound customer service witnesses enormous efforts by service providers. It is not equal for both sides. Thus, service providers have to work very hard.
Customers’ lack of knowledge about such services
Some customers are unaware of the services provided to them. Even though their requirements are being fulfilled, they do not seem to be satisfied.
No guaranteed results
Inbound customer service does not ensure guaranteed results. The result, in the case of such a strategy, is customer response. Customer response is a future phenomenon that cannot be predicted. Hence, one of the biggest disadvantages of inbound customer service is the lack of guaranteed results.
The Bottom Line
The market witnesses numerous marketing strategies and policies. Some fail, whereas some prove to be profitable. Inbound customer service has brought a revolution in the marketing industry. To date, it has benefited numerous firms and customers in general. The idea of “customer satisfaction” is making it more popular in the rapidly growing market. This strategy is winning hearts. With a little more improvisation, it can produce excellent results to satisfy service providers as well as service receivers.
Tags: branding, Branding Startegies, customer analytics, customer care, customer experience, Customer Experience Management, customer relationship, customer relationship management, Customer Service, customer support, Marketing