Customer service is important to your business because it retains customers and extracts more value from them.
By providing top-notch customer service, businesses recoup customer acquisition costs and cultivate a loyal following that refers customers, serves as case studies, and provides testimonials and reviews.
Your ability to provide fast and friendly support for your customers is where you can really make your mark & just like investing in any other arm of the business, investing in a good customer service platform is equally important.
However, businesses often face the challenge of focusing on customers and staff at the same time. As a result, businesses have a hard time channeling expenses to leads that generate value.
While there are many CRM tools that can help coordinate both, the price of an on-premise solution is often overbearing for small businesses.
For instance, on-premise interventions require a client to set up a server as well as recruit staff for maintenance. This is not financially feasible for many small businesses.
One major way smaller businesses are stepping up their customer service game: technology. Having the right customer service app or platform can make you seem like a team of so many people to your customers. Companies are opting for Cloud-based as opposed the on-premises platforms that are more affordable and easy to maintain.
Also, larger corporations like Safaricom are opting for chatbots that are AI-Powered like Zuri to help with customer service experience as opposed to setting up a center that at times could be quite tasking
A few decades back, customer service teams handled most issues by phone. And while having a reliable phone system is still important for helping your customers, there is a growing need for more agile customer service.
This could be via email, social media conversations, or self-service options on your website, like an FAQ page.
The more quickly and efficiently you can move a customer from problem to solution, the more likely that customer is to stick around, and recommend you to their friends
Luckily, there are lots of ways to improve your customer service with the help of affordable, easy-to-use apps.
The first step in choosing a customer service app is deciding what features you need. The best way to find out is to talk to your customer service representatives since they have the day-in, day-out experience with the systems you have in place now.
Your service team can let you know where your pain points are, whether it’s high call volumes that can be solved with IVR or emailed service requests that get buried over time. From there, it’s time to prioritize and see where you can make the biggest impact for the cost.
Here are some of our customer service apps that can become powerful tools for your small business.
Ongair is a Kenyan startup that developed a world-first instant messaging aggregator and is currently increasing its presence in Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia.
Ongair was launched in 2014 by Trevor Kimenye and Charles Gichuki after the pair, who owned a digital consulting agency, were approached by a Kenyan bank and asked to come up with a unique campaign for Valentine’s Day.
The name of which is derived from the Swahili word for “talk”. The startup’s service allows businesses to engage their customers via instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram and Line, providing a web-based dashboard where businesses can add their instant messaging accounts and link them to CRM tools such as Zendesk and Freshdesk.
Though there are a number of companies offering customer service solutions via WhatsApp, Ongair stands out as the only IM aggregator in the world.
And this unique selling point is enabling the startup to expand to other parts of the world. It recently opened a sales office in Hong Kong.
The Ongair service is primarily prepaid, with clients paying in advance of using the dashboard. Ongair does, however, offer a 14-day free trial, after which the user is required to choose between pricing packages specifically designed to meet the needs of small, medium, and large businesses.
In 2020, Ongair was among the 16 African tech startups that received investments from Japanese company Kepple Africa Venture.
As most businesses small to large need to have a Facebook page where they communicate their products and services to consumers, Facebook Parature is an app that your small business can utilize to provide 24-7 customer support by monitoring and engaging with customers on your company’s Facebook page.
This app is unique as its key focus is on Facebook alone. This app allows you to create guides and chat with Facebook users to provide information as well as service support.
Kenyan startup WAYO, is an AI-powered customer experience management platform that collects, monitors, and evaluates customer data in real-time.
With a key focus on retail companies, Wayo helps the companies predict demand for their products, and plans to scale into Nigeria shortly.
Founded in 2015, WAYO allows retail organizations with large customer bases to obtain insights into the performance of their products and services, and accurately predict demand across all their touchpoints promptly.
This in turn allows them to derive action points and adapt to customer needs when it matters the most, thereby increasing retention and brand equity. Founder Ernest Makotsi told Disrupt Africa that the WAYO platform has three main use cases.
Got Bot is a South African start-up that was founded in 2016 by Nick Argyros and Chris Green.
The platform just like Ongair is social commerce and customer experience solution that enables clients to easily communicate with customers, through Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WeChat, Skype, SMS, and webchat conversations.
The company’s clients include Toyota, RCS, African Bank, Nissan, Flight Centre, Sanlam, Home Choice, and Old Mutual Finance, and the startup has now secured funding from CapaciTech to speed its growth.
This application is an amazing next-generation helpdesk that allows your small business to have an application that deals with customer queries that appear in your organization’s emails, phone calls, website, and social network websites.
What makes the app unique is, it converts all customer queries into tickets that are directed to your customer service representatives. With Freshdesk, your employees are able to manage customer support for multiple products and services that your small business offers.
GlueUp is an all-in-one Customer Relationship Management platform that helps companies build and grow their community through events, memberships, and other digital tools & operating in over 50 countries around the world.
The App started off as Event Bank and was founded in 2013. The whole idea was to bridge the gap that event organizers had in managing events with technology.
In 2013, EventBank started with the idea of helping connect businesses globally to increase economic opportunities through technology. After seven years of working on cloud software solutions for event organizers, marketing departments, associations, and chambers of commerce around the world.
Two years after the launch EventBank was more than just “events”.The brand grew up to become an all-in-one engagement platform.
Fast forward to 2020, Glue Up has grown to offer so much more than its original event tool. The platform has expanded its portfolio to bring communities and engagement to the center of attention, making clients’ success our mission.
Today, Glue-Up who is also our member at Nairobi Garage // Westlands empowers organizations, revolutionizing relationships, delivering long-term business value, and making modern engagement more purposeful.
For any small business, SmarterTrack is a good customer service application as it is a practical and cost-effective helpdesk solution that bundles business needs.
This application provides your employees with easy-to-use solutions such as call logging, time tracking, email, and live chat among others to provide customer service using a tablet, desktop, and smartphone device.
In conclusion, most of the apps we’ve rounded up here are optional, and you’ll need to get with your team to weigh the pros and cons. But some of them have become pretty much mandatory if you want to stay on top of customer service issues out in the world.