Customer experience is a big part of what we do at Artisans of Scotland. We take a lot of effort to find really special products from our artisans and we want our customers to feel the service matches the product. With that in mind, we recently overhauled our contact options to improve service, here’s why.
When setting up we were aware that there was going to be times we were out of the office across Scotland visiting different makers. Not wanting to leave calls unanswered we thought the best option was to offer contact via email only, knowing that we could access from anywhere and could respond to enquiries instantly.
We have found that generally customers are happy to email with queries but after a number of requests for a phone number it became apparent that we underestimated the need for a phone line as some of our customers wanted to be able to pick up the phone and discuss a purchase with us. This was especially true when they were ordering something bespoke or building their own custom sporran with our builder.
With this becoming clearer, and with a desire to cater for all our customers, we reviewed our contact options. Our goal was to provide a fuller suite of custom contact options so that people can reach us how they want to. In the process we have found some really great tools so we thought we’d share them with you.
Our Number’s Up
As a team we are often out and about rather than at our desks, so we needed a solution that moved with us.
We settled for a company called TTNC, who provide a virtual number that rings through our teams mobile phones. Customers can get through whether we’re in the office or in the middle of the highlands (reception dependent)!
What we liked about TTNC’s offering was its flexibility. It has a relatively small fixed cost of £20/year for a number. Services like number hunting, which ring each staff member in turn until one of us picks up are offered as bolt-ons. We have used a couple of those to set up our number in a way that best suits our business. Credit is bought on a pay-as-you go basis so you only use what you need. We were unsure what our customer call patterns and signing up to a contract for an unknown call allowance seemed a little pointless.
The set up was really easy and within a few minutes we had selected a number and had it tailored to how we wanted it. Another service we bolted on was ‘dialled number presentation’ which makes any call that has been pushed to our mobiles display as ‘Artisans of Scotland Customer’ so we know it’s a forwarded call.
All in all a really neat service that was simple to set up offering a huge range of functionality, which we can access as and when we need it. Their transparent pricing and useful pay as you go services are if you’re starting up and are unsure what you will need, big thumbs up from us here at Artisans.
At the same time as setting up a phone line we looked at all our contact options and explored the idea of online chat. Having underestimated the value of a phone line we wondered what else customers might find useful and chat was something we could easily monitor and respond to instantly.
After looking around we decided on a chat service provided by Tawk.to. This is definitely our star find. Incredibly, this is a free service, given it’s quality.Tawk.to cite companies like Facebook and Google when explaining that the best online products are free and they see their chat service as no different. We are glad they do, because this is a phenomenal platform to be able to access for free.
It is amazingly fully featured and we’re really excited to use it on the site and seeing if it’s a tool that customers respond to. From a really clean and simple dashboard we’re able to run multiple chats with users on the site in the same window, and desktop notifications can alert us to a customer wanting to chat.
You are also able to get a real-time snapshot of who is on the site at any time and where they are from. If you see them looking at a particular product, you can instigate chat with them which pops up on their screen. I’m unsure if we’ll use this as generally I find it more annoying then useful when some customer service chat window pops open asking if they can help when I’m browsing. Maybe we’ll do a few tests.
The best feature we have found is their app which allows you to chat on the go. It has a really simple UI and they’ve thought about which services to include in the app, rather than bloating it with all their services. Push notifications let you know if someone has started a chat and lets you respond from within the app. A really nice little addition. This stripped back app is a real bonus and a joy to use.
We can’t fault the service so far and we have been really impressed with all that’s on offer. We have already had a couple of customers use it to clarify something before ordering and it’s great seeing the power of getting an answer to the customer straight away and then seeing an order come through. Maybe that would have been a lost customer in the past? If you’re looking to implement a chat facility on your site then we can’t recommend these guys enough. You really have nothing to lose.
In Communication Conclusion
So there you go, two nice services that have really impressed us and offer a lot to our customers for really little set up and cost. Especially Tawk.to which is a phenomenal service to be able to add to your business for no cost. It will be interesting to see how useful these two different channels are and how much they are used by our customers and if they affect orders at all. Maybe a harder benefit to evaluate is the reassurance a UK number offers to customers, even though they may never use it.
So we are now running email, phone and chat enquiries, and customers can always send us a letter by snail mail! We have also noticed a number of people enquiring through our social accounts so actively monitor them too. We think all our bases are covered now but let us know if we are missing something.
We will update you on the services as we use them with anything interesting we find but in the meantime a big thanks to TTNC and Tawk.to for two really useful tools.