It is no secret that every customer looks for professional and high-quality customer service. If we look at the statistics, we come to know that 41% of customers feel extremely frustrated when they are placed on hold. Moreover, 86% are willing to pay more for a better customer service experience that includes minimal delays. In fact, customers are least concerned with the management issues of customer service support providers and are more concerned with receiving instant solutions for their problems.
Quick and reliable customer service is the foundation of a loyal customer base, which is something that companies should never neglect. Keep in mind that 73% of customers believed that friendly customer service made them appreciate a company more and resulted in them wanting to do business again with the same brand despite the sheer amount of competition.
In this article, we will take a closer look at how a top-notch customer service can help a company become more successful and how a company can provide well-executed customer service.
Step 1: Analyze The Company And See Where You Stand
First of all, you can only improve your customer service when you know what your customers want from you and to what extent you're satisfying their unique needs. Regardless of the type of business, companies need to understand the expectations of their customers, no matter what your brand and offer are.
When providing customer support to clients, support managers as well as agents should be asking themselves the following questions:
- How do you greet your customers at the beginning of the conversation?
- Do you use personalized and friendly phrases to prove yourself helpful and efficient?
- Do you apologize to the customer after listening to a particular problem involving the brand?
- Are you well-versed in providing satisfactory solutions and high-quality customer service that meets the expectations of the customers?
- What is the level of your customer service as compared to your competitors?
These are not the only factors that make a difference to your customers. The skills and expertise of your customer service reps play a vital role in keeping your clients happy. When customers don't receive the best service, they won't your company's product or professional service as the best either.
The pro tip?
Conduct expert evaluations of your brand and analyze the quality of your service by comparing your service with the service of your competitors. The only way to beat your competitors is is to offer immediate solutions and analyze customer feedback as well as supprt performance on your CRM platform to determine what kind of improvements are required to provide superb customer service.
In January 2020, Starbucks launched their "Every Name’s a Story" campaign focusing on improving relationships with their customers. The award-winning campaign promotes inclusivity, recognition and acceptance at Starbucks stores across the world. The promotional video, a focal point of the campaign, has generated more than 2.8 million views on YouTube.
Step 2: Set Support Standards And Know Your Customers
The term “standard” in terms of providing customer service means that you must have a standard set of customer service rules that every customer care representative must follow to ensure the provision of excellent customer experiences. If you are handling things in a particular way, it is easier to analyze how your customer support team is performing and how it is resonating with your customers.
When you set particular standards and ensure that all employees are following them, your customers will recognize that your company has a goal of meeting their needs in the best way possible. The top ways include time and location sensitive support as well as modern and secure communication through helpdesk channels, such as AI chatbot and live chat.
Step 3: Respond As Quickly As Possible
Achieving the shortest response time can give you an edge over your competitors, because almost every customer is short on time and considers speed a very important part of excellent customer service.
A response time report conducted by STELLAService revealed that the average email response time for the top 100 retail companies was 17 hours a couple years ago. Today, this response time has barely improved. According to our own customer service study, the average response time is 12 hours. However, the speed greatly depnds on the quality the customer support software you use.
When you leave customers waiting, it makes the customer feel like the company is unable to solve their problems with expertise and timeliness or that it doesn't care about their troubles enough.
Train Employees To Respond Quickly
When it comes to responding in a timely manner, providing accurate information to the customers and solving their problems, consistency is crucial. Most companies fail to provide immediate responses because they don't establish proper onboarding practices and additional training sessions within the customer support department.
Thus, to experience business prosperity and high customer satisfaction scores, companies need to deliberately work to achieve high response time rates and professional employee development.
For instance, picture a situation in which a customer asks about a product that they believe is overpriced. At this stage, the customer service or sales representative must posses knowledge about all yoir product features as well as upselling or cross-selling techniques to be confident and persiasive during the product price defence.
Step 4: Fix Your Mistakes
Even when you are doing your best to provide a memorable service, you may still receive complaints from your customers. This means that there is an issue within the company that requires attention. If you don't accept your mistakes and consider yourself perfect, then you will surely get a negative reputation. Therefore, you must work on your mistakes to maintain service transparency and spotless cooperation.
It is simple, only if you're striving to provide high-quality output, you will be considered as one of the best in providing high-level support experiences.
Let's understand this concept with an example, such as when you may not be responsible for a problem, but you have to correct it in one way or another.
Suppose an Amazon customer ordered a new Playstation for his son, but for some reason he was away when the parcel was shipped to his home. The neighbors kept the package outside of his home, but it soon was stolen. At this time, no one can blame the services of Amazon.
However, when the customer reached out to customer service, he was treating a support reps as if the company was entirely responsible for solving the issue. In this case everyone expressed great empathy to calm him down first.
The company didn't charge shipping fees and chose not to stick to their refund policy. The customer support staff maintained their overall professional behavior with the customer and this is what matters in the end. It's not a surprise that the customer got his smile back and decided to share the pleasant news with everyone and everywhere and we know how sharing virtually on social meda can be powerful!
Step 5: Listen To Your Customers
From the above graph, it is evident that bad employee attitudes cause extreme destruction and drive people away. The interesting point is that a bad employee attitude drives more people away than an untrusted company with an inefficiency to provide certain services.
Good conduct starts with politely greeting customers and listening to them very carefully. This will definitely go a long way in terms of keeping yourself on their radar for future business.
Here it is worth mentioning that listening is important for all types of customers, existing, potential as well as for the ones you lost. Additionally, it is the responsibility of a company to answer all kinds of ideas and questions including the suggestions of the kids. If the company listens carefully the customers and pays attention to their needs, it can advance its services greatly because the customers are often unbiased and give honest suggestions. In the end, everything is about giving customers what they want, right?
Let's understand this better with an example.
Tina, a little girl, wrote a letter to a UK grocery store in which she asked a question: "Why was tiger bread called tiger bread and not the giraffe bread?"
This seems quite like a silly question and does't make any sense for the big companies like the one she was writing a letter to.
The company could have answered "Thank You" but the customer service manager approached the girl and gave her a very soft reply by saying that:
"Renaming the bread can be a great idea".
To everyone's surprise, the bread was given the name giraffe bread according to the suggestion of the girl. It showed that the company listened to what the customer said and focused on every word as part of their future business strategy.
Now you have read about the five steps that can help you in mastering customer service. Let's see what are the hindrances in achieving this goal.
What stops companies from mastering customer service?
Whenever a company observes a boost in sales, it becomes sure that it is already providing the best customer service. This overconfidence can lead to very rapid decrease in the sales and giving the competitors a chance to excel.
The above graph shows that almost 80% of companies believe that they are already providing a superior service, but the reality is quite contrary to this as only 8% of the customers agree with this.
Another reason for this overconfidence is that most of the customers don't complain and just stop purchasing the services of a particular company again.
Whatever the situation is, a company should focus on constant improvement by carefully listening to the suggestions and analyzing customer feedback to make changes and implement new riles to better serve its customers.
Remember that personalization of the interactions and training of the support staff are the most important things needed to provide the best customer experiences. When most of the companies are failing to reach these standards, you can easily take it as a point of differentiation.
Now the question is, would your like to stay ahead of your competition or get left behind?