At first glance, having excellent customer support seems obvious. However, it is the most overlooked ingredient to business prosperity. Today, it has become a major competitive differentiator in the sea of immense options. The most recent Gartner survey has discovered that about 66% of companies compete on customer experience (CX) today, which is a 30% increase compared to 2010.
We live in the tech era where your biggest competitor is only a mouse click away. It has never been easier to lose a customer you spent thousands to acquire, even a loyal customer you may have successfully interacted with for years. To win in the tech era you need to utilize top-notch customer support tools, advance your communication practices, and comply with the data privacy and protection laws. Let’s dig deeper to see how you can achieve all of these ambitious goals!
1. Encourage empathetic and consistent services
Providing outstanding customer support should have, at its foundation, a genuine desire to consistently delight your customers. This is not a one-day task. Keeping your review score high takes a lot of patience and persistence. The customer support industry has the highest employee turnover for a reason.
There are specific customer profiles that your customer support reps are dealing with on a daily basis. Some customers are chatty, some are aggressive, and others may have a valid complaint. Nevertheless, you need to provide the best CX possible for all of them, regardless of their disposition. In the end, they are all your customers and they help you to increase your bottom line. Today, customers expect to be valued and heard more than ever.
Empathetic customer service has been found to be the best answer to this increasing trend, which is a pain point even for industry leaders. Your customer support reps need to observe an issue from a customer perspective in order to completely understand what is going on and find the optimal solution.
This is especially important for situations where a customer may have been rude and the dispute can escalate quickly. Make sure that your team members always keep in their minds the golden customer support rule: “The customer is always right!” to achieve excellence in CX.
2. Establish a thorough CX training
All of your employees, and especially your customer support reps, should be trained to interact, communicate, and deliver customer solutions in a certain manner. First, you should establish a set of CX standards as a goal for every representative.
Next, employ winning customer service technology to significantly add to your brand identity. Then you should train your staff on how to use this technology and which procedures to follow. Employees should also be prepared for any additional learning practices as our business environment is constantly changing and demands ongoing learning efforts.
Providing superb customer support is not an easy task, so you should make sure that your employees’ preparedness level is high. Imagine that you suddenly need to communicate security breach notifications and your team doesn’t have any knowledge about the best practices in this field.
You can assume that you would face an enormous amount of legal issues and customer complaints that would take a lot longer to clean up than if you had the proper protocols in place.
3. Keep an eye on customer support KPIs
To know if your company is moving in the right direction, you need to refer to some kind of metrics that reflect the accepted standards. In customer support you should have a set of KPIs that you refer to on a monthly, quarterly, or a yearly basis.
For instance, you have a Net Promoter Score (NPS) that measures how likely your customers are to recommend your company, as well as a Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) and an Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT) that can help you gain more insights into how your customer support team has been working and what improvements must be made going forward.
Tracking these metrics will not only enable you to make needed changes, but also to better predict your Return On Investment (ROI). Thus, this customer support tip you can't skip!
4. Install the latest tech advancements
Today, it is easy to surpass a company that doesn’t respond to new generation tech trends quickly. To put things simply, your customers will walk away from your company in favor of another lightspeed option if they aren’t getting the quality of service they demand.
Now that there are so many options, your customers won’t bother wasting time on waiting for your response when they can get an instant answer from your competitor. Their negative experience will impact how your brand looks in their eyes, and if they leave a negative review, may even impact potential customers appetite for doing business with you too.
You can avoid all these troubles by adding to your company assets a customer support software that provides:
- AI Chatbot: AI-powered chat is your 24/7 customer support rep that leaves no space for human error when it comes to more simple Tier 1 questions. However, Carin AI chatbot can handle even more complex questions such as “Where is my order?”, raising the chatbot bar to possibly answer 90% of customer questions.
- Live Chat: The most human-like conversation, besides a phone and video call, is live chatting. Here, your customers will feel like you are fully supporting them anywhere they are. Sometimes it is inconvenient to do a phone or video call, thus Live Chat makes the problem-solving process quicker with less drama.
- Helpcenter: You may have faced an issue with your Facebook, Google or Amazon account and where could you have found your answer? In a large Helpcenter, a search engine lists articles that can be of help as a first step towards a solution. Nowadays, most people have at least one of these accounts. Undoubtedly, that they will expect the same level of customer support from your company. In addition, younger generations such as Millennials and Gen-Zers prefer trying to find the answer on their own first, which makes adding a Helpcenter an essential task within your future customer support strategy.
- Automations: Automating one response or similar actions that apply to millions of customers is such a money- and time-saver. However, with the right customer support software you can also automate your representatives’ tasks and manage their work habits better. With Triggers and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), you can drastically improve your team’s productivity.
These CX tech tools are basic must-haves if you want to stay competitive in the tech-heavy business arena.
5. Comply with the relevant data laws
2020 is not only a huge milestone due to the pandemic, it’s also the year when all the major data privacy and protection laws such as GDPR, CCPA, and LGDP are gaining in popularity tremendously. The greatest number of GDPR fines were issued this year and many CCPA repercussions are on their way.
CCPA is new as of January this year, but that didn’t stop the Californian officials from suing dozens of businesses for malpractice regarding consumer data. Be prepared and save money on numerous legal actions and employee training by employing a customer support software that is 100% compliant with the data laws relevant to your business.
6. Learn from feedback
Besides scanning your customer support KPIs, including CSAT and Customer Effort Score (CES) that evaluate customer feedback from short surveys, you need to make sure that you and your customer support reps have learned a lesson each time. Otherwise, the customers’ and your efforts will be pointless.
Kara Parlin, a CRO and Content Strategist once said:
“When you serve the customer better, they always return on your investment.”
Thus, replace the CX pain points with solutions that represent efficient work and your satisfaction scores will go only higher!
7. Make sure your customer support reps are happy
It’s a fact: a happy employee means a happy customer. When you use this phrase in customer support context it becomes even more true. An angry and dissatisfied customer support rep may snap or yell at your customer, resulting in immediate customer dissatisfaction, and even loss. To avoid this horrible scenario you also need to conduct regular employee surveys discussing their working conditions, technology, and compensation.
This is how you will identify what is the weakest link and start working on its advancement or maybe employee relocation. Regardless of what the issue is, you will never know until you ask them (the same way you did with your customers!).