These days, customers have the power! They are spoiled with countless choices and exposed to multiple sources of information regarding companies’ performance, such as customer reviews. The ability to check reviews quickly or access the latest news that can be damaging to a company's reputation, has made it easier to switch companies than ever before.
Additionally, as global markets have become increasingly saturated and online delivery has become more normal than traditional retail, businesses have started competing in delivering excellent customer experience.
Customer service has become a key brand differentiator that impacts your customer retention rate significantly. The latest Vonage survey has shown that the top reason why customers decide to switch companies is poor customer service that doesn’t appreciate their time and effort!
Would you like to preserve your customer base and even increase its size? If your answer is yes, then scroll down!
A. Why do you need a customer support playbook?
To avoid losing your customers that you spent dollars upon dollars to acquire, you need to set customer service standards that will guarantee the consistency of your business logic and support quality.
You need a customer support playbook that will be easily accessible to all your team members at any time they need help. Your customer service is the face of your company, so make sure that it looks nice!
This playbook will be your 24/7 assistant that can provide instant training to your customer support reps. It is based on the experience of the top experts in this field and now you can have it, too!
Let’s check the secrets of the top-notch customer service now!
B. Your Ultimate Customer Support Playbook
1. Create a customer service policy
Your customer service policy document is a foundation for any further action you and your team are going to take. Here you will carefully note all the requirements your company and your team need to follow. A customer service policy should outline a set of standards that form you and your customers’ expectations.
That can include things like what tone you would like to be used, as well as the best practices for emergency procedures. Avoid complex terminology and company acronyms that can just be confusing to your employees and customers. Instead, use plain language and a warm tone that will motivate your customer support reps to do a good job and your customers to come back.
An example of a customer policy clause can be information on your company’s return policy, such as, “We will gladly accept refunds for up to 15 days with a receipt", which is better than a cold, “No refunds without recipient after 15 days”.
The best document length would be one page; however, if you think you need more, then just keep it as short as possible. Remember, customers won’t read it if it takes a couple of hours and you will lose this key opportunity to lay a strong foundation by building trust.
Because your agents are at the frontline, they know your customers best. Don’t hesitate to ask them for useful insight that will make your policy that much more thorough and robust. You simply need to collect any and all relevant information, regardless of the source, to compile an effective long-term policy that ensures future customer success stories.
2. Comply with data privacy and security laws
Data privacy and security laws surely caused panic in the business world to some extent. You may have heard of GDPR and CCPA, laws that are reshaping customer service and marketing practices. Now consumers have certain data rights that limit your data processing. These rights also require newly written customer policies that clearly note the legitimate purposes of personal data collection, processing, and storing.
Your customer database should be a security priority, therefore a private cloud solution should be an interesting topic for you. It was mentioned earlier that you should avoid using complex terminology in your customer service policy, and that rule also applies here even though it is about the law.
3.Turn your critics into brand advocates
No matter how hard you try, there will always be complainers that threaten the well-being of your company. Sometimes, the complaints are 100% valid due to a product failure or a customer rep’s misbehavior. To fight these kinds of issues, a smart move would be to establish certain measures and procedures that will quickly put your company back in balance.
There should be practices to deal with angry customers, communicate data breach notifications, or conduct employee reviews that will show your customer support reps that they need to take their job seriously.
However, having a complaint is not the end of the world. The complaint can even become your strongest asset if you know how to use it. It can help you deepen a relationship with your customer while increasing their loyalty. The customer needs to feel appreciated and heard because pointing out some issue with your product took some time and mental effort.
Virgin Atlantic Airlines has recognized this opportunity and built a huge community of brand advocates that have witnessed the company being there for them, even during the rough times. By figuring out a solution together, you can become a friend to your customer, and the fact is, people trust their friends and family members the most.
To make them even happier, reward them for their effort by offering coupons, discounts, special member cards or tickets. This practice is a proven winner as it creates a never ending chain of positive word-of-mouth that will skyrocket your retention rate, as well as new customer rate!
4.Build a prestigious reputation across social channels
There is no doubt that social media has changed our lives forever. People are spending most of their days on their phones and laptops, searching for news and checking on their friends and favorite brands.
It is not a surprise that they will try to reach you there and potentially leave negative comments and reviews that your potential customers will stumble upon. However, social media sites are not the only social channels.
There are forums, blogs, and numerous review sites that are overloaded with customers’ opinions. Your customer policy procedures should include techniques and tactics that will eavesdrop on the conversations happening across all of these to keep your brand safe and your reputation intact.
5. Integrate an efficient helpdesk software
In today’s ultra-competitive world, the market share game has become a bit more difficult to play. However, if your goal is to be in your industry’s elite, you know that you should always take some steps ahead and employ the best of the best solutions.
This customer support playbook wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t take a look at the new generation of customer service technology. Now you have a helpdsk software that enables remote work, as well as brings productivity to a whole new level. Additionally, as with every other good tech solution, it cuts your costs; however, in the customer service sector it cuts them drastically.
The features you should consider having in your future helpdesk are:
- Instant answering machine: AI chatbot is the latest tech advancement in the customer service industry, enabling 24/7 customer support and giving customers a unique and mistake-free experience.
- Live chatting: The best replica of traditional customer-agent interaction, yet significantly improved CX tool, is Live Chat. Here, your customers communicate with your agents in real time while having human-like experiences.
- Ticketing system: Nothing brought more order to the customer support department than the helpdesk ticketing system. Now, whenever a customer sends you a request you get notified on a user-friendly platform and can get an overview of the request progress at any phase.
- One team inbox: Having Ai chatbot, Live Chat and the ticketing system sounds great, but that also means that you will have an avalanche of requests coming from different directions that you need to take care of. Luckily, with the best of the best helpdesk you can have one inbox where you can find every single customer request.
- SLA management: SLA rules ensure that everyone sticks to your company’s customer policy rules. You can set up an expected response time as well as get notified whenever that time rule wasn’t met.
- Task assignment: Assign every new request to the agent you think has the best qualifications to do the job.
- Automation rules: The last, but certainly not the least feature is automation. Save numerous hours and money by automating every repetitive action that your team needs to take on a daily basis.
Now, take some time to create a winning strategy for your future customer service success! This customer support playbook can be your helper while making your customer service spotless.
Remember, gracious customer experience can help you win competition and protect your brand image. You can have a great product or service, but your customers will leave because you are not socially responsible or treat them poorly. Be your customers’ hero and they will return on your investment!