Businesses may wish that selling a fantastic product was all it took to find success with customers, but there is more to the equation. If your customer service is unhelpful, inconsistent, hard to use, or next to nonexistent, you will see the negative impacts on your bottom line as customers learn to stay away or not bother in the first place. Customer service may not be the most exciting aspect of a business, but it is a vital one that is key to long-term success. Everyone has heard of customer service, but when it comes time to set up your own customer service, you must ensure every customer has a great experience with planning and procedures.
What Is Customer Service?
Customer service is something everyone hears about, but not everyone can nail it down into an actual definition. While everyone can have a slightly different expectation of ideal customer service, the general definition is support for customers, before and after a purchase, to help customers have a pleasant overall experience and solve any issues that arise.
What is Greate Customer Service?
Most businesses offer some level of customer service, but there is a wide gap between offering customer service hardly anyone uses and having excellent customer service that customers do not actively avoid. Excellent customer service relies on a few different metrics, like required customer time investment, the time to resolution, how helpful are the customer service agents, and how friendly are the customer service agents to talk to. Great customer service should get a customer to a solution without waiting on hold for hours or bouncing from department to department for answers. Much of customer service comes down to the agents and how empowered they are to go above and beyond for each customer. Support teams should go beyond solving the question in front of them and try to go above and beyond to create a memorable winning experience that puts your brand above the competition.
How to Deliver Great Customer Service
Delivering great customer service is the ultimate goal, but there are multiple different ways to offer great service. Combining different methods and policies will add up to make your customer service even better. Below are five ways or areas you can improve your customer service:
Keep a Positive Attitude
Customers often call customer service for help with a problem, and no one wants to talk to someone who is clearly in a bad mood. Customer service agents’ attitude set the tone for the call and can have a significant impact on whether customers enjoy the experience or not. It is much easier to have an agent give a happy or positive tone on phone calls, but text-based communication can be much harder to interrupt. Customer service agents should know how to make text-based messages come off friendly with welcoming language and exclamation points to fit everyday social online communication. It may feel like your agents are coming off as overly friendly or excitable, but that is much better than customers leaving with the impression agents are cold and don’t want to help them.
Know the Product or Service
Customer service is mostly there to solve customer’s problems with products or services, and support agents should know enough to solve these problems. If you know all the positives to market and sell your product, you should also know how to fix it if something goes wrong. Customer service should be the resource of information for customers, so agents must know everything they can about the products and fix them so the customer can quickly get the right answer.
Listen to the Customer
Sometimes the easiest part of customer service is the most forgotten as many customer service agents forget to listen to the customer. Sometimes the issue is an easy fix, but the customer just wants to be heard, which is the more important service. Service agents may save time by quickly solving problems and rushing to the next customer, but you will endear your brand to more customers by taking the time to listen. When you stop and listen, you can hear what the customer needs from you, and they may have a suggestion for a product no one else had voiced yet.
Ask and Use Feedback
Any customer service interaction is the perfect time to ask for feedback to show you care about customer opinions and improve your business even further. Asking for feedback or suggestions makes customers feel valued beyond their money, and there is a variety of ways to ask for feedback. Send surveys, questionnaires, follow-up questions, and ask customers directly for any suggestions before, after, and a few months past a purchase. However, you must use the feedback and suggestions for the time investment to be meaningful. Review feedback to identify areas with recurring suggestions, weed out suggestions that, while well-intentioned, won’t work for your business, and note changes you can make to adapt the suggestions to fit better.
Get to Know your Customer Better
Providing customer service becomes easier once you know and understand who your customers are and what they want from you. A better understanding of the situation, your customers, and common issues combine to give the customer service agent much more power than a typical cold call. All it takes is a few simple questions to get to know a customer and often give you information about your competitors. Sometimes customers won’t feel comfortable talking to or offering feedback to another person, which is where surveys come in handy. A survey lets the customer express themselves without fear, and the business receives unfiltered feedback. The more information a business knows about its customers, the better the service will be because the agents are also better-informed.
Customer service is a vital part of a successful business that is worth taking the time to get right. Many different elements go into excellent customer service, with each element taking time to dial in. Learning how to use customer information, feedback, existing frameworks, and more is a tricky task, but the experts at ListenTrust are here to help make the process as easy as possible. Contact us today to learn how ListenTrust professionals can help you improve your business’s customer service.
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For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.