Superior customer service is vital to a business’s success no matter how large or small they are. The person who deals with a Customer Service query should be considered as important as a ‘first responder’. Their role is to ensure customers stay happy and loyal. They should also initiate any damage control and strive to promote positive brand awareness throughout their interactions. Whether you’re a one-woman show or a large company with a full support team, these steps will help ensure you deliver 5-star customer service with every experience. At the end of this article, we also share ready to implement strategies you can adopt as a product or service based business, to help improve your customer service.
1. Pick Up the Pace
Customers don’t like to be kept waiting, and who can blame them? Unfortunately, when it comes to incoming call hold times, many support teams haven’t quite mastered it yet. Seven out of every 10 callers are put on hold for at least some period of time. Research has shown that the average consumer can expect to spend around 43 days of their life waiting on hold. Leaving emails unanswered for more than 48 business hours is also a big no, no when it comes to addressing the expectations and emotions of customers.
Whilst it may not be feasible to hire more staff to combat this issue, you can leverage call centre software with business tool integrations to put relevant information at your staff’s (or your) fingertips, and do what you can to eliminate (or at least cut back on) those wait times.
2. Add Some Relaxing Music To Your Phone Lines
While wait times are annoying, every mundane task goes smoother with music! That’s why radio stations are popular with commuters and Spotify playlists are made for long road trips. The same logic applies to sitting on hold. Without music, time can seem to drag on, but with it, it goes a little faster and is certainly more pleasant. In a recent survey, researchers found that callers who sat on hold for 30 seconds without musicestimated that their wait time had been 90 seconds. With music, however, callers estimated that same 30-second wait to have lasted roughly 15 seconds. Whilst this will go some way towards appeasing your customer, it won’t completely calm nerves during a longer wait, so it’s still important to try and minimise wait times as much as possible.
3. Provide a Positive Work Environment
Customer service representatives have their work cut out for them. They may spend all day handling tough calls, troubleshooting difficult issues, and they have to think quickly under pressure. Increase office morale to inspire a more positive, friendly approach from your representatives. Bring in snacks, offer remote working options, give gifts, revamp your office, and offer performance incentives. All of these things will result in a more productive and happy workforce. In a position that’s all about making someone happy, you want your customer service staff to be themselves, right? After all, happiness is contagious. If you put a little thought into how to make your employees happier, your callers will thank you for it.
4. Incorporate Data
When it comes to collecting consumer data, the more data you have on them the better. It’s vital you know your target market and what their expectations, desires and preemptively know what their product/service failings might be.
The more data you have about your customers, the better chance your customer service team has at building a solid connection with each and every caller. There are many platforms and CRM systems out there that can help you acquire relevant customer data, including SalesForce, Hubspot and Zendesk to name only a few.
By keeping track of information such as recent purchases, tickets, cases, events, and interactions, the customer service team will know how to adjust their approach to best fit the needs of the customer enquiry. Essentially, the more data you have, the better informed each representative will be when they answer each call.
5. Offer a Quality Product or Service
Your customer service team will have less negative complaints to deal with, if you offer quality products and services. Most customer service work comes from disgruntled customers who are angry about a broken product, miscommunication, a late shipment, or some other error. By producing a higher quality service or product, you will also reduce the customer support call volume. By improving the overall quality of your company’s products and services, you’ll be able to raise the quality of your customer support. Try implementing the following quality management strategies and watch your customer service enquiries improve:
Quality Control For Product Based Businesses
- Packing and Shipping Process – Clearly plan out a stringent packing and shipping process to ensure customers are receiving the correct order the first time around.
- Streamline or Automate Your Return Process – Set up a streamlined and/or automated return process for faulty/damaged goods, and make your terms and conditions known and very clear on your website and order invoices.
- Tracking Number – Issue a tracking number upon parcel dispatch so that customers can track their items directly via the courier.
Quality Control For Service Based Businesses:
- Business Motto or Mantra – Consider implementing the business motto – underpromise and overdeliver.
- Clear Communication Channels – Maintain clear communication channels with your clients personally and across social media.
- Email Auto responder – Implement an auto responder to your email enquiries during peak times or days you are out of the office.
- Use a Project Organiser Software – Keep a work project tasks list and set alarms on overdue tasks by utilising Trello or Asana for your projects, to do lists and clients.
By implementing these steps your business has the opportunity to advance the productivity, profitability, and overall happiness of your service representatives and your customers. The best part is that they’re all relatively straightforward, and many of them are changes that can be put into play immediately.
If you are looking to improve your customer service even further, invest in your brand’s strategy to transform your business growth and customer satisfaction. Get in contact with Marketing Your Brand or view our Website and Brand Building Workshops (in particular our upcoming workshop ‘What Your Customers Really Want’) to create a marketable brand.