The hallmark of any successful organization is to deliver great customer service geared toward producing results. The benefits of having a well-thought-out strategy are immense and play a massive role in customer retention, increasing sales, adding value to your brand, generating referrals, addressing customer issues, and more.
Turning prospects into customers is no simple feat. When your business achieves that goal, it’s essential to keep them a customer – but how? We’ll explain the best ways to do that below.
How Important Is Great Customer Service?
Great customer service provides an invaluable lift to businesses that choose to provide it. Today, it might feel like organizations have put customer service on the back burner. Many organizations have focused on automating the process and removing the most important part of customer service – human interaction. Great customer service offers a human element to a product or service, something automation will never replicate. When complex issues arise, customers must reach out to a representative to solve their problems. A report from PWC demonstrates its importance, showing that 82 percent of customers in the United States prefer the human touch.
Customer service employees work in the frontlines and offer a unique perspective on the customer experience. How your organization perceives the brand doesn’t matter – what matters is how the customer sees it. When you have a well-trained customer service team, they can ask the right questions and give your organization answers they need for future inquiries. When you understand the customer’s problems, it’ll ensure that you resolve these issues before they become a problem for others.
Great customer service retains customers, saves your organization money, and helps your team anticipate future problems, among others. Now that you know what it does, how can your business deliver great customer service?
How Your Business Can Deliver Great Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how great your business’s product is – if you fail to deliver a great customer service experience, six in ten consumers will cut ties with your brand. It’s your responsibility as an organization to provide the highest level of service and get in touch with your user base. You must have a customer service strategy, implement it, and stick to it.
Below, we’ll provide nine tips to deliver great customer service.
1. Understand Your Product
First and foremost, your customer service team must thoroughly understand the product to provide a top-tier experience. If they fail to do that and can’t provide an appropriate response, the prospect or customer might go and get it answered by a competitor. Understanding the product/service will also help them to troubleshoot something when it’s not working.
In addition to understanding the product, the team should also believe in the product/service your organization offers. If they love what your company provides, they will discuss the features in a compelling and insightful manner and show your customers how they’ll benefit from it. If your representative is excited about it, the customer will feed off of their energy.
Your customer service team must assist your customers in getting the most from their purchases and making them feel they’ve received value for their money. Make it a priority for your customer service team to learn everything they can about the product to wow customers. Your team’s recommendations could lead to the customer purchasing add-ons and generating more revenue for the organization. Developing a team of subject matter experts (SMEs) is vital to delivering a great customer service experience.
2. Understand Your Customers
A thorough understanding of customers’ needs is vital to delivering a great experience. The best way to understand customer needs is to first know who they are, which can be extracted through the following methods:
- Create a Buyer’s Persona: A buyer’s persona is a fictional description of the ideal customer, which is based on research of your current customer base. It’ll describe the type of person your business appeals to, enabling you to think about the needs of your audience. It’ll help your business keep the ideal customer in mind and define their needs later.
- Get Feedback from Current Customers: One of the most effective ways to learn about your customer is by seeking feedback from them directly. Your customer service team working on the frontlines can execute these questions by asking what the customer likes about the product, what they dislike, and if they’d prefer to see changes. You can also send out surveys and post questions on social media. Remember, you must ask a broad range of questions to get the most out of it.
- Competitor Analysis: We’ll say it louder for those in the back – pay attention to your competitors! They play an essential role in determining customer needs. If the competition releases a new version of a product, your audience might expect the same. Gather feedback from your customers. You can also track your competitors’ social mentions and learn how they’re meeting the needs of your audience and where you can improve.
3. Respond Quickly
We live in a hyper-connected world, meaning we can access information at the click of a button. If one of your customers has a question, you must respond quickly. According to Forrester, digital customer service interactions will increase by 40 percent. The pandemic led to a reliance on online services, and your team must resolve customer questions quickly. Time is one of the most critical aspects of the online customer experience, and using it wisely is the cornerstone of great customer service. Speed must be of the essence, especially for minor issues that don’t take much time.
However, your customer wants their issue resolved correctly and will understand if it takes a little more time. There’s a difference between the time it takes to respond and how quickly their problems are resolved. Get back to them as soon as possible, but never be in a rush to get them off the phone or close a ticket without reaching a conclusion.
4. Listen to Customer Issues
Listening and empathy go a long way. If your customer is upset about something, listen to their feedback – it’ll help your business in the long run. It’s imperative to show customers that you hear their concerns. Active listening increases the odds you’ll hear the problem and solve it, translating to happier customers willing to share their experience with friends or on social media.
When the customer is talking, try to avoid pushing your own agenda and assume you know what they’re about to say. Repeat the problem back to them in your own words to demonstrate you understand. Remember, customer service isn’t one-size-fits-all – you need a team of problem solvers who can think on the go and tailor a solution around the customer’s needs.
5. Stay Positive
Attitude is everything in customer service, and if you want to deliver the best, you must stay positive, no matter how challenging it might be at that moment. The right attitude has the power to change a negative experience into a positive one. Most customer interactions take place over a business phone, meaning a positive, business-like attitude must be reflected in your tone of voice since the customer can’t see your body language. If the interaction occurs through live chat or email, try not to come off as cold – use emojis, when appropriate, to warm up the conversation.
6. Creatively Solve Problems
Did you know that after a single poor customer service experience, 80 percent of customers will take their business to a competitor? That’s a substantial figure and why your team must creatively solve problems for customers and make it the central part of your support role. There will always be issues to solve. Going above and beyond to resolve their problem and meet their needs will create loyal customers and fans of your company, product, or service.
7. Offer Personalized Service
According to Khoros, 83 percent of customers feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their issues. Your customer wants to speak with a person – not a robot. Customers want to feel like they’re more than a ticket number and will get frustrated if they feel they’re not being treated like a person. This is one reason businesses offer promotions to their customers on their birthdays. You may not know each of your customer’s birthdays, hobbies, or other personal preferences; it’s okay to go off script occasionally and give them a personal touch to show them you care.
8. Listen, Listen, Listen
Listening is worth reiterating because the importance of customer service cannot be overstated. What is the customer saying? Active listening is considered the foundation of effective communication. When you actively listen as a customer service representative, it means you’re focused on the words the customer is saying and understanding those words in a way that validates them. Remember, behind each customer call is a real person seeking guidance or a solution to an issue. You must engage in active listening to make them feel heard, understood, and served. The more empathy you display for the customer and the more you listen, the more they’ll value their relationship with your business.
9. Say Thank You
Customers who feel underappreciated will take their business elsewhere – you must always thank your customer. Remember, a customer gives your business their hard-earned money and will speak with their wallets. Customer appreciation is vital for many reasons. It makes customers happy, meaning they’ll not only return but also discuss their experience with friends and family and perhaps tag you on social media, giving your business free advertising. It’ll bode well for your reputation. You can say thank you by sending personalized follow-up emails or even a hand-written thank you note to show customer appreciation at every opportunity. What are some other benefits of saying thank you?
- Loyalty: Your business will develop loyal customers, which turn into long-term, repeat customers that become cheerleaders for your brand.
- Word-Of-Mouth Advertising: Customers will be inclined to share their great experience with friends, family, and their social networks – this helps spread the message for the low cost of a positive customer service experience.
- Brand Advocacy: Great customer service increases the chances your customer will leave a positive review on a review site. Remember, reviews matter – 93 percent of customers read online reviews before purchasing a product.
Did the Customer Service Team Resolve the Issue?
Delivering great customer service is a process – there’s a beginning, middle, and end. You can do everything right, but if you come up short at the end, it’ll waste what could have been an excellent interaction. You can’t let the customer off the phone without solving their problem. Are you working toward a resolution? Is it resolved?
At the end of an interaction, ask the following questions – did your customer service team resolve the issue? Is the customer happy? Are they willing to leave a positive review? If you fail to follow up, everything mentioned above will have been done in vain.
You should also ask the customer if they’re satisfied with their experience. If the answer is no, revert back to thinking creatively to solve problems and find solutions. The more effort you put into finding a solution, the happier the customer will be, and the more likely they’ll be willing to leave a positive review.
If your business has an excellent customer service team put together but lack the right tools to execute, Crexendo®’s VIP Platform can help.
Crexendo® VIP Is the Tool for Great Customer Service
If your business is looking to improve customer experience, the Crexendo® VIP Platform will enable you to trade in your “good” customer service for something great.
The Crexendo® VIP Platform is designed for how your organization interacts with your customers. VIP is jam-packed with features that help your customer service team to address customer issues quickly and effectively and interact with other customer service team members. The VIP Platform allows you to access advanced phone system features all while using the device of your choice. This can be mobile, browser-based, or from a traditional desk phone, all while enjoying HD voice for crisp call quality.
In addition to everything listed above, you can also leverage advanced call center capabilities. These include customizable Call Center Queuing, Expanded Auto Attendant, and route thresholds. Your team can also access other channels with SMS queuing. VIP also includes team chat, SMS, and messaging. In addition to all of that, your team can streamline internal and external workflows and exponentially increase productivity using 60 CRM and SaaS application integrations!
If that isn’t enough, Crexendo®’s VIP Platform is backed by an industry-leading 100% UpTime Guarantee and a Lifetime Customer Warranty on all Crexendo® devices. This gives your business peace of mind knowing your team will stay connected at all times, from anywhere they’re located across the globe.
Interested in making a switch to the fastest-growing UCaaS provider in the United States to improve your customer service strategy? Schedule a free demo today!