Before we get start talking about what makes customer service outstanding, and how you can provide it, we need to explain why it matters.
Delivering good service is a key ingredient to maintaining long-term profitability in today’s diverse and highly competitive marketplace. According to Microsoft’s 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report, an overwhelming 95% of respondents cite customer service as an important factor when choosing loyalty to a brand.
Moreover, consumers don’t just expect great service, they are ready to pay for it. The Genesys State of Customer Experience research found that one in three consumers is actually willing to pay more to receive a higher level of service. Meanwhile, Aspect Software’s 2018 Consumer Experience Index indicates that two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay for great customer service, with 31% willing to pay as much as 10% more for exceptional service.
The NewVoiceMedia’s 2018 “Serial Switchers” report also showcased that 55% of consumers would be more loyal, 47% would recommend the business to others, 26% would use the company more frequently and would spend more money if provided with better customer service.
The Customer Service Benchmark Report showcased that 62% of companies do not respond to customer service emails. Being easily accessible through various support channels, acknowledging service requests, and actually responding to customers in a timely manner are must-have aspects of great customer care.
2. Speed and efficiency
Modern consumers are impatient and expect their service requests to be handled quickly and efficiently. A study conducted by CMO council found that the most important attribute of good customer service, according to the customers themselves, is a fast response time. First contact resolution is also critical as consumers hate having to contact a company over and over again regarding the same issue.
Professional competence of frontline employees, including excellent product and service knowledge expertise is one of the most essential characteristics of quality customer service. According to ThinkJar 84% of customers are frustrated when service agents are not up to speed, while 29% of customers switch brands because of poor staff knowledge.
Common courtesy – being polite, friendly and following proper service etiquette when interacting with customers is the foundation of high quality customer service. The level of courtesy demonstrated by service employees greatly affects a customer’s experience – in fact, 73% of consumers say friendly customer service reps can make them fall in love with a brand, according to a survey by RightNow.
Providing consistently positive experiences is very importance as consumers use multiple channels to engage with brands and increasingly demand effortless and unified service experience across every touch point during every interaction. As said by McKinsey, a consistent customer experience across the entire customer journey increases customer satisfaction and builds trust.
In addition to excellent product expertise and basic customer service soft skills, there are certain major qualities and characteristics that are absolutely necessary for service reps to have to ensure quality service.
1. Passion for helping others
Frontline employees should be naturally passionate about customer service and helping people. If an agent is not willing to engage with customers and doesn't enjoy assisting others – it's nearly impossible to create an emotional connection or to deliver a delightful and memorable service experience.
Being able to put oneself in customers’ shoes, truly understand and relate to their feelings is an integral part of excellent customer care. Showing empathy is especially important when service agents have to deal with angry customers – it helps to soothe their frustration even if immediate solutions to their problem cannot be provided.
3. Positive attitude
Because support jobs are stressful by nature, maintaining a positive attitude is necessary when handling challenging situations and interacting with unhappy customers. An agent's positive attitude translates into positive experiences for customers and improves customer satisfaction.
4. Good communication
Service representatives need to be top-notch communicators at all levels. Apart from excellent oral and written communication skills, it also means being a great active listener.
Customer service is mostly all about resolving customers’ queries; that’s why problem solving is a fundamental characteristic of a good service professional. Essentially, problem-solving involves clear understanding of the problem, coming up with potential solutions, presenting the best possible solution, and then actually implementing it successfully.
“Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.”
Sally Gronow - Head of Customer Service at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
“Great customer service doesn’t mean that the customer is always right, it means that the customer is always honored.”
Chris LoCurto - Leadership and business coach
“Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.”
Tony Alessandra - Professional keynote speaker
“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customer gets out of it.”
Peter Drucker - Management consultant, educator, and author
“You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be too easily duplicated. But a strong customer service culture cannot be copied.”
Jerry Fritz - Professional keynote speaker
“When you serve the customer better, they always return on your investment.” – Kara Parlin
Kara Parlin - CRO and Content Strategist at Weiter Marketing
“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”
Jim Rohn - Entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker
“Good service is good business.”
Siebel Ad -
“The longer you wait, the harder it is to produce outstanding customer service.”
William H. Davidow - General partner with Mohr Davidow Ventures
“Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.”
Lauren Freedman - Real estate agent, author
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