A critical aspect of customer purchase experience in the pre, during and post purchase customer service. Customer service alone can make or break your entire business. Eighty-nine percent of companies compete based on it. By 2020, it will become a much more crucial qualifier of excellence than price or product quality!
You must provide excellent customer service to your clients. Only then can you ensure a positive impact on sales and customer lifetime value. There are specific tips, tricks and tools that can help in delivering excellent customer service.
Handy customer service tips
Here are some customer service tips your business should use when dealing with customers.
1. Be consistent and empathetic with your tone
You might think that a given query of a potential customer is fundamental. But, you must deliver the same consistency, patience and empathy in your response as you would for a legitimate issue. Every customers’ problem matters. The magnitude of it doesn’t matter.
2. Keep learning
No two customers will be the same. Your customer service team will learn something new with every situation. Be prepared to handle surprises. Try to look at each customer as a resource. Learn from them.
3. Always ask if your customers are following through
It is easy to assume that your clients understand. But this is not always the case. Make sure you are clear with your communication. Keep asking them if they understand your point. The last thing you need is for them to get the wrong idea about a product, and ultimately be disappointed.
4. Know when to say “I don’t know.”
Yes, your customers expect you to know how to deal with their problems. You don’t want to send off an incompetent image of your business. But, certain things fall outside your expertise and responsibility. Here, it is okay to relay the same to your clients and direct them towards other relevant people of the company.
5. Accept the harsh words
They say that a customer representative needs to have thick skin. Why? This is because customers are always right, even if they are wrong. You must swallow your retorts and accept their negative feedback. Use a positive language throughout and be apologetic even if it is not your fault. You need to keep your customers happy, and for that, you have to be on their good side.
6. Pay close attention to customer touchpoints
Customer service is not about resolving queries. It is also about enhancing the entire customer experience. To do so, you need to be attentive regarding the various touch points. Look at the quality of your service during the trial, sign-up, and on-boarding process. If you see any lapse, address them.
It isn’t just about resolving issues. Your customers need to feel heard. And for this, you need to be a great listener. Listen patiently, actively and intently to their problems. Empathize with them. Rephrase them to ensure you understand their concerns. And then solve them accordingly.
Customer Service Management: The road to satisfied customers
Customer service management refers to all the strategies, tools and practices a company can use to manage, analyze and excel in customer interactions. The goal of data gathering is to enhance customer relationship and loyalty.
Here are certain tricks that can help make customer service management a breeze.
Use self-service tools for basic queries
You can only have so many customer representatives on your team. If these reps were occupied by basic queries, you are bound to lose out on productivity. Therefore, opt for self-service tools like extensive FAQ sections, or automated responses to questions via chatbots. This reduces the reliance on customer reps and also enhances customer experience since such solutions offer prompt replies.
Train your employees
We mentioned how it is essential to be empathetic and understanding your customers. At the customer service management level, this means training your employees effectively. Make sure they know how to manage complex problems and are well-versed on the company strategy about customer communications.
Use social media
Apart from resolving queries on call, make use of your social media presence to manage your customer relationships. Considering the sheer number of people that use social media, presence on such platforms will bring convenience to your clientele.
Have a strategy in place
Make sure you and your team know exactly what to do. This can be ensured by having a well-organized and thought-out strategy in place. Here, tools such as Zendesk may come in handy. They allow customer service departments to record all interactions with the users and then assess its implications for strategy development.
Use the right solution
For effective customer service management, you need to use the right solution to support and complement your taskforce. One such solution is offered by LiveAgent, which delivers features including:Universal inbox for prompt addressing of queries from a variety of sources, whether it be Facebook or forum postsTicketing, for easy review and identification of different customer interactions with the companyAutomated ticket distribution to analyze the performance of your employeesTime tracking to monitor the time spent by an agent on different customersTags to distinguish complex customers and filter them according to queries
Top tools for customer service management
You can’t improve your customer service unless you have the right tools with you. Collaborative, team and communication tools that help integrate the department from within can do wonders in boosting customer experience.
Here are three tools that you can use.
Customer service breaks down if your company isn’t able to provide seamless communication between the retail outlet, headquarters and the customers. Zipline is a retail communication software that can be used to manage your various brick-and-mortar stores effectively. The cloud-based software allows you to share documents and messages within the hierarchy.
Salesforce is a customer relationship management software that offers packaged solutions to its users. It has a multi-channel console, pipeline tracking and 360-degree customer reviews. This helps in streamlining customer interactions. Moreover, the software offers self-service options as well, which allow customers to keep track of their complaints without constantly contacting the customer service representative.
HubSpot is a sales and marketing software that offers an array of customer service features as well. This includes offering live chatbots, collecting customer data and offering knowledgebase for converting standard complaints into questions, etc.
Don’t have a narrow approach to your business. Rather than just focusing on any one department, have a holistic view. Give as much priority to streamlining your customer service function as you do to your product development function. Don’t underestimate the power of a quality customer experience. It can convert a one-time customer into a loyal one. Incorporate these tips to elevate the purchase experience for your customers.