Good customer service creates a ripple effect. A satisfied customer remains loyal to the brand, and a pleasant customer service experience leads to good word-of-mouth, building an excellent brand image.
Customer service is a pivotal factor that can help you satisfy and retain customers. In deciding their loyalty for a brand, 96 percent of consumers place huge consideration on customer service.
Increasing customer loyalty means better customer retention, which leads to huge savings. Working to gain a new customer costs six to seven times more than retaining one customer. Similarly, increasing retention by 5% results in a corresponding increase of 25% in profit.
It doesn’t come easy, though. The advancement of technology has opened new doors for the customer service industry. This scenario has resulted in social media providing more platforms for communication. Consumers are also more informed, raising their expectations with customer service.
Hence, brands should step up their customer service to satisfy their customers. First, they should have a strong foundation on the essential best practices to ensure the quality of their service. Here are three best practices to lay the groundwork for exceptional customer service:
- Provide Answers
Suppose a customer is experiencing internet connectivity issues. When they contact customer service, they’re expecting answers. Why is the internet slow? Is there a problem with billing? Is there an ongoing issue in my area?
Good customer service gives them the answers. Providing an in-depth explanation of the situation does not only guide the customer on what’s happening. It also manages their expectations.
Some customers may need changes with the services they’re availing. At times, changes come with different terms and conditions as well. During this transition, it’s best to let the customer know what may happen before, during, and after the change.
In the online shopping space, informing the customer of the product’s quality, specifications, and condition through detailed descriptions lets them imagine what the product looks like in real life. Through detailed product descriptions, customers feel like they are making an informed decision is purchasing the product. Consequently, they will not be disappointed if the product turns out different from what they pictured.
2. Make Customers’ Lives Easier
At times, answers don’t cut it. Consumers seek customer service to help them out with a problem. It could be something technical, big or small, or a typical problem they’re not familiar with. No matter the issue, customer service should come to the rescue.
Lets’ take the same internet example mentioned above. Good customer service will walk the customer through the process. If the customer can troubleshoot it on their own, the representative can provide a step-by-step guide. Turn off the router for a few seconds. Connect fewer devices. Stay close to the router. Anything that the customer can do on their own.
On the other hand, customers may need your help desk to go the extra mile for more significant concerns. Making life easier for the customer gives a pleasant customer service experience. So, in this example, the task of booking for technicians should be off the customer’s plate. Instead, customer service should do it for them.
It’s tempting to overdo the previous step. Brands want their customers to have the breeziest experience, but there should be a limitation. Things that the customer can easily do should be left in their care. For example, a customer service representative filling out a form for basic information would not be practical. It would require asking for and inputting the customer’s details one by one, which may result in inaccurate entries.
3. Be Reachable on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—these are just a few of the platforms that brands use to cater to their customers’ needs. Today, social media is necessary, with 57 percent of customers not opting for voice-based customer support anymore.
Social media is advantageous when it comes to live chat. First, the customer uses something that they already use in their daily lives. They don’t need to open a website or download an app. Second, social media allows representatives and customers to chat in real-time. It’s like talking to someone on the phone—minus the actual talking but still getting the service they deserve.
Luckily, social media is incredibly accessible, and customers can use them everywhere. They have also integrated features that aid brands in providing customer support.
Take Facebook, for example. Their business features include automated responses and FAQs. When a customer messages the page, the chat immediately sends a template to the customer. This is helpful in terms of providing preliminary information on the next steps.
Brands can also set up FAQS. Here, the Facebook chat box provides options that the customer can click on. Automatically, the customer receives an answer. This saves time for the representatives because they don’t have to answer the same questions repeatedly. On the part of the customer, they will get an answer immediately without wasting any time.
Consider maximizing the use of social media in strengthening customer service. They already have tools that help brands get started and organize communication with customers.
Nail the Basics and Move Forward
Provide answers, make life easier for customers, and be present on social media. When the customer expresses concerns, give them the information that they need. Don’t let them fish for solutions. Instead, do it for them. Lastly, consider accessible avenues for communication, such as social media.
These are three best practices in improving customer service that will lay the groundwork for future improvements. Once these are inculcated in the brand’s customer service, other techniques will fall right into place.
M. Alan Shapiro is the CEO of Executive Boutique Call Center, an outsource call center and BPO provider. Since 2008, he has been helping his clients’ companies grow by providing them with high quality and reliable outsourcing services from their two offices in Cebu, Philippines. He spends his free time snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and gardening.