Customer service has become a quintessential business tool of our era. As consumers keep getting more demanding, companies are forced to become people-centric and try to answer users’ demands as quickly and efficiently as possible.
It’s just the way things work these days - customer experience is the single most important aspect of a business. Numerous studies prove our statement, but we picked only a handful to show you here:
- By 2020, customer experience will become more relevant for consumers than price and products.
- As much as 54% of all consumers worldwide say that they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago.
- More than 30% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.
- 70% of the customer’s journey is dictated by how the customer feels they are being treated.
In such circumstances, you don’t have a choice than to provide your target audience with immaculate experience and convince them to keep coming back to you. But in order to do so, you need to know the basic rules, so let’s check out eight commandments of great customer service.
1. Listen To Your Customers
The number one rule of customer service is to pay attention and listen to your clients. Modern customers want you to focus to their needs and acknowledge their wishes, which is the only way to make them feel appreciated. Now, the real question is: How can you do it?
If your customer service agents are talking to consumers face-to-face, then they have to be very careful because every single detail matters here. They must listen to the client’s remarks and analyze his/her tone of voice, emotions, and body language. The situation is simpler when it comes to online inquiries, but your agents still need to pay attention, concentrate, and respond to the question correctly.
2. Don’t Interrupt Your Customers
This advice goes hand in hand with the previous one. Namely, the basic rule of customer service (and interpersonal communication, for that matter) is to let your clients speak and express their opinion the way they want to. We mentioned already that they want to be acknowledged and the worst thing you could do is interrupt customers while they are trying to tell you something.
This is a frequent issue with phone operators who want to solve as many cases as possible in a given timeframe. However, you shouldn’t put the quantity in front of quality because it’s a surefire way to start losing customers long-term.
Instead, your customer agents must be patient enough to hear the problem and solve it successfully and kindly. Such a practice will drastically improve customer satisfaction and help you to stand out among similar companies.
3. Enable Multichannel Communication
Customer service has evolved in the last few decades, which means you have to take into account the sheer number of communication channels currently available. There are all sorts of communication platforms to use these days:
- Point of sale communication
- Social media
- Live chat
Users quickly switch between apps and devices, so you have to ensure effortless communication in each of those cases.
Another thing has been changing customer relations in the last few years. We are talking about chatbots, AI-powered communication tools that can take your service to the whole new level. Chatbots can answer most of the questions automatically while being available 24/7.
They make customer service faster and cheaper, thus improving user experience in general. This is exactly why everyone is using chatbot technology.
4. Respond Quickly
Customers highly appreciate quick and efficient service, particularly in the field of digital communication. We might even say consumers are spoiled because they expect businesses to be available around the clock and respond to inquiries super quickly.
According to the report, more than 40% of consumers complaining in social media expect a brand to respond within 60 minutes. The situation is more or less the same with all other channels of communication, which means you must be ready to react at any given moment.
This is, however, completely natural. After all, do you enjoy waiting for anything in your life? We bet you don’t, so try to understand and indulge customers who expect to get the answer from you in a timely manner. And if you cannot give them the right information instantly, then try to send some sort of in-between feedback and confirm that you are really doing your best to solve the problem.
5. Go the Extra Mile
Another important customer service lesson is to go the extra mile and do even more than expected whenever possible. While it is true that consumers are happy if you deliver as promised, but it’s always a good idea to make a special effort and surprise them with additional features.
How can you do it?
First of all, you should think about your business and identify traits that make you better or simply different than other companies. For example, a small organization can dedicate more time to each client individually and send handwritten “Thank You” notes. It’s a simply but wonderful gesture that can boost customer retention and long-term loyalty.
Another option is to offer unique perks such as one-time discounts for first-time buyers or premium memberships for recurring consumers. The number of solutions is almost endless, but it depends on the nature of your business and your professional creativity.
6. Treat Free Trial Users as Full-Time Customers
Almost all brands offer trial periods and free testing to potential customers. It’s yet another way to try to win over new purchases, but a surprisingly big percentage of customer agents tend to neglect such prospects. Your job is to prevent this and treat free trial users as full-time customers.
It’s a critical step if you want to expand the customer base and ensure the long-term profitability of your business, but how can you achieve it? The answer is simple: make sure to do the follow-up and keep convincing prospects that your products are worth buying.
Of course, you have to be very delicate. Don’t push potential customers but rather try to explain the benefits of the paid version. Doing so, you can inspire leads to keep coming back for more and purchase the product eventually.
7. Apologize for Inconveniences
We are sure you know this customer service commandment, but it’s impossible to overestimate the importance of good old apologies. We all know that the customer is always right and this statement becomes even more relevant when you really make a mistake.
In such circumstances, the only thing you need to do is to admit you are wrong and to say you really are sorry. Besides that, you should pay attention to timing and reply as soon as possible. Angry customers can leave a whole bunch of negative impressions about your brand both online and offline, but they probably won’t react in case you approach them quickly and with all due attention.
Another advice is to set things right by offering something special as a sign of apology. There is no better way to apologize than to explain the situation, admit your blunder, and offer something useful in return.
8. Predict Trends and Anticipate Future Needs
The best customer service teams always try to analyze customer behavior and anticipate their future needs and demands. This is a critical process because trend-setters and industry leaders always outperform their less agile competitors.
The job is easy if you already follow the first commandment and listen to the consumers carefully. In such circumstances, you have more than enough feedback to analyze the current state of affairs and determine new trends in the business.
But if you don’t have the information you need, you might as well ask your clients. For instance, you can use a platform such as Survey Monkey to create a simple opinion poll and figure out what your audience would like you to improve or create in the months to come.
In the world where thousands of brands offer pretty much the same products or services, customer service is becoming the decisive business element. People know they have plenty of options to choose from, so they demand flawless treatment at all points of the customer journey.
You have no other solution than to indulge target consumers, so it becomes essential to invest time, effort, and budget into the customer experience. In this article, we explained eight commandments of great customer service. Remember our tips and make sure to use them in your everyday work – they will take your business to the whole new level!
Justin Osborne is a member of the CloudApp community and writer at Assignmentgeek and assignment masters, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a content marketer at trust my paper reviews and essay services.
Best Customer Support Tips
- Listen to Your Customers
- Don't Interrupt Your Customers
- Enable Multichannel Communication
- Respond Quickly
- Go the Extra Mile
- Treat Free Trial Users as Full-Time Customers
- Apologize for Inconveniences
- Predict Trends and Anticipate Future Needs