Sometimes considered a source of problems to be swept under the carpet, customer service should be a central element of your strategy: it is the showcase of your business. Because good customer service is a source of purchase, referral, differentiation, and continuous improvement. Here are 15 critical tips for striving for the best.
Take agents who enhance you…
If the customer service is considered as the showcase, it is above all the agents who represent you. The latter must take care of the substance as well as the form, by practicing an active listening of the customers first. The agent must never be haughty, familiar or vulgar, and must avoid technical jargon. Above all, he must show patience and understanding.
… And value your agents.
Working in a customer service is not always easy, so the manager must be grateful and value his employees. The way you manage your employees will necessarily reflect on the quality of the exchanges with the customers. A considered employee will have more determination to satisfy the customers.
Setting SMART goals, bonuses, transparency of results and sharing positive customer reviews is a good way to keep motivated and successful employees.
Multiple communication channels for your customers.
Do not just offer the phone to your customers. Most of them are looking for simple information that they would appreciate being able to find on their own. Many customers abandon their purchase when they are forced to call for information.
Email, SMS, chats, extranet, Facebook… many channels exist to promote fluid communication between your customers and you. Train your agents in the management of these communication supports which will facilitate the exchanges and will allow them to avoid the redundancy of the telephone call.
Set up a CRM solution.
A CRM tool, including a history of exchanges (calls, emails, letters…) is essential for the success of your customer service. Thus, customers will not have to re-explain their case, each time, and will not feel like a number. Your CRM must be linked to your mail… in order to centralize all exchanges and information.
The client before everything!
First, do not make the customer wait for hours online! Suggest that you call him later. The feeling of impatience will be reduced. Be careful not to make promises that you cannot keep. If you signify to the customer that he will be recalled during the day, and you do not do so, his customer dissatisfaction will be even stronger.
Also, remember to always listen carefully to the customer! Let him speak, he needs to express his problem. The customer always feels that his problem is unique, he needs attention before anything else… Keep it in mind!
Build a telephone argument.
To build your pitch, you should list the objections or remarks of the most common customers. Prepare a counterargument for each of these objections. Be careful, however, never to treat an objection before it is formulated. The discussion must remain natural and fluid.
Always leave a margin of autonomy to operators.
It is important that your agent can be autonomous in his decision making. Similarly, it is dangerous to develop a detailed script for a typical call. The agent may not feel comfortable, and the conversation will not seem natural. It is better to elaborate a frame, to give the decision-making lines and a part of autonomy to the agent. Thus, he can interact with his interlocutor and his mission will be much more rewarding.
Train in managing angry customers.
It’s not always easy to find an angry customer on the line. To manage them, it is better to let them talk at first. The agent can then enter into a more peaceful discussion with the client. Active listening will calm the client and build trust.
The goal is not to enter into a battle of argument with him: identify the problem, and if it’s your fault, excuse yourself and do the necessary. If the fault is on the client’s side, then it must be shown to him calmly and factually that he may have been mistaken. It’s all about empathizing.
Set up smart FAQs…
Many customers want information anywhere, anytime. 72% of consumers prefer to solve their problems themselves without going through customer service. Calling a customer service can be restrictive (waiting time, opening hours of the hotline…) and will drive many customers and prospects.
Most calls are for low-value applications (opening hours, return conditions…). The establishment of a centralized online knowledge base (Smart FAQ) reduces the number of calls by 40%. Accessible online 24 hours a day, it allows customers to find the information they want and advises them to focus on more demanding requests (order taking, recovery of dissatisfied people, etc.).
… And complementary solutions.
There are also other solutions, such as community chats. Customers can help each other online with simple questions. There is usually a system of compensation for customers who offer their help. Even if it is not 100% manageable, the client-to-client discussion can often engender a stronger trust.
There is also the solution of chatbots, very popular now. This solution allows you to filter the simplest requests through the AI. However, we think that AI can never equal the man for the customer relationship, it is a solution that must remain complementary.
Enhance the relationship with customers who express their dissatisfied.
Do not forget it: 96% of dissatisfied customers do not come back to the company. A dissatisfied customer who contacts you offers you the opportunity to recover it. Remember to always say “Thank you for drawing my attention to this topic”. A customer who has been listened to and proposed a solution is a customer who will probably come back.
Identify your clients ‘’Ambassadors’’.
Thanks to the NPS but also during the telephone interactions, it is possible to identify the “fan” customers of the brand. They can then be targeted in marketing campaigns. You can also encourage them to testify in writing, by filing a customer notice for example.
Set up satisfaction surveys.
In order to evaluate the quality of service offered and to act accordingly, it is essential to set up a system of satisfaction surveys. We will solicit the customer just after his interaction with the customer service (with an SMS, an email, a widget…), and ask him for feedback on his experience.
Respondents will be able to estimate their intention of recommendation on a scale of 0 to 10. Thus, we can measure the level of satisfaction that customer service provides and identify areas for improvement.
Manage your teams with inquiries.
Collected customers feedback can be a source of management. With positive reviews, you can value and motivate your operators. On the contrary, the negative opinions must be vectors of improvement of the quality of service. The goal is to make the whole company customer focused, that is to say, to train each employee in a customer satisfaction process above all.
Recover the dissatisfied.
It is much more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one… This has been said many times… Think about it! A dissatisfied customer, who speaks over the phone, or via his NPS rating, must be the subject of recovery campaigns. Sometimes an attention or a commercial gesture makes it possible to regain the confidence of the customer. Make your customer service a source of ROI!
Here are our 15 tips for managing and improving your customer service. This is the showcase of your business… think of highlighting it! Effective customer service generates satisfaction and recommendation… Do not forget it!
Following these customer service tips will improve customer’s perceptions about your business. It is no longer acceptable to have an average service when both you and the client have so many tools at your disposal. Maintaining a good relationship will benefit you in the long term, by improving customer happiness and establishing loyalty to your brand.
Customer happiness is the key to business success, and as long as the customer makes purchases, it always will be.
At Call Center Pros, we have in consideration all these aspects of customer service. Connect with our consultants today. You can call us directly at 800-789-CALL, or go to our customer contact form. We’ll reach out and start working with you ASAP. Thank you for considering Call Center Pros for your call center needs. We look forward to improving your business today.