Given the impact of the customer experience on purchase behavior, customer service managers need to pay attention to the level of customer assistance they provide.
Human interaction matters now more than ever—and according to pwc 82% of U.S. and 74% of non-U.S. customers want more of it in the future. As a customer service professional, you have to be able to handle an array of situations, from disgruntled customers to over enthusiastic ones and everything in between. You have to be able to deal with difficult situations and emotions, but most importantly, you have to know how to give excellent support and solve customers’ problems.
Here are ten ways you can provide your clients with excellent customer assistance.
1. Respond quickly
The first and most obvious tip on how to give great customer assistance is to be quick. Most customers expect answers to their questions or problems right away. It’s important to keep in mind that most customers expect an email response to their query within the hour, so you need to keep your response times as short as possible. This means ensuring that you have the proper staffing and routing processes.
2. Get personal
Besides offering quick response times, a good customer service team should also personalize their interactions. For example, it is helpful if a customer is greeted by name and the agent they talk to is aware of past orders or issues. We know that everyone is different, and every consumer wants something very different out of their interactions with your brand or company. The most important thing is that you understand your customers and the type of assistance they prefer.
3. Show empathy
Remember that customer service can involve emotions, and you should be courteous and professional. One of the best customer service secrets is listening to the customer, not just their words, but also their body language. A smile goes a long way when handling a customer. In today’s day and age, a lot of customer service is handled by chatbots, websites and automated phone menus. While these are great for a variety of issues, there’s nothing quite like talking to an empathic human who can help you out. Show empathy when assisting your customers and they will reward you with their loyalty.
4. Keep it simple
When a customer needs assistance, give them as much information as possible. They want to know that the problem is being addressed properly, and that you’re there to help them. The best way to accomplish this is to provide helpful information in a concise manner. Generally, customers don’t want to be bombarded with unnecessary details.
5. Choose the right words
Effective, efficient and personal customer assistance requires that you choose the right words in conversations with clients. The art of conversation lies in the art of managing emotions through words. The secret is to “disarm and endear”. The way to disarm people is by showing them that you care about them on a personal level. A pleasant and respectful voice is also essential in providing great assistance. This will make the entire experience a pleasure for your customers.
6. Deal with complaints
If your customers are complaining or voicing their concerns about your products or services, be ready to acknowledge that they’re unhappy with the experience. It’s important to be honest and understand that people make mistakes, so be open about it and offer to make things right. When the situation gets tough, you can always escalate the client to your manager, but be sure to acknowledge and apologize for the mistake as soon as you can. Providing solutions for complaints and problems will increase the chances of your customers sticking around longer and recommending you to their friends and colleagues.
7. Gather feedback
An effective and efficient feedback system that allows customers to give their opinions on your products and services and even allow them to share it with others. This type of proactive interaction helps you create a rapport with your customers and build a knowledge base of information that can be used to provide assistance in the future.
8. Be patient
When offering customer assistance, one of the most important skills is to be patient. A customer who feels stuck or frustrated is likely to become frustrated and impatient. It is essential to be patient and understanding of the customer’s situation. Besides being courteous, attentive, and knowledgeable about your product or service, being patient is also an important part of providing excellent service.
9. Offer live help
Another example of advanced customer assistance is real-time chat. This service complements a company’s website by allowing customers to chat with a live person. This enables the agent to address any problem immediately and quickly. Today’s businesses are supplementing live chat with automated chatbots to answer noncomplex inquiries or to provide out of hours assistance.
10. Value your team
Finally, and most importantly, show appreciation for your customer service representatives whose job it is to provide customer assistance day in, day out. It’s not enough to simply pay them more, you need to acknowledge their efforts. Taking time to recognize their work is an excellent way to show your gratitude. Praise them in front of their coworkers. You can also send them to conferences or paid training to show your appreciation.
For any business to grow and prosper successfully, it will need to consistently provide exceptional customer assistance. Examples of companies that are always ready to help their customers include Disney, Trader Joe’s, L.L.Bean, Ritz-Carlton, Chick-fil-A, Hilton and Netflix.
These companies use various techniques, including hiring the best support agents, asking their customers for feedback, offering self-service options, and sticking to their customer-first values. By providing superior customer assistance you will ensure that your customers are happy, and they will tell others about their experience.