The principal objective of customer service is to satisfy customers by fulfilling their needs. It is therefore important to connect with customers, find out what they want and deliver high quality customer service.
Knowing this essential information and organizing it in a knowledge base enables organizations to provide a memorable customer experience. It’s a well known fact that the more satisfied a customer is, the more likely it is that they will become a loyal customer.
Here are twelve ways to provide high quality customer service and create loyal customers.
Businesses today have no excuse for lag time in dealing with customer requests or problems. Whether your customer comes into your office, calls you on the phone, or shoots you an email, that message deserves a timely answer. Nothing frustrates a customer more than an unresponsive company, so set a business-wide policy that all customer contact must be answered in a quick and friendly fashion.
Remain in Control
Maintaining composure and staying calm and in control, no matter what the customer’s request, is extremely important. Representatives should not be condescending or ridiculing. The customer should always be treated with utmost respect and kindness.
Take Time to Chat
Customer service is not a rushed process; instead, it requires some time and patience to cultivate. By stopping to engage in a bit of small talk and pleasantries with customers when they make contact, you are showing that you value their business relationship. It doesn’t have to be involved or lengthy; a few comments on how their day os going or or even the weather will make them feel welcome.
Utilize a Knowledge Base
Providing excellent service today involves data – a multitude of information that needs to organized and analyzed in the most effective way. Customer data is made up of both unstructured and structured data, which makes it even harder to organize this goldmine of information into a usable form. Organizations that that recognize the value of knowledge base software will be best positioned to align their customer service options to the constantly changing needs and demands of their customers.
Include all Suggestions
Your customer support agents deal with customers on a one-on-one basis. They know the demands and expectations better than your textbook scenarios. Whenever possible, spare a seat in brainstorming sessions for them and derive qualitative information from your virtual, field, and call assistance executives.
Give Refresher Training
It might not seem so important, but all your employees and customer support agents especially must be provided with timely refresher training sessions. Your product’s features keep on changing and innovating along with service packages as well. By keeping your agents up to date with the latest company news and developments you will allow them to share that knowledge with customers and in turn this will inspire confidence in your company.
Cross Train Effectively
Customers do not enjoy calling a business where they know they will get bounced from one employee to the next before their transaction is complete. When possible, eliminate this feature by cross-training staff to perform a wider variety of transactions for each customer. That way, your customer sticks with one employee throughout the process, which builds relationships and makes your customers feel more appreciated.
Delight Your Customers
Deliver products before you promise them. Provide customers with additional products or services you thought might be a good fit with their original order. Call them after the transaction to follow up and make sure their needs and expectations were met. In other words, find ways to surprise and delight your customers with your attentiveness and efficiency. You can bet they will be back for more.
Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than receiving excellent service on one visit with a company, only to get mediocre to poor service the next time around. Consistency is a key component to an effective customer service policy, which involves regular training of staff, monitoring of customer interactions and incentives to keep staff motivated and at their best. Set the standard and practice it yourself, so consistency is relayed from the top down in your corporation.
Ask for Feedback
No one has a better pulse of your customer than your call center staff. These reps work directly with customers every single day, hearing the good, bad and ugly about your business. If you are considering a procedure change or a new product, ask your customer service reps what they think about the change. In addition to getting valuable feedback, your staff will feel that they are making significant contributions to the success of your business overall.
Keep Your Promises
When you tell a customer you will do something for her or him, make sure it is done in the time frame you provided. If you are unable to return a call or get a response from another department, follow up with your customer to let him know the reason for the delay. Companies that promise to do things for customers and never hold true to their word don’t keep those customers for very long.
If you want to make changes to your service procedures that get noticed by your customers, identify your top problems first. You may not be able to make this change in 24 hours, but you will be able to make fast, visible changes to your service quality. Talk to your customers, or launch a survey, to get their feedback on the current state of your service. You can also track customer complaints to see which issues arise the most.
Customer service has taken on a whole new level of importance with the many options available to customers today. Businesses that manage to change their thinking on how to provide the highest quality service and implement new tools will go far in keeping customers and attracting new clients through every means available to them.