No matter how good your product is or how attractive the prices are, one of the main things the clients will remember is customer support. The quality of such support is defined by the excellence of interaction and the skills of support agents. They are the face of your company, so not depending on your product and niche, constant improvement of the customer service is a must.
What is customer service? How do I get a human at customer service? What skills professional support agents should possess? Below we will answer these and many other questions and explain how to improve your service in five steps.
1. Developing a required skill set
If you are a seasoned online shopper, you have probably faced Amazon customer service. It is a great example of professional agents: they are adaptable, patient, empathetic, and communicative. All these skills are crucial for awesome customer support, so business owners should cultivate them in the team. Here are the proficiencies to concentrate on:
- Adaptability. The moods may change rapidly, so the agents should be able to adapt to the situations quickly and stress-free.
- Empathy and patience. The support team should know how to handle different types of customers: some of them will be angry, others – irritated and impatient.
- Clear communication. The language should be simple, positive, and clear to render the message in a correct manner. You don’t want the customer to be confused with controversial remarks.
- Thick skin. The customer is always right even if this means curbing anger or indignation. You should always keep the customer’s happiness in mind even if this sometimes means swallowing pride.
- Ethical behavior. Support agents should dedicate enough time to all customers, avoid controversial topics and statements that may hurt someone’s feelings.
2. Boosting customer interaction
Making sure that your team has the necessary skill set is a great start but there’s still a long way to be named the best customer support. One of the things to work on is improving customer interaction. Here are the most effective tips to consider:
- Identify shared interests to overcome possible misunderstandings faster. You can create a cheat sheet with such points and keep it close at hand when communicating with clients.
- Develop active listening to make your users feel heard and appreciated.
- Admit mistakes to build a trusting relationship and improve your business.
- Send a follow-up message and make sure that the problem is solved and the customers are satisfied with the provided services.
One of the best ways to organize the process is to create a checklist of required steps and hold regular meetings. You can download free slideshow software to create a demonstrative presentation of the customer interaction strategy.
3. A chance to give feedback
Even if your customer support is working effectively, it is impossible to cover every problem of the clients. To make sure that you know about all the experiences that they have (both good and bad ones), it’s necessary to collect timely feedback. For example, through an email survey, Contact Us window, or phone questionnaire. With their help, you will not only know about the company’s strong and weak sides but also keep unsatisfied customers from sharing their bad experiences in public places like Instagram or Facebook.
Collecting feedback is also crucial for analytics and building a client’s lifecycle. You can even use a free customer journey map and input the collected data without any fuss.
4. Building a customer service strategy
Your customer support agents might have the necessary skills and motivation to interact with the clients but without a proper strategy, this won’t lead to long-term and positive results. That is why you as a business owner or manager should have an effective customer service strategy. It involves the following tools:
- Create a customer journey map. It shows the stages that your customers pass on their way to the product. It also allows highlighting the pain points and triggers that might stand on the way to making the purchase.
- Use analytics services to quantify your results. They help to evaluate how effective you are and what things should be improved.
- Build a community. The customers want to feel valued and appreciated. And the best way to achieve this is to be present in their lives through regular emails, loyalty rewards, webinars, conventions, social media updates, and so on.
- Be available. This means that the customers should be able to reach you if any questions arise. Work 24/7 if possible, especially if your clients are in different time zones. You should also use all available communication channels: email, live chat, phone, and social media accounts.
5. Improving the personalized approach
Your customers want to be sure that they are communicating with real people and not bots. To improve customer support, make it more personal by sending unique emails instead of automated messages, and answering questions rather than giving links to FAQs. You should also take advantage of social media and write timely responses when users post on your official pages.
A great idea is to add pictures and biographies to your website to let customers familiarize themselves with the people they are interacting with. You can also make a Google presentation with a step-by-step personalization strategy and send it to all customer support members. The results won’t keep you waiting.
Many business owners make the same mistake – they forget that quality customer service is the key to success and requires constant attention and improvement. You need to improve the skills of your agents, keep them motivated, use slideshows to present your training, lists to monitor progress, and build a solid strategy. Only when combining all the approaches discussed above you will be able to develop the right customer service system. The good news is that this goal is achievable!