Customer support is vital for business success. If you want to achieve business growth, then you should focus on improving this aspect of your business. After all, your customers deserve the best experience possible. According to the 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, 54% of customers have higher expectations for customer service today. Customers are willing to pay more just to get a great experience.
Improving customer service is a must for strengthening customer relationships. You may have a great product or talented employees but all that will mean nothing because in the end, customers will remember their interaction with your company. Data shows that businesses can grow revenues by up to 8% by prioritizing customer experience. 61% of customers have stopped doing business with a brand due to poor customer experience.
For this reason, you need to ensure that your staff practice top-notch customer service in order to retain your most loyal patrons. With that in mind, we provide you some tips on how you can take your customer support to the next level.
- Reply As Quickly As You Can
- Use Customer Feedback
- Create A Customer-Centric Culture
- Deliver Proactive Support
- Automate Customer Service
- Strengthen Your Team
- Leverage Multi-Channel Service
- Build A Knowledge Base
- Route Requests To The Right Team
- Enhance Your Customer Service Strategy
1. Reply As Quickly As You Can
They say that “Patience is a virtue,” but this isn’t the case with your customers. When they come to you with a problem, they expect solutions as quickly as possible. Customers can be impatient and if you are not able to give a fast resolution of their concerns, chances are they could do business somewhere else.
By delivering fast customer service, you can be assured that your customer will stick around and become more interested in your product or service. On the other hand, little or no reply will make the customer think that you are ignoring or do not care for them. Speed in customer service is important because customers demand it.
According to data from CMO Council, 75% of customers say that a fast response time is one of the most important attributes of a good customer experience. By responding quickly, you are meeting customers’ expectations. The sad news is that most businesses have failed on this aspect with only 12% of customer service managers focusing on quick response to customers.
2. Use Customer Feedback
One of the most effective ways you can understand your customer’s needs and improve their experience is by evaluating their feedback on a regular basis. Customer feedback provides a way to measure customer experience. According to the 2015 Global State of Customer Service, 90% of respondents say that customer service is important for their choice and loyalty to a brand.
Customer feedback can provide you with invaluable insight into the effectiveness of your customer service. In addition, it can help identify problems or issues such as the slowness of your service. With customer feedback, you will know the good, bad, and ugly experiences of your customer during the interaction. In addition, it will provide you insights on which areas of your customer service needs improvement.
Customer feedback offers another important benefit – it makes them feel valued and that you are willing to resolve their issues. In the long run, it will help build trust sparing you from the negative comments your customers may share on social media. Make sure to give your customers a channel for leaving their feedback such as live chat, phone, or tickets.
3. Create A Customer-Centric Culture
Customer focus should not be limited to just your sales and customer service team but should be from top to bottom as well. Customer experience should be integrated into your corporate culture. By making your company “purpose-focused,” you will be guided by the right strategy. Improving your customer service will help make a more profitable company.
While both customer acquisition and retention drive business growth, you need to focus on the latter. A study revealed that increasing your retention rate by 5% may result in a 95% increase in profit. This means that customers gain more value over time so you need to ensure that your current customers are the happiest. Focusing on your current customers by delivering exceptional customer service helps boost their satisfaction and loyalty.
Customer retention is easier than acquisition because all you need to do is maintain the delivery of a strong customer experience. You worked hard to acquire them so you want to do everything to keep them happy and loyal to your brand. Your current customers are the best brand advocates you can have. Thus, your goal should be to build long term and more profitable relationships with your current customers.
4. Deliver Proactive Support
Being proactive means offering support based on a visitor’s behavior. This type of support can increase customer support efficiency by 7x. Proactive support starts by understanding the online behavior of your customers. It will help determine whether they need assistance, are frustrated, or which pages they need more support on. It is a powerful tool for efficiently targeting your messages to the right customer at the right time.
So how can you be proactive with your customer support? The first step is to customize your message for new and returning customers. Establish rapport with the latter with personalized welcome back messages. For customers who abandoned their shopping carts, reach out to them and find out what went wrong with their purchase.
Proactive support can help you identify issues and resolve them before they become a problem. Being proactive can help increase your brand reputation. 60% of businesses report an increase in sales when improving customer service. Proactive support means making yourself available through different communication channels.
5. Automate Customer Service
As your customer base grows, it can become overwhelming for them to handle customer issues. Automation can help take the pressure off your customer service team so they can focus on the more critical issues. It enables 24/7 support and the customer can get immediate answers when they need it. With automation, customers can serve themselves through an AI-powered chatbot.
Automation can help with handling straightforward recurring questions like the ones found on the FAQ page, Chatbots can handle up to 80% of customer service inquiries. It is beneficial to your business and can help you meet the high expectations of customers requiring service on their own terms.
How do you go about automating your customer service? You can use canned responses for your email or live chat service. It can help your agents provide quick replies and maintain consistency of both tones of voice and language across all conversations. Also, you can create a dedicated chatbot for your frequently asked questions. Statistics show that 31 percent of businesses use chatbot for FAQ.
6. Strengthen Your Team
No amount of technology can replace having a skilled workforce. Your employees give a human touch to your customer service. Thus, you need to look for people with the right customer service skills. Provide them with the needed training for handling any situation. Also, they should have courtesy, professionalism, and the ability to respond as quickly as possible.
If you are using new technology, they should also be adept with how to operate the new hardware or software. Work to constantly upskill your team to set them up for success. They should be provided sufficient knowledge to solve customer issues. The faster they are able to resolve issues, the easier it will be for the rep, customer, and your business.
So how do you know which skill your customer service rep lacks? You can conduct a customer feedback survey to have an understanding of which traits your team is showing to customers. Surely, your employees want to succeed with the task at hand. Don’t give them a reason to feel frustrated as it could become a reason for them to leave your company. Find out the areas where each member of your team will need to improve.
7. Leverage Multi-Channel Service
One of the things you always need to keep in mind is that your customers will be coming to you from different channels. They will make a purchase from their mobile devices, search for content from your social media channel, or resolve their concerns by themselves from self-service channels.
According to a Forrester study, 69% of Americans prefer to buy from brands that offer consistent customer service across multiple channels so make sure that you are able to provide them with multiple channel options. You should enable customers to easily switch between multiple channels but still maintain quality service. This can help boost your brand reputation and credibility.
A bad customer experience can have a huge impact on your brand integrity and customer loyalty. You can’t afford to make any lapses as huge mistakes can really hurt your business. Pay attention to the different channels as it can give you the whole picture of the customer experience.
8. Build A Knowledge Base
A knowledge base will not only help your customer service team deliver a much better experience but also have a dedicated support page for addressing customer issues. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020, 69% of customers first try to resolve their issues on their own. Unfortunately, less than a third of companies offer self-service options such as a knowledge base.
One of the benefits of a knowledge base is that it is available 24/7 so customers can access information anytime anywhere. You don’t have to wait until a customer service rep becomes available. You can resolve an issue in just two clicks of the mouse. In addition, customers can expect quality service fast without having to wait in the queue and explain their problem to an operator.
A knowledge base will be a useful resource not only for customers but also for your employees. It contains all the useful information that your team needs to solve a concern. Knowledge bases are like guides and tutorials that will help your team solve tickets or deal with bugs in your system.
9. Route Requests To The Right Team
When a customer calls you with their problems, they expect to be connected to a rep who is knowledgeable about how to fix their problems. By connecting customers to the right department, you will reduce their wait times and ensure efficient and proper use of agent resources. By routing the issue to the right team, you increase the chance of resolving the issue during the first interaction.
You can route the requests according to 1) skills or expertise; 2) department or team; and 3) location. You can use a chatbot as the first line of support that will route the call to the appropriate person most qualified to solve the issue at hand. In addition, you can also create an automated overflow to ensure that issues left on the chat will still be resolved especially during peak times.
Data from Salesforce reveal that 83% of customers expect to engage with an agent immediately when contacting a company. They don’t want to wait long in a queue to be connected with an agent. Improving your call routing system can result in faster responses, quick resolution of customer problems, and increased customer satisfaction.
10. Enhance Your Customer Service Strategy
What good is your team’s customer service skills and know-how if they aren’t meeting the needs of your customers? The end goal of your support should be keeping customers happy. You can use that skill set in ensuring that you relate to your customers. It is important for customer service to be thorough and well received.
Everything starts with ensuring that your team is always available so customers can reach them. You can work early or late as needed especially when your customers are working in different time zones. If you have a physical address, you can provide it to your customers to build their trust and remind them that your company exists.
Finally, ensure that you follow up with your customers when a problem is solved. Make sure that they are satisfied with your service. Send them an email or a feedback survey to let them know that they have your back all the time. Learn to admit your mistakes as this helps build trust and restores their confidence in you.
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. They can make or break your business growth. It is your job to make sure that they are pleased with your service so they will keep coming back and do business with you. These tips will give your customer support the boost it needs to keep delighting your loyal patrons.
Outsource Customer Support with airisX
Companies come to us to optimize existing customer support channels and/or to leverage new ones. We focus on incorporating existing processes into your desired channels and help you scale to other ones as your requirements grow.
Through airisX task clients can access specific skill sets, such as graphic design, content writing, development and much more on-demand. Additionally, size has very little to do with the ability to outsource, as many of our clients are single entrepreneurs that utilize outsourced staff to multiply their ability, or to allow them time to spend with their family for events, evenings, and vacations.