9 minute read
According to various studies, good customer service is a major deciding factor in ensuring brand loyalty. More than 93% of customers are more likely to repeat purchases when you offer good customer service.
But not everyone gets it right at one go. It requires some learning and unlearning to ensure that you deliver excellent customer service.
Don’t worry. We talk with customer service folks day and night. We have concluded some do’s and don’ts to follow for delivering a great customer service experience.
Read on to learn what each of these points mean and how you can adopt them swiftly.
7 Do’s of customer service
1.Be a good communicator
Clear and honest communication is necessary for maintaining a satisfactory relationship with your customers. After all, poor communication can cost businesses up to $400 billion annually.
Here are a few things to remember to ensure clear and transparent communication with your customers:
- Ensure that your customers always have an alternative to reach out to you. If you are not available on one channel, there should be another option for them. For instance, if your business doesn’t have a 24x7 customer support system, you can set up an automated reply or a chatbot for the initial communication.
- Be aware of the kind of communication customers expect. For instance, when a customer writes an email explaining everything in detail, they also expect a well-written email with a clear description and solution to their issue.
- Communication is a two-way process. Make sure that you pause and allow your customers to speak instead of bombarding them with too much information at once.
- If your customers are angry and sound distressed, help them by reassuring that you are here to help and will guide them through the entire process. This will show genuine care.
So you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand if your offered solutions are indeed helpful. We, in fact, have created an entire playbook on effective customer service communication for you.
2. Make active listening and empathy a part of your routine
Every customer call is made by a human searching for advice or a fix to a problem. To make them feel heard, understood, and supported, active listening is essential.
After active listening, comes empathy. A Harvard Business Review study states that the top 10 most compassionate businesses improved their market value more than twice as much as the worst 10 did. These top 10 most empathetic companies also produced 50% more revenue.
So keep the following points in mind.
- Reiterate what customers say to ensure you have understood the issue correctly and let them know you are paying attention.
- Ask questions to learn more about the situation and how you might contribute to its resolution. This is a crucial component of active listening.
- Refrain from arguing or being defensive.
3. Take customer feedback seriously
Customer feedback helps you determine how to improve in areas where you lack.
It is also important for measuring customer service KPIs such as CSAT scores, NPS, ART, etc. These indicators give crucial information about your service delivery and also the satisfaction levels of your customers.
Email surveys, online surveys, offline surveys via phone calls and SMS, etc., are some of the methods that can all be used to gather this information.
Another way in which you can understand your customers’ sentiments about your business is through unprompted feedback. Unprompted feedback is when the customer submits feedback in open forums or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
You can gather such information posted by your customers simply by browsing the internet and tracking your social media account mentions and tags.
4. Provide multiple alternatives for customers to reach out to you
An omnichannel presence is necessary to ensure satisfactory customer service delivery.
Now imagine this scenario. If a consumer has a problem with your product or has a question, they may contact you via a chatbot or a live chat option on your website or mobile app. Then they might send you an email to better explain their problem or to attach additional information like screenshots, images, etc.
This demonstrates how a customer contacts you using various channels simultaneously for the same issue. There is a vast difference between knowing about omnichannel customer service and implementing the same.
To implement a seamless omnichannel strategy, you must constantly map your customer’s journey at all the touch points. Mapping customer journeys gives you a better understanding of how all the channels can work together and where you can improve.
After all, the biggest USP of omnichannel service is that your customer can pick up exactly from where they left the conversation last time, irrespective of the communication channel.
One way to map a customer’s journey is to keep track of the customer’s satisfaction level after every interaction. This will help you understand if and where the customer faced any difficulty in using any of the channels and how you can improve the same.
5. Follow up even after you have solved your customers’ issues
Good customer service and support continues even post-purchase or after a customer’s issue has been resolved.
Following up can be as easy as sending a "just checking in" email, a note in the mail to follow up, or a phone call outreach, according to Forbes. Such emails can be sent out after a specified number of days post-purchase or after an issue has been resolved.
Customers are more likely to feel a connection to your business and make additional purchases from you if you show them that you value them.
6. Build strong knowledge about your products and services
This one is a no-brainer. Excellent support is a function of good product knowledge. Customer facing teams must also have access to product guides to fill the knowledge gaps.
Knowledgeable representatives can guide customers with ease while offering fast solutions. This saves both of customer’s and your time. This, in turn, allows you to help more customers.
Customers respond more favourably to sales representatives who are enthused and confident about the goods and services they offer. When employees can respond quickly and confidently, customers feel like they are in good hands.
You can ensure that your employees have sound product knowledge in the following ways.
- Provide easy to read manuals to your support reps.
- Conduct knowledge sessions where new recruits can be guided and trained by senior team members or product managers.
- Ask a product manager to take a call with agents during their initial days of employment.
- Conduct regular follow-ups with support agents to ensure that they are not facing any difficulty in understanding the products and services offered by you.
7. Show your gratitude towards your customers
Expressing your gratitude is important for creating a loyal base of customers, thereby improving your customer retention.
Loyal customers stick around because of how you treat them. They also recommend your product to others. Thus, your loyal customers become one of your biggest free advertisement sources.
One way to make your customers feel valued is to offer loyalty rewards to your long-term customers. You can do this by giving them bonus points which they can redeem later, post-purchase discounts, free gifts, etc.
For instance, shopping apps like Nykaa give you reward points whenever you make purchases using their app. You can redeem these points in your next purchase as discounts.
You can also send them a “Thank You” note whenever they order something from you. These incentives keep your customers satisfied and make them feel cared for.
7 Don’ts of customer service
1.Don’t over-complicate solutions for your customers
Over-complicating solutions by using a lot of jargon, speaking fast, and not pausing for customers to ask follow-up queries are a few signs of poor customer service communication.
Your written and verbal communication should be clear and easy to understand. Hence, you must communicate the solutions to your customers in as simple words as possible. This helps improve the overall customer experience.
- Remember that your customers do not have expert knowledge.
- Over-simplify whatever you are trying to say.
- Speak at a pace that will help your customers to follow what you are saying.
- Pause for follow-up questions.
2. Don’t sound robotic while interacting
Instead of engaging in a run-of-the-mill, boring conversation with customers, agents should get to know their problems and have a friendly conversation.
Sticking to a script prevents support staff from identifying the true source of a customer's problem. This reduces the chances of having loyal and happy customers.
It's unlikely that your staff will be able to provide a service that makes your customer happy if they are required to stick to a stringent method.
For instance, cliche statements like “Thank you for being a valued customer” or one-word replies like “sorry” and “thank you” come off as monotonous and robotic. Instead, you can use something more humane and personalised; like helping a friend out.
3. Don’t make your customers feel like you hardly care
No doubt that data, algorithms, and automation play a huge role in customer acquisition. But a human touch stands out, when organisations shift to these technologies.
Even though you might have a lot of customers to cater to, you need to remember that every customer is important. And each of them should feel valued and cared for.
For instance, the CEO taking calls and engaging with customers directly to learn more about their experiences can make customers feel that their opinion matters.
Additionally, whenever you ask for feedback, be polite and assure them that their comment will make a difference to your business. Simply asking for feedback can make them feel like you are treating them as just another target to be achieved.
Small acts like these make your customers feel they are important to your business and you care about them.
4. Don’t be scared of customer complaints
Most businesses experience complaints at some point. But what counts is how you handle them.
Don't be scared of complaints, use them as an opportunity to learn about the product's and team's performance. Improve them later.
Approach it this way:
- If you are getting a lot of complaints about a specific problem, look for the root cause.
- Pay close attention and comprehend the customer's viewpoint. Share it with the team.
- Encourage feedback on your support and inquire about any other issues that they might be facing with your product.
- Give something back, such as a coupon or a discount on the next bill.
- Regain the personal touch by setting up a follow-up to ensure the client is still satisfied.
- Don't dismiss concerns; if you address them promptly, you should be able to find a solution and retain the customer.
- Establish a customer complaint process by making it easy for customers to complain with feedback forms on your website. You can also ensure that your service reps ask customers for feedback regularly.
Related read: 30 customer service tips you can adopt right now
5. Don’t handle too many complaints simultaneously
Customers come to you with different kinds of complaints. And all the complaints will have varying levels of urgency.
But when you handle too many complaints simultaneously, you might be unable to deliver the service quality your customers expect. Hence, it is important that you categorise your complaints and handle them accordingly.
For instance, if the issues include basic questions like product queries, the functioning of the products, how to navigate your brand's app, etc., then you can handle more than one complaint at a time.
However, if it is a complicated problem that requires your complete attention and time, you must consider handling only one complaint at a time.
This way, you are ensuring better service.
But what happens when the call load is high too frequently? Then you must focus on improving your team’s time management skills, and adding more helpful resources like FAQs, Help Center articles, etc. You should also analyse if there's a common issue that is causing this problem to occur frequently.
Improving your call handling and complaint resolution time also means that you improve your FCR (First Contact Resolution).
The higher the FCR, the better it is for your brand's perception as well as business. That’s because it shows that your customer service team can resolve complaints successfully during the first conversation itself.
6. Don’t ignore social media customer service
Social media is the one thing today that no business can ignore. Most customers are always ready to engage with brands on social media platforms.
In a research study, it was found that more than 67% of the respondents use social media for customer support. According to Gartner, businesses that ignore their customers on social media have a 15% higher churn rate than companies that provide good social media customer service.
One of the best ways to ensure that you deliver effective social media customer service is to know where your customers are.
It is a good idea to to pay attention to your social media mentions, tags, and comments. Or, just find a way to ask your customers.
7. Don’t rely only on chatbots for customer service
40% of customers, according to NewVoiceMedia's research, are frustrated if they don't speak to a live person right away when calling customer service. Plus: A Forbes research states that only about half of all respondents prefer a chatbot for a quick customer service need.
The data itself is enough for us to understand how detrimental it can be to rely only on chatbots for customer service. Even though chatbots are widely used, research shows that their capacity to comprehend user needs falls short of customer expectations.
Customers may find it annoying and less inclined to continue communicating with bots because of their lack of contextual understanding. Chatbots are only able to respond to a select number of questions.
This can be problematic because customer care needs to be dependable. They must provide satisfactory solutions for all customer issues and queries.
Thus, it is important for brands to find a correct balance between automation and the human touch to achieve essential customer service goals.
Before you leave
Are there other DO's and DON’Ts in customer service that you follow or think are important? Please share your thoughts with us, and keep acing. ✌️
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