It’s not enough to just have the best talent, great customer service requires creating the right environment for talent to flourish.
Is your company providing the highest level of customer service that it can? Customer support can make or break your business. Achieving the highest level of customer service support not only keeps your customers coming back for more, but it increases your bottom line. Focusing on creating an environment where great customer service can happen is the key to making the different that affects customer loyalty.
If you have room for improvement, here are five ways to get your organization working to deliver great customer service:
1. Give Your Customer Service Agents the Knowledge
Even if you have outsourced your customer service needs to a call center, agents must be given in-depth product knowledge. It’s unfair to expect agents to know the ins and outs of hundreds of products, but they should know everything about your top-sellers.
Agents aren’t born with great customer service skills. Your people should have immediate access to informational materials, particularly for products that are less popular. Excellent customer service takes training, and lots of practice. Training should be ongoing. Any time a product is updated, changed or added, training materials should be provided beforehand.
2. Lead Customer Service by Example
The culture within your company’s walls begins with you. If you value your customers and treat each one like a VIP, your customer service support team will do the same. Consider each complaint as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than as an annoyance.
Treat each employee with respect and never badmouth an employee or customer in front of your team. Be a positive motivator within your company.
3. Perfect Great Customer Service Phrases
Encourage service agents to utilize proper phrasing when speaking to customers. “What other questions can I answer for you today?” encourages further conversation. Use the customer’s first name and encourage your agents to go off script. Customers want to feel like individuals. Reading from a script and using formalities can turn your customers away. One of my favorite customer service quotes embodies the importance of communication.
If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.
Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.com
What you say will ultimately be retold by your customer. Treat your customers like long-lost friends each time they call.
4. Scope Out Your Service Competition
Who is your biggest competitor? Find your equal and then vet that company’s customer support. Call with a problem and pay attention to how you are handled. If you’re satisfied with your experience, you can bet that company’s customers are as well. If you aren’t satisfied, rest assured that you aren’t the only one. Take away the good and the bad from your experience and use both to improve your company’s customer support.
Learn from companies with great customer service. Imitate their approach to delivering great customer service, then go above and beyond and do better.
5. Offer More in Service
Good customer service agents solve problems. Exceptional service agents offer more. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean offering products that your customers don’t want to buy or up-selling when customers are making a purchase. It simply means that your agents should be offering extra suggestions and information.
If your agent has a money-saving tip or a new way to use an old product, encourage them to share it with customers when applicable. Follow up with customers who had extraordinary issues to ensure that the problem was resolved. Send an email to each customer that phones your support desk and include a five percent savings coupon. There are dozens of ways that you can offer more.
When your company offers exceptional service to its customers, you will see your profits soar. Not only will you retain old customers, but word-of-mouth advertising will gain you new ones. Follow the tips above to start providing exceptional service immediately.