It’s no secret that customer service sectors of companies often drop the ball when it comes to properly dealing with an inquiry or problem voiced by the consumer.
While there are of course exceptions, plenty of exceptions to be exact, the reverse side of the coin is also present, and more often than not it’s landing on this side. In a recent study put out by the Forester Customer Support Experience Index, only 37% of businesses, brands and companies received a great to excellent score. What of the rest? The remaining businesses received a less than desirable, “OK” to “very poor” rating, making the desired score the exception.
The study went on to say that this poor customer service lost companies more than 83 billion dollars in losses both from consumer defectors and loss in revenue due to abandoned purchases.
3 Keys to taking your customer service experience to the next level
So how do you avoid being a statistic and give your clients and consumers some of the best customer service around? Consider some of the pointers below.
Ditch the Script
While there is a benefit to having your customer support team responding to like issues with the same solution, having a specific script that must be adhered to at all times should never be the case. Sure those first handful of interactions may come across genuine, but I guarantee you that after the 200th the customer service rep who has said the same scripted dialogue since their time at your company is going to come off more like a robot then a real person.
Instead open up the floor and allow your staff to throw in their own personal flairs, anecdotes and greetings. Customers and consumers want to be treated as unique individuals not as one of the masses.
Encourage your support team to move out of the gamut of business and more into a personal, casual conversation. I don’t remember a lot of my customer support experiences. For one, I often call support at one of the worst times in my use of the company’s products and two, most of the interactions are the same across the board. You answer a few security questions, you may or may not be transferred a few times and a span of time later, you are wished a great day. However, I can recall a few times when the exceptions occurred. I get my car insurance through Geico and I’ll be darned if not every time I call I feel like I’m actually talking to someone who cares. I recall one time I was on the phone the customer service specialist and I began to talk about a recent trip I took overseas. How this came up I can’t be certain, but look what happened, four years later I remembered and I’m writing about it, so they must have done something right.
Sure, these moment might cost your company a few extra bucks in the long run as talk times will go up when specialist put in a little more effort to each call, but creating brand loyalty with a consumer through a great customer support experience simply cannot be monetized.
Embrace Social Sharing
There is no denying that social sharing is the future of customer support. As we continue to hurdle into a future that fully digitized and automated, consumers will become more proficient with things like Twitter and Facebook, driving up the need for real time answer to real time problems.
The solution? Embrace it now. Amp up your presence on social media. Let your consumers know that you are there and you are listening. Engage these users one on one, get personal. These little touches do wonders for improving your social standings with your consumer demographic.
The same Forester study that was quoted at the beginning of the piece also stated that customers who are engaged via social media spend on average 20 to 40% more than the customer who is not. So what are you waiting for? Get Tweeting! Go update that status!
Rewards and Incentives
Employees thrive in environments where they see that the work they do is not only recognized but rewarded. Sure, you can come from the antiquated camp that a pay check every two weeks or so is reward enough but research shows that when properly motivated, employees are not only more efficient workers, but happier. Happier employees equals happier clients.
In 2012, only 47% of companies rewarded their customer support specialists for great work. Pump up that percentage. Rewards don’t need to be huge, a small incentive can go a long way.
Don’t Delay, Act Now!
Quickly responding to a customer support ticket is an essential part of giving the highest quality of customer care. When customer support becomes partly automated through web-forms and emails, they can be easier to neglect. Don’t drop the ball. Just because these emails don’t have a voice attached to them doesn’t make them all the less important. When your customer support team fails to act in a timely manner, you risk fallout on a number of fronts. From losses in revenue to bad recognition on social media, always aim to give the highest form of care possible. Speed and all.
2013 is still ticking away and with it, the studies and scores for how industries across the US handle their customer support it also being tallied. Boost your customer support department with some of these tips or perhaps see where you are lacking and make your own changes.
Have any other great tips? I would love to hear from you. Leave your comments below or email me directly at email@example.com.