Efficient customer service is essential to all businesses. Streamlining processes and functions could make or break your relations with your clients.
In businesses across all industries, your customers are your lifeline.
Without customers and their continued support, your business will not be able to flourish and take off. This is why it is imperative that you do not just provide them quality service, but also give them timely service. After all, response rates and resolution times are considered deal breakers in any business.
Should your customer service be slow and inefficient, your business will definitely get affected. These four simple tips can help organizations ensure that they constantly deliver timely, effective customer service that customers need.
1. Enable More Customer Contact Channels
Create more ways for your clients to reach out to you. In this digital era, there should be more ways your client can reach out to you. A phone call would still be one of the primary ways on how your client can reach you. But it is good to introduce other mediums, such as email, web chat, and even social media.
As almost everyone makes use of at least one social media tool (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), it is, therefore, good to have a presence on those mediums. Make sure to educate those who will handle the social media pages about the correct etiquette needed when engaging clients over social media.
Apart from being present in social media, one of the most important ways to serve your customers right away would be to have a website that isn’t only informative, but also user-friendly.
All pertinent information should be available on the website, with regards to your products and services, as well as your policies. But most importantly, the site should be easy to navigate, so your clients would no longer need to contact you to get answers to their queries. This will definitely cut down the number of queries, allowing you ample time to address all issues.
2. Map the Customer Service Interaction Flow
Create better internal policies for smoother flow of operations. Make sure to screen the staff that you’ll assign to handle customer service, such that hey should be able to communicate well with your clients.
Part of orientation would be the creation of seamless policies. A system will not be able to flow properly without a good set of policies. Simulate all the questions and queries your customer service personnel might encounter, and give them the appropriate answer.
Give them some level of authority to decide on particular issues, so they would no longer need to escalate each and every concern and reduce your client’s waiting time.
3. Connect the Right Agent, for the Right Customer
Engage with your clients—in the right manner. To keep your clients happy, it is advisable that you engage with them—in the right manner.
When talking to your customers, just keep it simple. Some customers need agents to just stick to the main point and not deviate from the topic to reach out to more clients within a given period. Other customers may be looking for more from service interactions and welcome little personal touches from agents in the service interactions.
B2B customer service can be drastically different from B2C interactions. A Zappos customer service agent set what could be the world record for the longest customer service phone call: 9 hours! The agent described having a customer who just wanted to talk and get insight and opinion from a number of different topics, ranging from Zappos products, to life events. Zappos’ B2C customer service focus welcomes personal deviations as part of building an unique customer experience. In the end, 9 hours led to a fruitful service experience and significantly helped to solidify a customer’s perception of the Zappos experience.
The same approach with a more traditional enterprise-type of business probably wouldn’t yield the same result. Imagine an IBM mid-level engineer reaching out to customer support for a computer networking device issue. Under pressure and looking for solutions, the engineer probably isn’t looking to shoot the breeze and chit chat. Agents are more likely judged on their ability to quickly diagnose problems and offer effective solutions quickly.
Ultimately, it’s critical for each organization to understand the type of customer they serve and ensure that service agents can quickly assess the type of customer in each interaction and the type of service experience they need.
4. Measure Twice, Cut Once
Study trends and analytics, then make the most effective decision regarding service. To beef up your customer service, it is good to have measurable metrics. You should set a benchmark for the amount of time spent on answering calls and resolving issues. Moreover, you must identify the peak hours so you can add more staff to handle all clients. But ensure that when you survey, measure, or ask customers for insight, that you actually do something about it.
With a measurable metric, you can monitor if your staff answers all clients. With the use of these analytics, you’ll be able to see flaws in the system, hence correct them for a better and smoother flow.
Efficient customer service, either outsourced customer service, is essential to all businesses, as this could make or break your relations with your clients. So, take the time to review your current policies and revamp any outdated systems to adapt to the changing times.