Stellar customer service retains customers and allows you to tap into more value from them. It helps build a loyal following around your business and recoup customer acquisition costs. In fact, recent data show that 93% of customers will buy more if you offer remarkable customer service.
While it may seem that maintaining adequate customer satisfaction is a no-brainer, it’s important to also acknowledge that we live in a reality where blasting a company for bad practices is one of the easiest (and most popular) things for disgruntled customers to do. No one wants to be a brand that’s the center of a ton of negative conversation, be it on social media platforms, forums, or anywhere else.
At Benchmark Email, we pride ourselves on offering constant support for our users and potential users. We offer support for every plan and are readily available should our customers need assistance, have a pressing question, or just want to learn more about one of our products. It’s through these efforts that we’ve learned what works best, so we thought we’d offer a few tips so you can build up your customer support efforts and keep your customers happy.
1. Listen to Your Customer
Your customers want to feel heard, and that calls for you to sharpen your listening skills. When a customer calls in with a concern or complaint, don’t interrupt them. Instead, give them your ear and show them empathy as they narrate their case. When customers feel heard, they tend to calm down and set the stage for you to iron out the issues.
Once a customer finishes explaining, give credence to their complaints. Regardless of how bad the case may look, own up to the mistake and try to get as much information as possible to get to the root of the problem.
Let the customer know where the problem is, as this plays a significant role in ensuring the customer trusts your ability to solve their issue. If you have a ready-made solution, share it with the customer.
But sometimes, issues take some time to be solved. For example, if you need to ship a replacement, outline your action plan to get the product to the customer as quickly as possible. When you say you’re going to ship the product on a specific date, keep your promise and help the customer track it to delivery.
2. Leverage Personalization
When a customer calls or sends a message on live chat with an issue, make it a habit to ask for their name straight off the bat. In addition, add a name field in your ticket creation form so the customer can share their name early in the engagement.
Refer to the customer by their names throughout the conversation. This makes the customer feel special and shows them that you really care about them. It makes them feel they aren’t another number to you and gives them confidence that their case is in safe hands.
3. Keep Response Time Low
Customers call in with all sorts of issues. Whether it’s a technical issue or the customer wants to understand how a certain feature works, speedy response is paramount. 73% of customers claim long wait times to reach an agent is the number one negative customer experience.
To avert the ripple effect that could result from long wait times, do two simple things:
- List the most common customer issues and create saved replies. The more bases you cover, the faster the agents will respond to customer issues, and form a customer success strategy.
- Hire enough support agents. It’s good to start with a small team of support agents, but when your business scales, support issues will most likely increase. If you don’t scale your team with growing demand for support, your agents will be overwhelmed with customer queries, leading to sluggish case resolutions.
4. Provide Self-Service Options
Four out of ten customers prefer self-service options over human contact. These customers run to your FAQ page, community forum, knowledge base, chat, and automated call center to seek quick solutions to the problems they are having.
Make sure your business has the self-service solutions to meet the customer’s desires. These solutions can be a customer self service portal, chatbots, or interactive knowledge bases. Besides satisfying customers, self-service options take the work off your agent’s plate. A customer won’t create a ticket if the solution is readily available on your FAQ page.
This saves time for your agents to concentrate on the more serious customer issues. In addition, it improves live agent efficiency, cuts down on support costs, and boosts the overall customer experience.
5. Make Use of Automation
These days, it is almost impossible to handle all customer queries coming through your support channels without the help of technology. Technology, in particular, supports automation and creates an excellent experience for the customers and agents alike.
Automation has many specific applications in customer support and what works best for you depends on the size of your organization and multiple other factors. Here are examples of automated customer service systems:
For example, you can use email automation technology to read inbound support emails and auto-generate replies. Your agents will then review these replies before sending them to the customer. This saves on response time, leading to a better customer experience.
An automated ticketing system or customer service software also helps you send customer queries to the right department. This way, customer problems are handled by experts who deliver the most comprehensive solutions to the customer’s satisfaction.
Beyond that, you could use an AI chatbot to direct customers to relevant support articles or FAQ pages. In case of a complex customer issue, one that can’t be resolved through FAQs or support articles, pre-configure the chatbot to connect the customer with a human agent.
Do not live in fear of being blasted on social media by an unhappy customer. Focus on these five customer support best practices to ensure your customers feel heard and are satisfied with the level of service you’re providing them.