Why do we put so much emphasis on customer service? Simply put, having happy customers pays off. By generating trust and maintaining a reliable relationship you are allowing for returning business alongside the most powerful marketing tool - personal recommendations, this is the core factor of brand reputation. There are simple and extremely effective ways of managing your customer service across all types of platforms, not only for existing customers but for prospective ones too.
Firstly, having an accessible means of customer service communication is a must. If it is unclear or a timely process to contact your company, then this only sparks frustration from the start, and understandably, we have all been left on hold or been in a loop of ‘contact us’ options that lead nowhere. Putting your contact details clearly across all your marketing channels is fundamental and offering 24-hour support, especially if you are working on a global scale is ideal. Automating common answers with an instant response, such as order status will allow for peace of mind and demonstrates instant recognition from your side.
Efficiency is a big factor in good customer service. Waiting on hold for weeks for an email response is no good. The longer an issue sits the harder it is to bring the customer back, acknowledging the inconvenience of contacting your team will show that you respect your customer’s time. The goal is problem-solving, so having straightforward solutions on hand is crucial. Your service needs to be efficient, whether you have a personal inhouse team on hand or go via a customer service platform the response time needs to be as instant as possible, because simply put - no one likes waiting. Ongoing training for your employees is always a good idea, new issues arise all the time so being on top of common as well as more unusual ones is critical.
When a customer gets in touch with a representative, they must be met with a friendly, positive and empathetic attitude. Taking responsibility and apologising is a big step towards customers feeling heard. Alongside this there needs to be extensive product/ protocol understanding, keeping a consistent message across the board eases customer anxieties, so a step by step guide to resolving an issue makes this a lot more achievable. Are you able to relieve the trouble with a discount/free shipping? It is worth considering having these backup incentives that can ensure a purchase isn’t cancelled, this is an opportunity to turn mistakes or errors into service opportunities.
Anticipating customer needs allows for pre-prepared scenarios, this means that customers can often help themselves. Providing a comprehensive set of FAQ’s onsite will cut down on customer contact, think logically about what questions are most common. For example with COVID-19, shipping timescales have been significantly affected, addressing this in a transparent manner avoids misunderstandings or customer confusion. Makesure you aren’t sugar-coating or over-promising, being honest about situations is always the best practice.
Having return customers is a real asset to your business, it means you are doing something right, but in this day and age, our shopping options are endless. To ensure that your customers feel valued it is essential to go the extra mile with recognition. By using a CRM, you can track your customers’ data which can be used to acknowledge their purchases in an individual manner. This allows for appropriate recommendations or the option for relative discounts such as birthday month etc.
Making a customer feel valued and respected is the difference between a positive and negative experience with your brand. Adjusting responses with information personal to each problem will make a customer feel that their issue hasn’t just been met with a general, often irrelevant resolution. It is 100% worth putting the extra effort into your customer service, taking responsibility and being proactive with meeting your customer’s needs - this is what makes a brand stand out from the usual troublesome process that can be customer service.