There are long queues on the phone, staff who do not respond to requests from Internet users and prerecorded messages that never end. You understand! We will tell you about one of the essential facets of your business. It’s not about your products or your marketing campaigns. It’s about customer service. A good customer experience is part of your priority strategies, which is the case for more than 88% of companies.
This article explains the elements that will help you provide exceptional customer service. The quality of customer service is not always seen as a priority in a company since it does not directly generate profit or new sales. And yet, the consequences of poor customer service can be disastrous for your e-commerce and prove harmful in terms of all the efforts you have made to improve your strategy and your sales. Indeed, a person who feels badly advised will probably no longer buy on your site. And that’s not all.
Some dissatisfied customers will go so far as to relay their bad experiences on social networks. You will understand: poor customer service can cost you dearly. 95% of customers surveyed reveal their unhappy experiences with their friends, family or even online. Conversely, good customer service can have a very positive impact on a company’s image. Therefore, it is all the most important for companies to analyze the quality of their customer service.
What Do We Mean By Customer Service?
Definition: By customer service, we mean the actions put in place by a company to respond to the questions and requests of its customers. When customers contact customer service, they are usually connected with a natural person, either by phone, chat or video-chat or live in the store.
Warning: each employee represents the brand by giving it a human face. Depending on the behavior and skills of the employee, but also according to the customer’s perception, each interaction can have beneficial consequences for the image of the company. But the opposite is possible and can be harmful to the brand image. Employees play a decisive role in assessing the quality of customer service. We’ll approach this article through the lens of employees who work in customer service and introduce you to the critical elements of exceptional customer service.
Show Empathy To Your Customers
- Exceptional customer service must show esteem to its customers. This implies that customer service employees are courteous and friendly and do not rush the interlocutors on the phone.
- It also means that customer service should listen carefully and not interrupt customers. Avoid canned answers because, like evasive answers, they impact how staff are perceived. Often customers perceive this type of response as impersonal and unauthentic – it makes customers feel like they’re dealing with a robot on the phone.
- The same applies when it comes to acknowledging errors: if it turns out that the company has made a mistake, it is essential that the staff recognize it – and not minimize the customer’s concern by talking of a misunderstanding.” Beware of hasty excuses because the customer will not feel valued but rather taken for a fool.
- How to best solve the problem: You could offer a small compensation in addition to an apology. A free service is often not restrictive for companies but allows the person seeking advice to feel taken seriously.
Bet On The Competence Of Your Customer Service
The competence of customer service employees is closely linked to the first point of the assessment. They must have sound technical knowledge and, if possible, answer all questions from customer requests. Indeed, there is nothing more tiring for seeking advice than receiving incorrect instructions.
What is even more painful is receiving different answers according to the employees of the customer service with whom you have to deal. Customer service must demonstrate proven skills and benefit from constant ongoing training. The customer service trust marks were a valuable guideline for determining the latter’s competence. So, if a company wants to appear more competent, it should strive for a Trustmark that reflects its current competence.
Whether by phone, e-mail or chat: Customer service employees must have good communication skills. This is essential because the problems are often complex. Customer service employees must be able to fully understand the problem formulated by the customer to be able to find the appropriate answers and correctly explain the procedure to be followed.
Good communication, therefore, implies, on the one hand, being able to express oneself understandably, preferably using short sentences. On the other hand, good diction on the phone is essential to facilitate communication with the interlocutor. Written communication should also be error-free – for example, in support chats. The same applies to automated response emails and web page texts, which should be professionally written.
Process Requests Quickly
Good customer service isn’t just about the staff. Other factors also determine how satisfied a customer is with the service. An essential point in this regard: is the time it takes people seeking advice before finding a solution to a problem. Here, many small factors play a role. Thus, customer service should not have a long waiting time – whether on the phone, chat, or email. The time it takes for an employee to consult with a colleague or superior should also be kept minimum.
And of course, the operating speed of employees also plays a role, for example, when entering data into a form. Referring people to other colleagues can also test people’s patience in seeking advice. Not only does a significant amount of time pass, but the client must also expose his situation each time. The same applies to referral to other channels: after entering his data in a support forum, a customer asked to call the telephone hotline quickly feels like he has wasted his time.
Another point concerning the general conditions is reachability. For example, telephone contact lines must be reachable during the day. A hotline whose lines are only open between 10 am, and 2 pm makes contact more difficult for your customers. The same applies to the communication of the different contact channels: customers should express their interest through other media – social networks also play a role in this.
The problem: Many channels, especially the phone line, are not easy to find on websites. Thus, companies often no longer publish a contact email address but refer customers to less expensive chatbots. These are indeed becoming more and more efficient, but they cannot replace personal contact in some cases.
The items listed are probably also what you would expect from customer service. However, several companies still do not focus enough on the quality of their customer service. On the one hand, this is understandable, because some improvements are only possible through continuous and costly staff training. But on the other hand, the risk of a negative impact on your sales due to insufficient quality of your customer service is very present.
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