Strong customer relationships help an organization lay its foundation.
However, building the initial connect and finally converting “just” visitors into loyal customers is a challenging journey that many established brands have witnessed over time. If you study the success of some of the world’s leading companies you will find one thing in common – their customer strategy helped them sail through the rough seas.
Customer support teams are the face of a company and they ensure that customers’ needs are being heard and fulfilled on time, thereby nurturing a strong customer relationship. Any mismanagement by the customer support team can turn the most loyal of the customer against it. Thus, it is imperative that the company has a strong customer support team to retain its loyal customers.
This article will serve as a guide for what needs to be done for creating a strong customer support team and providing good customer service.
The Art & Science of Delighting Customers
To build a delightful customer service experience is still a concept for many companies that is yet to be attended and amended. Just like any other company processes, customer services also need to be improvised consistently with time. Assessing how you interact with the customer, what information is being asked, how quickly an appropriate response is being provided, and how the response is being analyzed are critical to understanding how serious the company is when it comes to ensuring customer satisfaction.
You are not alone to question how, what, and why of the art and science of delighting customers. To assess your customer service strategy you must first understand three crucial things:
- How to drive customer advocacy to foster growth in your company?
- What ninja tactics do successful companies apply to provide utmost customer satisfaction?
- Why companies with great customer service succeed?
With the advent of technology and automation, companies are relying on tools such as live chat support systems, automated tele-calling, online ticketing systems, and support software. While automation has made our lives easier, the art of delighting customers is all about providing a personalized touch.
In any industry, customers prefer human interaction over chatbots.
Personalized interaction can only be made possible by training your support teams with your vision of delivering excellence to the customer. On the other hand, the science of customer service is observing, understanding, and analyzing all customer interactions. Companies have come to realize that there is a delivery gap between what the customer expects and what is actually being delivered.
Answering the above questions can help you in formulating a smart customer service strategy. Read on as we delve in detail on the aforementioned questions one by one.
Drive Customer Advocacy to Foster Growth
Customer advocacy can foster growth only if your support team has the right skillsets for understanding customers’ pain points and taking appropriate actions. Here’s what you need to know:
Types of Customers:
Just like two people cannot be the same, their behavior can also never be the same. Support teams need to be prepared to interact with all types of customers – fuming, chatty, and anxious. A single method cannot be applied when dealing with different types of customers.
As the customers focus on their problems, your team must know how to deal with these different sets of customers. A frustrated customer needs to be dealt with caution and an anxious customer needs empathy to ensure excellent customer satisfaction every single time.
Train your team to sense the customer’s mood and adapt to the situation with optimism. When encountering an irate customer use authentically positive language. Sometimes employees are afraid of dealing with angry customers and in haste, they end-up misinforming the customer or providing incomplete information to the customer.
Staying cheerful in a stressful situation and listening to the customers’ problems calmly can relieve half the stress from the customer’s tone. Thereafter you can ensure that the information is communicated clearly so that the customer doesn’t misunderstand it or feel ignored.
Shorten Response Time:
Response time includes the entire customer interaction timeline right from how quickly a customer can reach the support team to how soon their problem gets resolved. While there are many common problems that can be resolved promptly even over live chat support. You can also update your website and social media pages to offer solutions to commonly faced problems.
So, before the customer can reach out to your teams they can go through the FAQ section to resolve their problems first-hand. Your team may also encounter some rare yet critical issues that cannot be readily resolved. In such cases, your team needs to be trained such that they can honestly reply something like “I don’t know. But let me consult my manager to help you with it.” Faster turn-around time can ensure that your customers are satisfied with your company.
Tactics to Apply & Provide Utmost Customer Satisfaction
The math is simple, motivate your support teams and keep them happy so they can project the same to the customer! Read on to understand how customer support teams can conquer their fears and gain exposure.
Technology Drives Efficiency:
Your support team can only work efficiently if they have the power of technology at their disposal. Inadequate resources can demotivate the best of us. There are a number of free tools available nowadays that you can integrate into your company. You can transform your support teams into change enablers by providing them access to modern tools such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) and live chat support software, etc.
On-Going Training is The Key:
While technology alone can’t solve all problems, on-going training can surely help strengthen your team. You must ensure that your customer support team has the right set of skills. They need to be active listeners and make the customer feel empathized. The best way to collect feedback about your team is to directly reach out to your customers. You can conduct a feedback survey or interview your customers to understand where your support team is lacking.
Availability and Accessibility Factors:
Offering personalized customer support means making sure that customers can reach you as per their comfort and convenience. Even if your customers are located worldwide and can reach out at odd times they will prefer your company if their problems can be solved with real-time support. This can only be made possible by ensuring that your support team is available 24×7 and easily accessible with the convenience of a phone call, email or live chat support.
Employ Best HR Practices:
Even if your team is skilled and readily available, if your employees are dissatisfied with their workplace then it might be vented on to your customers out of frustration. Employee dedication can be improved by encouraging the best HR practices in the workplace. A combination of Herzberg’s motivation factors and proper delegation of work can ensure that your employees are not burning the midnight oil unless needed. Create an environment in your company that promotes self-development and up-skilling. Appreciation and appraisals are two words that bring a spark in the eyes of employees irrespective of their designation. Don’t forget to reward hard work. This will boost healthy competition within the employees.
Follow-Ups are Essential:
Even after a customer’s problem has been resolved, it is important to follow-up timely. By traveling that extra mile you can ensure that the customer’s problem stays fixed and he/she is satisfied with the prompt response. You can also conduct a feedback survey to let the customer know that their appreciation is being rewarded and their plight is not going unheard in the company.
Carve a Niche:
The last and most important point to keep in mind is to carve a niche for your customer service team. Focus on what keeps your company ahead of your competition and deliver those differentials through your team. Your support teams will work confidently once they are well aware of the company’s expertise and offerings. Your customers will also prefer your company if you cater to a niche segment.
Why Companies With Great Customer Service Succeed?
Social media has further bridged the gap between customers and companies. The millennials prefer to share their satisfaction/dissatisfaction through a simple tweet. This trend is here to stay.
Excellent customer service can help you scale up the pinnacle of customer loyalty on all fronts. So, companies with great customer service create an overall positive online and offline presence. This influences not only their loyal customers but also results in word-of-mouth publicity by those loyal customers both online and offline. In such a scenario efficient customer service works like marketing for the company.
In a Nutshell
The art and science of delighting customers is a no-brainer. A couple of ninja tactics can transform your customer support teams towards the pinnacle of success.
Empower your support teams to take innovative initiatives. Reward them for their efforts. Ensure your teams are readily available and easily accessible for your customers. Collect actionable feedback directly from the customers to further improve your support team. Review your customer support strategy frequently especially with economic and market changes.
These tips will help your support teams to face their customers with enthusiasm ultimately improving brand awareness and sales figures.
Jared Cornell is a customer-support specialist, a marketing evangelist and a book lover, associated with ProProfs Chat. Jared is passionate about customer support and loves to solve customers’ queries. He is always keen to develop new strategies to help customers seeking live chat assistance for a delightful experience.
Image Credit: Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.com