The customer is always right, you say? Nonsense. Let’s be honest, there are so many customers who are just driving us nuts! But no matter how challenging they do our work, we still care about them and aim to provide great customer service.
So what makes this excellent customer service and why do you need it in the first place?
According to Genesys, the main reason for improving the service is a high level of customer retention. This is what earns your clients’ loyalty and makes them return after they made their first purchase. Other factors include the willingness to boost customer satisfaction and sales performance.
In fact, excellent customer service may influence your business’s revenue and reputation. The increase in customer retention only by 5% may result in a quarter rise (Source: Lireo Designs) in your profit. You make customers happy – they stay and recommend your service to others. Easy, right? Well, not taking into account the first step of making them happy. But we’ll deal with this one as well!
How to provide excellent customer service
There is so much advice out there on the web that it is literally an embarrassment of riches. But most of those recommendations are quite vague, like “be nice” or “educate staff”. That’s why we decided to compile our own guidance based on facts and numbers. Here it comes.
1. Know your product/service
46% of all consumers will abandon a brand if the employees are not knowledgeable (Source: PwC). And this is almost a half! Just imagine: one day a half of your customers may abandon you in favor of your competitors. It doesn’t sound fun, right?
In order to prevent any negative consequences, spend some time organizing training or coaching for your employees. Make them learn everything about the product, and they will not fall flat on their face in front of the customer. And by the way, this will help you improve the quality and the speed of CSRs answers, which will also come in handy (see chapter 4).
Another thing to do is create a knowledge base for the employees with the main concepts, ideas, and FAQ. Such a guide will not only help them learn all the necessary data but assist in responding to clients as well.
Moreover, you can additionally motivate your staff to know the product like the back of their hand. Organize a contest and offer some benefits as a reward (let’s say a bonus or extra days off). This way you will encourage your team to work harder and strengthen their fighting spirit.
2. Know your customers
Here, we can mention two elements to consider: the marketing aspect and providing excellent customer service.
As for marketing, it’s all clear. You have to know your clients well to target the right audience, conduct re-marketing campaigns, and improve customer retention. But why is it so important for customer experience?
The thing is, in most of the cases, clients have to deal with multiple customer support representatives. Unfortunately, not all of them know the customer’s history well and can provide instant help. It’s been proved that 89% of clients get frustrated and consider changing the service if they need to repeat their issues to several CSRs (Source: Accenture).
One of the things that may help (and probably the only one) is a suitable CRM system. This software will store all client data, including information about interactions. This way any of the CSRs will be able to check on data and deliver high-quality customer service.
3. Remain human
Our human nature is a great advantage, which you should never underestimate when it comes to customer service.
No matter how fast the technologies advance, human interaction will remain the most valuable feature of customer satisfaction. On average, 75% of customers would still prefer to communicate with a person rather than a chatbot (Source: PWC).
Moreover, about 64% of Americans feel that businesses have totally forgotten about the importance of real human touch (Source: PWC). They claim that customer support representatives have lost all the “human” features, like sympathy or compassion.
To make it up to your clients, consider using automated services, such as chatbots, only as a last resort. Remind your employees that they are people in the first place; thus, they should never remain indifferent to customers’ feelings and issues.
4. Solve problems fast
29% of consumers consider speed as a critical aspect of customer service interaction (Source: Genesys). They mention quick problem resolution first when they describe excellent customer service.
Moreover, a lot of clients are even ready to pay for faster service. For instance, 40% of respondents in PwC’s survey claim that they would pay extra for same-day delivery.
Customers are not willing to wait long even for a CSR to answer their phone call. In this case, an example of excellent customer service would be answering the phone during the first 1-3 minutes (Source: Genesys). Therefore, it is a great idea to set up a virtual call center, where CSRs can be geographically dispersed and can span different time zones, so if your company operates globally, there is always someone available to answer the phone.
All these facts lead us to a simple conclusion: customers expect an immediate reaction and solution of their issues. How can you provide it? Again, with the help of a proper CRM system. This way you’ll be able to minimize the time your CSRs get into the problem and resolve it.
5. Build trust and credibility
To create a personalized customer experience, you need to have more information about your clients. This includes some personal data (location, age, preferences, etc.), which clients are usually not willing to share. Yet, if you create an atmosphere of trust and build your credibility in the eyes of your consumers, it’ll become possible.
The reason is 88% of U.S. consumers say that their level of trust to a specific company determines if they agree to share personal information (Source: PWC).
Besides, if you manage to build the credibility of your brand, customers will be more eager to recommend and endorse your product/service. It is a fact that 72% of customers usually share their positive experience with other 6 or more people. Then build this trust, and you’ll get a higher customer retention rate and much more new clients!
Overall, providing higher levels of customer experience is one of the goals of a CRM strategy, that we described in this article.
Bad experience is driving clients away. And fast. When it comes to making purchase decisions, over 70% of US consumers pay attention to customer experience (Source: PWC). And even more – in other countries worldwide.
The importance of excellent customer service can’t be overestimated. That’s why you have to spare no effort to improve your clients’ experience with your brand. Hopefully, our guide will help you do that fast and efficiently.
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