When a consumer has a negative customer service experience, it can affect a business in many ways. One study found that companies in the United States lose $75 billion per year because of poor customer experiences. Consumer loyalty is fragile, and a single off-putting interaction with a company is enough for a person to switch to another business.
Create Personal Connections
One of the reasons why consumers complain about customer service is the lack of personal connections during their interactions with a company. They may encounter a business that seems cold and uncaring. When they receive an automated response or nothing at all, consumers can feel like they do not matter.
Live chats and messaging can create personal connections with customers that make them feel heard, while improving your revenue. For example, customers are three times more likely to buy something when a business reaches out to them through chat. A customer service representative that uses chat and messages can also help more people faster, so consumers will not have to wait as long.
Real-time support can craft personal connections through live chats and messages. It allows for faster resolutions of problems while lowering the number of support tickets that accumulate. It can also encourage customers to make faster buying decisions because they know they can get support right away.
Train Your Team
Although technology is part of the core of a successful customer service experience, your team members also matter. This is why it is crucial to train customer service representatives before they begin working. In addition to making them aware of what you offer and how to sell it, your team needs to learn other aspects of communication with customers.
First, customer service representatives have to follow proper online etiquette. From onsite training courses to virtual workshops, there are many options that can work for your team as they learn more about etiquette. Manners matter when you are talking to customers, but it takes more than saying please and thank you.
Proper etiquette includes being mentally present when talking to customers and making them feel heard. It is also important to get the customer’s permission before asking them sensitive questions or accessing their account information. Although your team has to take these actions to help them, it is common courtesy to ask permission first.
Another crucial aspect of good manners is keeping your word and making the customer aware of what will happen next. If your team promises to follow up with them, then they should. Make the customers aware of your processes, and they will feel more confident about your company.
Measure Your Customer Service Outcomes
There are multiple ways to measure the success of your customer service outcomes. One of the most popular is to create a personalized survey and send it to customers. It is a good idea to offer some kind of incentive for customers to fill out the survey, such as a discount on a future purchase.
However, surveys should be one part of a bigger strategy to measure your customer service. You want to evaluate metrics that affect business performance and team productivity because they can influence your overall company strategy. First, you need a way to track response times to customer questions and concerns. Second, you should evaluate resolution time, which is how long it takes to fix a problem. Third, you have to measure how many problems are fixed overall.
Measuring these outcomes will show you where the team members need to improve and where they already excel. You can use this information to implement new strategies that will improve your customer service. You can also add extra training programs to help customer service representatives.
Do Not Neglect Social Media
Some companies set up social media accounts and use them to post updates without interacting with customers. Often, customers will turn to social media to ask for help or voice a concern. If your business is ignoring them, this can make your customer service team look bad. It may even lead to angry online tirades from customers who feel hurt.
Social media can boost awareness about your brand, so it is important to manage it properly. The first step is to have a dedicated team member or multiple people for your company’s social media accounts. They should post, monitor and respond to content. The team should have specific guidelines for how to handle customer problems on social media. They should receive manuals and training for how to conduct themselves online while using your company’s tone and voice.
Team members should have training in all the social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others. They should know how to manage the accounts without violating the privacy of customers. Prompt replies with the right tone are the key on social media. Customers want answers quickly, and they will not settle for snarky remarks.
Being Available Online
Today’s rapid pace makes customers believe that businesses should work 24 hours a day. They expect customer service help to be available around the clock. Consumers also believe that they should be able to get help during holidays or natural disasters.
To improve interactions online, your company has to be available all the time. However, this creates a personal touch that is hard to maintain. You may have to try different strategies to find the best one for your business. For example, one option is to hire team members in different time zones that can rotate shifts. Another possibility it to automate some processes and responses, so customers know when support is available.
Customer service interactions carry a lot of weight online. They can lead to a loyal customer who keeps buying from you or an angry one who lashes out at your business. As you develop your customer service strategy, keep in mind that the support you provide to consumers is valuable. You have to emphasize its importance for your team members.