Service with a Smile: Has Your Team Mastered These 4 Aspects of Great Customer Service?
In a world where a single tweet can see a brand fall overnight and companies must ensure a clean record on every review site, customer service has become more important than ever. It’s not just that consumers can demand more from businesses either: the level of competition, driven by innovation and changing technology, means that consumers deserve better now.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at your customer service. Are you giving customers an experience to remember for all the right reasons? Or do you find yourself and your team firefighting, Monday to Friday? Whichever answer you pick, it pays to know how to really deliver outstanding customer service, and what better way than by dissecting exactly what gives those world class brands the customer service kick that puts them on top.
Although constituting one of five aspects of great customer service, ‘understanding’ actually covers many different areas. For a start, you need to understand your customers and how best to engage with them. This should work in conjunction with your marketing and communication efforts, producing a tone and suitable responses which are both on brand and helpful.
From here, you need to understand your customers’ problems and issues. What may seem straightforward for an internal team, may actually be an area which needs to be clarified or tweaked.
Finally, your team needs to understand every customer’s history with the company. Their communication records, personal details and what relationship they have with other members of the team all needs to be shared amongst individuals for a cohesive customer service approach.
Ask anybody who’s ever worked in retail or in a call centre, and you’ll know that customer service is not always the easiest role. On many occasions, you and your team will have to deal with customers who are feeling emotional – perhaps because something has gone wrong, they’re unhappy with an aspect of your service, or they’re dealing with personal challenges.
Whatever the reason, practising patience with customers will always help the situation move towards a resolution and can protect the business’ brand. Of course, this isn’t to say that your team should put up with abuse from customers, but that should be dealt with in a patient, measured manner for the best result.
As well as communicating in a clear, transparent manner, businesses need to be available to their customers to practice excellent customer service.
Opening up several channels of communication – including email, SMS, calling, web chat and Twitter – and being easily available on them, invites customers to contact you directly to air concerns, ask questions or make complaints. This moves negativity away from the public domain, gives your team a chance to deal with any issues a customer is having, and to effectively build and maintain a great customer relationship.
4. Clear Action & Resolution
Above all else, unhappy customers want to see a clear response and resolution to their complaint. Even if the customer isn’t quite right, a pleasant response to their tweet with the information that will resolve their issue is a must.
Even better is to draw attention to the changes being made because of customer feedback. This demonstrates to customers and the wider world that customers will be listened to and their words used to effect change.
On the other side of the coin, your team need simple and straightforward processes which can allow this to happen, communicating both vertically and horizontally in the business to make change happen.
When you’ve got these 4 aspects mastered, you’ll know that your customer service has reached new heights – and your customers will be all the happier for it too! Employing a tool such as Lunar’s bespoke CRM solution can help to effectively implement and manage great customer service. To find out more, get in touch to request a free demo.