Customer service refers to the support you provide to your customers before, during, and after they purchase and use your product or service. It helps them have a smooth, positive experience with your company. But customer service isn’t just about solving your customers’ problems and closing their tickets. In today’s world, customer service is about providing proactive, immediate support to your customers on any channel they choose. Whether that’s phone calls, emails, texts, chats, or more, customer service is here to help. In fact, customer service has become such an important part of an organization’s business that it’s become a strategic function across industries. In fact, 84% of agents say that their company views their role as a customer advocate and brand ambassador.
Customer service is one of the most important factors in customer retention. When customers are happy, they’re more likely to stick around with you. That’s good for your bottom line because it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to hire new ones. Plus, customer service is a great way to differentiate your brand from competitors who offer similar products/services. Service teams don’t just answer questions, they tailor each experience to the customer’s needs. According to 88% of consumers, the customer experience is just as important as a company’s products/services. On the other hand, poor customer experiences can lead to churn. For example, 80% of shoppers say they’ll leave a retailer after 3 bad experiences. Furthermore, poor customer service is bad for a brand’s reputation. People are very quick to share bad experiences online.
Why is customer service important?
Having great customer service is key to keeping customers coming back. It’s not just about answering questions – it’s about making sure each experience is tailored to the customer. That way, you can make sure your customers are happy and keep them coming back. Plus, it’s a great way to differentiate your brand from the competition. Unfortunately, bad customer service can lead to customer churn – 80% of shoppers will leave a store after three bad experiences. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your customer service is top-notch – not only does it help your bottom line, but it also helps your brand reputation.
The seven pillars of great customer service:-
When customer loyalty is at stake, service leaders must hone the art of excellent customer service. Here are seven best practices that will help you leverage the right tools, empower your people, and meet evolving customer needs.
1. CONNECT CUSTOMER SERVICE TO THE BROADER ORGANIZATION
85% of customers expect consistent communication across departments. No matter if the customer is on a self-service channel or conversing with a sales rep, customers want continuity. They don’t want to be redirected to another team or have to rehash information. Connecting service to your CRM will give you a 360-degree view of how a customer interacts with your business. When a customer calls, the agent will have all the relevant information on a single screen—demographics, order history, customer preferences, and more—so they know how to respond. They’ll also know who to call from another department if needed.
2. OFFER SUPPORT ON EVERY CHANNEL
In today’s world, excellent customer service is available through email, social media channels, text, and the phone. Regardless of the channel, customers expect quick, convenient, and top-notch support. Here are the channels that every service leader should consider when scaling support: Voice: According to 81% of service pros, the phone is still the preferred channel for complex problems. However, phone support is no longer the same as it was in the past. Nowadays, voice is just as much of a digital channel as emails or webchat. Connect cloud telephony to your CRM and call information will appear on the agent’s screen immediately. AI will then transcribe the conversation in real time, allowing agents to stay focused on the client. Mobile: The majority of service organizations (70%) use messaging apps and mobile apps for customer service. These mobile options offer asynchronous communication, allowing customers and agents to keep the conversation going for an extended period of time. Social media: 77% of service organizations utilize social media channels, allowing marketing and customer service teams to have one view of the customer at the same time.
Email: It’s the second most popular service channel, behind phone support. Email is popular because it’s easy to use, shows a record of your correspondence, and allows you to add attachments like a receipt. Self-Service Channels: Your Help Center, Customer Portal, and Customer Community are your first lines of defense. Self-service channels allow you to quickly respond to common customer questions, like how to recover your online account. Most customers prefer to self-serve for simple tasks. Chatbots The use of chatbots is increasing among decision-makers, with 70% of organizations now using them. Chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) to quickly answer routine questions and share relevant content based on your request. If your case is more complex, your chatbot will direct you to an agent for additional support.
Some situations require in-person contact, but not all do. For example, you may need to reboot a device or replace a component yourself. This is one of the reasons why 66 percent of service organizations say they use video support. Visual remote assistance allows customers to connect with a representative or technician via video. The representative or technician will guide the customer through the process to resolve the issue.
3. STRIKE THE PERFECT BALANCE BETWEEN QUALITY AND SPEED
Omni-channel routing coordinates cases to the appropriate agent and provides managers with a 360-degree view of the contact center’s activity. This allows agents to prioritize cases based on agents’ skills and availability. Automation Automation helps agents meet their speed-to-value expectations. Automated workflows lead agents through the process of completing an action. These workflows can be repurposed on your own-service channels so customers can complete a process themselves. For instance, a customer can walk a self-service agent through the process of initiating a return.
4. TRAIN AGENTS ON SOFT AND HARD SKILLS
Today’s agents need to listen, empathize, demonstrate product knowledge, provide a personalized experience for every customer, and solve cases quickly. That’s why the vast majority of decision makers (81%) say they are investing heavily in training their agents. Continuous training is essential for agents in more complex positions. Focus on developing both hard skills and soft skills, such as interpersonal skills. Teach agents the fundamentals of communication, such as listening, good communication, persuasion, empathy, and how to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Keep all employees up to date on new releases and updates. Encourage agents to learn about company processes, products and services. Encourage them to shadow and work with experts to enhance their product knowledge Provide technical expertise: Make your technology intuitive for agents to use. Train agents on the most up-to-date features and functions of your technology. Ask agents for feedback so you can improve every employee’s experience.
5. ACT AS ONE TEAM
Even though agents often work with customers on a case-by-case basis, they still need professional support and a sense of community. It’s important to keep communication and collaboration open. This is especially true with a remote workforce, and daily standups are a great way to stay connected and unified. Case swarming is a great way to encourage collaboration on complex cases. It brings agents and experienced professionals together to tackle complex cases. Teams record the steps they take to solve the case the next time it arises. Young employees and new hires learn new skills they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn otherwise.
6. TURN CUSTOMER SERVICE INTO A REVENUE DRIVER
Once the agent has solved the problem, they can move on and upsell or cross-sell. AI can help with this by looking at the customer’s past orders and how likely they are to buy, so it can suggest products or services that might be right for them. Customer service isn’t just about adding extra revenue, it’s also about helping your business grow. Agents get feedback and insights from customers every day, so why not invite your service team to share that feedback at company meetings? These insights can lead to great product ideas or improvements.
7. CHANGE UP HOW YOU MEASURE SUCCESS
While handle time is important, it’s not the only metric. It’s important to analyze a variety of metrics to get a better understanding of the customer and their overall relationship with your company. Based on five of today’s most important service metrics, here are some best practices you should keep in mind: Customer Satisfaction: CSAT is still the top priority for service teams. Send out quick surveys to see how satisfied customers are after their interaction with your team. Revenue: Take a look at your contact center analytics and see if quality customer service leads to more transactions or more sales per customer. Customer Retention: Pay close attention to what happens post-disconnection. Did a bad customer service experience lead to churn? Customer Effort: Are you placing too much burden on the customer? Figure out how to reduce their effort. For instance, you could create an easy to find knowledge base article optimized for search to help customers solve an issue quickly.
SLA Performance: Most organizations have service level agreements (SLA) for their contact centers, which include things like the most time customers should be on hold, etc. Compare your SLA performance against your actual performance based on your contact center analytics to see what improvements you can make to meet your SLAs.
The meaning of great customer service today:-
While the term “customer service” has evolved over time, the core idea remains the same: it’s the secret to customer loyalty. Your team understands the customer like no other department has. They have the ability to make the customer feel special and understand while meeting the expectations of the customer. This is a win-win for your team and the company as a whole.