As the year begins to turn towards the last quarter there’s a renewed sense of energy in terms of driving results and growth before the start of 2020. From supporting team morale to improving the bottom line, customer service is one of those functions that has serious power to shape change. So, how can you make a difference in the year ahead?
- Automation works. In any business a customer services team is often dealing with many of the same complaints on rotation. Implementing automation for the most repetitive tasks can save each individual agent up to 200 hours a year.
- Don’t just rely on your gut. Establish support metrics that matter to your business so you can measure progress and make sure you’re also able to identify the ROI the team is generating.
- See your customers as human beings not numbers. The best customer service is fuelled by an understanding of individual core needs, empathy and even knowing what negative emotions customers can experience.
- Personalisation wins. 40% of those asked in a recent survey what mattered most to them in terms of the companies they do business with identified the human element as key. Personalisation can take many forms, from using first names to ensuring that your customer service team has access to each individual customer’s history with the business.
- Listen to what your customers say. The feedback consumers provide to your customer services team can be invaluable, especially if you’re getting many of the same suggestions or requests.
- Make sure your business’ support culture is as distinctive as its USP. Your business is not the same as even the closest competitor and so you need a truly unique customer services approach. This means looking at factors such as voice and tone, the support culture in the company and the systems you have in place within the business to efficiently provide support.
- Customer services can distinguish your brand. In a market where all your competitors are offering the right products at the right price, customer service can be a key differentiating factor. Key to this is taking a proactive – not reactive – approach. This includes anticipating issues before they arise, providing customers with solutions before they complain, and recognising issues before customers even notice them.
- You’ll never completely eliminate mistakes. However, seeing issues as opportunities can turn any situation around. The key is to approach it proactively, to hear and empathise with the customer, acknowledge and apologise, find a solution and then identify how to avoid the same situation happening again.
- The customer is not always right. Most customers are reasonable and also want a positive outcome but there are a few who complain constantly, abuse your agents and repeatedly make unreasonable demands. Sometimes letting those customers go is actually better for the business.
- Find your best channels. You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing – spend time identifying the channels that work for you (and those your customers are using) and direct your resources there, whether that’s providing customer services via Facebook or via email.
These tips represent some great opportunities to make a difference to the business by improving customer services over the rest of this year.
Our Outstanding Customer Service Skills is an intensive, practical and activity-based programme building the delegate’s knowledge, skills and the will to support customers, ultimately to deliver outstanding customer service.