C ustomer service is much more than just answering calls and emails - it includes the whole customer experience, be it landing on your webpage, meeting at a tradeshow or responding to social media comments. Forrester Research states that 77% of people say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.
Take a leaf from top customer-centric businesses like Amazon and John Lewis, plus innovative customer oriented newcomers Uber and Slack - these companies have made waves and been frequently rated highly for their fantastic support, exceeding customer expectations while providing a relatively simple service. Below, we share our top 6 customer success secrets…
1. Put your customers needs first.
While this success secret might seem like the most obvious one, it really is the most important. Forget the ‘one size fits all’ approach and make sure that when a customer reaches out to you, you’re listening to what they’re saying and tailor each interaction to them.
You might be able to help a customer with their query in a flash, but make sure you’re taking away more information than the problem at hand. Look out for other ways you can help them in the long run, too, for example if they need something explaining in more detail or if a follow up call or email might do them good.
2. Make it easy for your customers to reach you.
Email, online messages, social media, telephone… first you’ll need lines of communication that make it simple for your customers to get through to you. Take the time to analyse when customers contact you and choose an option you know will work for your whole team and your customers. Don’t attempt to do everything if you’re a small team, but do ensure methods of contacting you are clear.
You may not always have someone to cover the phones, emails or online messages 24/7, especially if you serve different timezones. Just be honest with your customers and let them know someone will respond to their message as soon as they can, keeping those lines of communication open.
3. Problems will arise - have a backup plan.
Sometimes, a bad situation is simply out of your hands. However tackling a problem with efficiency and honesty is a surefire way to keep a customer satisfied with your service. Consider different channels of communication between your team, including regular team meetings or instant messaging apps, such as Slack to ensure your customer facing team know how to tackle different situations and that any information they need is easy to get to.
Whether there’s just a couple of you or you’re a team of 50, try a few things and see what works best. Having the whole team on hand and making sure everyone is in the know at all times ensures customers aren’t getting caught up in any confusion behind the scenes.
4. Talk to your customers like they talk to you.
Thanks to the internet, a witty, upbeat response from someone at support is enough to go viral. Why is this? As humans, we’re naturally social and love it when we feel as though someone real is going out of their way to help us. A Verint study from 2016 shows that 80% of customers prefer that human customer service interactions remain a part of customer service. That stat just goes to show it’s more important than ever to keep the human element alive.
Start with a ‘how are you?’. Opening the conversation in a friendly, open way reminds them that you’re a real person on the other side and that their query is reaching someone that’s listening. When getting down to the formalities, make sure your focus is always on the positives. Change a negative phrase such as ‘we can’t get that order to you this week’ to ‘we can get the order to you the week after next’ and it will change the whole tone of the conversation.
5. Track how your customers feel about you.
Any feedback from your customers is vital to growing and improving your business. Whether it’s good or bad, you need to make sure you’re there to see it! Create a habit of tracking your mentions and tags online and following the conversations your customers are having. There’s nothing more rewarding than spotting a customer thanking you on social media.
If your business has been reviewed online, make sure you’re always responding to your reviews to say thank you and you’re taking note of the feedback you’re getting and responding appropriately. Thanks to social media and the power of Google, anyone can review just about anything - so make sure you know where your company can be found and set up notifications for new reviews. A good tool you can use for this is Reputology.
6. Celebrate each customer success.
When your focus is on your customers, it’s easy to bring this little bit of joy into your every day. Celebrate each success of your customers - even if that’s checking in on them after a problem has been resolved or responding to their review on social media. Keep your team up to date with any challenges you’ve overcome together.
Make an effort to be invested in your customers and treat them like you would your friend. Drop them a line when it’s appropriate. Keep your team updated with their feedback, so everyone knows how your customers are feeling. This works two ways: it means that if you’re not doing something right the whole team can be aware and can work to resolve it. It also means that if a customer loved your service, everyone can feel fabulous! Plus you can think about how you’ve treated the customer and ensure you keep doing just that.
Like what you hear?
We’re really proud that in three years, Current RMS has just shy of 1,300 businesses on board across the globe. We put this down to our enthusiasm for our software and the awesome support our Customer Champions and Product Specialists offer. Whether they’re picking up the phone, demoing the product or answering your queries while you’re out on a job, we aim to be easy to reach at all times, whenever is most convenient for you. You can also read our testimonials from our lovely customers here.
Want to do some further reading?
Take a read at some of these articles for even more tips on how to keep your customers happy: