Regardless of how great a firm’s products may be, there is no success with poor customer service.
Kind words cost nothing and yet are worth so much. Kind words create opportunities through word of mouth.
If your customers are not coming back, and you are not having referrals, it may be time to think about your customer care services.
Read on to see how you can improve your services;
Let’s get right into it;
1. Practice Communication with Your Clients
Perfecting your skills in one aspect can affect the performance of your entire business. There are no positions that affect a firm than support.
You need to watch the tone of your voice when having a conversation and solving customers issue.
Common mistakes in communication include using jargon words, slang, or passive-aggressive language.
Read the example below and decide which sounds appropriate;
Case 1: Your call is being transferred. You are very important to us.
Case 2: Hello Olivia, I am going to transfer you to our customer service specialist who will give you a detailed answer and solution for your issue.
Easy, the second approach outdoes the first statement. The first one is a platitude that everyone is bored and tired of hearing. The second one gives Olivia a reason as to why her call is being transferred. The wording makes the whole experience different.
If the conversation is face to face, be careful with your body language as clients can read that too.
2. Use Your Client’s Language
Your customers want to have a conversation, not a correspondence. You are not talking to the Queen of England, simplify your English, and be friendly.
Here is a good example of a bad email (names withheld)
We just received your inquiry. We will work on it as soon as we can. For your record, your support number is #798234. Include it in any future correspondence you may send.
To a normal person, this formality is both scary and boring. The fact they are also treated like mere numbers is not pleasant.
A follow up that would have worked best in this case, would have been something like;
Hi (customers name),
We are so happy for ordering with us! This is an automated email to let you know we received your email. We will get you an answer in a few minutes.
It’s your duty as a leader to teach your customer support team on the right way to communicate with clients.
3. Always Use Positive Language
There is no excuse for using negative language. This prevents conflicts from miscommunication.
Even when the changes are small, the effects are quite drastic.
Let’s say one of your products is being delayed by two weeks and you need to convey the information to the client immediately.
See the two different responses;
Negative language: I cannot get the product you want at the moment; it has been delayed by two weeks.
Positive language: The product you need will be available in two weeks. Can I place an order for you? I will ensure you receive it as soon as it arrives.
Redirecting the talk from negative to positive focuses the conversation to the solution. When the center of the focus is the solution, the customer is likely to be less upset.
One trend that has become popular is the “suggest” that suggests the type of content you should share with the audience.
The tool can be helpful, but only when you take time to filter what will favor your audience.
4. Give Your Clients Credence
Not all the time, a customer’s complaint is an indicator of a problem. However, since sometimes it may be a call to action – the best thing to do is give every complaint some credence.
To keep your calm and be consistent all the time, use the CARP method;
Control the situation
Acknowledge the dilemma.
Refocus the conversation.
Problem-solve so the customer leaves happy.
Repetition of a complaint may be an indicator of something that may require your attention. This should not dictate your next step but reveal what requires your attention.
5. Know How to Close Your Conversation
Many companies are only interested in the proficiency of closing a sale and pay zero attention to their ability to close the conversation.Leaving a client with an unresolved issue may bring problems that would have otherwise been avoided. Providing good customer responses to unhappy clients is the only way of winning them back.
Research shows that only 4% of dissatisfied customers ever speak out. Most people will not speak out because the sellers/service providers have not shown them that they really care.
Closing a conversation correctly proves the following important things to a customer;
- You care about serving them right
- You are willing to keep correcting the mistake until you get it right
- It’s in the customer’s position to determine what is “right.”
Always look for “I am here for you and am more than happy to help” and “Is there anything else I can help with today?” opportunities.
Make sure you and your team always know how to differentiate a genuine “Thank you, I am all set” from a fake one.
6. Reduce Response Time While Maintaining High Standards
It is very hard for your team to keep your customers happy when they are being overwhelmed by thousands of messages in the inbox.
What do you do? Keep it simple. Start addressing common questions with scalable templates. Saved replies are crucial to the firm because the employees depend and build on them.
Set guidelines on how to identify common questions that saved replies can apply, and when a new response should be created.
The more replies you add, the more valuable the saved replies folder is.
7. Offer 24/7 Customer Support
The only way to ensure that every client is answered is by offering 24/7 customer service – this is especially vital for companies whose client base is growing.
The best way to do this is by employing different customer service teams with good communication skills, and letting them work in different shifts. If your budget is limited, consider hiring virtual assistants – as it saves you from renting costs.
Enrich your FAQ session and provide a self-portal for your clients. Most clients are observed to visit the FAQ session before they pick a call ticket.
Also, you may consider adding a live chat program for your clients. Live chat holds great potential for improving a firm’s revenue.
According to ,ICMI clients who use live chat are 4.5 times more promising and valuable than the ones who don’t use it.
To make it more effect let your customers to have a personal touch on their portals.
8. Offer Omnichannel Support
How easy is it for your clients to get in touch with you? Most SaaS customers say that the hardest part is contacting a real individual. By the time, most firms are responding, the clients have already found solutions on their own or canceled the service.
Omnichannel support means having customer reps in all channels that customers are using. Nowadays, customers shop using different gadgets, and it would be in your best interest as the enterprise owner to offer help all-around. This encourages customer interaction in all channels.
- For instance, an individual running a chain of retail stores should have a strategy covering;
- Email support
- Phone support
- Live chat support
- Social media support
- In-person interactions with staff
This ensures that customers have a great shopping experience regardless of the channel they use.
Most clients will understand a slower response rate, but that is only when you explain the reason to them. Communicate with your customers, and you will notice a change in their attitude and business performance.You can go the extra mile of purchasing management tools for excellent customer care.
The easier the customer service process, the better.
9. Don’t Be Data-Delusional, Be Data Informed
Most companies rely on “Why do we feel like we are spending too much time on this issue…” when they can solve this issue by simply reporting.
This is an issue that is often overlooked. They give too much focus on the frequency of an issue and forget about the time taken to solve the issue.
This should be your worry before the support metrics. After that, you should press the “Time Tracking” tag and get access to how many emails you received about an issue and how long your team took to respond.
Although all decisions cannot be based on data, it is better than guessing. The right data helps in keeping your teammates in the loop.
The conversation of “Here is a report of what we did this week” becomes easier. As a leader, you get to know how the support did that week. Whether good or bad – it’s a learning opportunity.
Being able to come with a clear view from the point of thousands of emails is enlightening and could help make meaningful decisions, as well as improve your product & services.
10. Give Your Customer Care Employees Power.
The most frustrating part of working in customer care service is that there are bound with multiple company restrictions, which hold them back from helping the clients.
When there are many unresolved issues, the customer service desk has low productivity levels that could lead to losses hence reducing revenues.
If your team can offer solutions that could cost the firm less, why not give them the freedom to act on their own.
Ritz-Carlton is a good example of employee empowerment. Each employee has a right to use $2,000 per guest/per day to ensure a customer’s needs are catered for without asking for permission.
Well, if the figure is very high for your enterprise, you can still empower your team by letting them come up with solutions – especially when they see something they can solve immediately.
This in turn increase customer satisfaction.
To be confident in them offer them customer service training.
11. Offer a Refund Policy that Is Easy to Understand.
Money back guarantee is a great idea as it encourages your customers to shop and increases the trust level.
Clients are likely to try your services and goods since they are risk-free.
However, most firms are only offering a refund program to stand out in the competition.
This is why you should work towards ensuring that you come up with a policy that your average customers are likely to understand.
It’s advisable to leave out the complicated jargon that confuses consumers. Use simple language and bullet points to explain the eligibility requirements clearly. Also, mention the deadlines and options that customers should remember.
You can have your complicated legal jargon on one page and a landing page or FAQ section explaining how your refund policy works.
Keeping your policy lenient and flexible is also a great idea. While a 30-day guarantee sounds great, you can wow them with a 60-90 day guarantee with a “no questions asked” policy.
Anything that exceeds your competitors guarantee policy is a wise move.
This will improve customers’ understanding concerning the policy.
12. Provide a Free Trial Period
In the early business days, business people discovered that a trial period eliminated the doubts of clients on whether or not to go for a product.
Today, the most effective question is what the most effective trial program is.
With a free trial, users are not afraid because they are no risks of losing their money.
Here are a couple of things to know about trials;
- Stop asking your clients to provide credit card information when registering for trials.
- If possible let customers use their social media account for trials
- Avoid any limitations – let customers enjoy all features during a trial to get the real value of a product.
- Avoid coming out as too aggressive and promotional during trials. You can either notify the clients on upgrading before the trial is over or have a “Pricing/Upgrade” tab on the trial page.
A great refund policy combined with a good free trial is an easy way of getting people to try your products and services.
When it comes to eCommerce products since a trial policy can’t work, offer a detailed demo video of the products you are selling.
Ensure you showcase everything on the video – how the product works, the outlook from different angles, how to assemble it, how big it is, and other valuable information about the brand.
13. Experiment with Discounts
Discounts are a great way of encouraging people to buy from you. Research shows that sellers who offer active discounts are eight times more likely to make a sale.
You can reserve a page on your website showing a discount code for first-time buyers as well as a monthly code discount. You can also send your customers emails, letting them know about rebates.
You can also try giveaways. The latter works well if you are offering subscription-based service. For example, clients can win a free month subscription or an opportunity to share one with a friend. Having people share stories about giveaways stories increases the visibility of your brand.
Another form of discount is free shipping – which lowers the overall price of a product. 9 out of 10 customers say that free shipping is the leading incentive that encourages them to continue shopping online.
14. Actively Ask for Feedback from Your Clients
Don’t just wait for customers to give you feedback – be proactive and ask your clients for feedback whenever an opportunity presents itself.
Send them a satisfaction survey about the products and services they received from your company and their satisfaction level.
Social media polls are another way of engaging with your clients. You can request customers to comment on the parts of your brand they love most and comment on areas that need improvement or ask them to click to tweet for engagement.
Also, be sure to carry out surveys before you introduce a new product in the market and gauge the customer’s reactions – this is a win-win situation. Your clients are happy for receiving something that is tailored to their own needs as well as feeling like valued members of the brand.
The voice of the customer in this context represents the dislikes, likes, and desires of a customer that helps a firm not give clients an average product but something they really love. This is by using the feedback as tips to improve their performance.
15. Reply to Positive and Negative Comments
Positive reviews are good for a business, but it doesn’t end here. To get all the benefits, you have to reply to them. Reviews and how you respond to them affect your search engine optimization.
Google itself says that replying to reviews improves your business visibility online and encourages new clients to do business with you.
It is also vital that a business owner or someone on the high end respond to clients once in a while. 78% of clients say that they feel special and cared for when the management responds to them.
Also, don’t avoid negative comments, respond, and thank angry customers for taking their time to comment. You can also apologize for the inconvenience the customer experienced. conflict resolution is key to a good management reputation. This is why employees should be taught on decision making and problem solving.
16. Reward Loyal Customers
Don’t be so caught up with getting new clients that you forget about your top customers.
Loyal clients do not only come back or recommend you to your friends but insist that they do business with you.
It’s estimated that the average American holds 14 membership schemes, but they only use 7 of them regularly explaining the need of loyalty programs.Clients love to be appreciated for their loyalty. Let it be always in your mind.
Customer loyalty will go a long way to improve your sales through customer retention and referrals.
It could be a simple thing as sending a thankyou note for a referral.
You cannot be in business if you have great products and no customers. You have to sell to continue being in business.
This is why customer service is essential for every business. You may think that customer care is something you don’t need to learn while it may be costing you from generating more income.
Take your time to educate your team members on how to talk to clients. Also, provide them with the necessary tools to make their work easier. Customers time is precious and making them wait around to be served is one sure way of losing them.
See that you embrace every review (positive and negative) to build your business.Treat your customers as partners and engage them in decision making.
Remember, it’s the small things that matter.