From a Fortune 500 company to a day-old startup, almost every business is searching for the best customer service tips. But what can be the possible reason?
It needs no mention that buyers love excellent customer service.
Think about it, haven’t you returned to a company that treated you well and gave importance to your problems? When you provide such satisfying experiences to your customers, they keep you in mind and share their positive experiences with others.
No matter how amazing your product is or how brilliant your sales and marketing strategies are, without excellent customer service, your business might flounder. Modern customers want to invest in companies that understand their pain points and are available when they need them.
How Important is it to Deliver Excellent Customer Service?
If you are looking to grow your business and profit more, your customer service department is a good place to start. By Incorporating the right customer service tips, you can improve your support operations and enjoy the following benefits:
- Retain Your Valuable Customers: When customers have a delightful experience with your brand, they’re more likely to return, and with a loyal customer base, your business can grow to its full potential. 52% of customers say they have made an additional purchase from a brand after a single positive customer service experience.
- Address Customer Issues Proactively: Proactive customer service is all about reaching out to customers and helping them even before they realize a problem exists. For instance, you can share proactive notifications to update customers about planned outages or downtimes.
- Attract Prospects: What do brands like Apple, Amazon, and Disney have in common? They are known for excellent customer service. When your brand offers impeccable support, prospective customers are automatically attracted to your brand as they can trust you with their time and money.
- Gain a Competitive Advantage: Great customer service sets you apart from the hundreds of competitors present in the market. By offering best-in-class customer service, you can create a name for yourself, grab the attention of your target audience, and compete on something other than just “price”.
30 Customer Service Tips that Work
1. Support Customers on Multiple Channels
One of the best customer service tips to give your customers more options to connect with you. Besides traditional channels like phone and email, there are digital channels like social media and live chat that can be used to communicate with customers.
Multi-channel support helps in offering delightful experiences to your customers. Find out the channels customers prefer to connect with you and use those channels effectively to increase engagement and provide quality support.
2. Bring All Channels to One Platform
When you add more channels, your challenges also increase. Managing multiple channels using different platforms can get cumbersome. The best solution is to bring all the channels onto one platform.
Help desk software acts as a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for all your incoming customer communications. So no matter if a customer sends an email or raises a ticket through your help center page, you will be able to manage all conversations under a single roof.
The right help desk tool makes multi-channel communication seamless and helps in offering the best customer experience to the buyers.
This short video will give you a peek into how help desk can boost your customer service efforts.
Read More: 20 Best Help Desk Software of 2021
3. Resolve Customer Queries in Real-Time
When we talk about customer service points to remember, assisting customers in real-time always tops the list. By interacting with your customers instantaneously, you can gain your customers’ trust and loyalty. Always be available for solving any queries of the clients regardless of the time.
Around 38% of leading CX experts are currently using live chat to deliver instant support, while 26% are planning to use one.
Add live chat support to your website so that whenever your buyers face any trouble, they can instantly chat and get the issues resolved. But what happens when your team is not available to take chats?
For effective customer service, you can deploy chatbots that are powerful enough to interact with customers and assist them with their common problems.
Want to know how chatbots work? Watch this video to find out.
4. Record and Reflect
Most customers prefer to call the company to get their issues resolved. Recording customer calls for future reference or training is one of the top tips for effective customer service.
Listen to the recorded calls and see if you are addressing the client’s issues the right way. Find out the areas of improvement and work on them to strengthen your customer service.
Sometimes you miss vital information while speaking to the customer. That information can be retrieved through these recorded calls. Call recordings can also be used to train existing or future customer service representatives.
Note: Notify your customers in advance that their call might be recorded for quality or training purposes.
5. Streamline Internal Processes
In today’s fast-paced world, customers want quick replies to their queries. However, poor internal processes and communication practices can lead to time wastage and spoil the customer experience.
Sadly, internal confusion can often lead to delays. While one customer service agent might not have the necessary information, the other thinks that someone else has replied to the customer’s query in their absence.
This problem can be resolved with a shared inbox, where every communication is systematically streamlined. Multiple agents can access multiple inboxes, see who is working on what to avoid duplicate replies, and collaborate using private notes.
6. Keep Customers Interested Through Engagement
Businesses that focus on customer engagement are constantly creating value for their customers. In simpler terms, the focus is not on simply making the customer buy from you but to establish a relationship where customers benefit through consistent engagement.
Here are some tips to keep your customers engaged and interested in your business:
- Add Interactive Content: By adding interactive content on your website such as virtual tour videos, your business can stand out in the shopper’s mind and deliver memorable experiences.
- Share Personalized Newsletters: Newsletters allow businesses to promote their existing products, market new products, and attract potential buyers. To engage your customers, you must share newsletters that are personalized to match customer likes and interests.
- Support a Social Cause: According to a study by Google, 46% of customers shop with businesses that align with their values. Modern customers are looking to shop with a purpose and want to put their money into a business that campaigns for a good cause.
7. Use the Medium of Text Message
Did you know that around 48.7 million consumers opted to receive business SMS messaging in 2020?
Text messages are a powerful medium to reach and serve customers. They aid in connecting with the customer on a more personal level. There are more chances that a customer will read a text if it carries relevance.
You can provide the same kind of experience on text messages, as you offer on a live chat. You can send bulk messages and reach out to multiple people within seconds. Text messages can also be used to notify customers about downtime, events, product launches, and other updates.
8. Create a Survey to Gather Feedback
Your list of tips for good customer service is incomplete without customer feedback. To provide excellent customer service, it is necessary to know what customers like or dislike. Regular feedback will help you capture valuable customer opinions and help you identify improvement areas.
Make it a point to share relevant surveys with customers minutes after their interaction with your agents. Real-time surveys will empower customers to rate the quality of service and the effectiveness of your agents.
Moreover, if you want to measure customers’ loyalty towards your brand, you can share NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys from time to time.
Learn more about NPS surveys in this video.
9. Make it Easier for Customers to Connect With You
The mere thought of reaching your business for support should not scare your customers. Make it easier for customers to connect with you irrespective of the channel they choose.
Share relevant details on the “Contact Us” page of your website. Make sure you mention your office address, store locations, contact numbers, email, and also links to your social media pages.
Customers located in different countries don’t prefer calling due to high call rates. Get a toll-free number for a specific country, and make it easy for your customers to connect with you.
10. Know Your Customers Inside Out
Most top-performing businesses have a customer-first mentality ingrained into their business culture. But can you really become a customer-focused brand if you don’t even know who your customers are?
Understanding the needs and desires of your customers is one of the best tips for outstanding customer service that you can practice. Go on a relentless pursuit to understand your target audience and ask yourself the following questions-
- What is the average age group of our customers?
- What are the common likes and interests of our customers?
- What customer service channels do they prefer?
- Which product features are a big hit among our target audience?
- Do they prefer buying from us online or do they prefer offline shopping?
Having in-depth clarity on what makes your customers choose you over your competitors and what they love the most about your products will help you serve them better.
11. Avoid Using Negative Phrases
When customers reach out to your business to register a complaint or seek assistance, they are already frustrated. Guess what will add to their frustration? The use of negative phrases.
Negative phrases such as “We can’t”, “That’s not possible!”, or “I don’t have a solution for this” will make the customer lose confidence in your business and question the quality of your service.
Replace negative words with positive and hopeful words. For instance, if a customer makes an unreasonable demand, you can say- “Hey! John, We understand that everybody would like to get a 50% discount coupon. Who wouldn’t love that? I really wish I could do that for you, however, my hands are tied here. Would you like to get a 15% discount on your next order?”
Yes, being positive and hopeful will take more time and patience than simply saying a ‘No’. But using positive responses is one of the easiest customer service tips and tricks that you can master to win customers.
12. Talk Like a Human
This current decade may belong to Artificial Intelligence or Chatbots, but the entire century belongs to human-to-human interactions. In short, all customers crave a human touch in the interactions they have with your business.
Avoid blatantly copy-pasting replies. Instead, you must try to keep every conversation as humanly as possible. Don’t be afraid to use humor to brighten up your customer’s day. Instead of using a cliche line, explain to the customers what actions are being taken by your business to address their concerns.
The wrong way: “We will get back to you soon!”
The right way: “I have shared your case with our product team. They are working to resolve your issue at the earliest. Miranda, our customer service rep assigned to your case is keeping a firm track and will update you shortly. Have a great day!”
No matter if you interact with a customer over the phone or a chat window, try to keep the “human touch” alive in every conversation.
13. Keep Communication Clear & Precise
The way you communicate with your customers says a lot about your business. Your customers probably have a lot of work already on their plates and would not like the communication process to be tiring.
Keep your emails short and precise and avoid lengthy subject lines so that customers can be updated even when they are running short of time. Make sure the language used is clear and easy to understand. In case of any language barriers, politely convey to your customers and ask them to use the correct language.
Remember not all customers are technical experts. Therefore, avoid using heavy terms or technical jargon that can confuse customers and hamper their experience with your brand.
14. Keep Hold Times to a Bare Minimum
The last thing a complaining customer would want is to be put on a long hold by your customer support team. According to a study, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.
Let’s be honest, nobody likes being put on hold for too long. However, we see many big corporate giants who still struggle with this problem. What’s the way out?
To reduce hold times, ensure all calls are routed to appropriate departments or agents. You can adopt IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology to channelize support calls and make sure they land with the right person. Identify peak call hours and make sure you have enough manpower to take calls so that no caller is left hanging on the line for too long.
15. Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues
Understanding and exploring non-verbal cues is one of the top tips for customer service reps as it can lead to successful in-person interactions.
In addition to written text, non-verbal communication in the form of body language, tone of voice, and gestures are equally important and must not be ignored.
When you speak to your customers in person or via a video call, pay attention to all the evident non-verbal cues:
- What is their posture like?
- Are they relaxed or tense?
- How is their body language?
- Are they making eye contact or not?
Non-verbal communication signals can help you understand if customers are interested in the conversation. Similarly, customers can also pick your body language and figure out if you are actually paying attention to their complaints or not.
16. Practice Active Listening
You don’t have to be an expert conversationalist to hold meaningful conversations. All you need to do is “listen”. If a customer tells you that you are a great listener, that’s probably one of the best compliments you can get.
Pay complete attention to what your customers are sharing and avoid interrupting them in between. Most people make the mistake of partially hearing what the customer has to say and as a result, they are not able to completely understand the situation or offer the best solution.
Try to create an environment with the least distractions. Cut down on any unnecessary noise and always keep a notebook or a sticky notes app handy to take relevant notes. When the customer is done speaking, paraphrase what was said, and then offer your inputs.
17. Learn to Say ‘No’ the Right Way
Here is a customer psychology secret- customers just hate hearing the word ‘No’ as a response to any request they make. So how do you say no to the customers who mean the world to you? Or more importantly, can you say no without sounding rude?
If you run out of all alternatives and ‘no’ seems like the only option left, try to phrase it in a positive manner. For instance, if a customer asks you if you can deliver their product by the next day and you can’t. Instead of saying- “No we are sorry, that’s not possible,” say something like-
“We might not be able to deliver it by tomorrow. However, you can expect your product by Wednesday morning. Will that be okay?”
The way that you structure your message can make a huge difference and can help you dodge any difficult situation with ease.
18. Prioritize First Contact Resolution (FCR)
Nobody likes to contact a business again and again for the same problem. However, if customers often end up doing so, it raises several questions on the ability of your customer service team.
Many customer service experts and entrepreneurs will give you this customer service tip: “Resolve maximum issues in the first contact itself”. To achieve this mark, prioritize FCR and solve customer problems without unnecessarily escalating to other agents or teams.
No matter if customers share an email or raise their issue over social media, your goal should be to get their issue resolved by the first agent who responds to them. There is nothing customers will appreciate more than getting their problems quickly addressed the first time around.
19. Foster a Community With an Online Forum
Over the years we have seen a huge rise in the number of online community forums and their positive impact on businesses, as well as customers.
Create an online community or discussion forum where your existing customers or prospects (interested in products offered by your business) can raise questions, discuss solutions, and support each other.
A community forum can help you realize the common problems your customers are facing and how you can avoid them in the future. These communities are an effective channel to market features of your current or soon-to-launch products and services to your target audience.
Ask your experts to actively participate in discussions and share their opinions or suggestions.
20. Keep Canned Responses Handy
Ask any customer service agent which activity wastes their time the most and you are likely to hear that the need to type the same response, again and again, makes them unproductive.
Canned responses, also known as message templates are predefined messages that can be used by agents to answer similar questions. Canned responses can be used to quickly respond to customers over email, chat, text message, or social media.
With customer support software like ProProfs Help Desk, you can create as many canned responses as you want to swiftly answer customer questions. While responding to customers, agents can easily edit canned responses to personalize them according to the given situation.
21. Make Every Customer Interaction a Priority
Every single customer interaction is important for your business and you cannot afford to drop the ball. According to Microsoft, 47% of customers have made the choice to switch to a different brand due to bad customer service.
In simpler words, a single poor experience can cost you a customer and hamper your brand’s reputation. Therefore, it is important to give your undivided attention to even the smallest of customer interactions. Remember, customers, don’t like being treated as a ticket and want to be taken seriously.
So no matter, if a customer contacts you to simply receive a password reset email or share a serious technical issue, you must prioritize every customer interaction.
22. Personalize, Personalize, & Personalize!
Crafting a meaningful experience with a dash of personalization is one of the top tips for better customer service. But is the hype about personalization real?
According to a study by Accenture, 91% of consumers claimed that they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.
Greeting customers by their first name never gets old but that is just scratching the surface of what’s possible with personalization. Share relevant content with your customers that will help them use your product better. For instance, if you are in the cosmetics industry, share styling tips or products with customers based on their interests and purchase history.
23. Train Agents on Key Customer Service Skills
A business that invests in training shows its employees that it cares about consistent development and growth. Every member of your customer service team must be trained and get opportunities for career advancement.
Providing training on customer service allows you to prepare a team that can handle even the most challenging situations. Allow agents to improve your customer service skills such as communication, persuasion skills, patience, empathy, and others.
With the help of regular training sessions, customer service agents can hone their skills and acquire new ones. They can work on their speed and quality to deliver faster and better results.
Read More: 31 Important Customer Service Skills
24. Resolve Urgent Customer Issues First
Customer issues or requests are different in nature- while some require you to buckle up and resolve them at the earliest, others can be handled with more time.
For instance, if a customer shares that his or her account has been compromised, you must consider this a high-priority issue and resolve it at the earliest. On the other hand, simple product-feature requests can be considered medium or low-priority.
With the best free help desk software, your agents can prioritize support tickets as High, Low, or Medium, depending on their urgency. This helps your team plan their day effectively and prevent any issue from impacting the business.
25. Check Mentions on Social Media
Regularly checking your social media mentions or complaints is considered one of the top tips for excellent customer service. Social media platforms that were initially designed for individual conversations have today become an important platform for businesses to connect with their customers.
According to a report by Statista, 48% of customers expect a response to their social media questions and complaints within 24 hours.
When a vast majority of your customers are active on social media, you just cannot afford to ignore what they are talking about your brand. Have an active online presence, closely monitor all the mentions, and try to respond to customers at the earliest.
Remember, a single review on a public platform is powerful enough to make or break your brand. That’s the power of social media!
26. Build Your Dream Team
On any given day, your customer service process is only as good as your team. When you hire and empower the right professionals, everything else falls perfectly into place.
While recruiting new members in your team, ask the following questions:
- Why are you in customer service?
- Are you familiar with our customer service culture?
- How will you handle a difficult customer?
- What customer service skills do you think are the most important?
The answers to all these questions will help you understand how passionate someone is about customer service and whether they will fit into your company culture or not. Hire, train, and motivate your team members to see a quick return on human capital investment.
27. Reward Your Top Performers
Rewards and recognition play an important role in appreciating your employees for their outstanding contributions to the organization.
Identify your top performers and reward them to encourage exceptional performance. You can offer special discount coupons as well as incentives to your top achievers. Remember, people who excel at their job can set the right example for others to follow and make everyone understand what is expected of them.
Just like your customers, collect feedback from your employees, resolve their challenges, and understand how you can create a happy work environment for them.
28. Choose the Right Closing Statements
The manner in which you close a customer conversation is as important as how you begin it in the first place. An impolite or untimely closing can prove to be a deal-breaker and might make the customer contact you again.
Here are some top customer service tips to keep in mind while closing a conversation:
- You need to ask if your customer needs any further assistance- “Please let me know if you have any further questions or need my assistance”
- If your customer has already said thanks for the help or goodbye but has not closed the chat session, you can wait for 10 minutes and then close it from your side first. You can write: “I will close this chat session now. I hope I was able to help you with your concern. Have a good day.”
- Always close the conversation on a positive note- “Have an amazing day ahead!” or “Have a delightful week”
29. Do Regular Follow-Ups
The overall customer experience can get hampered if you do not regularly follow up with your customers after they interact with you.
Follow up with your customers shortly to ensure they are not facing the same issues again and are completely satisfied with your service. It is always a great idea to follow up with them on the channel they chose to contact you in the first place.
For instance, if a customer called you to register a complaint, give them a call, and evaluate their current situation. The same goes for email. However, in the case of live chat, you might want to choose a different channel for follow-up. Moreover, sharing follow-up surveys with your customers is also considered one of the key customer service best practices.
30. Every Employee is Responsible for Customer Service
“Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.” – Ken Blanchard
Every employee represents your customer service culture. No matter if they are client-facing or not, every action must be taken keeping the customers at the back of your mind.
When every employee strives to understand customer challenges and values their time, the entire company marches towards becoming a truly customer-centric business.
Therefore, you must encourage different departments to share their ideas on how the business can better serve its customers. Right from the company’s CEO to the new intern who might have joined you recently, customer service is everyone’s job.
Get Super Happy Customers With Customer Service Tips
Good customer service can bolster your business image and ensure a steady flow of revenue. To match the ongoing level of customer expectations, you need to pull up your socks and be available for them 24×7.
address customer concerns on multiple channels, personalize interactions and adopt help desk software to automate your process. Train your agents on key customer service skills, track every interaction and encourage brilliant performance by giving them suitable rewards.
With the help of the superior customer service tips shared in this blog, you can turn your customers into your biggest fans.
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