Your customer service is one of the most important aspects of your business as well as a direct indicator of your professionalism and your efficiency. This is due to the fact that it’s one of the departments that’s in direct contact with your customer base. Even more importantly, it’s the place where customers go when they have a problem that needs to be resolved or an issue that they want to address. With that in mind and without further ado, here are seven simple strategies that can help you drastically improve your customer service.
1. Be careful who you’re hiring
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that the tone of the voice and patience of a customer service representative aren’t something that can be trained or developed with experience. Some people are naturally more patient, understanding and empathetic. Needless to say, these are the people you need in your employ. Therefore, the first piece of advice that we can give you is to be very careful who you’re hiring. Also, keep in mind that these skills aren’t as easy to spot during an interview, which means that you might have to consult a customer service specialist to help you out.
2. Adequate training
Previously we’ve mentioned that there’s only so much that training can do, however, by applying several didactic methods properly, you’ll help your team become more effective at what they do. For instance, there are some phrases that automatically make you feel more sympathetic. These are generic phrases like “thank you for bringing this to our attention” or “great question, let me find out for you.” In this way, your customer service representatives are showing that they appreciate feedback rather than seeing it as an annoying complaint.
3. Active listening
By far the most important skill for a customer service representative is the one that involves active listening. You see, you’re not there just to listen to people, you’re also there to gather valuable feedback. The way in which someone is addressing you may make a difference in how you respond to them, which is an incredibly important thing to keep in mind. This is also why a lot of companies are turning to chatbots, seeing as how they’re incredibly efficient and stick to the point. Speaking of which…
4. Introduce chatbots
The trend of chatbots is probably the single most important addition to the field of customer service. This is why you need to fully understand it in order to give your business the customer service it deserves. The fact that as much as 67 percent of consumers all over the world use this feature and the fact that 40 percent of them don’t even care if it’s a chatbot or a human on the other end of the line more than speaks for itself. Keep in mind that chatbots are reliable, cost-effective and don’t make nearly as many errors as human customer service representatives. Still, it’s for the best if you were to have both.
5. A reliable infrastructure
Let’s be honest for a second, there’s only so much your customer service can do if the rest of your infrastructure is unreliable. Your customers will always be looking for answers and if you can’t rely on your business, you can’t provide them (well, at least not accurate ones). For instance, if a customer calls you to ask when they can expect an item that they’ve just ordered, the only way for you to know this is to have an effective delivery service. In this scenario, making an investment in a dependable transport management system would be considered a boost to your customer service.
6. Have a plan
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you need to approach this situation from a more macro level. This means developing a strategy that will show you how all of this can benefit you in the big picture. This starts by identifying customer needs and stating your own customer service vision. For instance, you need to set some core principles like being fair, responsible and cooperative, all of which are ideas that your customers will be willing and able to stand behind. The sooner you create a strategy, the better the outcome.
7. Measure and analyze
Previously we’ve talked so many times about the issue of feedback and what matters here the most is not the information that you get but what you do with it later on. If you can establish some reliable metrics and analyze the data, you can drastically improve your customer service. Seeing as how the needs of your audience change with time, you can keep improving and innovating as time goes by. This alone gives your customer service the amount of adaptability and flexibility it so desperately needs.
One last thing you need to understand is the fact that having a reliable customer service takes time and continuous effort. You can’t just make a tweak here and there and hope that everything will hold indefinitely. This is why having a long-term strategy, gathering and analyzing feedback, as well as adopting new trends are the only way for you to achieve all of this.