We all know what customer service is, we’ve all needed it at some point so why is it that businesses are still not investing in it? As an online business you’ll have two major goals: sell products and retain customers. Excellent customer service is one way to do this. An online survey found that customers regard service and support as more important factors than price. For instance, a 2014 customer experience study by American Express suggested that more than 60% of customers were willing to spend more with an organization that provides better service than competitors
Another recent survey indicated that many online businesses fail to answer 50% of inquiries that they receive from existing customers with at least 35% of businesses saying they don’t offer customer support at all. Neglecting customer support could be impacting your sales and if you fall in this category then you need a customer support strategy right now! Below we’ve listed our top 5 tips to help you get your customer support up to scratch.
Tip 1: Establish Your Vision
What does good customer service mean to you? What could you do to make your customers support journey efficient? Think back to a time when you’ve needed customer service and ask yourself what did you expect from the company and how was your experience. How did you communicate with the support team? Was it a live online chat system, email support ticket or a telephone call? Could your experience have been improved? Was there something missing? What made your experience so good?
Tip 2: Product Knowledge
Make sure all your staff have exceptional product knowledge, even if sales isn’t their department, if everyone in your company can act as a member of the support team you’ll always have someone on hand to answer questions promptly. Be sure to train your staff in empathy and offer them solutions for how to respond to difficult solutions.
Tip 3: Personalisation
In an instance where you should be held accountable apologize efficiently and sincerely. Make your apology personal and not just a generic “we’re sorry” email. Offer your customer something that would mean something to them.
As we mentioned in the beginning customers are more likely to go with brands who offer exceptional customer support over competitors priced lower. If you give your customers the most effortless experience, they’re sure to choose you over the competition.
Tip 4: Be Social
Many people having an issue or question with a product or service look for a quick solution by turning to social media for customer service. In fact, a recent survey claims that 67% of consumers have engaged a brand’s social media for customer service. That’s a lot of people and a lot of exposure for a brand! You might worry, what if people say bad things online for everyone to see? Use this opportunity to use your social media channel as a listening tool. Learn from your customer’s experience and journey and improve your current strategy. You can also use this as a good opportunity to show everyone how effective you are at resolving your customer’s enquiries and ultimately you can create a brand with an inclusive and helpful community via social media.
Tip 5: Is the customer always right?
The saying goes the customer is always right but what if the customer isn’t? What if the customer is complaining publicly and they are wrong? You’ll need to correct the customer but you should make sure you do it in the correct manner. Don’t just respond saying your wrong and we’re right, don’t lower your message to the rude and argumentative tone that the customer may be offering you. Simply apologise to the customer that they are misinformed and explain why. Finish up with we hope this clears things up for you and we’re always happy to help. Don’t leave the customer feeling annoyed and make sure the “air” is clear, creating the potential for future business.
Customer service isn’t just about solving problems. You can offer your customers a good experience in a variety of ways. Many organisations offer incentives and rewards. Companies are known to store important customer information such as birthdays which allows the company a unique opportunity to send birthday promos to make the customer feel special. When devising your customer support strategy think hard about what you as a business can do to keep your customers happy and returning time and time again.