As a business owner, you’d know how important it is to retain your customers and win over their loyalty. Customer loyalty is crucial for a good brand reputation and increased profitability of any business.
Customer service plays a key role in helping you win over your customers’ loyalty. According to a Salesforce study, 89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience with your brand.
Focusing on offering excellent customer service will not just trigger repeat purchases. It will also help you attract new customers, improve brand awareness, and increase revenue. In this guide, let’s look at some effective ways that you can adopt to offer exceptional customer service that is unforgettable.
1. Offer Self-Service Options
You’d be surprised to know that 69% of customers want to resolve as many problems as possible on their own! Not every customer wants to contact you and talk to a customer service rep to resolve issues.
This means that offering self-service options can be one of the best ways to offer good customer service. Offering self-service options will save your customer service team time and make them more productive. This is because the customers will resolve all the redundant and repetitive issues by themselves.
You can offer self-service options to your customers in the following ways:
- Use social media messaging bots or website chatbots that help automatically resolve issues or answer customers’ questions.
- Have an FAQ page that is easily accessible from your website homepage. Ensure that it is comprehensive and answers all the most common questions.
- You can also have a community forum where customers can answer questions and resolve issues for other customers.
- If applicable for your business, offer thorough documentation while onboarding your customers in the form of demo videos or tutorials. This way, the number of customer service queries that will arise will be much less.
2. Be Quick With Your Responses
Consumers today are highly impatient and do not want to wait for hours to get their queries answered. Hence, being quick with your responses is super important, or it is highly likely for your customers to churn.
Ensure that your customer service team is continuously monitoring all the customer service channels. These can be emails, live chat, in-app messaging, social media, etc.
If your customer service team takes more time to respond to customers, they are more likely to get frustrated and leave bad reviews for your brand. On the contrary, if you are quick with your responses, customers will be delighted and are highly likely to recommend your brand to their friends and family.
Even if you cannot offer instant resolutions to problems, you can at least try to set automated responses that assure the customers that you are looking into the problem. Try to get back with the resolutions as soon as your team can.
3. Have a Thorough Internal Knowledge Base
Having a thorough internal knowledge base is vital for offering good customer service. Only when your customer service reps have access to comprehensive documentation will they be able to offer accurate and quick resolutions to your customers.
If your customer service reps do not have access to a knowledge database, they will likely provide incorrect information or offer quick fixes as resolutions. In the long run, customers will face more problems, and this will add to their frustration.
You can consider investing in an internal knowledge base software using which you can set up product help docs, technical guides, and standard operating procedures for your customer service team. Using such a tool will help you collaborate on documentation and update them as your products or services change.
4. Personalize the Experience
It’s much easier and cheaper to use the one-size-fits-all responses for customer queries. These may work sometimes, but many times such generic, repetitive customer service responses might lead your customers irritated and confused.
Instead, you can try offering personalized customer service. This will leave your customers delighted, and they will likely turn back to you for their next purchase. Though using first names and location for personalization can be a good start, but it doesn’t end there.
For offering truly personalized experiences, you should have access to the customers’ purchase history, the issues raised and resolved in the past, and other relevant information. You can do this by using a Customer Relationships Management (CRM) tool.
Using a CRM tool, you can store all the details about your customers and pull them up when they come up with customer service requests. This way, your customers wouldn’t have to begin explaining the issue from the beginning, and you can offer much more accurate resolutions.
5. Use Social Media as a Customer Service Channel
Gone are the days when consumers had the patience to find your customer support email addresses to drop elaborate emails explaining the issue. Or call customer care and wait for their turn. Today, customers want to get things done quickly. And the best way for that is through social media.
Top businesses have moved to social media as a customer service channel. There are various reasons for this:
- Customer service through social media is a relatively cheaper option for businesses.
- Finding customer service social media handles is very easy for customers.
- Social media is an open platform as all your interactions with customers is visible to everyone. This is why using social media as a customer service channel can be a great way to build your brand’s reputation. When a new lead is considering your products or services, they might be convinced to pick you over competitors because of the excellent customer service that you offer on social media platforms.
- Since social media platforms are open to everyone, customers also sometimes help each other out with resolutions, thus building an online community for your brand.
Therefore, it is definitely a good idea to set up dedicated social media handles for customer service if you haven’t done so already. You can analyze your competitors and customers to pick the platforms that are most likely to be used by your customers.
6. Humanize Your Customer Service Interactions
Customer service offered by many businesses is often robotic and lacks empathy. This is not the best practice for offering good customer service.
When brands act robotic and admit their mistakes, it is easy for customers to get frustrated. But, instead, when a real customer service representative interacts with customers and builds a good connection, you’ll be surprised to know how much more forgiving customers can be.
When you humanize all the customer service interactions, you’ll find most of your customers being more empathetic with your brand. Even if there are major mistakes from your end, you’d find that instead of getting frustrated, your customers will understand your point of view and be satisfied with the resolution.
For humanizing the customer service interactions, you can begin by starting the conversations with the names of your customer service representatives. First name, a photo, and even a brief introduction will help you connect with your customers better, and thus the issue will not escalate as much as it would otherwise.
7. Offer Omnichannel Customer Service
Different customers have different preferences for customer service channels. Some will stick to emails, some will stick to social media, while some may alternate between the two. Hence, you must offer omnichannel service to your customers by interacting with them on channels preferred by them.
By offering omnichannel customer support, your customers can also start the conversation on one channel and continue it on the other without having to explain themselves again.
For example, a customer may explain an issue on Twitter and then also send an email about it. For such a case, you do not want to reach out to them on both channels. Instead, you can respond on one channel, check with them about their preferred channel, and continue the interaction there.
8. Be Proactive With Your Approach
Oftentimes, customers reach out to you with problems after they’ve tried to resolve the issue by themselves. Hence, when they reach out to you, they are already frustrated. So, you need to take care of two things – resolving their problem and turning them into happy customers.
Instead of being reactive, you can consider taking a proactive approach for customer support. This means identifying probable problems before the customer decides to contact customer service. Having a proactive approach will help you nip the problem in the bud, take much less effort, and will leave your customers delighted.
For having a proactive approach, you can consistently ask for customer feedback through in-app messaging or emails. The chances are that customers will reach out to you with their complaints when the issue has not escalated much. This gives you a better chance at winning back the customers’ loyalty.
You can also analyze your customer service data and identify the problems that most commonly come up. This way, you can identify the issues that occur frequently and find a way to resolve such problems permanently.
Try These Tips to Offer Excellent Customer Service
Apart from good quality products and services, offering good customer service is also vital if you want to stand out as a reputable brand in the market. By offering excellent customer service, you get the opportunity to win them over to your side for a lifetime. Using the tips in this guide will help you do just that.
So, start implementing the strategies given in this article right away, and you’ll definitely see improvement in customer lifetime value and brand awareness.