Creating a new business is challenging. It is harder to get new customers and make them loyal to your brand. One way to make loyal customers is by providing great customer service.
Good customer service is meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations. Excellent customer service is when you provide the same service every time a customer contacts your support. For your business to succeed, you should always prioritize customer service and invest in providing a great customer service experience.
But what is good customer service? How can you deliver good customer service? This blog post will cover what good customer service is and how many ways you can deliver excellent customer service.
What is good customer service?
Good customer service means following everything in the rulebook and outside of the rule book to meet customer expectations and try to exceed customer expectations. The goal of good customer service is to build loyalty among customers.
Customers want fast replies when they connect with your support. Sometimes they want that in their preferred channels anytime they want. Often customers will prefer to solve their problems by themselves, going through your knowledge base and self-help resources.
Your support agents should be friendly and helpful to customers. When your agents empathize with your customers that leave a positive impression on their minds. That’s when customers will gravitate towards your brand every time they purchase.
Great customer service helps you make regular customers into loyal customers. 56% of customers said they’d spend more on a brand they’re loyal to even if cheaper options existed elsewhere (compared to 34.5% in 2019). Today, providing excellent customer service is one way to build long-term relationships with your customers.
12 practices to deliver good customer service
Bad customer service can ruin your company’s reputation. Great customer service can help you stand out from your competitors, gain a significant market share and win the heart of frustrated customers. Here are 12 ways to deliver excellent customer service to your customers:
1. Listen for understanding
The first thing of great customer service is listening to your customers carefully. Listen to your customer to understand their problems.
Customers contact you when they don’t find any solutions after trying by themselves. Show that you hear when they take their time to contact you. Customers will recognize your effort, which will open up them more.
Do not push your thinking on customers or assume their problems without hearing. Actively listen, repeat the problem to them in your words and show them you understand their problem. Then jump in to solve that. Listening increases the chances to solve customer problems more effectively.
2. Provide omnichannel support
Today’s digital landscape gives your customers the ultimate freedom to share their experience with your business with the world using just a tweet. If a customer gets a complaint about your business, they will surely share their frustration on social media.
You can’t control the conversations outside your support system. But you can indeed control how to handle the situation. You can jump into conversations or reply to complaints to offer solutions on social media. People prefer channels based on the complexity of their problems. Be flexible and offer support to customers in their chosen channels.
Train your agents to handle support through multiple channels from the start. If customers open a ticket with your web portal, give them the flexibility to reply to tickets via email or contact agents with video chat if the problem is needed. Your support agents should be able to make the transition smoothly every time they connect with your customers through various channels.
3. Be empathic
Empathy is a golden asset in the customer relationship business. Customers expect you to be empathic and flexible while doing business with them. Being empathic will help you relate to your customers, connect with them deeply, and give you the opportunity to have their loyalty.
People connect with people, not companies. If you can show them a more human side, they will connect with you quickly. Always put customers first, even when you are busy. Train your agents to be more empathic and show that using your words. For example:
“I understand what you are feeling right now; even I would feel that if I was in your situation. Let me help you…..”
You can see what words can do if you use them properly. Having empathy can drive superb customer service and boost organic word-of-mouth marketing. Empathy is the easy way to cultivate a loyal customer base for your brand.
Here is a perfect example of this from pet food brand Chewy:
4. Be creative while solving problems
Not all customers use your products or service in the same way. Customers will use it the way they see it fit. Customer problems will be different as well. You have to provide them with solutions.
Great customer service comes from making it the ultimate goal to help customers succeed. You should be determined to do that no matter what. Do not just follow the same ways to solve every problem.
Become creative and find alternative solutions for customers’ problems. Suppose it needs you to go outside of company policy but can help your customer, then never hesitate to do that. Customers will recognize your dedication and come back to do business with you from time to time.
5. Deliver fast support
When a customer contacts your support for help, always assume it is their last resort to get help. Typically people will not wait for your support staff to attend their ticket and reply after 24 hours. When a customer contacts you, they expect a fast reply.
Most businesses fail in customer service at this point. Customer expectations will always be high. 66% of customers believe valuing their time should be the most important thing for a business.
You should put a system where your support team can run every day’s support work efficiently. Invest in a suitable help desk that can provide speed, solid integrations, and instant communications with customers through multiple channels.
Deliver fast support through omnichannel and proactive support by analyzing the demographic of your customers. New generations are more comfortable with email and social media. The old generation prefers phone calls for customer support. Train your support team for both of them. But do not rush to end the call or resolve the ticket without adequately solving the problem. Use automation wisely where the process slows you down. Speed is the quickest way to achieve great customer service.
6. Personalize customer service
Personalized customer service can help you boost great customer experience. When customers contact your business, they expect a human to reply to their email, not a bot with automated replies.
Customers feel frustrated if they are not treated as individuals rather than a ticket in your dashboard. It is a human behind the ticket sharing him/his problem with you. Always recognize that when you are having conversations with your customer. Customers expect you to know who they are,
Do not follow pre-written scripts in phone calls or set automated questions for live chat. Instead, put empathic people in your team and train them to personalize customer support for every customer. Use a help desk system like Fluent Support, where you can see previous conversations, purchase history, or membership details about customers right into their submitted tickets with a profile photo, name, and email.
A help desk system like this will help your agents know about customers and their relationship with you. They can handle them more flexible way using the information and personalized customer service.
7. Help customers help themselves
Not all customers contact support immediately after facing a problem. Most users search online to find solutions and read company f.a.q’s or knowledge base to learn more. Contacting support is the last step for them. And this percentage is not tiny.
Around 81% of customers try to find solutions by themselves before contacting support. Providing self-service is a perfect way to serve this demographic. But not all companies are taking advantage of them. A knowledge base with detailed articles, video guides, or f.a.q’s can empower your customers and reduce daily tickets.
Resources like this can be an excellent asset for customer support to point users in a support ticket in the right direction. Researchers found that 71% of customers want the ability to solve their issues by themselves. Use knowledge base for complex issues, automated chatbots for simple queasy delivery, and f.a.q for general queries for customers looking for self-service. When you make it easy for customers to help themselves, it will also relieve pressure from your support team. But if your customer still needs human help, make it easy to directly connect with your agent from the knowledge base.
8. Collect customer feedback and analyze
Customer data can help you immensely when it comes to great customer service. Customers’ needs are different in every industry. That’s why you need to collect customer feedback to understand your customers and their needs.
Reach out to your customers and use surveys to collect customer data. Always run surveys before closing support tickets. It will help you determine customer satisfaction and learn about your overall support team’s efforts.
Learn what types of customer data you should collect and how to collect them. Measure your customer service from time to time to deliver excellent customer service perfectly. Accurate customer data will help you improve your support team’s performance and can help you build great products or services through customer suggestions.
9. Be proactively helpful
Anticipating customer needs before they contact your support means proactive support. When you have customer data and preferences, you can analyze them to resolve issues before they arrive or during their first encounter.
Being proactive can boost your customer satisfaction and increase sales. It can save time for both customers and you. Sometimes customers will ask for one thing while not aware of their actual problem. If you can anticipate and solve the problem without asking, they will feel like you value them. When customers reach this level of satisfaction, they will become repeat customers.
10. Become a product expert
Good customer service comes from agents who know the product in and out. As a customer support agent, your work is related to product or service troubleshooting. Product expertise should be your priority.
Train your agents to become experts in your product or service. Your agents should know about the features, enabled use cases, and possible use cases and be aware of the benefits. If they have proper knowledge, they can show it to customers, influence their future purchases and help them get the most out of customers’ purchases.
Agents should be able to do all types of troubleshooting and fix problems within maintaining contact with the product team. Most times, customers will not be aware of certain features; it is your job to tell your customers about them and show them how they might solve their issues.
11. Empower your agents
Invest in your support agents. Your agents are the main bridge between your customers and your business. Take care of your support staff. Empower them to make decisions to help customers no matter what company policy says. The goal should help customers get most of their purchase value.
Train them regularly so they can develop their skills. Great customer support comes from skilled agents. Provide the necessary tools to accelerate their daily workload. Give them access to customer data analytics so your agents can make informed decisions. They will know what areas the support team needs to improve and how customers interact with the help desk. It will help develop their customer service from good to great.
12. Maintain a Positive tone
Maintain a positive tone while talking to your customers. Customers can be angry or rude; your agents should not react negatively. Sometimes a conversation can turn in the wrong way and customers may argue. But your agents should not change their tone in the conversations and maintain their positive attitude.
People can notice tiny changes in your tone, which can influence their decisions. Train your agents to use emotional intelligence. It is the ability to read and react to people’s emotions. The higher emotional intelligence you have, the higher chances you can influence customers to have positive impressions about your brand. It will help you retain customers and reduce customer churn.
A positive attitude towards angry customers can make them happy customers through great customer service. Treat your customer as the center of your world. Your attitude will reflect it naturally. Being a customer-centric company can help you stand apart from your competitors.
Delivering good customer service is vital for businesses to get ahead of their competitors. Always try to under-promise and over-deliver support for great customer engagement. People want to be treated like humans. Humanize your customer support, train support agents properly, and provide innovative self-service tools.
Being empathic and proactively helpful can accelerate good customer service transcendence to great customer service. Your end goal should be to make your customer happy as a business.