Customer service is more of an art than a science. There is not a single, surefire way to achieve the perfect customer assistance. On the other hand, it helps to have a plan.
It takes more than months or even years to come up with a multifaceted and efficient solution for every customer complaint; and so having a comprehensive guide that will serve as a roadmap for the business as it continues to cater to varying customer concerns, is key.
Improving a business’ customer support services is a continuous learning process and every customer complaint can serve as a helpful reference for any business.
Enhancing one’s helpdesk services also requires taking a closer look at specific pain points that generally affect the effectiveness of the support services industry as a whole.
These pain points may vary over time, given that customer demands and needs also change with market trends.
Below is a simple guideline that businesses can use in improving and equip their customer support services for the year 2020:
1. Customers Dictate Demand, and Businesses will Follow
A common misconception for businessmen is to think that they control what customers want. Customers are keen on distinguishing good customer service from bad ones.
If it so happens that they are informed about the latest trends in customer support, then it is highly likely that they would demand an updated form of assistance and support system from businesses.
Customers create the demand and remember to sustain their desire for a product for as long as possible.
There is a marketing theory that states that demand decreases over time, resulting in customers seeking the next new product or trend.
Keeping up with the demands of customers and maintaining good rapport with them will surely help maintain the business’ momentum as more and more complex customer concerns are raised.
2. A Bad Review can Break a Business… (But it Does Not Mean the End!)
Every business has its own share of negative reviews. In fact, even the biggest names in the market are not safe from unsavory customer feedback.
The question now is, how can businesses be able to overcome negative customer reviews? A usual approach would be to apologize to the customer and offer some kind of incentive or gift as an apology.
But, a smart businessman would take this situation as a business opportunity to prove their services by inviting the customer back again. Not only does this gesture show how customer services are designed and dedicated to solving customer complaints, it also makes for good publicity. (Even more so if the customer is satisfied for the second time.)
3. Set Expectations but Deliver more
“You get what you pay for” is something that is often told to customers these days. This kind of response tends to agitate customers more.
Customers are continuously becoming more involved in the development of a product or service. They do what they can to learn more about a specific brand, and the accessibility of information brought by the internet makes it easier for customers to get the information that they need.
Customers even compare prices with competitors before deciding on where to make a purchase.
It is important to meet customer expectations while going the extra mile to give more than what they expected.
One good tip on how to achieve this is to never oversell products as it would create a misleading perception of how the product performs in reality.
Do inform and educate customers on what to expect and what is readily available but provide options and alternatives if it is possible.
Add a touch of personalization to the goods or services being sold. Here’s a helpful strategy: Try addressing customers with their preferred name.
It encourages familiarity between the business and the customer. Another strategy that has worked in the past is to have follow-ups for each customer’s purchase or use of service. Doing so helps fix customer concerns and clarify their questions early on.
4. Repeat Customers are Valuable
Having repeat customers usually, mean that the business is doing well. It is important to dig deeper and try to find out the reason/s behind why repeat customers are continuously patronizing a specific business or service.
Make it a point to recognize and reward repeat, loyal customers. They serve as the lifeblood of every business.
In the world of marketing, it is more expensive to get new customers than to maintain existing ones. It takes more time and money to attract target customers; whereas, a regular customer would walk into their preferred shop at any given time without the need to be persuaded for the nth time.
Repeat customers are already familiar with how the business works and delivers.
5. Include Technology in the Workflow
Equipping businesses with modern technology has truly become an essential part of securing steady growth and development.
Technology has become the new medium for communicating, product making and generating new business strategies.
Technology is also being used for business communication and transactions such as banking, purchasing and holding business meetings.
With technology as the new standard for marketing and reaching out to customers, people will also have higher expectations of how quickly and efficiently their concerns are handled.
They will likewise expect to be presented with faster and more accessible ways on how they can avail the products and services they want from a business.
Looking closely, the growing influence of technology in all aspects of running a business has lead entrepreneurs to using social media to garner reviews, communicate with customers and extend the reach of their support services.
6. Satisfied Employees Attract Satisfied Customers
Satisfied employees affect the overall atmosphere and work performance in an office or establishment. Happy employees are equivalent to happy customers.
A business’ staff or employees are the ones who encounter customers on a regular basis. They serve as the face of the company and thus they are expected to be happy and courteous to all customers.
Ensuring that employee needs and benefits are duly met and concerns are professionally handled boosts the trust that each of the staff has for the company.
When employees trust the company they are working for, it is reflected in how they engage with customers and present themselves. As the old saying goes, “Take care of your employees first and your employees with take care of your customers”.
In addition, investing in an employee’s growth is less expensive than trying to hire a new one. After all, it takes time to train and get new hires get used to a business’ unique workflow.
7. Admit Mistakes and Quickly Come up with a Solution
Problems within the business will be inevitable and the only way to solve it is to be upfront and honest with customers. Providing an effective solution may take time, depending on the issue presented.
Assure customers that their concerns are addressed and taken care of. Constantly provide them with updates on the progress of their concern and if possible, provide them with viable options to help solve their problem.
Addressing customer concerns via email, a phone call or even a face-to-face conversation adds an empathetic and personalized touch to a business’ customer service.
Regardless of the severity of the concern, it is necessary to recognize each customer’s dilemma and make them feel that they are valued.
8. Highlight the Importance of First and Last Impressions
Sometimes, when observing a lineup of activities or watching a sequence of presentations, people are more likely to remember the first and the last activity or program that they witnessed.
The same idea holds true for when businesses create and provide assistance to customers. Sometimes, first impressions can be made through a business’ helpdesk service. In other cases, it can generate a customer’s last impression about a brand.
Whether the support services are delivered via a phone call, an email, an instant message or live chat or even through conversing with the customers personally, it pays to make sure that every encounter with every customer will be a positively memorable one.
Be courteous, warm and receptive at the start of the conversation. Look at customers in the eye and be upfront. Avoid giving open-ended answers or indirect solutions to their queries.
Stay involved and more importantly, try to go beyond expectations by offering to assist for further clarifications or questions. Lastly, end the conversation or message by thanking them for their patronage.
The above guidelines feature example some of the most common scenarios that businesses encounter through their customer support service.
There is still a lot more that businesses can work on to ensure they deliver the finest assistance imaginable; and it is not solely about keeping up with digital trends or market demands.
It also means taking the time to self-reflect, acknowledge areas where assistance may be lacking, and work towards developing a suitable system that works for both the business and its customers.
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