Clients and customers love enjoying your products and services. But there is something else, something very important, that customers expect from their beloved brands—good customer support.
Companies spend millions of dollars every year just to make sure they provide unforgettable customer service to all their clients. For some people, good customer support is even the clincher. However, good customer service is one thing, and out of the box, excellent customer service is another.
Let’s take a look at the 10 best ways to make your company’s customer support experience unique and brilliant.
1. The whole company has to contribute
Companies are made of several different departments, but everyone pulls together collectively to achieve organizational goals. And if a company is serious about its customer service, then providing excellent support must be one of these core objectives.
The company makes sure its engineering team take their turn on live chat to correspond with customers. This allows the whole team to get firsthand experience of what customers need.
If the whole company—or at least a handful of people from each department—is involved, then customer complaints can be handled quicker, and they may bring with them new and novel ideas.
2. Hear your customers out
“About 5 years ago, in America, 67 percent of customers changed up mid-way on customer calls as they couldn’t get a real person on phone” Source: American-Express Survey
When customers use your customer support system, they are often either angry or upset, and need your company to address their issues. In short, they want you to acknowledge them, and they want you to react. Automated answers are simply not up to the task.
It’s always in your company’s best interests to hear out your customers and do everything you can to provide them with solutions. As soon as your customer tells you about their frustration or a problem they’re facing, that’s the time to really listen.
Your customer service representatives could reply with “let me go over what you just said”. That way your customer support and your customers are on the same page, and your customers can rest assured that you really are listening to them.
3. Offer solutions, not reactions
When customers buy your service or product, customer service comes as part of the package, and they rightly expect a company to provide this as and when needed.
Some companies try to avoid confrontation by beating around the bush. Some customer service executives are able to provide empathy, but not the solutions customers seek.
This is a chance for your company to provide black and white solutions to customers’ issues. Rather than saying ‘We understand your concern and are trying our best to solve the issue’, make sure you actually do solve their problem.
4. Use technology
Technology can be our best friend when we it’s used to our advantage. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to making things easier in customer support. In years passed, customers had to physically go to a shop or office, or lodge their complaint via letter. The world has moved since then, now customers can get in touch quickly and remotely via email, telephone, live chat and much more besides.
Companies can use apps and software to provide better customer support to their clients.
“We are moving more and more towards live chat support, because it makes it easier for us to quickly fix the problem.” – David Freer
For instance, they can use tools such as:
- Live Video Chat—allowing support execs and customers to chat directly one-on-one. Useful for demonstration or service troubleshooting. Apps like Skype or Hangout are already being used for customer support.
- Screen Sharing—again helpful for any demonstration or explaining, and if you want to give a live presentation, or troubleshoot for your customers, screen sharing is useful.
- Apps —customers have mobile phones, make use of that to offer a better customer support experience.
- Social Media— your company’s social media account has the potential to be one of the most important channels for customer support. Twitter, Facebook and Google Hangouts have the power to reach millions of people, providing easy access to your customers.
- Branded Links - whether you're sharing customer support links on social media, through a chatbot, email, or any other channel, they are often the vehicle for distributing follow up materials. Branded links help organize and track support materials for your team, while heightening the customer experience by creating trust and brand consistency.
5. Do not script your answers
Scripted answers should be avoided. Customers want real, active participation in their problem-solving. Many companies have set answers to specific questions, however, this isn’t appreciated by customers when they hear exactly the same thing over and over again while contacting you about an issue.
You can pre-plan answers to some degree. After all, you don’t want your customer execs going completely off topic or saying something that just isn’t true. However, use personalized scripts and address the customer in a friendly manner. Talk with them in a way that emphasizes that they are important to you and your company. This puts customers in a more accommodating mindset.
- Be clear when you talk
- Use passive tones
- Be friendly and enthusiastic
If possible, try and offer to do something helpful that your customers aren’t expecting from you. It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable for your clients.
6. Keep the details handy
“73 percent of consumers like doing business with companies that use personal data to enhance the shopping experience”
Customers don’t like it when they are forced to keep explaining their situation every time they call. This is often the case when your execs ask for their date of birth, type of product/service they own, territory/region, or their name. These details may be necessary, but they may also be details you already hold.
There is always room for a personal touch. Start by greeting the customer with personal messages. Practice calling the customer by their first name; this makes customers feel more comfortable.
Customers like it when execs take an interest and do their homework with their data. Keeping a database of customers helps in this regard. It also makes your customer support team’s job easier.
When it comes to personalized customer support;
- Customers like it when they are called by their first name
- Customers like it when a company remembers their name
- Customers want companies to use tools to remember their names and details etc.
7. Inform customers about the future course of action
Customers understand that some issues cannot be quickly resolved, or solved over the phone.
More complex problems can be difficult to rectify and customers have to keep patient when issues can’t be solved remotely. Customer support must sometimes transfer calls or let customers know that someone else will call them at a later date or time.
This is where customer support executives and companies must be clear to their clients about the future course of action. Regardless of what the customer has to endure later down the line, the company must guide them through the process thoroughly, no matter how good or bad.
8. The “wow” moment
Companies work hard to provide the best products and support to all their clients, spending millions of dollars to ensure customers’ concerns are resolved in an effortless manner.
However, what customers want is—something different, something out of the box, something which makes them go ‘wow’. This ‘wow’ moment comes when you surprise a customer by going above and beyond!
The 'wow' factor can come from any type of help, support or advice which a company provides.
For example— if customers write to you with suggestions or to make complaints, reward them with a small token coupon or gift. You can also give gifts to loyal customers—just to prove you value them.
One of the best ways to create a ‘wow’ moment is by practicing saying ‘yes’, or by providing customers with better alternatives during customer support.
9. Deliver on promises
Never make a promise you can’t keep!
This applies just as much to customer support as it does any other aspect of business. Make sure to deliver on the promises you make. Once you’ve made a commitment, see it through.
Customers would be rightly disappointed if you backtrack on a promise of support, having previously assured them you will take a particular course of action.
10. Learn from experience
Customer Support can be a huge headache for any company. Customers can bring in thousands of new issues causing untold complexities. Keep track of how you have solved these issues, you may have to make similar decisions and judgments later.
Remember, every single case may bring something new to learn from. Work on them, take notes, and keep on improving so you’re even better prepared next time.
Customer support is a continuous cycle, as long as you have customers, it will never end.
There you have it! The 10 ways you can beef up your customer service to provide a better experience for your clients.