We can easily argue that customer service is the backbone of any business. Why? Simple. Regardless of what products or services your customers are purchasing from you, there will come a time when they need human interaction. Your customer service strategy can make or break the success and profitability of your business. So, let’s dive a little deeper into it.
7 Tips to Build a Stellar Customer Service Strategy
Being specific with this process is going to make it most impactful. Here are a few helpful pointers.
1. Decide What Channels You Want to Use to Communicate with Customers
These days, there are countless ways to have conversations with people. Your customer service team could potentially use:
- Live chat.
- Phone assistance.
- Email assistance.
- Social media direct messages.
- A ticketing system.
You might be tempted to say, “Let’s just do it all!” And we get that. The more places you are, the better, right? Not necessarily.
First of all, a lot of businesses won’t have the manpower to offer customer service via so many channels. And even if yours does, more isn’t always better. Offer your customers a few options that make the most sense, and focus on perfecting those strategies.
Keep in mind, too, that some of these options allow you to rely on the incredible power of artificial intelligence. AI makes for a faster and most personalized experience for your customers, which is a win for your business.
2. Request Feedback from Customers
To improve your customer service strategy, you have to know what your employees are doing well and where they need to improve.
Once a ticket or conversation has been closed, use automated feedback forms to ask customers what they thought of the support they got. Consider asking the questions like:
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate the support you got?
- Did we solve your problem?
- Was your concern addressed in a timely manner?
By collecting this feedback, you might start noticing patterns. For instance, if a lot of customers are complaining about wait times, you’ll know that perhaps you need to hire more customer service representatives or train them to address issues a little quicker.
3. Have Clear Goals, Objectives, and KPIs
If you can’t track and measure it, then you can’t know if it’s working or how to improve it. The same thought applies to your customer service strategy.
What exactly do you want your representatives to be focusing on? Get clear on the priorities so that they can better do their jobs. For instance, do you want them:
- Responding to as many tickets as possible?
- Closing as many tickets as possible?
- Achieving a certain rating on their feedback forms?
- Responding to and/or addressing tickets within a certain period of time?
4. Create a Self-Service Platform
Remember when we talked about finding patterns? The same goes for the questions and issues that customers bring to your attention.
If you’re noticing that many people have the same questions, create a FAQ page or comparable area on your website where customers can search for answers. This allows them to get what they need without having to communicate with anyone on the team — and it saves valuable time and energy for your customer service team.
5. Be Proactive in Communicating with Customers
Don’t wait until something is wrong to speak up. If you have an online store, have an automated email go out a few days after someone should’ve received their item to ask how things are going and remind them that your team is there to help. In fact, you might consider inviting them to join your loyalty program, so that they’re rewarded for their patronage.
The same goes for after an issue has been resolved. A few days after a customer service ticket has been closed, consider sending an email to once again thank them for their business.
People often remember the last interaction that occurred. Make sure you always leave off on a good note!
6. Acknowledge the Negative and Diffuse
Let’s tell it like it is: People who work in customer service deal with a lot of frustrated and even angry people. It’s vital that you:
- Acknowledge their frustration.
- Validate it.
- Immediately try to diffuse the situation.
Let’s say a customer starts a live chat with your team member furious because she ordered a pair of shoes for her daughter’s birthday. She received them in the wrong size and color. The first words out of your rep’s mouth should be something like:
“I’m so sorry about this. It’s understandable that you’re frustrated! Let me pull up your order right now and take a look.”
The first sentence acknowledges. The second sentence validates. And the third sentence diffuses.
7. Make Customer Service a Company-Wide Effort
Your customer service strategy isn’t just about addressing problems as they arise. This is something that every employee needs to care about!
- The people who package and ship your products should do so with care and attention so that customers get what they ordered in pristine condition.
- Your email marketing team should be sending out personalized content so that your audience knows they matter as individuals.
- The people who decide what you’re going to sell should always be paying attention to customer feedback so that the company offers things people actually want and need.
- The people working the floor of your brick-and-mortar should greet everyone who walks in with a smile so that customers always feel comfortable and welcomed.
- Whether you’re an online company, brick-and-mortar, or a hybrid of the two, offer swift payment processing so that customers can get what they need in an efficient manner.
In some capacity, we all contribute to customer service. When your customers are happy, your company wins.
From the moment they start browsing to the point of payment, you have an opportunity to leave a positive and lasting impression on your audience. True POS can help. With payment processing, ATM services, gift cards, and beyond, we’ll help your business run like a well-oiled machine. Contact us today for a free quote.