We’ve all had the annoying experience of being put on hold forever by a service rep, or having to talk to seven different employees before getting a lackluster answer. In fact, most people can come up with dozens of terrible customer service stories. And that’s exactly why companies offering phenomenal customer service stand head and shoulders above the competition.
Consider the touching tale of a Trader Joe’s cashier who gave a single mom shopper a bunch of purple roses—just because. The shopper immediately turned to Reddit to express her joy and rave about her other heartfelt experiences at the same grocery store. That’s advertising you can’t buy!
If you’re in business, why not make sure that your company’s the next one to get kudos on the Internet for outrageously stellar service? Adopt these strategies shared by corporate customer service gold medalists.
1. Hire and Train Conscientiously
It’s important to recruit and onboard talented people with solid backgrounds, of course. Nonetheless, focus not just on expertise but on personality when interviewing. A new employee with an impressive resume but who isn’t a culture fit will drain your team’s morale, not to mention drag down your customer service. According to figures from American Express, about two-thirds of people noted that the secret to having a good customer service experience was an upbeat employee.
Yes, you’ll spend more time seeking workers whose philosophies align with your corporate mission, but your effort and energies will pay off. When you have the right team, you’ll feel more comfortable empowering them to make long-term and on-the-spot decisions and changes that will inspire and impress clients.
2. Stay Ahead of the Tech Curve
Technology keeps chugging along. For your customer service center to come across as modern and streamlined, you’ll want to investigate technologies. Back when AI was just starting to hit the scene, smart customer service organizations explored ways to use machine learning to their advantage. Becoming early adopters allowed them to move ahead of their competitors.
One way to get ahead is through the use of CCaaS (call center as a service) system. When implemented, a CCaaS makes it simpler and faster for customers to get assistance without friction. Paired with other advancements like high-quality, AI-supported chatbots and lightning-fast support page load times, a CCaaS promises better results and more satisfied customers.
You don’t have to dive headlong into every technology option that comes your way. However, be open to considering how the latest tech could help you serve your customers. Holding quarterly brainstorming meetings with team leaders allows you to crowdsource possibilities and make smart tech investment choices.
3. Anticipate Customers’ Typical Questions
If you’ve been in business for more than a few months, you know the most common questions your customers ask. Use those questions to create a robust FAQ page or series of pages on your site. But don’t just write out the answers. A video or image might help illustrate your point more succinctly, while adding a touch of personality and character to your website.
As you’re upgrading your FAQs, be sure to include links to helpful information such as downloadable guide books and directions from manufacturers. Your customers will like being able to find what they need and bypass a phone call.
4. Be Transparent About Your Products and Services
Customers shouldn’t be confused when they come to your site to read about what you offer. Whether your business is to sell merchandise or provide services, be descriptive and not vague. Use bullet points to explain key elements of your offerings and lessen the likelihood that a customer experiences “bait and switch” because they didn’t understand what they were buying.
Speaking of buying, be upfront about your pricing. Hidden pricing has become a huge turnoff for customers. The topic even made its way into a recent Harvard Business Review (https://hbr.org/) piece suggesting that hidden fees become a thing of the past. Shoppers don’t appreciate having to put an item in their cart in order to see how much it costs.
Unless your hands are tied by regulations, showcase your pricing structure and make it clear if the item will incur extra fees such as taxes or shipping.
5. Offer Customers Valuable Content Online
Digital content remains an important part of the customer service process. In fact, great copy can rapidly augment chats, emails, and phone calls. Lean on the blog portion of your site to host and post articles, tips, and hacks that keep your customers coming back for more. Oh, and be sure to link to your posts on your social media pages.
In time, your willingness to share your expertise instead of hoarding it will position your company as an industry expert. When customers want to get advice from a high achiever in your field, they’ll immediately turn to your organization because they recognize you as a leading authority.
6. Become Committed to Continuous Improvement
Customer service shouldn’t become a stagnant department, as customers’ needs are always changing. Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance. Consumers switched up their buying habits rapidly, which changed what they needed from a customer service perspective. Companies that learned and pivoted quickly were able to take care of their buyers without missing a beat. And as Salesforce research shows, 72% of happy customers willingly brag about awesome service.
Work with your marketing and sales departments to ensure that your customer service methods haven’t become stale or dated. For instance, you may discover that many clients prefer getting reminder texts instead of emails, or vice versa. Knowing the so-called “little things” will make your customer service seem more intuitive and less intrusive.
Transforming your customer service center into the best of the best is an ongoing process. Get started now and you’ll reap the rewards sooner, as well as position your company as the place to work for service superstars.