For a small business, customer service is one of the utmost priorities. It should be because you will get more customers and on repeat too.
Good products and offers might get your audience’s attention but what makes them come back, again and again is your customer service.
There are companies in America that lose $75 billion every year because of offering poor service.
Having customer service that can impress your customers requires understanding a few basic things. To start with this, here is what you need to know.
Customer Service Tips For Effective & Impressive Results
In today’s market, your customers have lots of options. Having loyalty is one of the most valuable things you can get from them.
When you don’t offer customer service up to their standard, your customer feels like the company doesn’t feel they are important and valuable to them.
With this, not just you get a bad image but also they switch to a different option where they can get that satisfaction.
To make sure that you are not repeating some kind of similar mistakes, here are a few tips for you.
1. Respect Your Customers And Treat Them Like Royal
Customer resolution is not the first thing that you should have. It’s important, and it should be your priority, but the first thing you need to do is respect and treat your customers well.
Customers feel more satisfied when you are kind and empathetic.
Most of the customers don’t need an immediate answer; they can wait a little longer. But the way you treat them decides if they are going to stick that long or not.
When you are dealing with your customer, make sure you are taking things personally. The customers see you as the extension of the brand.
So their comments and arguments are about what they brought from you.
Pro Tip: Instead of arguing with them, keep your smile face on. Focus on understanding their situation and feelings. Give positive interaction.
Also, avoid getting defensive, as it will waste time.
2. Keep Your Language And Reaction Positive
Your way of saying things can change many things, even if it’s bad news.
Well, it’s not about getting overly sugar-coated but enough so you can calm them down.
For example, if your customer is feeling frustrated because they are not getting some kind of item and it’s out of stock. Instead of saying, “ We don’t have it, and it’s out of stock.”
Try using positive words like “ Sorry, it will be available ( date, week, or time ),” or you can add by asking how they would like to notify if the product is available.
There is a difference between both tones. In the first one, the tone is dismissing. Also, it doesn’t add any solution either.
But the second one not just you are acknowledging but also giving them a solution and extra help. It sounds more confident, informative, and helpful.
Avoid stating facts; it will make your customer more frustrated.
Pro Tip: Don’t use negative words like can’t or won’t. Start with what you can do and give them time when they will receive the product.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Go Beyond Names
Personalization is important for offering more effective customer service. The most recommended tip by everyone is to use the first name when you are communicating with customers.
With a personal touch, you make them feel valuable and important. But it doesn’t end here.
You can go beyond that and use the statements or things they shared earlier with you. It will make them remember that you paid attention when they were talking.
4. Value Your Customer’s Time
A company that values its customer time is one of the appreciated qualities.
Well, it’s not just you who are busy but your customers too. It’s important to keep it in your mind when you are communicating with them.
Not valuing their time makes them feel frustrated and unhappy.
Instead of giving them answers like “ We will fix it within 1 or 2 business days”. Try giving answers like “ We will fix it as soon as we can” Or “ We will call you tomorrow at noon for an update.”
Give the exact time, and make sure to follow up.
5. Keep Your Feedback Template Simple
The feedback is helpful, but lots of people hate to do surveys, especially when they have to log in or follow the procedures for that.
Image source: mopinion
Sometimes customers want to rate and give feedback, but they don’t want to make an extra effort.
Well, feedback can help you in getting much deeper insights. One of the ways that they can get feedback is by adding the link directly to their email.
By this, customers will directly land on the page and rate without doing many of the steps. Make sure you are asking the right questions that can help you.
Avoid sending complex processes. Make sure you are sending important questions, but it should be easy, simple, and incentives that can be easier to answer.
6. Have the Power To Take Actions
Lots of time customer service takes time because they don’t have enough power to take action fast.
They have to depend on others to get a response. Or, they have restrictions or company policies that don’t let them do the work properly.
If you have a team for handling customer services, make sure you give them enough power to take action.
Sometimes giving customers incentives or offers can help solve or buy more time. Let your people go the extra mile to help out the customers.
7. Never Underestimate The Power Of Being Early
Quick replies or showing up early have their power. For the business, you might have lost a complaint to address. But for your customers, solving the matter is a priority.
Instead of asking them to wait for the response or solution for a longer period. It will frustrate them. The best time to respond is within the hours of working.
If you can solve their problems quickly, don’t make them wait for it.
Getting the problem solved faster makes your customer feel happy and satisfied. Also, you can get loyal customers to your brand.
Pro Tip: Use the KPIs like “ Answer calls or process emails within ( time limit you want to put)”. You can share it with your team and use it on the website, so your customers know too.
8. Focus On Your Tone
The speech of your tone matters a lot in how your message is going to be received by the customers.
It becomes more important when you are doing an in-person chat. When you are sending messages, emailing, or having a conversation, it’s crucial to watch out for how you are talking.
Image source: customersure
The rule of thumb says that make sure to check your written messages and reread them. Pay attention to how it sounds and once you are sure, send it.
Practice active listening and let your customer talk before you suggest a solution. A dismissing tone always ends up making your customer feel angry and frustrated.
Albert Mehrabian, a UCLA professor, suggested the idea of using the 7-38-55 formula.
According to him, your successful communication should include three important elements i.e.
- 7% of spoken words
- 38% of tone voice
- 55% of body language
9. Take First Impression Seriously
When you are dealing with a customer on your own, it can be difficult to keep the touch.
Make sure you avoid the red flags like your reps blaming the customers, or They are ignoring the request.
First, the impression of your customer service is circular for your business. It will damage the retention rates too.
Your customer should feel important and valued the moment they interact with you.
The conversation and solution should be hassle-free as well as supportive.
Pro Tip: Body language is the first thing people notice. No matter if you are using a phone or devices to communicate, but it’s important to pay attention to how you respond to their questions.
10. Make Your Help Centers Easy To Use
For your customer service team, it’s important to avoid burnout. However, it’s natural to feel that way.
There are more than 81% of customers attempt to troubleshoot before they pick to get in contact with a live representation.
You can use this for solving and building self-service options.
Not just you save your team from unnecessary series, but also people will be self-efficient to solve it on their own
Well, make sure you are not letting your customer do the hard work that you can do easily.
Your customers have less information and ideas about doing things than you. Asking them to do all tough work in the name of self-service can make them confused and irritated too.
Get easy and helpful centers that can include :
- Search Bar
- Important & needed navigations
- Buckets to helpful guides
- Easy CTA
Make sure your customer can easily find your self-service and keep it as hassle-free as possible.
11. Avoid Doing Automation Overdo
Automation is playing a huge role in 2020. Lots of businesses are conserving this, but when it comes to using your customer services, there are a few things you need to understand.
The absolutely wrong way that you can choose depends on the chatbot.
Image source: chatbotslife
It can be useful for a few seconds to engage your customers so they can get in contact with live representatives. But never do it when it’s not needed.
You can use chatbots or automation-like options when absolutely needed.
12. Don’t Skip The Last Impression
The first impression is important, and so is the last impression. When you are dealing with customers, consider running a CSAT survey.
This can help you in finding out if your customers are satisfied or not. Also, how they respond to the services and if there is anything that makes them feel happy.
Surveys are important but never ignore the results. If you have bad reviews or responses, the biggest mistake you can make is to forget them.
You are not just missing the opportunity to make things better for your customer. But also it will end up losing your customers too.
Ask your customers to leave comments or score the services.
You can use it to introduce more features.
For example, Apple sends a detailed survey after their in-store sales. With this survey, they do not just get the feedback, but they use it for introducing new features too. They add offers, so the customers know about them.
13. Read Fictions To Understand More Empathy
Barack Obama said in one of the interviews that reading fiction helps him to become a better leader.
Reading fiction can help you in becoming a much better version of yourself. And it also helps you in becoming more empathetic toward people.
For customer service, empathy plays an important part.
Customer especially gets irritated when they feel you are reading a script without any emotions. They have enough experience to know what you will say next.
Also, not apologizing or asking the customers to repeat again and again are some major mistakes that can ruin your relationship with customers.
14. Don’t Skip The Thank Yous
Personalized thank-you notes are never getting old. People love receiving such things, which gives extra warmth to your words.
With the help of a personalized thank you note, you can increase the chances of getting more of your repeat customers.
Image source: shoplo
Such notes make your customer feel valued and important. And people like to shop more when they feel connected emotionally.
Also, when you are going with this option, make sure not to attach any strings to that. Keep your thank you notes as simple as they can be.
Don’t ask for referrals or recommendations. Your thank you should sound genuine without asking anything in return
15. Boost Your Customer Loyalty Program
The customer loyalty program helps you in getting more repeat customers. For sales, having repeat customers can boost profit as they purchase more than new ones.
Image source: Shopify
In e-commerce, loyalty programs are common; however, using them to improve your customer service is helpful too.
Well, when you are ramping up your loyalty program, make sure it’s easy to understand. In point-based programs, the chances of getting engagement dropping increase.
Here are a few points why –
- The rules and conditions are confusing or not clear
- You don’t have engaging milestones.
- It takes a much longer time to get points.
Instead of posting everything in some small areas of your pages. Go with one dedicated page that includes everything about your loyalty program.
For example, Parachute Coffee offered a loyalty program to its customers. But to avoid any kind of confusion, they created a separate page where they added step-by-step instructions to understand better.
The navigation is easy, and they have CTA attached too. They added all the vital information and updates on new rules or conditions.
16. Fast Service Is Not Always Ideal
Speed is important in customer service. However, with this, you might be compromising on other things.
Instead of measuring how fast your services are, it’s important to focus on the solution-providing methods.
It’s crucial to define the goals and keep measuring it. For example, if you want to measure customer engagement, focus on tactics like –
- Activity time that your customer spend
- The core actions of users
- How frequently do they visit?
17. Switch To Proactive Customer Service
The best way to help you improve your customer service is to understand how you identify the problem and what you do to solve it.
The worst thing you can do is cover up your issues without solving them.
For example, Uber faced the situation of a data breach. The customers sent them to deactivate the account, but instead of solutions or providing the measurement to give security satisfaction, they tried to cover it up.
However, one of the customers tweeted the whole thing, and the company faced backlash.
Image source: Xcart
The right action you can take is to solve it but first acknowledge the problem.
For example, Slack shared a message talking about their error on Twitter. Instead of hiding or covering it up, the company took the incentive to inform others.
With this, you can earn your customers’ trust, but it also allows you to solve the situation without causing any damage to your brand.
18. Consider Gamifying The Customer Service
Gamification to your customer service can help you in improving points like –
- Peer recognitions
- Agreement in the end-to-end employee
- Best practices training
- Getting feedbacks
The gamification should not be too competitive. You can get more as well as better solutions for boosting up the metrics and incentives.
You can do the metrics that can help you track from CSAT to the upsells, first response, and close times.
19. Say When You Don’t Know
In customer service, you don’t always have to come up with a solution immediately. Sometimes you don’t understand the situation, or maybe you don’t know about it.
Instead of giving them false answers, it’s much better to tell them that you don’t know right now.
However, make sure to avoid saying direct no and make it bland answers.
Well, you can say that you don’t know but always offer an alternative as a solution.
For example, If your customers ask some questions and you don’t know the answer. Tell them that you won’t have the right answer and you need to double-check. But add, are they okay if you call them back?
Give them an option and time to choose. Also, make sure you do the follow-up once you get the solution. It will help you understand if they get the solution or are satisfied with it or not.
20. Don’t Skip On Old Customers
Retaining current customers can be costly, but it will take less if you opt for old customers.
Well, when you are trying to re-engage with your customer, make sure you are not doing these things-
- Upselling when they are not active users
- Offering discounts on something they don’t need
- Pushing them to buy things they don’t buy
- Expecting to get in contact soon
The best way to re-engage with your old customers is to make them believe that they are valuable to your business.
For this, you can send them thank-you notes or offer them the services to show your value.
Your customer should know that they are an important part of your success. Also, earn their trust before you try to sell anything.
Instead of offering they don’t buy, use the previous data of their buying history for offering valuable offers.
21. Never Do The Arguing
Arguing never leads you to the results you want, especially when in customer service.
The last thing your customer wants to deal with your arguing when they are frustrated.
Especially not on social media, it’s an extreme no-no point for you if you don’t want serious damage.
When things get tense, you can diffuse it with humor. Make sure you know if it’s suitable or not.
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I am a certified and awarded marketing expert. I’ve spent the last decade reading and writing marketing books and blogs as well as my articles helps people to start their business from scratch or boost their existing business.