10 Best Practices for Handling Customer Service

You may have an interesting product or service that initially gets customers in the door, but if you have poor customer service, you can forget about those customers ever coming back. Today’s consumer is looking for more than just a great product. They want a great experience as well. Customers want to be treated as individuals, not us numbers. They want a personalized experience that is friendly, reliable, and efficient. It should also be noted that today’s consumers can also make or break your reputation. They can either sing your praises on social media or create a viral video about how unhappy they were with your service. Therefore, it’s worth the investment to focus on delivering exceptional customer service. This is the secret to long-term business success. Here are ten awesome ways to deliver great customer service. 

1. Employ the Right People

In many ways, your customer service department is the face of your business. It is the first person your customers will speak to when they experience an issue. Therefore, you must attract the best talent by offering competitive pay, great benefits, and a positive work environment. You want people who are dedicated, personable, patient, and efficient. These skills can be hard to come by, so do whatever it takes to attract and retain good employees. When you hire exceptional employees, they will deliver exceptional customer service. 

2. Manage Customer Expectations

Customers often expect the world but we all know this isn’t always reasonable. It is not beneficial to make promises that you know you cannot keep. Instead, it’s far better to be upfront and honest with your customers. Let them know exactly what they can expect and work hard to exceed those expectations. When customers feel like you are willing to go the extra mile for them, they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand. 

3. Make a Positive First Impression

Strive to provide an excellent first impression to all of your customers. Even if you cannot deliver whatever it is they want, you can treat them with kindness and respect and you can make them feel like you are willing to do your best to meet their needs. A customer relationship that starts off strong is more likely to stay that way, so encourage your employees to do everything they can to delight customers. 

4. Respond Quickly

Customers know that time is valuable and this is among the most important things consumers look for in good customer service. They want timely responses and timely resolutions. Resolving customer issues as quickly as possible is fundamental to good customer service. Get in touch with your customers as quickly as possible and work to provide speedy, quality service. 

5. Personalize the Service

One thing many customers hate is dealing with robots. People want to speak to a real human, not an automated response system. Furthermore, they don’t want to be tossed around from one person to the next. They want to interact with one person who can resolve their issues. Imagine if you spoke to the customer by name, made a little small talk with them, or went off script a little to add a personal touch. It can be very beneficial to personalize your support interactions.

6. Actively Listen

Customers want their concerns to be heard so take the time to really listen. Let them speak freely without interrupting and pushing your own agenda. Whether on the phone, in person, or in a live chat, demonstrate active listening with phrases like, “It sounds like…” or “Do you mean…?” Make sure you repeat the problem back to show that you understand. Be mindful of each customer’s unique needs and tailor your response to fit that specific situation. 

7. Offer Various Methods of Service

Omni-channel customer service experiences are becoming increasingly popular. That’s because every customer has a unique personality so be willing to meet them where they are. Find out how your customers prefer to interact and offer various options such as phone, social media, live chat, or text. Equip your customer service team with a CRM platform that can reach customers through these various channels. 

8. Use Customer Feedback to Improve

Customer feedback can provide important insights into what customers like and dislike about your service. You can implement a customer feedback tool by sending out customer satisfaction surveys. You can then use this data to learn what areas need improvement. You can also see if customers are happy with your support and would be willing to recommend your business to family or friends. 

9. Stay Focused on the Customers

Make sure everyone in your organization, from the CEO down to the newly hired agents, understand the need to stay focused on the customer. Give your customer service agents the tools and resources they need to provide superior customer service and reward them when they do. Your customers are the heart of your business so make sure everyone is in line with putting them first. 

10. Keep Your Word

If you make a promise to a customer, make sure you keep it. Keeping your word helps to build trust between customers and your business. For example, if you promise to upgrade their service at no cost, you better make it happen. Or if you promise to have a response within 24 hours, you need to make sure you do. Customers feel angry when you break your promise so remember that it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver so you can be sure you can always keep your word.