How often have you thought ‘Wow, that was so efficient!‘ after a customer service call? We can almost hear you scoffing through your [insert electronic device of choice]. For some reason, good service is hard to come by these days.
Good customer service shouldn’t be the exception – especially when it's so darn easy to provide.
We’ve outlined an easy way for you to create a competent, customer-focused environment without having to invest hours in training your staff. All you need to do is implement these five elements:
1. Organisational skills
Your customer service team should be able to respond to queries quickly and efficiently. Create systems that make it easy for your team to access tried-and-tested responses.
Set up the following:
- A Google Sheet with links to FAQs and instructional blog posts on your website
- A Google Sheet with Grammarly-approved responses for less frequently asked questions
- A WhatsApp group for your customer service team to communicate
2. People skills
It’s important to deal with customers in a way that makes them feel important. This can’t be done with spreadsheets and automated responses, unfortunately. Instead, follow these great tips:
- Use your customer’s name frequently
- Respond using positive and compassionate language
- Repeat your customer’s queries in different ways to ensure you understand what they need from you
- Make your customers feel like you have time for them
- Ask your customers for feedback at the end of conversations
(Want to become an expert at wooing your customers? Read the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie)
3. Professional communication
Providing customers with regular, concise, and interesting updates about your business is vital. But it’s equally important that your content is grammatically correct, your response-time is swift, and your vocabulary, professional. Use these tools to assist you in communicating effectively with your customers:
- Grammarly: Free grammar and spelling management to keep your communication grammatically correct.
- Automated responses on Facebook and email are a great way to let customers know that you will get back to them (or to provide a contact number that they can call for immediate service) .
- Using phrases like “that’s impossible”, “calm down”, “I’m not sure” (or any other uncertain language) is an absolute no-go. Ensure that you have a document set up with acceptable phrases for your team to access and use.
You will face challenges you never thought of. And build solutions you never imagined. #MondayMotivation— Yoco (@Yoco_ZA) April 19, 2021
4. Following up
Following up isn’t only reserved for salespeople. Use these key follow-up techniques to gain valuable insight into your product or service and to build long-lasting relationships with your customers:
- Customer satisfaction survey How does the customer feel about the product on a scale of 1 – 10? How do they believe it can improve? These kinds of questions provide valuable information that can be used to better your business and build stronger customer relationships.
- Customer follow-up call A quick call to find out if the customer received their product and if they need any assistance with set-up or have any questions regarding the product will go a long way in developing brand loyalty from customers.
- Customer query follow-up If a customer contacted you for assistance and you provided an answer, make sure you follow up a week or two later to let the customer know that you’re thinking of them and that you’re just checking that their issue is resolved.
Take the time each week to meet with your team to reflect on your business’ customer service. Discuss the following:
- How organised is the current customer service system? Can you think of ways to improve?
- Is the team customer-focused?
- Have you seen any other examples of really great customer service in other businesses? Elaborate.
- Are our responses professional? Does anyone have new and improved responses to add to the sheet?
- Are we consistently and regularly following up with customers?
- Have there been any complaints/praises worth noting this week?
- Create hypothetical complaints and ask the team to come up with their best responses or ways to manage these customers
Once you’ve mastered your business’s organisational and people skills and combined them with some professional communication tips, following up regularly, and reflecting on your customer service, watch as your customer loyalty and overall business practice improves.