Aside from your employees, your customers are your greatest asset. After all, they’re the reason you’re in business. And that means, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of establishing and maintaining a strong working relationship with all of your customers. The right way to go about doing this isn’t always obvious. It takes hard work, strong leadership skills, tenacity, and dedication.
In this article, we offer sound and proven customer service tips so that you can boost customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Why Customer Experience Is Essential to the Success of Your Business
The simple answer is that the type of experience your customers have with your company can make or break your business. This is especially true in the age of social media where a few negative reviews can deter prospective customers from wanting to support your business.
It’s impossible to please every single customer all the time, but cultivating strong customer relationships is a much better business strategy than constantly having to do damage control. Delivering excellent customer service accomplishes so much more than just rendering a happy customer. It evokes an emotional attachment to your business and in turn creates infallible brand loyalty.
How to Improve Customer Experiences in Call Centers
Call center agents are the main point of contact for your customers and that means their customer service game needs to be on point. How you treat your existing customers is a reflection of your professional values. And positive customer reviews and feedback is like free advertising for your business. If you’re struggling with creating positive customer experiences, here are some helpful tips.
1. Understand the Needs of Your Customers
While initiating direct contact with your customers is a failsafe solution to understanding their needs, a more effective option is to experience your business from their point of view. Try contacting your customer service team as if you’re a customer in need of assistance. This isn’t meant to trap your employees or make them feel inept in any way. Instead, the objective is to give you a firsthand idea of what needs to be improved on the business side of things. Directly asking for customer and employee feedback is also a feasible strategy because these are the people who work on the frontlines of your business every single day, which gives them an unparalleled vantage point.
2. Establish a Somewhat Personal Connection
When contacting a customer service department, customers want to feel as if they’re speaking to a real live person. Showcasing empathy towards their problems can help them feel more at ease and it also shows that your company cares about their needs, concerns, and frustrations. Sometimes, it helps if your customer service representatives go a little off-script in order to provide the support your customers need. Empower your employees to resolve customer situations using sensible, yet reasonable solutions that still comply with company policies.
3. Listen to and Apply Customer Feedback
There’s no better way to improve your customers’ experiences with your business than to actually listen to feedback straight from the horse’s mouth. Where applicable, make an effort to implement changes based on your customers’ suggestions and constructive criticisms. After all, these are the people on the receiving end of your business and that means they most likely know what they’re talking about.
4. Stay Focused on Resolving Customer Issues
Oftentimes, when customers contact a customer service department it’s to complain or air their grievances about an experience or issue they’re having with your product or service. No matter how upset or frustrated they get during the conversation, it’s important to uphold an air of professionalism at all times. Focus on finding a workable solution to their problem and try to understand their perspective rather than taking things personally. The faster you can resolve their problem, the faster you can turn the situation around and earn their respect and gratitude.
5. Be Transparent
Patronizing your customers when they’re already feeling frustrated with your product or service will get you absolutely nowhere. In fact, it’ll just upset them even more. The best thing you can possibly do when dealing with a hostile customer is to remain calm and be transparent about how you can resolve their issue. Reassure them that you’re doing everything in your power to resolve the issue, but also be realistic with them.
6. Offer Feasible Solutions
Don’t ever make promises you can’t keep. While employee empowerment is a powerful tool that can certainly help improve customer experiences in a lot of circumstances, it can also land some customer service agents in hot water. Sometimes, in an effort to appease or retain customers in the moment, customer service agents might offer solutions that technically go against company policy. This has the tendency to go south fast. It’s better to offer feasible solutions to rectify problems and always check with management if you’re not sure.
7. Make Sure You’re on the Same Page
To avoid future confusion and frustration, always make sure that you and the customer are on the same page. Once they’ve finished explaining the reason for contacting the company, take the time to repeat key points of interest to ensure you understand. Then, offer plausible solutions to the problem until you find ones that you both agree upon. Towards the end of the conversation, repeat everything back to the customer to ensure they understand and agree with the solutions offered.
8. Work on Resolving the Issue Swiftly
At this point, time is of the essence. Once you’ve offered a solution that you and the customer have agreed on, it’s time to get cracking and make it happen. That’s not to say you should rush, as that can lead to mistakes on your part. But it does mean that you should prioritize handling this particular customer resolution immediately. Once you’ve completed this task, wait a few days or even a week before following up with the customer to see what they think.
9. Always Thank the Customer
This one speaks for itself. Regardless of how an interaction goes with a customer, it’s customary to always thank them for their business and try to end the conversation on a positive note.
As one of the leading customer service call centers in North America, 3C Contact Services is committed to providing professional solutions. We know what it takes to make a great customer experience. Our agents are trained to handle all kinds of customer service problems via phone, e-mail, and live chat. Contact us today to learn more about our services.