You know that customer service is an integral part of any business, but did you know that it entails more than just answering questions, and providing solutions? It takes a wide array of customer service principles and techniques to create a positive experience for customers—but what are the key principles of excellent customer service? Keep on reading to learn about the principles of customer service that all businesses should know about.
Why Businesses Should Follow Principles of Customer Service
Good customer service isn’t just something that will boost your sales or increase your brand reputation—it’s integral to keep your business afloat. We live in a society that is led by consumers, not companies. You can pay for the most extravagant marketing campaigns and advertising initiatives, but if you have horrible reviews online from angry customers, it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed. Think about it like this: angry customers are much more likely to take to social media to express their feelings after a negative experience, than those who have received good service. This means you have to work twice as hard to thwart the chance of bad reviews, so that the positive ones will shine through.
Customer Service Principles That Will Help Your Business
First and foremost, listening is the most important principles of customer service that’ll promise excellence—it comes above all, even before responding quickly. Listening to your customers’ complaints is important because it’ll help you serve them better by being able to effectively address their problems, and it’ll also give you some insight into some overarching problems that may exist within your business. When customer care agents can listen actively and provide consumers with resolutions, it’ll show that they truly care about their experience with your brand. Some representatives may respond to inquiries and completely miss the point of what the customer was trying to say, giving them the impression that they either didn’t listen well enough, or just don’t care. Either way, listening is one of the main principles that all businesses should know and utilize well.
Fast Response Time
Secondly, you want to stick to a fast response time for all inquiries, regardless of their medium. Attend to all e-mails, live chats, and phone calls as fast as possible, to reduce the wait time for customers. If you’re bound to receive a backlog of e-mails, for example, send out an automatic reply to those that have messaged you, confirming your receipt of their e-mail and let them know when they should expect to hear back from you— two to five business days is the norm, but the sooner the better.
Know Your Customers
This may sound like a given, but you might be surprised to find out how many companies overlook the importance of customer insights, and focus all their efforts on product development and marketing. But the truth is, your product and advertising methods will mean nothing if it’s not designed with the consumer in mind. In order to be able to sell something to a group of people, you need to understand their preferences and needs, and how they evolve as time goes on; things like income, status, age, and gender are all influential factors. Therefore, gathering and analyzing customer data on a regular basis is imperative to continue to push out products and services that your target market will respond to.
It can be frustrating for customer service agents when they have to explain the simplest of procedures to clients who have no idea what they’re doing. Take a step back and realize that customers aren’t immersed in your industry every day, and have extremely limited knowledge about it—which is why they’ve resorted to calling you. Be patient and understanding when explaining things to them, as it’ll help them understand better and prevent agents from sounding condescending.
Apologize When You Need To
While there are some instances where you should stick up for your brand, there will also be situations where you’ll need to swallow your pride and apologize for mistakes. The key is to always be humble enough to say sorry—customer should always be your top priority, so let them know that you acknowledge your mistakes can work to earn their forgiveness. Simply providing a resolution won’t win them over after a blunder that’s caused them inconvenience, but an apology on top of that may.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
Some customers can be exceptionally difficult, and their complaints can seem impossible to resolve. These customers whose issues seem to extend beyond the standard practices of customer service centers can have a negative impact on the functionality of the call center, which is why it’s so important to never lose sight of the big picture. Agents should be able to reset for the next call, and not let one bad experience affect the service they provide for other clients. Reaching the highest possible percentage of satisfied customer each day is the ultimate goal for every contact center, and keeping the big picture in mind will help achieve that goal.
3C Contact Services can help you exceed your customer’s expectations at every turn. With these principles constantly in the forefront of our minds, we’re customer service professionals that know exactly how to handle the tough situations that more inexperienced call center agents may be thrown off by. Our team of expert customer care specialists know exactly how to create a positive environment for your customers, and put them at ease regardless of their issue. Allow us to provide unparalleled service to your customers, so that they choose you every time. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer, and how we can help enhance your business.