Service quality, which is often considered a bad parent, should nevertheless be considered an important issue in business:
- Good customer service helps support the customer in choosing their product or service, and therefore they will be more likely to recommend it to their contacts.
- Good customer service allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors by giving you an intangible competitive advantage that is difficult to copy.
- And good customer service helps identify sales opportunities and collect suggestions for product improvement.
In order to offer a good quality of service, it is sometimes enough to use a few tricks, methods or tools…
Here are some tips and tricks we recommend to improve your customer service:
1 – To improve your customer service, offer your customers and prospects as many communication channels as possible,
Often overloaded phone numbers discourage customers from making calls from a cell phone or from home.
2 – Implement a CRM solution with a history of exchanges (calls, e-mails, letters…),
This prevents the customer from feeling like a number.
3 – Avoid “wild transfers” between operators and different departments that force customers to tell their story each time and give back their customer number...
4 – Do not let the customer wait for hours on line,
Offer to call them back or at least specify a scheduled waiting time (using CTI functions). If this is not possible, offer two contract levels, a standard and a premium, with priority access.
5 – Don’t make promises you can’t keep (e.g., callbacks within the day), because disappointment and dissatisfaction will be even greater!
6 – Do not propose solutions without listening to the customer’s problem (the heart)…
The customer always has the impression that his problem is unique and that he must first listen to it? After the listening phase, you can then be proactive, but not before…
You can also set up automatic problem detection features (e.g. in an application, on a website, emails with tips and tricks sent over time…) to be proactive and not wait for the customer to fail:
7 – If there is nothing you can do, then say so.
Not every problem can be solved, and a customer can often understand this (unless it is crucial for him).
8 – To improve your customer service, always give the operator some autonomy,
In the worst case, a handover to a manager to show that your company is “human” instead of being a global company.
9 – Set up a central knowledge base that your customers can access online 24 hours a day,
With a “private” part accessible to employees. This knowledge base, fed by experienced technicians, will also allow you to improve the skills of your new employees more quickly.
10 – Do not pressure operators to react as quickly as possible…
While it is important to establish case tracking statistics, this should not be at the expense of quality.
11 – Set up a “recovery” service for customers you want to leave…
Sometimes, a commercial gesture allows a simple effort, a promise… To win back a hard-won customer.
12 – Plan ahead for peaks in activity (sales, Christmas, product releases, etc.) to avoid line saturation.
If this is not possible, you can expect to receive information videos, PDF files to download……………
13 – Always acknowledge receipt of requests by e-mail or on the website and inform us of the expected processing time and the progress of the solution.
In fact, a very large number of calls are usually “follow-up calls” (customers have made a request on the Internet and call back to find out where they stand).
14 – Manage the urgency of customer issues, sometimes some requests are random while others are critical.
Also, some customers are always willing to pay more for better service or more guarantees. You are invited to offer premium services.
15 – Open access to the customer service solution for sales, accounting… so that these departments can understand the cause of problems in case of a dispute, a credit application...
Similarly, there is nothing worse for a sales representative than to call a customer to sell him something if he has a big technical problem!
16 – Don’t accuse other third parties of saying “It’s not us, it’s your other suppliers who have a problem…
This may save the technicians time, but the customer always comes back with more dissatisfaction.
17 – To improve your customer service, you need to pay attention to the content and form of your responses to customers:
No technical jargon, no haughty or colloquial words, no vulgarity… as we often hear in some hotlines “You don’t hear yourself, I’ve already explained how to do it”, “If you think you’re the only one who has this problem”…
18 – Regular training of technicians in both technical and marketing aspects and in the vision of the company, so that they have a global view of the company instead of standing in the fog (and sometimes knowing less than the customers!)…
19 – Training either with recording of customer conversations or with role-playing to give tips and tricks to better manage interviews (aggressive customers, customers who don’t understand…).
20 – Implementation of email signature templates, standard email/PDF procedures… to automate customer service.
These templates should also avoid spelling mistakes and approximations that occur systematically when operators have to manage their own exchanges.
21 – Define a default representation for all operators and always specify the first name.
And if the problem requires a callback or a return, enter an email, a phone number, a name…… to avoid that the “army of shadows” arises where nobody is responsible…
22 – If the customer is always right by default (don’t start an argument), don’t forget that it is up to you to show him (and objectively prove) that he may have made a mistake (always give him the benefit of the doubt)…… And if the problem comes from your product, admit your mistake and apologize if necessary.
23 – Monitor your reputation on the Internet in addition to your call center statistics.
77% of French people are registered in social media, a bad buzz is quick to arrive……..
24 – Let your employees take regular breaks, with a few seconds between calls
Relationships with customers are greatly improved as a result.
25 – Never let a situation deteriorate in the hope that the customer will let go…
It is up to you to restart so that the customer admits on the form that you have reached the maximum (even if it is only an email asking if the problem has been resolved).
26 – Send out regular customer satisfaction surveys to see if there are problems behind the apparent calm.
Ideally, you’ll need one email after purchase, another once a year to do an evaluation.
27 – Regularly show service technicians testimonials from satisfied customers as they often see the downside of having 100% dissatisfied customers on the phone with your products...
28 – Humanize your customer service by publishing pictures of your technicians on your website.
And do the same with your customers, name them by their name.
And if they have been customers for a long time, they have all your products….. Thank you! Show that every customer is important to you.
29 – Invite people from other departments (research and development, marketing, sales, etc.) to listen in on the phone at least once a year so that you can assess customers’ expectations and problems in real life.
30 – Don’t hesitate to ask technicians to occasionally conduct online customer surveys (functional tests…), as they are often the ones in direct contact with customers.
31 – Set up a multi-channel technical support: phone, e-mail, chat, extranet, Facebook…. to adapt to the needs of customers and the development of communication channels.
32 – Formally designate people responsible for managing customer service on social media (Community Manager or dedicated technician) and take special time each day to manage this additional activity if you can’t afford to have a dedicated person.
33 – Avoid distractions while on the phone, cell phones,…… must be turned off so you can focus 100% on the customer’s problem.
Also, chewing gum, eating food… during customer calls is prohibited.
34 – To handle angry customers, the best way to “let them go” is to start the discussion as calmly as possible with empathy when they have lost their nerves.
35 – Before closing a call, always make sure that your solution has met the customer’s request.
With this confirmation, you can confirm that the customer will not be even more dissatisfied… And finally, ask him if there is anything else he wants to know.
36 – If you always rephrase the customer’s problem after his explanation; you can confirm that you have understood him well; and sometimes the customer realizes that he is asking the wrong questions…
Always confirm that everything is fine (“It’s fine for you”, “You did it…”, “It’s fine…”…).
37 – Open separate accounts for technical issues in social media (Twitter, Facebook…) so as not to pollute the “classic” exchange.
Social media profitability
38 – Let your employees design their workspace individually, this allows them a little “home” in an often stressful environment…
39 – To improve your customer service, always tell the customer what is in the support area and what is not.
For example, advice on another product to use with yours.
By making this clear before you do anything; you can justify the fact that it may not work without being under your control.
40 – Don’t be afraid to “go the extra mile”, i.e., go a little further than you are supposed to (e.g., stay a little later to solve a customer problem).
41 – Ask people outside the company to act as mystery shoppers to get an external opinion on the quality of your service.
42 – Set up a forum, a Facebook page, a Linkedin / Facebook group…;where users and distributors can share and help each other.……..
This further relieves your call center and increases the value of your customers.
There are now even community chat rooms where customers can help each other.
43 – Identify your “ambassador” customers who can become your fans and advocates on social media or to make a written or filmed statement.
44 – Don’t shoot down…
If a treatment takes time, ask the client for permission to put it on ice or offer to call back later; but you can’t take another client without their permission…
45 – If you have clients on your premises, invite them to a cafeteria other than the employee cafeteria so as not to surprise them with conversations that could damage your image…
46 – Specify response times on your social media accounts. However, if you don’t respond quickly, don’t say so to avoid over-promising!
47 – Set up a “suggestion box” about a specific email in your company so that everyone can report good practices. And above all, communicate the improvements you have made to create a dynamic of continuous improvement.
48 – To improve your customer service, you need to measure the quality of service and its development; for example by setting up an NPS (see this article on NPS).
49 – Delete a negative message on social media only if it is clearly a “troll” or an insult.
If you delete a negative comment, not only will the customer be angry at being cut off; but they may also complain on other social networks (blogs, Facebook groups…) being even angrier.
A good tip: Take a picture of the deleted comment for your internal use and explain why the comment was deleted.
And definitely use a less public chat channel (email, or better yet the phone) to avoid having your dirty laundry washed in public………..
50 – Show your appreciation and treat your account managers well.
It’s like the Bifidus ad: “What she does on the inside is seen on the outside”…
In fact, how you deal with your employees will necessarily show how they will deal with customers.
If you see customers as “blue cards” on their feet, they will act accordingly…….. On the contrary, if management shows that every customer is important, consultants will do their best to satisfy customers.
51 – To improve your customer service, it is necessary to set up “hot” but also “cold” surveys.
That is to say, you can suggest to give a note to a service immediately after its execution (for example an SMS, an e-mail, a note from a switchboard after a phone call….) to measure the performance of each of your communication channels.
But don’t forget the “cold” survey, i.e. X days after the purchase of the product (or recurrent on a barometer); to measure the overall satisfaction of your customers on your brand and your products.
Attention: This measurement should not be a punishment for those who do not have good marks (otherwise it does not work, you will not have any adhesion), but as a tool to improve the quality of the service.
52 – Helping to solve problems on the first call
It is much more efficient to check the first time if the problem is solved, and to transfer; test / call back to avoid… This wastes the customer’s time (call and waiting time) and mobilizes your consultants several times.
Finally, to improve your customer service, you need to:
Remember that the quality of your service depends on the people who work there.
If you treat your technicians well; if you train them; or if you let them enjoy their work…; they will be more efficient and your customers will be grateful to you…….
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