Most companies require a customer support team to handle the queries and complaints of their customers. However, many don’t realize that retaining and keeping customers satisfied is possible by rendering exceptional customer support services.
Here is where the need for top-notch customer service arises.
Some basic principles of excellent customer service include acting promptly, maintaining transparency throughout the process, and showing empathy toward the customers. A modern support team might want to assimilate more principles into their support services to improve and maintain their perception in the customers’ minds.
The main reasons to include principles in customer service are given below:
- To establish that a brand is customer-centric
- To elevate the levels of customer experience
- To bring in more loyal customers
- To define the values of the organization
- To understand customer behavior and emotions
- To achieve an edge over the peers
To achieve these objectives, the companies can integrate these top eight principles into their customer service.
8 Principles Of Great Customer Service
1. Respond Promptly
A customer contacts a support team only when things get out of hand. Therefore, the first and foremost thing they expect from a support team is a prompt response. The customer service executives must be trained to sense the urgency when the customer contacts them and act accordingly. They must be able to answer and resolve their queries and complaints without wasting time. This will result in a satisfactory customer experience, which will ultimately help the company convert new customers and retain the existing ones.
Companies should figure out ways to ensure that the grievance redressal or query-addressing process is smooth for both the executives and the customers. One key metric companies can employ to check the response time is the average handling time. The support team that resolves a complaint or query in less time and is more responsive.
2. Addressing Queries/Complaints Accurately
Speed is not the only parameter essential for improving the customer experience. The representatives must also be able to resolve queries and complaints accurately. For that, they need to familiarize themselves with their company’s products and services.
Acquiring vast product knowledge and understanding a customer’s issues can be different things. Instead of expecting representatives to understand every detail, businesses should provide them with access to the necessary resources whenever they interact with customers.
Knowledgeable representatives will not trouble a customer with the same questions every time. They will understand the issues quickly and answer their questions accurately. This not only helps to build customers’ trust but also saves their valuable time.
The honesty of representatives might not resolve their complaints or queries. However, it will create a good impression about the company’s values, like integrity and transparency. Sometimes, representatives might not be able to understand a customer’s problems. In such cases, they can accept their inability to grasp the actual situation with the assurance that they will take up the issue with the technical team. It is much better to acknowledge their faults than fool the customers.
Companies need to create a multi-tiered support system where complex and unanswerable questions or issues are escalated to a higher level. They also need to improve collaboration among all the representatives to help each other during difficulties.
4. Show Empathy
Customers need to be treated with care and support. Sometimes, they are anxious about having to apologize to the customers for speaking rudely rather than hang up and hope they don’t report the matter to the concerned authority. However, representatives are also humans and may falter at times.
5. Being Accessible
Being accessible is not necessarily a principle, but it shows that a company wants to help its customers in every possible way. Including 24/7 chat and support services is an attempt to make support services accessible to customers. Also, providing customers with multiple means or platforms to reach support is crucial. It will reduce the chances of the customers getting annoyed and contribute to the overall customer experience.
Including live chat support, a helpline number, email support, and a dedicated FAQ section can help companies make their support team available to customers at all times.
6. Provide Quality Services
Every troubled customer can be pacified by a representative who knows how to provide quality support services. The representatives must be trained to try their best to resolve a customer’s query or complaint. Most of the time, the customers aren’t fully aware of the products or services. The representatives can go out of their way to help them in such cases.
Suppose a customer who bought a cellphone from a company finds issues with the camera. Suppose the representative discovers that the phone hasn’t been upgraded in a while and guides th be guided to do the same. Apart from that, the customer should also get his primary issue resolved. It will not only improve the customer experience, but the customer will also tend to remember the gesture of the representative for a long time. Instances like this help companies convert a customer into a loyal customer.
7. Improving Continuously
Companies that want a competitive edge must improve their services on every front. An excellent way to enhance support services would be to take feedback from customers through SMS or email once their queries or complaints have been closed. Most customers would be happy to provide their insights and opinions on how customer service can be improved. They will also feel better and more valued as a result.
Companies that regularly solicit customer feedback tend to enhance their marketing strategies. It helps them understand where their products or services are lagging. Also, they can analyze the expectations and pain points of the customers. By sharing feedback with product development and marketing , the companies can develop smart ideas to promote their products.
8. Maintaining Stability
Stability is also an essential element in the principles of customer service. For instance, customers must follow a process to escalate their issues or seek refunds. Now, the support team asks them to follow a completely different procedure for similar problems during the subsequent encounter; the customers might get confused. If the support team is not stable, it will reduce the buyers’ trust, and ultimately, it is the company that has to lose.
Providing the same customer experience at every stage of the process isn’t sufficient. Companies must find a way to improve their services while maintaining the stability of the process.
Putting The Principles Into Practice
Creating principles and values for enhancing customer service is good, but things will only turn out in their favor when companies learn to put them into practice. Therefore, they should monitor the daily work of the customer team closely to ensure that all the principles are being followed. Comprehensive training can make them skilled enough to handle different customer issues.
Customer service is not something that every company invests in. Companies that take it seriously and incorporate customer feedback into their marketing efforts, on the other hand, succeed in the long run. Nowadays, customers don’t like to rely on support executives and representatives to solve their issues. They need immediate responses to their queries and complaints. Implementing a chatbot in the website or app can be helpful in such scenarios. The companies can also include a dedicated blog and FAQ section that details different issues or problems that customers can face along with their solutions. The abovementioned principles can also help them take the customer experience a notch above their competitors.