Why Customer Service Matters to Customer Experience
Customer service is the support provided by the company or organization to their customers. In this article we will see the importance of great customer service and skills required by the support team to improve productivity and to create a long lasting relation with customers.
Customer service is the backbone of any organization that wishes to grow. Customers value personalization more than ever before and expect brands to determine their needs and fulfill them intuitively. Therefore, investing in customer service is crucial for every firm, both in terms of technology and employee training.
The Importance of Great Customer Service
Providing your customers with a swift and reliable service has a positive relationship with your customer satisfaction levels and brand performance, which is directly related to your revenue. According to stats, a 5% increase in customer retention can boost your profits by at least 25%.
Talking about customer experience, a survey indicates that 59% of global consumers seek "more choice in how they contact online brands" with a keen interest in real-time channels like live chat and videos. Besides, most customers, including 25% of millennials, expect a response to their queries within 10 minutes, stressing the importance of fast and reliable service.
Below, we have listed the top benefits you can gain from improving your customer service:
- Improved customer satisfaction
- More customer loyalty that leads to word-of-mouth marketing and repeat sales
- More upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- Improved customer experience
- Reduced churn
- More profits, as users are willing to pay more for a better experience
How to Improve Your Customer Service Efficiency?
A lot is riding on the shoulders of your customer service team. Especially in the current scenario, customer service teams are facing increased call volumes, leading to stress and employee dissatisfaction at a certain level. As a responsible employer, it falls upon you to acknowledge their efforts and also invest in modern tools and technology to reduce their burden and improve their satisfaction and efficiency.
Technology for Improved Customer Service
Remember, happy employees make for happier organizations and improve client satisfaction too. Therefore, it is vital to invest in customer engagement technologies like chatbots to automate repetitive tasks and allow your agents to focus on complex issues, leading to faster query resolution and improved satisfaction at both the ends.
With chatbots, you can streamline your customer service effort to a great extent. Chatbots can answer up to 80% of straightforward or repetitive queries and can also be used to pre-qualify leads before passing them on to live agents. The best part about chatbots is that they learn with every customer interaction – improving with every conversation to answer a growing repertoire of queries.
Besides enabling instant query resolution, chatbots can also be a part of your marketing plan. Yes, chatbots help in personalization by monitoring and analyzing user behavior to help you tailor your offers and recommendations better. The best part is that chatbots can handle multiple customers at once, without ever getting tired, leading to increased efficiency and positive interactions at all times.
Besides chatbots, you can also implement customer engagement tools like live chat, video calling, co-browsing, etc., to give your customers more contact options while empowering your agents with powerful tools for seamless communication.
Of course, technology's role is to supplement and support your live agents and not replace them. Therefore, it remains crucial to hire and train the right customer-facing staff to maintain the level of your customer experience.
Critical Skills for Customer Service Staff
Great customer service begins by hiring the right individuals in your team. Qualities like patience, empathy, and teamwork are essential in any person who wants to work in a customer-facing role.
Ideally, when you are hiring service agents for your team, you must prioritize naturally patient and empathic candidates. That's because psychological traits are difficult to teach. Therefore, your hiring process should be designed to test your employees' patience level and behavior, especially under extreme pressure or difficult situations.
Some questions you can ask the candidates to determine their patience level include:
- What are the things that bother you the most?
- Do repetitive actions or questions annoy you?
- What would you do if someone frustrates you?
These questions will help you determine how quickly a candidate gets frustrated in real life, and how well they can handle a client who's angry or unable to understand their response. Patient candidates can often view situations from others' perspectives, making them kinder and empathic than most people.
While this is again an innate quality, you can also train your staff to respond politely to customers so that they feel better about the situation instantly.
The following statements can set the tone for positive interactions, potentially calming down even the most frustrated of your customers:
- I would have felt the same way had I been in your situation
- You are absolutely correct. I appreciate your patience and would try my best to set the situation right for you
- I understand how you feel, and I will try my best to resolve your problem
In addition to these affirming statements, make sure your staff is knowledgeable and trained in genuinely solving customer issues.
Teamwork is another essential skill for your customer service agents. Instead of working in isolation, agents must work together to learn from each other's mistakes and successes.
Today, customer engagement software automatically creates chat transcripts. Still, if you don't have such software, your agents must make clear transcripts to share with the team (by feeding them in a centralized system) as someone else may handle a customer's concern the next time they connect.
All the skills mentioned above will be of no use if an agent is not an attentive listener. However, reducing attention spans can lead to gaps in information that can be plugged by shifting to a solution like live chat software that ensures real-time conversations while collecting data simultaneously.
We also suggest regular case studies and mock exercises to help your customer team deal with complex situations and demanding customers. In addition, you must train them to use all your customer engagement tools properly to get the maximum benefit out of your technology investments.
Here are some quick tips to improve the productivity of your customer service team:
- Devise a thoughtful hiring strategy
- Introduce technology like live chat, helpdesk, and chatbots to streamline work
- Put reward programs in place to keep employees motivated
- Hold regular training programs
- Rotate jobs within the team to avoid monotony
In today's competitive landscape, businesses are using customer experience as the prime brand differentiator. This has led to an increased focus on customer service excellence at all the touchpoints across the customer journey.
Therefore, it is pertinent to train your employees in making thoughtful, engaging, and productive conversations to ensure positive interactions. You may also invest in a holistic customer engagement platform to provide swift and reliable support 24/7 to boost customer loyalty and retention and sales.