No part of your business has more contact with the public than the customer service department. Bad customer service can cause lasting damage to your brand, while good service can help your reputation for years to come. If you want to provide the best customer service possible, incorporate these ideas into your business.
Provide Multiple Contact Methods
Some people want to talk on the phone to a real person, while other people get nervous in that sort of situation. Provide multiple ways to contact your customer service department, including telephone, email, and online chat if you can. This allows the customer to remain comfortable and in control.
When your customers come to you with a problem, make sure to respond to them quickly. Ideally, you should get back to them within 24 hours of the initial contact. If you can’t solve the issue in that time, provide them with periodic updates so they know you haven’t forgotten them.
Create a FAQ
Every website that has a customer service element should have a section for frequently asked questions (FAQ). Your FAQ should address the most common questions or issues your customers have in a clear, easy to digest manner.
Provide Good Value
Reasonable pricing is a necessity when it comes to any business, but make extra sure not to accidentally gouge your customers with fees and surcharges that aren’t really necessary. Keep prices reasonable and competitive so customers know they’re getting good value along with great service.
Provide Live Chat
Your customers will come away very happy from virtually any problem if they can speak with a real, helpful person. If you’re worried that live chat might be too difficult to implement, try the Olark support system, which is easy to install on any WordPress site.
Provide Added Value
If your customers experience a problem, you owe it to them to make sure that they receive something extra for their troubles. If you can provide a discount or other incentive to get them to come back in the future, that will help mend any hard feelings.
Speak the Customer’s Language
While you may not be able to afford somebody who can communicate with an international customer in their native tongue, you can listen carefully to the way they speak about your industry. If they seem to have trouble understanding the basics, avoid using a lot of jargon with them. This will make them more comfortable with the experience.
Own Up to the Problem
The last thing a customer wants to hear when they reach out is an excuse that shifts the blame. Even if the customer is at fault, own the problem and sympathize with how frustrated they must be. This removes any potential hostility.
Whenever you email your customers about a concern, don’t use a blanket greeting like, “Dear Loyal Customer.” Instead, create a field that uses their name. Personalized emails have a higher chance of people reading them and responding to them.
Develop Useful Supplementary Content
If you can direct your customers to a blog entry or how-to guide that walks them through the trouble they are experiencing, you can demonstrate the usefulness of your website while you help the individual. Good, useful content pays in many ways, and customer service is another example.
Encourage Confident, Decisive Solutions
Very little is more frustrating to a customer than a stuttering customer service representative who can’t make a decision without going to management. Train your customer service team to be confident and decisive when helping out. A wrong decision can be fixed behind the scenes more easily than an upset customer.
Set Realistic Expectations
If you can’t fix something completely, don’t tell a customer that you can. Businesses that overpromise tend to irritate customers more than those which set and meet reasonable expectations from the beginning.
Follow Up Until the Problem is Solved
Don’t let a customer fall by the wayside and get forgotten. Create a follow up system that tracks the issue until it gets resolved. Even after you have solved the customer’s problem, send one last email to make sure that they are truly satisfied. This will remind them how valuable they are.
Customer service is extremely important to any business, and especially important to an online model that relies on goodwill. By following the tips above, you will be able to keep your customers happy and make your own service process much more efficient.