Excellent customer service is essential to any business, big or small. Whether you're selling handmade sweaters online or providing software for clients, your customers expect your business not just to supply the product but also to be there when they need help.
While you obviously want your product to be reliable at all times — and so easy to understand that no one has any questions — it's inevitable that this situation will arise. And users report that a bad customer experience (even just one!) has the potential to turn them away from a company for good.
Luckily, it really doesn't have to be difficult to provide high-quality customer service to your users. Here's a breakdown of why customer service success is important, examples of good customer service, and what you need to provide top-tier customer service.
Why is Exceptional Customer Service Essential?
As we mentioned, customers won't tolerate bad customer service. You want your users to feel listened to and cared for — because if they don't, they'll be seeking out your competition instead.
Users who have excellent customer service experiences are likely to share positive customer service experiences with their friends and family, bringing more potential traffic to your site. With so many different options available online, this extra boost of potential customers is critical to your success. You always want your business to be associated with high-quality content as well as the best customer service.
Different Channels of Customer Service
Not every situation can be handled by a single channel of customer service. Sometimes the size and complexity of the issue require a certain level of focus to get a solution.
Some users prefer to speak with human agents. Others might prefer to answer their questions by themselves. Additionally, your human agents might not always be available either due to high ticket volumes or off-hours, so having at least one customer service option available at all times helps boost the user experience.
Customer Service Representatives
A good customer service team can do wonders in stressful situations. But they need to have the training and resources to be able to help your clients properly.
How many employees you need to handle service depends on the size and complexity of your content, but no matter the size of the team, it's essential that each member is highly trained and qualified.
When dealing with customer service professionals, users want to feel heard and cared for. The personal experiences should be efficient and swift but also maintain a level of personal touch.
Your business can ensure that your customer service rep is prepared and has everything they need by providing them with high-quality equipment. With advanced tools like Yext Answers that assist with the customer service process today, your team can provide top-tier experiences to your customers with ease.
Above all, make sure your agents are well versed in the product or service you provide so that they're able to listen to customer issues and quickly find the resolution.
Artificial Intelligence is no longer a subject confined to science-fiction. It's among us now, helping us find restaurants to eat at, sculpting our new music playlists, and helping our customers find the answers that they need.
Using natural language understanding, chatbots no longer give only rigid, automated responses. They can actually break down a user's question and swiftly find relatable and helpful answers.
While some customers might be a little hesitant to use the chatbots and even live chat, they can be extremely useful when your human representatives are totally unavailable. This means that high-quality service can be available to your users at all times.
Chatbot statistics show that users have become and continue to be much more open to using chatbots than they were when the technology first became available.
By being the first line of service, chatbots can potentially answer and take care of the more simple issues that come up, freeing your representatives to focus on the complex problems that need human attention.
A Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQ page, might seem like a cop-out when it comes to customer interactions, but it can actually be a big help to some of your users.
Some customers prefer to find answers themselves. If they have a minor problem that doesn't need the heavy hand of an agent, an FAQ page can be their go-to resource.
It's good customer service strategy to keep your FAQ page updated regularly, especially if you introduce new products or notice the same question coming to your chatbots or agents frequently.
Tips For Excellent Customer Service
Now that we've covered some options of customer service you can implement on your page, here are some tips to inspire customer feedback, customer loyalty, and manage customers' expectations.
From making sure that your agents are highly trained in empathy and patience to providing multiple channels for your users, there are plenty of ways to make sure your users have a positive customer service experience.
Know Your Product
This is critical for your customer service representatives but goes for every element. Knowing your retail product top to bottom means that troubleshooting can be a swift process.
If something is not working the way a user expects it, good customer service means quickly identifying what they're doing incorrectly and how the tool can perform their desired task, if it's possible.
This goes for your FAQ page as well. If there's an element of your service or content that has a bit of a learning curve or is generally a bit more complicated, then making sure to include some preemptive answers will help speed things up for your users and equate to a happy customer.
Listen to Your Users
Listening to your users is essential in all aspects of business, especially when it comes to customer service.
You can utilize your customer service agents and chatbots by recording the issues that return multiple times, as well as tracking the traffic data on your FAQ page.
If there's a common problem that your customers keep coming back to you to answer, then it might be something to address in an update.
Response time should be at the top of your priorities when it comes to providing excellent customer service.
Customers' expectations are that they receive a response from a business within an hour of their initial message and at least within a day.
Slow response times can be due to high volumes of service demands and agents being busy. But these can be circumvented by employing chatbots to handle the smaller issues.
As well, having a streamlined customer service workflow helps your representatives know how to help users efficiently. An optimized system will help reduce solve times, which will help decrease wait times for new tickets, but we'll talk about that more later.
Always Have Something Available
As we mentioned before, time is of the essence. Your users highly value their time and expect that you do as well. You should always have some form of customer satisfaction service available at all times.
If a human representative is unavailable for any reason, then chatbots and FAQ pages can help provide some immediate answers, even if the issue needs further attention to be resolved.
Users report that they expect a swift reply from a business – with 77% saying that a business valuing their time is one of the most important qualities they look for.
Customer Service Workflow
A customer service workflow is simply a visual representation of how your service process is handled from start to finish.
Creating a general system for your agents to follow allows you to look at every step of the troubleshooting process and optimize it. You can identify which steps could be automated, what resources should be prioritized, and how to streamline customer experiences. Customer service workflows can and should be made for every different aspect of your support.
One for your customer support representatives might look like this:
A customer reaches out to the company with an issue or question
The company records user information and details of the problem
The customer is connected with a support agent
The support agent requests further context for the issue
The support agent resolves the issue, or if the issue is beyond their resources, escalates the customer to a higher support team
Good customer service is non-optional for any type of business. You need your users to have positive experiences, and whenever they have issues, your team has to be there to provide the care and assistance that they expect.
By providing several different routes of customer service like human representatives, chatbots, and self-service options, you're able to offer your users a more personal and swift customer service experience.
How Important is customer service to success in business | Forbes
Consumers are more willing to share positive experiences than negative ones | Forbes