6 Customer Service Tips to Implement

Yext takes a look at the best customer service tips to implement into your business for a happy customer experience and for customer retention.

min read

Customer service is one of the most important parts of your business. Considering how much people value the ability to be listened to by customer service reps, and have their problems addressed in a simple and timely manner, it's no wonder that companies are always looking for ways to improve their customer service.

Let's dive into some of the best customer service tips. You can add these to your customer service training to see a dramatic improvement in your customer feedback.

6 Customer Service Tips to Implement

While there are plenty of ways to improve your company's customer service, we're looking at some of the essential tips that apply across the board. None of these tips are specific to any one particular industry or business model, so feel free to employ them and train your employees with these tips as you please.

Customization

Whenever possible, try to customize the customer interaction. Whether that means having their account already pulled up when they call in with a problem or simply recording their activities on your website and proactively sending them personalized discount coupons, try to do more than just use their names.

Using someone's name during a conversation is good manners and shows you were listening, but it is also important to keep records, so they don't have to give you their entire histories to get a simple answer about the customers' needs.

Another way to provide excellent customer service is to present the customer with options. For example, if you plan to resolve the problem and contact them about the solution, offer them the choice between contacting them via text message or voicemail or ask what time they would be available for a phone call. When you give a customer choices for personalization, they'll appreciate the effort.

Grant Access

Customer service staff eventually grow frustrated with their own inability to solve basic issues that come down to one big problem: a lack of access. While it's only natural for your company to have certain policies governing who can access certain information, it can easily hinder your customer service team.

Another consideration is the freedom customer service representatives have to offer incentives for customers who may be looking to cancel their subscriptions. For example, when you call to cancel a credit card, the company will often offer certain perks to persuade you not to cancel, like waiving the credit card's annual fee for the year.

You can do the same by offering rewards through a customer loyalty program, or for posting a positive review on Facebook or Twitter. Remember that when you stop customer service agents from doing their jobs due to overly strict regulations, the customers won't be the only ones frustrated. Why not make it a best practice to allow your help desk to turn difficult situations into positive ones? During employee training, let them know they have the power to offer incentives to help the customer stay loyal.

Pour Some Sugar on It

How your customer service representatives react is just as important, if not more important, than what they're actually saying. There is always a right way and a wrong way to say something, and it's essential that your team has the emotional intelligence to tell the difference. This isn't to say that it's ever alright to deceive your customers intentionally, but it's best to try and soften bad news.

If a customer is obviously frustrated or upset, using calming language is a good way to help them calm down too. Someone who asks you a question will want a productive solution, even if it isn't the answer they were hoping for. For example, if someone is looking for a particular product and you're out of stock, give them an estimate for when you will be restocking. If you don't know, it's okay to say so, but add that you're happy to contact them when you do restock and ask what the best contact method is.

Even if you can't offer an immediate solution, offering something is better than being dismissive. Saying that you can't help them is much easier to accept when you give them an alternative like offering to contact them in the future, showing them an alternative product, or offering to call around other stores to see if they have that product in stock. It's better to focus on the positives, aka what you can do, although it's best to be clear about what you can't do.

Respond First, Solve Later

As soon as you see that a customer has sent in a query, regardless of whether or not you can or know how to solve the issue, you should respond. Simply letting someone know that you received their message and that you are making them a priority goes a long way in improving customer satisfaction.

For example, if someone sends an inquiry asking to work for your company, this is likely not something that customer service can address. However, always let the sender know that their message has been received, and it will be forwarded to the appropriate person or department for further review. Otherwise, the person is left to wonder whether they should resend the message or if the company doesn't value their submission enough to acknowledge it at all.

No matter what you have to say, it is always better to say something than nothing. Ghosting customers is simply not an option if you want your company to be known for good customer service. Send a polite response informing them that you're working on it or what the next steps are for their inquiry instead of waiting to solve it before responding.

Self Service

Customer support has evolved to include more than two individuals communicating, which may seem counterintuitive. Many customers, particularly millennials and younger generations, want to conduct their own research and seek answers without contacting your customer care staff. Providing online tools and FAQs is the greatest approach to facilitate this demand for research.

Consumers will perceive that your firm is attentive and value the quickness with which they can solve their problems if you can answer the most frequent inquiries online with lessons, videos, or easy replies. Another approach to make it easy for consumers to answer their own queries is to provide a variety of blogs on a variety of themes, each delving into frequent difficulties or questions.

If you don't have the resources to build your own, you may include connections to other websites with lessons that pertain to your goods, either through their blogs or through a learning page. It's usually preferable to generate your own material rather than connecting to someone else's, but in some situations, scientific research may be necessary to back up your claims.

Implementing a comprehensive on-site search engine will allow customers to find the information they want without needing to contact you at all. Ensure that it processes natural language, so consumers can ask questions however they want and still find relevant answers. It can also catalog what consumers are querying and let you know if there are any knowledge gaps between your website and what customers want to know.

Ask for Feedback

Active listening is one of the most important customer service skills. One of the best ways to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers' feelings and hear what they are saying is by conducting quick and easy surveys about their experiences.

Don't wait until you find poor reviews on a website; be proactive; go the extra mile and ask all of your customers to answer one or two questions about their interactions to get a sense of how your customer service is working.

These surveys are often most effective when they are straightforward and don't involve creating an account or accessing them through an account portal. One option is to send emails, texts, or in-app messages with a link directly to the survey. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to fill out the survey quickly while they're still feeling the same emotions to ensure you get an accurate picture of your company's customer service.

You also have the option to offer a small incentive for completing the survey. You could enter customers into a giveaway for completing their survey, give them something small and free, or offer a discount towards their next purchase. People are always more likely to spend time doing something if it benefits them in a tangible, immediate way.

In Conclusion

With the right customer support team, you gain the ability to talk down people having negative experiences and help turn them into loyal customers. It can be the difference between enduring negative reviews on social media and customer loyalty. Customer service representatives don't need to move mountains, but they need to be persuasive and helpful in making a consumer's day.

Sources:

30 Kick-Ass Customer Service Tips (+ Real Examples) | Nextiva

customer service16 Customer Service Tips to Never Forget The best customer service tips can only | Help Scout

30 Tips to Provide a Great Service that Customers Won't Forget | Fresh Desk

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