Bad customer service can seriously hurt your brand in the long-term.
According to NewVoiceMedia, US companies lose more than $62 billion a year due to providing poor service.
If a customer has a negative experience with your company, there’s a good chance they won’t want to do business with you again. And they may even go as far as actively telling people not to do business with you — whether it’s through bad online reviews or conversations with their peers.
This is why it’s essential that companies know how to provide great customer service, especially in today's competitive market.
To make sure that your customers are consistently happy and satisfied, we put together 13 tips to not only ensure that you’re following customer service best practices, but that you’re also going above and beyond to provide a delightful customer experience.
But before we get into the list, let’s first define what it means to have great customer service.
Great customer service is characterized by a helpful, friendly, and efficient approach to assisting and addressing the needs and concerns of customers. It involves actively listening to customers, properly identifying and addressing their issues, and going above and beyond to meet their expectations. Ultimately, great customer service strives to create a positive, memorable experience for customers and build long-term relationships with them.
Without great customer service, you run the risk of hurting your brand in the long term. This is because a great brand is built on repeat customers and word of mouth. If you have bad customer service, there’s a good chance people won’t do business with you again. And even worse, they won’t recommend you to their friends (or they’ll actively tell people not to do business with you).
But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll go over a handful of ways you can create a great customer service experience. If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to making sure your support team is helping your business create loyal and happy customers for years to come.
Here are 13 ways to create a great customer experience:
Okay, let’s dive a bit deeper into each one.
Having a comprehensive understanding of your product is essential for providing outstanding customer service.
Many times this means enhancing your product knowledge by becoming a “student of your product.” In other words, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and actually use the products and services your company provides. Become the customer.
This will help you know exactly what customers are looking for and how best to provide them with the solution that meets their needs. For example, if a customer has a technical issue with your software, having in-depth knowledge of the product will enable you to troubleshoot it quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, knowing your product inside out means that you can communicate effectively with customers by being able to explain features and benefits clearly. This puts both parties on the same page, which creates trust between yourself and the customer — leading to greater satisfaction overall.
Just following this tip alone can greatly improve your customer service skills as you’ll become more efficient when answering support tickets.
There’s nothing worse than having to wait hours on a chatbot or phone call to get your questions answered. In today’s age, people don’t have the patience to wait hours at a time. Technology has trained us to want things quickly, and this definitely falls into customer service as well.
This is why it’s so important to staff your customer service team accordingly.
However, the tricky thing here is knowing exactly how many customer support reps you need per customer. Many businesses are either overstaffed or understaffed when it comes to customer service representatives. In most cases, it’s the latter.
However, some companies, especially ecommerce businesses, can find themselves overstaffed once the Q4 holiday craze slows down. And now businesses are left with the tough decision of either letting people go or sticking out the high overhead costs until the shopping season picks up again.
This is why many businesses decide to outsource their customer service to an on-demand CX platform like Chatdesk. This allows businesses to run a lean customer success team that can still provide exceptional customer service at scale.
Companies like Thinx, BarkBox, and many more use Chatdesk to easily scale up or down their customer service reps at any given time. And the best part is that all of Chatdesk’s customer service reps are US-based and work diligently to become super fans of your products and services.
If you’re looking for experienced US-based customer service agents to help you answer support tickets across email, phone, chat, and social media, be sure to book a free demo with Chatdesk.
On the same token as staffing your team, it’s equally, if not more, important to train your team accordingly. The last thing you want is a customer service agent to misguide your customers or lead them down a never-ending loop of redirected phone calls.
Investing in the right training will ensure that your staff is equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge they need to effectively handle customer issues, solve problems quickly and efficiently, as well as build relationships with customers.
Additionally, having a good understanding of customer psychology can help them understand how best to respond in difficult situations. Furthermore, providing role-play scenarios that simulate real-life customer interactions will also help develop their communication skills and confidence when dealing with customers directly. With proper training, your team will be able to deliver exceptional experiences consistently — no matter what situation they’re faced with.
Being proactive is an important part of providing good customer service. This means taking the initiative and being one step ahead in order to anticipate customers’ needs before they even arise.
This is why knowing your customer is so important — it will help you handle any crisis that arises and allow you to react fast.
Proactively reaching out to customers can also be beneficial; whether it’s following up after a purchase or simply checking in from time to time — these actions show that you care about their experience and are willing to go above and beyond for them. Addressing any potential issues quickly and efficiently shows that you are taking ownership of the situation — leading to increased customer loyalty.
Being proactive is an incredibly valuable asset for any successful business as it allows for smoother interactions between yourself and your customers, ultimately creating long-lasting, loyal customers.
Being available for your customers is essential for providing outstanding customer service.
Whether it’s via email, phone, chat, SMS, or even social media — making sure you have an omnichannel customer service strategy is crucial.
For example, unanswered Instagram DMs and TikTok comments could be hurting your bottom line. A simple response on social media redirecting people to a self-service knowledge base or landing page on your website could be the difference between a potential customer and an actual customer.
This is why many businesses come to Chatdesk — so they can make sure support tickets are being answered anywhere along the customer journey. Being easily accessible when your customers need help or have a question shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile to provide excellent service.
Additionally, setting up a phone number or other direct contact information, like a chatbot on your website, will make it easier for customers to get in touch with you if needed — allowing them to feel more secure knowing that there is someone there who can help them out with any issues they may encounter.
Simply being easy to reach can be the deciding factor for a potential customer wanting to do business with you over a competitor. So make sure you take the time to create workflows around all of your communication channels.
When it comes to making a purchasing decision, especially online, sometimes people just want to know if there’s a real human on the other side of their computer screen.
Humans are skeptical, and we often just want to know if something is legit before we commit to it. This is why having a human touch in your customer service efforts is crucial.
While artificial intelligence and AI chatbots can help us work more efficiently, we need to remember not to fully rely on them (at least right now). It’s important for companies, especially small businesses, to maintain a human touch and make potential customers feel like they’re right there with you, in person.
Customers need to feel as though they are interacting with an actual person and not just a robot, otherwise it will be difficult for them to trust you or your business. Sure, you can use templates to help speed up response times for repetitive questions. But you want to make sure conversations sound natural and organic, rather than robotic and scripted.
Being consistent is a key factor to staying on-brand. This means not only sticking to the same standards and processes for each customer, but also responding consistently to their inquiries or issues.
For example, if you tell customers that they will receive a response within 24 hours, make sure that you are following through on this promise! Additionally, having guidelines and procedures in place can help ensure that everyone is adhering to certain expectations when dealing with customers — this could range from how long it takes to respond to emails to what type of language should be used when speaking with a certain type of customer.
Make sure to keep records of customer interactions so you can track progress over time. This way any inconsistencies can be quickly identified and addressed before an issue arises.
A platform like Chatdesk can help you become more consistent by giving you automatic customer insights and helping you identify trends in your support tickets.
Helping customers help themselves can be an integral part of creating a more sustainable customer service operation. Creating a self-service option for customers will not only help you deflect repetitive support tickets and save your team time, but it will also empower customers to solve their own problems independently and create a deeper relationship with your brand.
On the same token, creating a self-service option will show potential customers that you’re a proactive company that puts customers first.
Creating some sort of knowledge base for customers can range from setting up a comprehensive FAQ section on your website which addresses any common queries or problems, to creating easy-to-follow video tutorials that guide customers through certain processes step-by-step.
Additionally, sending out newsletters or emails which contain helpful tips and insights related to the services you offer can also be beneficial — allowing customers to stay up to date with any changes or updates in real time.
Finally, having access points where customers can communicate directly with experts via chatbots or live chat features are also great for supporting users who may need more personalized assistance — allowing them greater peace of mind knowing that someone is always there for them.
Failing to be empathetic toward potential, and existing, customers is the hallmark of poor customer service.
Some people may need an extra hand, so it’s important to be patient when following up on responses. Taking the time to understand your customers’ needs and feelings can help create a more meaningful connection between both parties.
For example, instead of simply copying and pasting a template of instructions on how to solve an issue or problem, try getting into your customer’s mindset. Ask questions that show you care and make your users feel heard.
Additionally, listening carefully with an open mind allows you to better comprehend their situation and provide tailored solutions that best meet their expectations. It’s also important to validate any concerns or worries they have — showing them that you care about their unique experiences can go a long way!
Being understanding during difficult conversations helps create trust between yourself and your customers. Make sure to maintain a calm demeanor and be patient throughout these interactions.
Being positive when interacting with customers is an important part of providing good customer service. This means focusing on the good things instead of the bad, and being able to stay upbeat despite any difficult situations that may arise. Keeping a friendly attitude helps create a more relaxed atmosphere between both parties.
Using phrases such as “I understand how you feel” or “Let me see what I can do for you” can show that you are listening and willing to help out in any way possible. Offering words of encouragement or compliments here and there can be beneficial too. This could be anything from highlighting how they handled a particular situation well or thanking them for their patience. By staying positive when interacting with customers, you’ll ensure a positive feedback loop each time you handle a support ticket.
Like many of the tips we mentioned earlier, everything should revolve around your customer. This means knowing your customer better than anyone else.
Being a good listener is how you stay present during conversations and give customers your undivided attention — making them feel heard and respected.
Don’t just have an automatic response ready regardless of what a customer is about to say. Listen to their needs and tailor your responses accordingly — even if you’re using a templated response.
Taking the time to understand what they are saying, asking questions here and there to clarify any points or uncertainties they may have, as well as reiterating back their feelings when necessary all demonstrate that you are genuinely listening to them.
Listening attentively not only makes sure everyone involved understands each other but also helps create meaningful connections between both parties. Showing empathy by validating any concerns or worries customers might have can go a long way too.
Customer needs are constantly evolving. The way we interact is constantly evolving. And our products and services are constantly evolving.
Bottom line, always be learning.
Make sure to study any trends in your support tickets, talk to sales and marketing teams to see what pain points potential customers have, and make sure to keep records or order histories to help you speed up response times. This demonstrates efficiency, which makes customers feel valued overall.
Having strong communication skills also plays an important role in being knowledgeable too. This means expressing yourself clearly and concisely throughout conversations. For example, using simple words instead of technical terms as much as possible helps ensure that nothing gets lost in translation. Avoid any jargon or abbreviations during interactions and make sure there are no misunderstandings.
Additionally, asking questions throughout conversations not only shows genuine interest but also helps double-check any information provided before it’s relayed to customers. This ensures accuracy is maintained at all times.
Last but not least, if you want to provide excellent customer service, make sure to follow up with customers.
If you want to create a memorable experience for a customer, take time after each interaction to make sure your customer was satisfied with their interaction. This could be anything from a simple thank you message or sending out surveys or questionnaires afterward.
Being proactive when following up is key here too. Keep track of conversations and make sure all steps agreed upon during interactions are completed, as expected.
You can even go as far as emailing customers after their interaction with you and offering promotions or discounts on your products and services. Most companies don’t do this so you’ll definitely stand out if you attempt to delight your customers and users after they have interacted with your support team.
After all, most people only interact with customer service reps because they have a problem that needs to be solved. So making sure these customers have the best experience possible with your brand can help reduce churn and improve customer retention.
By taking these steps and applying them to your customer service, you can create a customer service team that will provide an outstanding experience for your customers.
Connecting with customers and addressing their problems in an efficient, proactive, and friendly manner is essential for creating satisfied customers. Remember to become as knowledgeable about your products as you can and actively listen to your customers so you can best meet their needs.
And if you need help responding to customer support tickets be sure to book a free pilot with Chatdesk!