There are a few tools, strategies and tips necessary to offer the kind of customer service that creates a customer for life. The ultimate goal of the customer journey isn’t to make a sell. It’s to turn your customer into free brand ambassadors that happily tout your brand’s name, products or services for you. They’re the ones whipping up those glowing reviews, referring their friends to you, and proudly sporting your bumper stickers on their cars.
However, don’t overlook any tool that’s integral to customer service. According to Cheap-Phones.com, “Whether it’s providing the best smartphones for your telecommuting customer service (CS) reps or personalizing your company’s voicemail message, customers want to feel heard and special, so give them what they want.” Here’s how (and many of these tips are free and easy to implement!):
1. The right CS reps
Everyone makes a hiring mistake from time to time, so start by reviewing Business2Community’s tips on hiring correctly. However, you can’t just train them once and hope for the best. All your reps need and deserve ongoing training to make sure they’re on the same page. Mental health days, a positive work environment, and appreciating your employees can also help avoid burnout and high turnover.
2. Great phone systems
The type of phone systems you need will depend on your call volume, how you approach calls, and whether or not you place a high number of outgoing sales calls. However, avoid customer automation whenever you can. Some companies like it because it makes them seem like a huge corporation even when they’re not. However, customers despise it and don’t want to get lost in a maze of pressing buttons.
3. Database software
You should be tracking your CS calls as a means of collecting big data that’s free. In fact, Harvard Magazine recently featured an article on why big data is a big deal, but you need the right database software in order to collect and manage it. There’s no one size fits all solution, and your needs may change as your business grows. However, the likelihood of something like an Excel spreadsheet working for a company is slim to none (think more personalized than that).
A lot of the times customers might call in because they’re frustrated, have a complaint, and they might be in a rush to boot. Make sure your CS reps prioritize treating each call like it’s a VIP (because it is). Don’t rush calls, don’t read off a script (but have it there for reference, including common questions), and make sure customers are satisfied before they hang up. Also, don’t use a customer calling in as an excuse to try to upsell or pitch products, or they’ll never call in again.
5. Plentiful breaks
It can be exhausting being the sounding board for customer calls all day, and your CS reps aren’t machines. Make sure they get frequent breaks, including a lunch hour that isn’t rushed. If they’re overworked and stressed, that will trickle down to their service.
6. Ergonomic keyboards
As your CS reps are collecting data and inputting it into the database, they need to be able to work quickly and cramp-free. Excessive typing can lead to carpal tunnel and exacerbate arthritis. Take care of your employees and they’ll be happier, more productive, and can serve your company longer.
Customer service is the backbone of any business because without customers, your business wouldn’t exist. Make sure CS is a priority in everything you do, and don’t forget about ongoing appreciation and training. It’ll take you far.