Customer service is an essential part of the customer experience and it’s becoming a big deciding factor for consumers when choosing who they do their business with. It’s predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator in sales. There’s also a substantial link between customer loyalty and great customer service. We’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to increase the level of quality in your customer service.
As your staff are at the forefront of the customer-facing side of your business, they must possess the right skills. Investing in quality training is highly important, we believe the most important skills for your employees to have are:
Recognise when your staff provide great customer service and reward them for it! Don’t underestimate how important a thank you can be to an employee. It can mean the difference between an employee giving good vs exceptional customer service because they will feel valued and an asset to the company. Incentives are proven to increase the quality of customer service, they can also provoke a bit of healthy competition between employees which will keep them motivated to do well. We recommend monitoring this competition closely to make sure it doesn’t turn sour.
Provide the means for customer feedback, this will help create a connection with your customers where they feel listened to and important. Ask your customers to leave reviews on social media or email them a survey and even consider offering a discount off their next purchase to encourage them. These customers are more likely to stay loyal to the company too as they feel valued and listened to. This feedback should then be analysed and any relevant changes invoked such as changes in staff training and processes. Positive feedback can motivate employees as they feel their hard work pays off in addition to fine-tuning how procedures should be carried out. It’ll also point out any flaws in your products or services that you may not have been aware of. Errors and complaints aren’t anything to be afraid of, they’re actually a fantastic learning curve and should be used to improve training and procedures.
Monitoring your competitors is a great way to improve customer service, mystery shop them to see what they do differently from you and how your weaknesses can benefit from learning from them. Ask yourself, why are potential customers choosing them over you? On the other hand, consider why your customers choose you over your competition? Make a note of your strengths and ensure you check up on these to keep yourself and your team held accountable. It can also help you identify possible niche areas that aren’t occupied by your competitors which gives you an advantage to potentially move your business into these areas. Customers are intensely picky and if they can receive better service for the same product, they will move their loyalty elsewhere, often regardless of price.
Getting your customer service to an exceptional level is an evolving process; it takes time, patience and practice. These 5 steps are a guide to follow to get you thinking about what ideas you can bring into your workplace. Got any more ideas? How do you improve your customer service? Get in touch with us on Twitter!
The legal sector is one of the better adopters of telephone answering services. While there are some industries seemingly oblivious to the fact the service exists, legal telephone answering has been commonplace for some time.
However, while legal telephone answering is common, that doesn’t mean every law firms is getting the most out of their telephone answering service. This is particularly true in instances where a law firm is using a basic message taking service to provide their legal telephone answering. However, basic telephone answering services are usually not sufficient enough for legal enquiries. Alternatively, a more bespoke and personalised manner of responding to incoming calls and existing enquiries would better suit both client needs and a firm’s current standards.
Basic message taking services usually require a trail of call back, as clients are asked for their basic details and message that is then passed on to a member of your team. When someone calls into a law firm, however, they may request to speak to a specific duty solicitor who can help them with their enquiry. If they simply get to leave a name and a number with a promise that someone will be back in touch, this could, in turn, frustrate clients and lead to poor satisfaction rates.
When it comes to legal telephone answering, law firms should look for a service that minimises the number of calls that have to be made by the clients, as opposed to increasing them. Intelligent phone answering services provided advanced bespoke services as if virtual receptionists were sat at the law firm itself.
By choosing a more bespoke legal telephone answering provider, you can use the service to both qualify leads and take down basic administrative information, such as client details.
The operator answering the call will ensure to record the caller’s details before transferring them through to the most relevant person in the practice. In doing so, this benefits the firm’s productivity, as it reduces the amount of time fee earners have to spend on the phone doing basic admin tasks and allows them to maximise their earning potential.
A legal phone answering service can also be useful when it comes to fielding DSCC calls. The legal telephone answering service will answer all calls that come into the practice 24/7/365. In the event that it is a DSCC call they respond to, specially trained operators are trained to approach such calls in a professional and careful manner. The PA will attempt to transfer the call to the most appropriate duty solicitor and if they are not available, an email with the appropriate information will be sent out instantly.
In contrast, this level of specialisation is not always possible when using a basic message taking service, and in turn, leads to solicitors connecting their personal mobile line to their work phone and risking the potential of missing a DSCC call. you are instead forced to rely on solicitors using their mobile phones and possibly missing the call.
At alldayPA we provide an alternative to just a basic telephone answering service, or virtual receptionist. By equipping your firm with a completely bespoke legal telephone answering service that is tailored to the needs of your practice, our operators respond to calls with professionalism that is in line with your firm’s persona. From providing 24-hour cover to qualifying calls when dialling them out to on-call solicitors, we are able to create a complete package to benefit your communication strategy and streamline your clients’ journey.
To find out more, visit our outsourced call centre package page.
With over 80% of consumers willing to bail on a brand, even one they love, after a bad customer service experience, it’s important to treat your customers well. Having the right customer service skills necessary to please your clientele doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it can be learned. When you train your reps or your employees on how to deal with your clients, make sure you speak in specific terms related to your industry.
To ensure that every member of your team can close a sale when the opportunity presents itself, follow these 10 tips.
Every member of your team should know the basic elements of what people expect when they choose to buy from you. Whether you’re a brick and mortar store, an e-commerce site, or a B2B company filled with reps, your associates need to learn how to set the tone for a sale.
Even if they’re not particularly good at reading people, they should be familiar enough with your brand to know the right language and the right approach. If you’re selling a luxury tech product, people will expect seriousness and technical knowledge. If you’re selling an app for fish and game hunters, simplicity, directness, and a folksy attitude will put your customers at ease.
There are keywords in every industry that help ease sales and share your employee’s knowledge of the product. They should know the few terms that every customer of yours wants to hear.
If you’re selling cars, the terms will be “safety, reliability, and style”. If you’re selling roasted chickens, the terms could be “savory, healthy, and filling”. Whatever your terms are, they should be repeated like a mantra by all of your customer service representatives.
Every sales representative needs to understand the difference between someone who is going to buy and someone that needs to be convinced. Failing to work on convincing the not-yet-converted or overselling the converted could blow your sales plan. It takes time to understand what people are looking for when you first start interacting with them.
The best way to know what your customers or clients want is to listen. Most people want to cut right to the chase which should make your customer service representatives’ jobs easy. So long as they can get out of the way, all they have to do is assist the customers.
When someone is on the fence, that’s when they need to turn the sales tactics on. It’s time to start asking questions about what customers are looking for, what they liked about their last product, and what they want from their next product. Just a few simple questions can start to whittle down the options to allow you to serve customers, even if they’re a little confused themselves.
The hallmark of a great salesperson is the ability to get right to the point and sell your products. Rather than giving out a lot of fluff, your best salespeople will identify which products your customers want and close the sale. There’s a lot that can go wrong between customer contact and checkout.
When you have salespeople who know your business model, what keeps your company running, and what makes you different, they’ll use those ideas to sell. Understanding which products yield the highest profit, which are the hardest to sell, and which have the most dedicated following streamlines the sales process.
When you have salespeople who can get your clients through the sales funnel efficiently with a good attitude, you can build a strong customer base. If they can make customers feel good about the products that they buy, your customers will return to you again and again. Once they’ve had one good experience, that’s all they need to go out and have another one.
When customers have a good experience with your products and your customer service, they’ll be quick to recommend you to others.
While it shouldn’t be where your customer service reps start, if given the opportunity, they should be able to brag about your products. Dedicated sales reps will know what people rave about when they talk about your products and will soon pick up on what people come to you for.
Once you’ve determined who your niche market is, you can use those characteristics to target your approach. They should be able to talk about the variety of ways people have benefited from using your products. Their attitude needs to be honest but also excited.
When they have a sincere passion for the kind of work that you do, it will show with your customers and clients. It’s okay to brag when you do something well.
Your sales reps need to have a deep knowledge of your products and services before they start working with your clients and customers. You should give them a comprehensive but engaging history of how your company has grown and why you make the products that you do.
If there’s a family history that’s attached to why your company makes the products that you do, share that history with clients and potential customers. If there’s a material history that describes where the components or ingredients come from, that could be interesting to your clients.
While you shouldn’t go into storytelling mode when your customers are in a hurry, this information could come in handy. It could set you apart from the other companies in your industry.
History informs your clients where you’ve been and where you’re headed in the future. Sharing that history with your customers will forge a deeper connection to your products than they would during a typical consumer experience.
Upselling is vital in the world of sales. While you might have a client or a customer on the line, it’s important to be able to seal the deal. Once you’ve got them sold, it’s easy to remind them to buy any kind of small accessories or refills that could make their life easy. One sale is easy to turn into multiple sales with a little bit of finesse at the point of the transaction.
Upselling is the tactic where you’re reminded that the electric razor you’re about to buy needs batteries to run. It’s easy for salespeople to sell batteries to you while you’re at the counter.
Once you’re thinking about buying an electric razor, they can also get you to buy a more expensive razor than you initially planned to. Upselling can work no matter what industry you’re in. So long as you have multiple tiers of products available, you can offer something with a few more features that offer a better experience than another product.
Your best salespeople will be able to turn the smallest sale into a major haul because of upselling. When done well, customers don’t even know that it’s happening.
The easiest way to get a customer is with the help of another customer. Given that over 80% of all consumers trust online reviews as much as the words of friends, what people say about you online matters. If you don’t have a good base on positive reviews, one negative review could seriously damage your reputation.
Reach out to your most loyal and supportive clients to get positive reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the better you’ll be buffered against any negative comments that come in.
You can use email contacts to reach out to clients. Offer them a discount or a free promotional item next time they visit your shop when they show you their review. Remind your clients to give you a positive review when they check out.
When you offer promotions, offer Yelp-only promotions, Facebook-specific promotions, or coupons through Google. This will allow you to start getting a wide variety of reviews across different channels. The more channels you get positive reviews on, the higher your social media ranking will be when customers search for you.
Strong sales staff will be able to get good reviews for you. They can ask diners at a restaurant to post a review in exchange for dessert or to leave a ranking on Google in exchange for a drink. If your sales staff can ask for this gracefully enough, they could not only improve sales but improve your company’s profile overall.
You need repeat customers. The best way to get people to come back to your company next time they need services and products like yours is to give them a memorable experience. While some companies try to go overboard when personalising things for their clientele, a well-balanced experience can retain your customers for years.
Cafe’s and restaurants have known this for years. When you memorise someone’s order, even if they decide to change it, they feel a personal connection to your business.
IF you do more regular business with your clients, you’ll often have time to chit chat or have small talk about the weather. Things about their family or life might come up and you can keep checking in on the kids’ baseball team or their partner’s career change.
If your sales team does a lot of work on the phone, tell them to keep a separate column next to their call list for notes. They should take notes whenever something personal comes up so that they can ask about it next time. It doesn’t have to be major.
If could be as small as asking how their dog is doing but that could help you keep a client around for a lifetime.
When you’re selling products that you know aren’t perfect for the people who aim to buy them, always be honest about that. If you have something that suits your clients better than what they’ve got their heart set on, you might have to struggle to get them to loosen their grip. However, they’ll be happier in the end that you’re more concerned with pleasing them than winning a big sale.
This is especially the case if you end up “downselling” your client to a product that’s cheaper or more practical than what they originally had.
However, you’ll see this client become a loyal customer based on that honesty about your products and services. When your sales staff is open and frank with your clients, you’ll see a marked increase in sales overall.
While it might not be the truth that makes your products fly off the shelves, truth builds dedication and that’s the most important thing any company can rely on.
Negative feedback can be a good thing. For the right brand, negative reviews can be an opportunity to work on their Twitter persona. While you might not want to start roasting your clientele, you should consider engaging with your negative commentators.
When you show grace to your detractors online, your clients and potential customers will notice. Seeing you respond positively or reach out to fix the issue makes you look like the bigger person. It shows you’re looking to grow as a company and always finding ways to improve.
Whether positive or negative, you should respond to every comment you get within about 12 hours. This makes it look like there’s a real person behind the brand and that you’re interested in engaging with your customer base.
When your employees work on their customer service skills, they can turn over any product or service to your base. If you have a strong base of clients who know your products and loves your services, you can please them by always treating them well. The number one rule is to make sure that they’re happy with every interaction.
If you’re not sure why customer service should be your top priority, check out our guide to find out.
Good business owners know that attracting new customers is a key part of a successful business. However, there’s one aspect of customer relations that’s arguably even more important — fantastic customer service.
Being able to consistently bring in new business won’t do you any good if those people never return. Worse, if they don’t enjoy their customer service experience, they might discourage other people from patronising your business as well.
A happy customer is an obvious benefit of providing fantastic service, but that’s not the only positive result. Here are 9 benefits that come from providing world class customer service.
This first benefit seems like one of the most obvious results of a great customer service strategy. Customers who feel valued and appreciated are far more likely to become repeat customers. They’ll continue to come back, time and time again.
If your business has awful customer service, they might not ever return at all.
It costs a lot of money to attract new people to your business. Loyal customers, however, don’t cost a pound — and they’re far more likely to spend money.
If you’ve ever conducted a survey, you’ll know that there are two types of people who are most likely to respond: people who were very unhappy with their experience and people who were thrilled.
The same goes for conversations people have about the customer service they receive. If someone hated an experience, they’ll probably tell everyone they know. On the other hand, though, they’ll also tell their networks if they loved it.
If someone is particularly impressed with your customer service, they’re more likely to get your name out to their networks, increasing your brand awareness.
In the same vein, that word-of-mouth marketing can also lead to increased referrals to your business. People won’t just talk about it — they’ll tell their friends to come to you for their needs instead of to your competitors.
Never forget that word-of-mouth marketing from happy customers is completely free. People also tend to trust their friends way more than they trust an ad that they see on their phone, no matter how targeted the advertising is.
You never know when you’ll reach a new loyal customer through someone who was so impressed by one visit they told all their friends.
What if the opposite happens? What if you have no customer service in place and a customer leaves completely dissatisfied?
In that case, you can experience what’s called customer churn, when a former customer ends their relationship with your business. Not only will they end their relationship with you, but they’ll discourage their networks from doing business with you as well.
Having truly world class customer service can help to decrease the instances of this.
Most of the benefits of customer service are focused on your company’s bottom line and relationship with your potential and current customers. There’s another benefit that people often forget — the morale of your employees.
Employees want to be proud of where they work and know that they’re helping to provide people with a great service. Hearing people praise your business, either in person or online, can help employees take pride in their workplace.
Happy employees, of course, help to create a more positive and productive workplace environment. It’s a win in more ways than one.
Providing your customers with fantastic service will also give you an advantage over your competitors.
It’s logical that if a customer is consistently coming back to you for their needs, they’re likely not going to your competitor. If you’re better at retaining business, this can give you a competitive edge in the market.
It’s even less likely for customers to go to your competitors if they feel like they’ve created a positive relationship with your business.
Another benefit is being able to stay competitive even if your prices are higher.
With customers able to compare prices and bargain hunt easier than ever now, it can sometimes be difficult for businesses to get by if their products or services are necessarily more expensive. However, that’s starting to change.
Studies show that by 2020, people will rank customer experience as more important than price or product when it comes to differentiating between businesses. If you start working on your customer experience now, you’ll be ahead of the curve later.
Take a look at the news or your social media feed. How often do you see people complaining about large corporations that don’t care about them anymore?
No matter what the size of your business is, creating a fantastic customer service experience can help to combat this. When customers receive great service, they feel as though they’re a valued part of the business-consumer relationship, instead of just a potential profit.
Basically, your service alone can help you stand out from the crowd.
Finally, all of the benefits that we mentioned above can also translate into higher revenue for your business. Repeat customers who are happy to sing your praises are a fantastic source of income and creating a unique brand that stands out from the crowd will help to bring in new customers — without spending extra money on marketing.
The quality of your customer service experience could literally make or break your bottom line. Letting your customer experience fall by the wayside could result in losing out on potential business.
There’s no reason to risk losing potential customers because your customer service experience is behind the times. Not sure where to start? Not to worry. We can help you create a world class customer service experience.
In the nearly twenty years that alldayPA has been in business, we’ve become the UK’s leading telephone answering provider. Whether you’re looking for a simple telephone answering service, a virtual receptionist, or an outsourced call centre, we can help you get a system up and running.
Choose the package that’s right for you today.
A voicemail answering service just isn’t good enough for your company.
You might think it’s working just fine for your business, but that’s because you don’t see how many people hang up after reaching your voicemail.
Most people don’t want to talk to a machine, so sending them to a voicemail is making you lose business and gives your competitor an advantage.
Keep reading to learn why live answering services are a much better choice than a voicemail answering service (and a must-have for every business).
Well, if you’re basing this just off cost alone, no. Voicemail answering is definitely the cheaper option. You don’t have to pay anyone to operate an answering machine. But saving money doesn’t make it the better choice if you are losing customers, and therefore money by having it.
For example, take a look at this.
To be honest, usually nothing.
Some people actually leave messages, but at least 70% of the time the customer will just hang up if their phone call isn’t answered by a real person.
And what do those people do if they can’t get in touch with your business? Most likely they’ll call your competitors instead.
That means your business is losing seven out of every 10 customers, which is a lot of business that could be kept if you just had a real person answering the phone.
Even though a receptionist is a real person, this might not fix your problem.
Think of it this way. A receptionist can’t answer the phone all the time. They can only answer the phone when they’re working, which is usually normal business hours. So this might take care of your problem during the day, but what about after hours?
You’ll get a lot of calls after business hours because that’s when a lot of your customers are off work too.
And what about the weekends?
That’s two whole days you won’t be able to answer the phone. This downtime doesn’t even include sick days, annual leave, and other times the receptionist will take off work.
Not only do you have to pay a receptionist appropriate wages, you also have to pay for training. And training either means you take time out of your busy workday to train them or you pull someone else away from their job to train them instead.
When you aren’t doing your own job, your business can’t keep moving forward.
So in most cases, a receptionist won’t solve your problem either.
A live answering service isn’t actually part of your company. Instead, your calls get outsourced to a professional live answering service, which means someone is available to answer the phone for you at all hours of the day, every day of the week.
(Some large companies have a live answering service in-house, but for most business, outsourcing is a better option.)
This professional service is able to help your customers with minor questions and problems on their own. In fact, most customers won’t even realise they’re not talking to someone in the business.
For more complex issues, the professional service can transfer those calls over to you or someone else on your team.
If you’re away from the office (in a meeting, on holiday, or spending time with your loved ones), the service can take a detailed message. When you get back, you’ll be able to read this message and call the customer back and resolve the issue.
Instead of asking them to explain what’s going on again, you’ll already know. This means you can just get straight to the problem.
Because you’ll answer the phone every time, you’ll keep more customers. That means you’ll make more money, so the answering service will very quickly pay for itself.
With all the extra business a live answering service can give you, the cost will become a non-issue.
A live answering service makes sure your calls get answered, but they do a lot more than just that. Because the responsibility suddenly isn’t only in your hands, you can get a lot more done without actually doing it yourself.
Let’s take a look at what we mean by that.
People actually prefer to talk to other people on the phone, not just machines. So hiring a live answering service will actually get you a higher customer service satisfaction.
Someone is always available to talk to your customers, which allows your customers to have a nice phone conversation with a professional instead of struggling with a machine.
When a customer wants to book an appointment, they just have to call in and the answering service will handle the rest.
When the book an appointment, the date and time will be sent straight to you. If someone cancels or changes an appointment, you get a notification about that too.
This makes it easy for you and your employees to manage and stay on top of your appointments.
Many answering services offer multilingual options. This is something most companies can’t provide on their own, which makes it hard to cater to customers who don’t speak the same language.
With an answering service, you know every customer will be taken care of, no matter what language they speak.
Though you may think it’s doing you good, a voicemail answering service is only hurting your business. The best benefit of a live answering service is getting rid of that answering machine altogether.
It may seem like your voicemail is saving you money, but with the added business a live answering service can bring you, your voicemail is actually making you lose money instead.
So, stop using that voicemail today.
Interested in making the switch to a live answering service? Take a look at how we can help you.
Every business’ bottom line is about saving on cost. Whether you are a new start-up or looking to downsize your companies non-core processes, there are ways to always stay within your budget.
Companies large and small are hiring a professional answering service to keep track of their calls in a professional manner, save on money and save time. No matter the field; from technology and medical, to the start-up working from home, everyone can benefit from an answering service.
Wondering what is an answering service even is? Here, we will explain what they do and how you can benefit most from utilising one for your business.
Answering services have been around almost as long as the telephone, from the singular receptionist coping with multiple lines to a dedicated centre. The ability to have your calls answered when you are not at your office or out in the field is just scratching the surface of what modern day services can provide you with.
Here are some of the services you can expect:
You get to choose your own greeting, so when the phone is answered, the caller won’t know they are calling an answering service, keeping your brand reputation secure.
You can have some of your calls answered or all of them. This way, if you are away from the phone or in a meeting, you can be reassured you will never miss a call. You can forward your business and your personal phone if you need to, just to be sure you don’t miss any business- when you’re busy with the business.
You can decide what calls they answer, whether it is an always on service, or only comes into play when you are unable to take the call yourself. You can retrieve your messages and get back to your clients, all without them knowing that it was an answering service all along.
When your customers call in and get an answering machine, or worse, a phone that just rings, it can hurt your business. They may be reluctant to call back. If they have a problem, they may just go somewhere else. That’s a lost customer that you will have to pay more to replace or retain.
Don’t fret, answering services can even help you there.
If someone calls your business after hours and still get a live voice, with a greeting personalised to your business, it matters. It makes the customer happy to be able to talk to someone and it makes your business look professional.
Not only that but you will be providing excellent customer service.
This is particularly true if someone is calling to complain. Finding a real person at the other end of the phone can often defuse the hostile situation. They have your information and can relay back to you right away.
The answering service will collect all of your messages making them easily accessible to you at any given moment. This can be really important for your productivity, especially if you are away or you are running a small business, having easy access to your call info can save you vital time.
You can log in to a centralised system and even have your messages sent to you in real time via text or email. Allowing you to stay on top of any important business, take care of problems and still run your business. That way, you don’t ever miss an emergency or a big lead.
Hiring a receptionist is nice, but it can have some obvious downsides. A receptionist requires holidays, can get sick or have a sick child and needs a physical space to work in. That’s even before we talk about salary.
The people taking your calls at the answering service need all this too, but it no longer becomes a problem for you. The company takes care of all of that for you so you are always covered and don’t have to worry about missing a call.
You are not paying for an office space or equipment, and you don’t have to pay wages or insurance for someone who is there but not taking your calls. The answering service packages allow you to only pay for the time a person is physically taking your calls, no wasted money and a better bottom line.
An answering service has the best equipment and cutting edge technology to ensure all the calls are answered and relayed to their clients. Trust that extra assurances have been made to operate in unlikely events, even during a power outage, to make sure your service is never interrupted.
Reputable services will have an in-house technical team on duty at all times to make sure the show runs as smoothly as possible. Any glitch or problem is seen to and taken care of right away. There is even the option of live chat, to make sure people can get in touch.
Highly trained and experienced staff are prepared to handle all your business needs. Most operators are trained for their empathy and emotional intelligence when dealing with people to ensure that every customer calling in for a client receives the level of service that is expected from great companies. They will talk to your customer as your company and get all the vital information from your caller.
If you are running a small business and have had to rely on your own mobile phone or hired a part time person for help, you know that availability can soon become a problem.
Great customer service is what keeps your business going and that is the same for the answering service. Friendly, efficient staff around the clock, so you don’t have to be.
Modern day answering services can offer so much more than telephone answering.
You can also have the option of a virtual receptionist, adding additional numbers for dedicated lines and even have a managed live chat on your website for a 360 customer service experience.
There are also options for dedicated email management, a more detailed script for clients with specific needs and even outbound calling campaigns.
Those missed calls are missed opportunities and potential income. Having your incoming calls managed professionally means you never miss a call. You can rest easy with a professional answering service, so you can get busy building your company.
Once your small business or start-up starts to grow, your service can grow with you.
Moving up in the business world can be scary and exciting. Once you are too busy to handle the phone yourself, that is a good sign your business is succeeding. But when you need to branch out, it’s time to ask for help.
What is an answering service? We are, and this is what we can do to help you and your business.
Contact us to see what type of services we offer can help you get off your phone and get back into running your business.
Did you know that 86% of consumers will pay more for a positive customer experience?
A survey conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council showed that almost 60% of consumers are willing to abandon a familiar brand after just one poor customer service interaction.
It’s clear that a quality customer service experience is vital to a company’s overall success and customer retention.
But how do you know you’re providing what your customers both what they expect and what they need?
How do you maintain brand loyalty?
What makes a good customer service experience?
Look no further. We’ve compiled a fail-safe list of 5 top tips that will take your consumer interactions from sorry to successful!
When surveyed, both Europeans and Americans listed a fast response time as the number one factor in what makes a good customer service experience.
We’ve all been that frustrated consumer calling for assistance only to be told by a supposedly soothing, female, pre-recorded voice that “there are 14 callers ahead of you, please continue to hold.”
A common mistake that too many companies are making is hiring too few customer service representatives to meet the demand of their consumers. But hiring can be expensive and time-consuming for any business to undertake.
Outsourcing your customer service agents through a telephone answering service is a cost-effective way to ensure that every call is answered. A good answering service will allow you to customise their answering script to guarantee consistency with your overall brand.
When a client calls, emails, tweets, or initiates a webchat for help, what they expect is a prompt response by a living human being who has the knowledge and authority to help resolve their customer service issue there and then.
Which brings us to our next point.
We aren’t suggesting that your first point of contact should possess all the knowledge to solve every single customer service issue that may arise. Rather, a direct and clear line should be available for clients to reach the appropriate party if their issue is beyond the help of your customer service agents.
If a client’s first point of contact (a customer service agent on the phone or online) isn’t able to resolve an issue, there should be a seamless transition from them to the person who is qualified to fix the problem.
It’s okay for your customers to hear:
By establishing a solution plan early on you are showing your customers that you value their time enough to connect them with the right person from the beginning.
Surprise! Your customers don’t just experience issues with products, services, or software during regular business hours. And many of your consumers have schedules that inhibit them from contacting a business during the typical workday.
A way to ensure that you meet their needs when they happen is to have lines of communication available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We’ve already established that a key to what makes a good customer service experience is a quick response time (see #1).
The smartest businesses know that it is far less expensive to retain a loyal customer than to create or find a new one. Ensuring your availability is key to your client retention.
Not all customers want to have to make a phone call. Some customers are simply more comfortable communicating online than the alternatives. In fact, as of 2016, a majority of consumers surveyed said they preferred chat contact to phone or email.
Younger consumers especially turn to social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) for resolutions. Don’t think that just because you don’t have a company Facebook page that your clients won’t try to find you and contact you on it.
And the easier it is for a consumer to contact you, the more positive of an experience they will have.
Having an employee dedicated to online customer communication can be expensive. Many businesses will outsource their online consumer interactions to save on cost and ensure that their clients are greeted promptly and by knowledgeable staff.
Online live chat options have been shown to increase lead capture on websites. Simply put, online communication options = more sales and happier customers.
Your customers have invested in you, and they want to be rewarded for their loyalty. Not only do they want a solution to their problem, but they want sympathy for their inconvenience.
These are the kinds of messages that can help de-escalate a situation and show empathy and appreciation for their continued support for your brand:
A willingness for companies to make a significant and emotional connection with clients shows appreciation for their business.
Recent data showed that companies that overhaul and upgrade their consumer to employee interactions (sometimes known as performance-management systems) have experienced up to an 85% sales growth.
Simply put, an emotional and human connection between business and their clients pays off in customer retention and overall growth.
Now that you know what makes a good customer service experience it’s time to implement your findings.
If you don’t have the resources to hire agents in-house don’t sweat it! An answering service is the place to go.
They’ll handle the hiring, onboarding, training, etc. for each customer service agent and ensure that every time one of your highly valued clients makes contact, they are directed to the perfect source for help.
And just remember, happy consumers make loyal, returning consumers. It’s as simple as that.
Contact us for a quote or to learn more about customer service optimisation.
Poor customer service is the main reason over 50 percent of people stop doing business with a company. From the way an organization communicates with its clients and customers to how quickly they respond, can make – or break – a reputation.
Although one of the top consumer frustrations was having to communicate by phone, it doesn’t mean your company is at risk. In fact, the good news is that great customer service is the top reason customers and clients remain loyal.
If you find yourself too swamped to manage your phone lines properly, then it might be time to consider hiring a phone answering service. No matter what size your company is, a phone service can provide an added layer of personalised communication that sets you apart from the rest.
A phone answering service utilises live telephone operators (versus outdated voicemail or automation) to answer phone calls and deliver messages to your business. Similar to a receptionist, a live operator is available to speak to customers, can transfer a call to you, take a message for future delivery, or answer calls after business hours.
This type of service can be greatly beneficial to your business and is a smart investment to help grow your clientele. Not only are your callers’ needs being met, it also demonstrates your dedication to their needs.
There are several types of businesses who benefit from having an answering service. Having the ability to speak to a live person offers reassurance and dependability to your clients and customers.
A few industries that should consider hiring an answering service, especially in the event of an emergency, are:
There are many more industries that could be added to this list, which is just a small sample.
Are your clients’ needs getting overlooked because your business is understaffed? Do you find it would cost you more to bring on an in-house receptionist than to pay for an answering service? Consider the damage you’re doing by not wanting to hire an outsourced answering service.
For small business owners, training a new staff member and taking the calls themselves swallows up a considerable amount of time. This is time that could be better spent onboarding new clients and expanding the business.
A great place to start looking for a phone answering service is your network of family, friends, and colleagues. Hearing about their experiences, both good and bad, can help you pinpoint exactly what you need from an answering service.
It can also raise any potential concerns you have about what to expect.
The reputation of your phone answering service will be a direct reflection of you, so make sure you select one with a great reputation. Ask around for positive referrals. Read the company’s online reviews.
Don’t take any chances if their reputation is not spotless.
The ideal company will be able to provide the availability you need, so it’s important to know what type of services you require. Will you need a live operator 24 hours a day? Or would you be comfortable with an automation system?
Do you need an outgoing message listing your company hours, along with limited access to a customer service representative? Will you need someone on holiday and weekends? These are just a few details about how to help you get the availability you need.
If you need staff to schedule appointments and make reservations, make sure to address these concerns with the company you’re considering hiring.
Internet access, answering email, text messaging, faxing, and answering voicemails are areas of expertise that need qualified staff to handle with ease.
Up-to-date staff and company certifications is a sign that staying current on training and education is valuable. This is a highly coveted asset to have and proves they are committed to excellence.
If something were to happen in an emergency, make sure the phone answering service you hire is prepared. Whether it’s a solid disaster plan or data recovery back-up, make sure to ask for an up-to-date copy of the plan.
Avoid any compliance issues by making sure your phone answering service staff know the laws. Outbound calls might pose a problem if a detailed message is not left on a voicemail account, stating the reason for a returned call. Impeccable record keeping must also be a top priority.
If you’re in a legal or medical profession, clients and patients might need to leave messages with detailed private information. Understanding whether or not your call center adheres to strict confidentiality and/or privacy regulations is very important.
Non-disclosure training is an excellent quality for operators in these industries to have so make sure to include it.
Sometimes these two terms can be confused, so it’s important to understand the difference. A phone answering service provides a more personal connection for smaller companies and functions similar to a receptionist. They must have excellent personal communication skills and be empathetic to callers needs.
Call centers are more focused on handling a large volume of calls in a quick manner. They gather information in non-emergency situations and are trained to handle multiple phone calls in one shift.
Know your budget limitation and service requirements before you contact a phone answering service. A deciding factor for pricing might be the size of your company and how many services you might need. Smaller companies might benefit from several services to help expand their business.
Has the company received any industry recognition or awards? Call centre and telecommunications awards are given to companies who provide caller experience excellence.
The more awards a company has, the more they value the quality of services they provide.
Picking the right answering service is an important step in expanding your business. We’re here to talk, whenever you’re ready!
When it comes to business and making more money it’s easy to get wrapped up in flashy marketing tactics and chasing the big sale.
While it can be fun to have the biggest billboard in your town showing your logo, and it’s a big rush to sign up the biggest client of your life – there is another factor that is arguably more important when it comes to making money.
That factor is customer loyalty.
Here are 4 customer loyalty statistics you need to know.
This stat from a survey by consultancy firm KPMG shows that even in this day and age of social media, engagement, and a focus on customer experience – for lots of people it still comes down to good old fashioned pounds and pence.
Don’t take this stat the wrong way though – price doesn’t necessarily mean the lowest price.
The right price for your customer can vary wildly depending on your brand positioning.
If you’re a luxury brand that BOGOF offer could actually drive away customers.
This stat from Mckinsey is in stark contrast to the previous one.
While the last one shows that some things never change, this stat shows the effect that social media and content marketing is starting to have on people’s buying behaviours.
If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur or a one man band, you might think you simply don’t have the bandwith to produce your own content and compete with the big boys – but don’t give up yet.
You don’t have to be a content factory to compete in the content marketing game. Simply having one or two strong assets like eBooks and infographics that you can pin to the top of your social accounts will show people you are adding to the conversation and you’re worth taking seriously.
And if you really don’t have the time you can always outsource content creation to sites like people per hour and fivver.
You probably already have a website – you might even think it’s pretty good, but this stat shows just how important it is to get your website right, especially if you’re an eCommerce business.
Don’t take it the wrong way though, you don’t have to invest thousands of pounds with a creative agency to have the flashiest site with tons of java script animation.
Just focus on have a good user journey, making your site as easy to use as possible, and making sure your site works well on all devices.
People would much rather go to a standard looking site that’s super easy to use, than a site that looks like a turner prize entry where you can’t even find the home button.
Getting a customer to your site or to your shop costs money.
Whether you’ve physically paid for the click that got them there, or you’ve paid in time and effort to raise awareness of your brands, you need to make the most of every potential customer to maximise your return on investment.
That’s why it’s so frustrating when you lose a customer because they can’t find the information they need to make a purchase.
While you might think your website has everything covered, there’s always going to be some people who can’t find what they need.
As this stat shows, if you’re not able to respond to them quickly you could lose them forever.
Fortunately tools like live chat and social media are making it easier than ever before to talk to your customers whenever they have an enquiry, so you can keep on growing your base of loyal fan base.
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