What Makes a Good Customer Service Experience?
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!
1. A Quick Response: What Makes a Good Customer Service Experience
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.
2. A Knowledgeable Staff Member On the Other Line
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:
- “I can see how frustrating that must have been. I know exactly the right person/department for you to work with and I’m going to transfer you to them/have them contact you right away.”
- “I’m so sorry that you’ve been having trouble with this. This person/department specialises in these types of issues. They will be able to help resolve this. Would it be alright if I transferred you to their direct line?”
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.
3. 24/7 Accessibility
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.
4. Online Contact Options
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.
5. Appreciation For a Consumer’s Loyalty
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:
- “I’m so grateful that you’ve brought this to our attention. It is so important to us that you have a positive experience. Let’s resolve this.”
- “We appreciate your patronage so much. We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that this issue is taken care of promptly.”
- “That sounds like it was so inconvenient. I’m sorry. I am here to help, so let’s find a solution.”
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.