Your customer service is the place where your audience gets to see how well your company performs under pressure. Even in the most ironclad of business systems, something’s bound to go wrong, which is why remedying any hypothetical situation needs to be high on your list of priorities. In fact, making a successful purchase might not impress your audience nearly as much as fixing their problem on a moment’s notice might.
6 Customer Service Tips and Tricks
Nonetheless, problem-solving is not all you can do to make your team’s customer service skills leave a good impression. Here are several other ideas you might find handy.
Start by making a service tree
What this means is that you need to structure your customer service so that everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are. Your customer service representatives simply can’t have unlimited authority over your company’s functions, so by making a service tree, you’ll make their job substantially easier.
In this way, they’ll know exactly where to turn when they need something. This will expedite their usual work process, even automate it. Since your customer service also has more than one task, you could even put someone in charge of sub-tasks like customer retention, customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction. Every extra bit helps.
Pick up the phone
Chatbots are getting more and more sophisticated by the hour. In fact, some of the AI-powered chatbots can easily pass any unofficial Turing test that comes their way.
Nonetheless, this isn’t always the case, mostly due to the fact that your audience automatically suspects that everyone online is a bot. Even in a scenario where they’re direct messaging a person on the other end of the line, they’ll have a shadow of a doubt that the other person is a chatbot. This is why you shouldn’t dive too deep into customer service automation without continuing to provide customer service over the phone, as well.
To take this even further, you might even want to look for a toll-free number, which is something we’ll discuss in the next section.
Provide a credibility boost with toll-free numbers
Another thing you can do is make your customer service more credible by using a toll-free number for your business. To do this, you should look to establish landlines with 1-800 numbers, so that the person calling doesn’t get charged for the call. The cost of this for your company is minor (as little as $10 per month), yet, it is a sign of respect and an indicator that you’re serious about the way in which you’re doing business.
Moreover, paying for the phone call they made because they have some sort of problem with your business is probably the last thing an unsatisfied customer wants to do. By providing a toll-free customer support, you’re assuming that a person calling has a legitimate reason to be distressed which is a nice gesture.
Previously, we talked about chatbots in the negative light, however, they are not something you should avoid. In fact, the majority of your customer base values expediency, so why not provide them with a tool that is capable of responding and handling their minor problem on a moment’s notice.
It goes beyond saying that AI chatbots are the next big thing in the world of customer service, which is why ignoring this trend doesn’t seem smart in the long run. Even if you don’t intend to rely too much on your customer service, there’s still a probability that this might change in several months. Why would you deliberately put yourself at a disadvantage?
Prepare to handle things in person
One of the things that often gets ignored is the fact that a lot of people still prefer to come to your office or store in person to file a complaint. This is probably the most important aspect of your customer service, even though it may not be used by most of your customers.
An assertive, welcoming, empathetic and capable employee that’s taking their request might be enough to cement their loyalty for years to come. On the other hand, a cold, distant and uninterested employee with poor customer service skills might drive them away for good. This choice, nonetheless, is something you need to worry about in the hiring process.
Outsource your customer service
At the end of the day, you might find that starting your own customer service department might require too much time, effort and resources. As a solution to this problem, you can always decide to outsource.
While this method may have several drawbacks, it helps you avoid dealing with one more department and it can help you keep your overhead substantially lower. Moreover, instead of having to train your team and provide them with all the necessary tools, you can just instantly get an access to seasoned customer service representatives.
The most important thing to understand about customer service is that you don’t get to choose the channel which your customers are going to use to file a complaint. All you can do is prepare your customer service department for any of these possibilities.
Prep your customer service personnel with a service tree, training, and well-written processes. Use the phone along with toll-free numbers. Add chatbots but don't forget the personal touch. If needed, outsource.
Fortunately, this doesn’t take nearly as much work as you might think, and even if it did, the rewards of excellent customer service more than make up for it.
Elaine Bennett is a marketing specialist and a blogger, currently writing for Bizzmark Blog.
Topics that she covers include business, marketing, branding, and finance.
She’s also interested in social media and technology.