Customers today demand more and more from the customer service of companies they do business with. They want their issues to be resolved quickly and with minimal fuzz. It’s no wonder that a lot of businesses are scrambling to make their customer service as efficient as possible. However, it isn’t always easy to know which steps to take. There’s always the very real danger of sacrificing the quality of the service for efficiency, and that is something that must be avoided at all costs. Too many companies make that mistake and end up with customer service that is subpar compared to their competitors.
One of the key aspects of efficient customer service is trying to anticipate most of the issues that customers have and build routines to handle them. Of course every situation is slightly different from the next, but there are often big similarities too. It may be a good idea to try to log the details of every issue that reaches customer service in order to get the whole picture and be able to plan accordingly.
A common mistake many companies do in order to become more efficient is trying to write scripts for the customer service reps to use. In some cases that can work well, like if most issues are exactly alike, but quite often it is too rigid and leads to poor customer service. It can be a good idea to use scripts for some specific situations, but leave the rest a bit more flexible. Otherwise the customers will easily be able to tell that the customer service rep they’re talking to is just reading from a script, and that can give a very poor impression.
Another common mistake is trying to automate every little aspect of the customer service process, making it difficult or impossible to reach a real, human employee. While that may save time and money in those situations where it works well, it will also cause much frustration in a situation it is unable to handle. If you’re going to rely on automation, you better also make sure that it is easy to sidestep that process and get in direct touch with a customer service rep.
A great way to increase efficiency without doing heavy restructuring is offering rewards and bonuses to employees who perform well. That can be extremely motivating, but it is imperative not to just reward those that resolve issues quickly, but look at the whole picture and judge overall customer satisfaction.
We all know that providing quality customer service is crucial for the long term survival of your company. Going the extra mile for your customers will keep them loyal to you. Meeting the ever increasing demands of your customers and staying competitive means you need to constantly strive to improve your customer service.
Here are a few tips that are virtually guaranteed to lead to increased customer satisfaction:1. Speedy response times
Have you ever sent an e-mail to a company and not had a response or waited several days for a response? There’s nothing as frustrating as either not receiving a response to your query or it taking too long to receive an acknowledgement of your email. When it comes to response times, faster is always better, and that goes for both phone and e-mail. Do not sacrifice quality in order to respond quickly. Make sure to respond and if unable to provide a quality answer, acknowledge the
receipt of the e-mail and provide a turnaround time to your customer.
2. Collect feedback and act on it
The best way to learn more about what customers think is to ask them, for example through a survey. It is important, when doing this, to look at the data objectively. Never take any of the feedback or criticism personally. It’s also important to keep an open mind.
3. Simplify processes
Try to have all of your processes as easy and straightforward as possible. Human contact is the best strategy; having your customers in direct contact with a customer service representative is a way to ensure customer satisfaction.
4. Create routines for common issues
In most companies there are always a number of issues that come up again and again. One of the keys to great customer service is recognizing these issues and creating efficient routines to deal with them in the best and fastest possible manner.
5. Exceed expectations
Most customers expect a basic level of service from a company they’re doing business with. Going above and beyond this level will impress customers. Providing excellent customer service will have your customers come back to do more business with you and they will also recommend your company to all of their friends and family.