Customer service plays a key role for a successful business. A small online retail business can turn into a thriving business with good customer service. Customer service is not mere customer satisfaction. A customer will be really happy if you give him products free of costs. Such a service will be a loss to the business. So, what actually good customer service is? In this article, we have discussed on customer service, tricks to improve customer service experience, CRM tools and tips for outsourcing customer service:
What is customer service?
Customer service understands the needs of the customer and helps them out in an easy way. A good customer service knows about the products, guidelines and inventory thoroughly. A good customer service serves the customers in accordance with the business standards and guidelines. Please note customer service is not mere a sales driven process.
How to improve customer service experience?
Enhanced customer service experience is not too hard if you practice it. You can achieve five star customer services if you understand the needs of the customer. It is simple. Just put yourself in customers situation. As a customer what are all you expect when dealing with customer services. As a thumb rule, a good customer service rep should be courteous, patient, extremely helpful, apologize, thank and appreciate the customers. There are some basic customer service rules to follow for best customer service:
- Answer phone calls/ live chat quickly. If the service is through email, make sure to reply it within the turn- around time.
- Allow the customer to tell the requirements or issue completely. Listen by paying attention. If the service is non-verbal, make sure to understand the tone of the customer by going through the earlier contact history.
- Empathize and apologize wherever needed.
- Keep up the promises and commit only to the things that you can do.
- Follow up with the customer and Go the extra mile to make them happy.
Remember all the customers are not same. Know your customers and act accordingly to achieve customer satisfaction. You can judge the customers during the initial part of the conversation itself. Here, you will find the tricks to deal with different types of customer to enhance customer service experience.
Although it appears to be easy when dealing with passive customers, it is actually not. Passive customers are less expressive so you have to ask more to investigate their issue and needs. There are customers who maintain silent and finally score you down on the customer service ratings. Passive customers can become long standing customers if you deal with them patiently.
Dealing with Expressive/Talkative customers is tricky. These types of customers will not allow you to talk. It is very important to take call control on your side. Always talk about the products with these customers and never give way for other conversation. If the customer starts on other topics, it is essential to bring them back to the relevant topics. Be focused only on relevant topics to achieve good customer experience with talkative customers. Talkative customers
Aggressive customers are rude and even shout at you. You can make an aggressive customer as a loyal customer if you have patience. Listening to rude customer is very difficult but this skill is very important for best customer service executive. Remember a customer will not become aggressive unless there is a fault on the product or service. Allow the aggressive customer to talk and do not interrupt unless he or she finishes. Empathize and apologize for the difficulty caused. Dont ask him unnecessary questions and thoroughly go through the previous call history. Take ownership of the issue. Accept the fault if any and provide an immediate solution. If the customer fails to calm down, tell them you cannot solve the issue unless he is calm.
Analytical customers are very intelligent and you really need to be an expert on your products to deal with them. These customers are smart and have gathered information on the products. Analytical Customers are systematic and they go by rules. Analytical customers can become a loyal customer if you serve them in a logical and precise way.
Many of us think Irate customers are difficult to handle. Irate customers can easily become a long standing customer if we hear and provide solution for the customers. Please note a customer wont become irate unless there is a problem. Allow the customer to let out his/her anger. An Irate customer even tests the limit of courtesy. Be polite to them always and never lose your temper. If there is an issue, apologize, take ownership and provide solution. It is a nice way to offer a coupon or voucher as a token of gesture. This way you can make the customer shop with you again. Finally, follow up with the customer if the issue is solved to his/her satisfaction.
Importance of choosing the correct CRM tool:
Choosing the correct CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool plays a major role in providing best customer service and support. A good CRM tool helps to manage contacts and requests received from the customer. This tool helps to view the contact history of the customers. There are some CRM which helps to set up follow up and appointments with the customer. Sugar CRM, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, OSticket, Zendesk are widely used for small or micro business.
Outsourcing your customer service department:
It is a great idea to outsource your customer service department. It is cost effective. You can hire executive from different time zone to work during night hours. You will find good customer service representative at a cheap price in freelancing websites such as Odesk, Elance etc which is great for micro business. It is safe to outsource non-verbal customer support such as email and live chat to non-native English speakers and have a native English speaker for phone support. Remember to thoroughly check the background and experience before hiring them.
To conclude, a good customer service brings more business while a bad customer service can even make you lose a loyal customer. Hence, a good customer service is really important for a successful business.