Excellent customer service is something of an art form, but by getting some of the core principles right, it becomes a much simpler skill to master.
Ensuring all of your customer service agents are working in a similar way, and carrying the same principles will give you the best chance of succeeding in keeping your customers and client base as happy as possible. Here are 8 key qualities your customer service offering should have…
While not always the most important aspect of strong customer service, it should be a priority to aim to solve your customers’ problems as quickly as possible. 93% of people say that the maximum time they are prepared to wait on hold is just 5 minutes, which highlights the need for a fast response. When analysing your customer service speed, you must assess first response time, average response time and problem resolution time.
The accuracy of your proposed solutions should also be a priority. Speed of response time can impact on accuracy, if you are compromising necessary checks to shorten your customers’ wait. Then again, ensuring your responses are accurate may impact on the speed of your response. The best way to ensure you are as quick and accurate as possible is to make sure your customer service agents are well prepared and are continually being trained so they are up-to-date with new information and practices.
Being concise in your replies also requires a degree of clarity. Being sure your customers understand you will reduce the need for repeat explanations, and gives you authority, leading to added trust from customers. This does not mean you need to provide an abundance of information, in fact, simplicity is often the best way of communicating details effectively. Know your customers, and speak on a level they will understand – this will yield reassurance and confidence in you.
If you encounter an issue that will result in delays for your customers, tell them that. 33% of people agree that letting callers know how long they have to wait is the most useful feature to hear when on a call. Telling your customers exactly what is causing delays and the specific issues you are looking into will make them much more receptive to your help.
Making it as easy as possible for your customers to get in touch with you is a good quality to have, and ensuring your customer service team gives all platforms the appropriate level of attention will result in a more streamlined process for you and your customers. Offering a choice of platforms is important, but customers actually value fast and easy resolution over choice.
Allowing customers to be flexible, provide feedback, and help themselves, makes them feel empowered and more favourable towards your customer service offerings. Think about the ways you can give some of the control back to your customers.
Customer service, while formulaic, should not lose any of the humanity that customers want and deserve. You must convey personality while remaining professional, polite and authoritative. This is a hard balance to achieve, and your customer service team needs to get the tone exactly right. Having actual people available at the end of the phone is key to achieving this, and is one of the reasons why people are better than robots when it comes to customer service.
Efficiency incorporates almost all of the qualities listed above, and is one of the most crucial aspects of customer service. An efficient team will help customers get the right answers, as quickly as possible, increasing your own productivity and being cost effective.
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