How many times have you had a customer service representative go way beyond expectation and give you really exemplary service? And of those, how many times did you extol the company to your friends and family, write a glowing review online, or simply vow to give that company as much of your future business as possible? I can't tell you the number of stores, online or brick-and-mortar, that I've given my business to after hearing one of my roomates make an easy, stress-free phone return, or, alternatively, shunned after listening to horror stories about poorly made products or rude operators. A slide show from MarketingProfs highlights a few ways you can help your company customer service story sound more like the former and less like the latter.
- An apology is worth a thousand words. It works in customer relationships just like it works in personal relationsips. Don't argue with the other person about who's right and who's wrong. Apologize for the inconvenience or disappointment, listen to why they're upset, and figure out a way to fix it.
- Give your team the knowledge and power to solve problems. Every time a customer service rep says "I don't have the authority to do that for you" or "You'll have to speak to a manager", your customer's ire increases expontentially. If the people at the end of your 1-800 number are dealing with a large volume of calls about late fees or lost shipments, make sure they're equipped to handle those issues from start to finish.
- Don't trade people for computers for the sake of saving a few bucks. Most people don't want to troll the FAQ section of your website looking for the answer to their question. And absolutely NO ONE want to listen to seventeen automated options to find assistance. The longer it takes to get a problem solved, the angrier it makes your customers, so do everyone a favor and hire actual people to (knowledgeably, empoweredly, apologetically) answer the phones.
You can measure how your customers think you're doing by collecting & consolidating feedback through multiple channels, such as inbound emails, social media, and online surveys. It's great advertising to be talked about, just make sure what people are saying about you is what you'd say about yourselves.