Your organization needs to emphasize customer service if you want to create loyal customers and bring in new prospects. Seems obvious, right? Sure, but even though many businesses know customer service is important, five key mistakes prevent them from providing stellar support. That’s why we’ve made a list of those missteps and the contact center solutions that will be your fix!
Mistake 1: Lack of Training
Solution: Train, Train, and Train Some More
Great customer service, online or not, starts with great training. Make sure your staff feels confident in their ability to answer incoming questions; and you’re confident in each person’s knowledge base. Depending on the medium a request is sent from (like social media versus email), your sales and support teams may have to handle a question slightly differently. Continuously prepare teammates for situations like these, so they’re comfortable no matter what method of communication you’re using. A great way to help staff members learn from their experiences is to reflect on live chat transcripts and call recordings to see when an issue could have been handled better.
Mistake 2: It’s Difficult to Contact Your Business
Solution: Have it Their Way
Your customers want options, so providing a contact form on your website and calling it quits isn’t going to cut it. Customers don’t appreciate being asked to “take a number,” and it doesn’t instill confidence that your business will deliver a quick response. Since website visitors are already online, asking someone to make a phone call may not be the ideal option either.
That’s why live chat should be one of your core communication tools. Even if you can’t support immediate response times 24/7, some live chat software options allow your team to set a schedule that you can post on your website if you stick to those times. When you give customers a variety of ways to reach your team, it lets them know that they are a focus of the company and you’re invested in their success! Do everything in your power to keep them from getting discouraged and going to your competition.
Mistake 3: Ignoring Social Media Requests
Solution: Respond to Everyone (even the meanies!)
Social media should be a staple of your marketing arsenal because it can be such a quick, friendly way to get direct feedback from your customers. Just make sure to keep it that way. Don’t ignore questions or comments that are posted on your social media properties. Quickly responding to these interactions will not only surprise your own customers in a positive way, but it will also increase your credibility with prospects who see that you strive to create positive experiences. Ignoring requests doesn’t make them go away and it feeds the notion that you don’t care. Make sure your staff is careful to recognize the issue, no matter how it is presented, and advise them to use a positive tone in every response.
Mistake 4: Waiting to Address Issues
Solution: Be Proactive and Transparent
If there is a customer service issue, be proactive. Send out a tweet and update Facebook if your website went down or a power outage knocked out your phone lines. Things happen and that’s okay. The real problem arises when customers start to experience an issue and don’t know what action to take next. Be transparent and let them know what is affected, when you think it will be fixed, where to go for updates, and what the work-around options are. Using social media this way empowers customers and they’ll thank you with good feedback (or lack of bad feedback) and loyalty to your company!
Mistake 5: Not Giving Back to Your Most Loyal Customers
Solution: Set Up a Rewards Program
Now that your business addresses issues online, prospects will see that you don’t take your customers for granted. That said, it never hurts to go the extra mile. Our decisions to purchase and interact with a brand depends on the ability to be rewarded for our time and money spent, even if we don’t always recognize it. If your brand doesn’t thank its customers for their business by rewarding them, you’re missing out on a serious opportunity that your competition may be capitalizing on. Although profits aren’t the only thing that matter, loyalty programs are one of the best ways to help your business achieve this bottom line because they encourage your existing customers to boost their loyalty toward your brand, and ultimately purchase more frequently.
Service can not only separate you from your competition, but create long-term loyal customers who get the word out for you. If you aren’t sure where you stand with your customer service, use your analytics to grade yourself and create a plan to improve. If you need help, consider a contact center solution. Be a shining example of service in your industry.