Customer service is a must for any business today, and for a reason. Brands need to gain a competitive edge, and winning over the customer is the best way to do so.
It’s not new to say that the customer is a key piece in the business’ success. But for a long time, companies were trying to sell their products at any cost without focusing on the “perfect” customers. Now, that’s the real key: finding the right customers for your product.
While you can convert people that are not exactly ideal, do you know what will happen then? They will probably find something to complain about, say that it wasn’t what they expected or that it didn’t meet their needs.
Still, even in those cases, exceptional customer service will make customers have an overall positive experience.
Common customer service mistakes
Bad customer service will cost your business a lot. Not only will you lose a customer because of that experience, but you also are losing the chance to acquire new consumers that would, otherwise, get a recommendation from that person.
Not being proactive
If you keep waiting for people to reach you and ask about their problems, that’s what we call reactive customer service. Although this is still a good way to offer your support, it’s a mistake not to provide proactive services.
This is about anticipating the customer’s needs. For example, using a chat to ask if the person needs any help.
Not training attendants
You might hire the best and most experienced agents around, that doesn’t discard the necessity of training them to be your employee. They need to learn about the company’s culture, customer service strategy, the product, the protocol you follow for support and sales, etc.
They must receive proper training to perform better at their jobs.
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Having a lack of availability
If you offer customer service online, it’s crucial to be available for the consumers. Can you imagine acquiring a Live Chat feature and not having an agent to answer the conversations? What’s the point of getting a real-time chat tool if you’re not going to take advantage of its prime quality?
You see where I’m going with this, right? It actually doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with phone calls or emails, the client needs to have someone answering them as fast as possible.
Taking too long to answer
On the same note, taking too long to answer will make customers angry and upset. It’s not like speed is the most critical factor. You should take your time looking for the customer’s information since a high-quality service is more important than quick answers.
However, don’t leave them waiting too much. At least send a message: “just one more minute, I’m getting the information for you” if it’s not going as fast as you’d like.
Not listening to the customer
When you listen to the customer, you know exactly what to do, talk, and look for solutions to solve their problems. Even when they ask about something, you might notice they actually want to know something else. You should still answer their question to the point and then complete it with further information.
Customers want to be heard, understood and cared for. More than reading their message, you need to detect their tone of voice. Keeping this in mind, delivering a more personal service will make your brand stand out from peers.
Not having an omnichannel support
Even though Live Chat is currently a crowd favorite, many customers like to have other options to contact the brand. Phone and email are still popular and used by many, though social media has grown a lot these last couple of years.
There are tons of companies using social media chats as an SAQ 2.0 because clients and prospects are always reaching them through this channel. It doesn’t cost you much to offer omnichannel support because you will be rewarded with more satisfied customers.
Not being polite, empathetic, and positive
This one is pretty obvious: you can’t be rude to your customers, even when they’re rude to you. One of the most praised skills of customer service attendants is patience. Alongside that, keeping a positive attitude towards the conversation.
Since customers will react to how you treat them, your support team needs to learn how to be empathetic to understand the customer’s point of view and how to turn it around.
Impersonal customer care
Customers want to feel close to the brands they purchase from. That is probably not new information. Besides, they hate it when brands sound like a robot and treat them like just another person.
That’s why, even when companies have model answers and a protocol to be followed, attendants should edit and personalize the message according to each customer. It will have a huge impact on customer satisfaction.
Not having human agent
In the same context, if you don’t have a human agent to answer the customer questions, your customer service results will be harmed—the same way as being passed around from sector to sector trying to resolve a problem.
Can I tell you about a personal experience? Earlier this year, I ended up with a debt with my phone company and, as I tried to call and negotiate with them, I couldn’t reach a human agent with ANY of the options.
There were six options; none of them were going to resolve my problem, but I tried one by one to talk to an attendant, and it simply wouldn’t happen. At last, I reached them through an online service that, by the way, was also not at all efficient.
The conclusion is: I never want to do business with them again, and that’s how people will feel when you offer this type of poor customer service.
This is what you need to improve your customer service strategy
Overall, to improve your customer service, you need to check that list of mistakes and see what you’re doing wrong today. Once you discover that, you can start to fix and improve your processes.
Some examples of what you need to improve your strategy are:
- use a customer-centric approach
- track relevant metrics
- define a customer service culture
- use customer data
Although it seems obvious, it’s not so evident for many that you need to put the consumer at the center of your actions to improve your brand’s perception. Every decision should be made based on the customers’ data, principally if you already performed surveys beforehand, use the feedback you got to learn what you need to do.
That being said, putting the customer at the core of your business will reflect on the culture inside the company, which every collaborator needs to know about and follow to provide the best service.
Moreover, you also need to analyze important metrics, such as customer satisfaction, conversion rates, retention rates, churn rate, average resolution time, and average response time, to name a few.
Some tips to boost customer experience
According to a research, 45.9% of businesses say they will focus on customer experience in the next 5 years. This number represents how brands started to notice their product has no value if they don’t provide good service and experience for their consumers.
Which reminds me, even though customer service and customer experience are related, they are not the same thing. While the service part is about customer and brand interactions to, yes, provide a service, experience is more about the entirety of the relationship with the brand.
To clarify, customer service will include a chat conversation, ease on problem-solving, and making purchases easy to complete. Meanwhile, CX will include all of that and more, like sending a surprise small gift after the client made a big purchase.
So, how can you make your Customer Experience better?
Firstly, you need to understand who your customers are, that will make it easier to know how to talk to them, what type of content and offer to make, and what is the best approach to increase conversions.
In addition, it also helps on the next tip: create an emotional connection with your audience. People like it when a brand transmits positive feelings and, although it seems hard to do that, if you follow our first advice, it should be quite simple to communicate with emotion.
I’d also like to mention the importance of getting feedback, both from customers and employees. After all, your collaborators are the ones who are dealing with the clients on a daily basis, so who better to help you learn what are the pain points and what to improve than your own team?
And, of course, you know that the information customers share with you are worth gold, right? That’s the moment they’re talking loud and clear what they want from your brand, some even give suggestions of what you should do — good ideas can come from this practice!
Customer-centric: the strategy of the moment
As I said earlier, being customer-centric is having a business that works with the customers at the center of everything. Every decision made, whether for marketing, sales, or even product development, has to be made thinking about the customer first.
Will they like it? Will it be effective? Will it be worth the investment? All of these questions need to have an answer and you may be wondering how will you know that before anything happens. It’s simple: Customer Data has all the responses.
By understanding behavior patterns, interests, audience engagement, and so on, it’s possible to create a strategy that will be beneficial to the customer and the brand equally.
In spite of this method having become popular in the last years, it’s definitely not a new strategy. It has been around for many years, but now, with the growth of the digital world and the increase of generated data, companies realized they need to stand out for something other than a great product.
Hence, the customer-centric approach gained a new perspective. More than ever before, customers are being considered the most important aspect of a business.
Overview of customer service in 2020 and beyond
This year, customer service in eCommerces suffered a big unexpected impact with the pandemic. Nonetheless, many companies were able to keep quality in their services. From that, we learned a number of trends and predictions for the upcoming year. They are:
- Higher customer expectations: service needs to be quick, available at all times, personalized, effective, and of high-quality
- Proactive support: companies started to be more active and look for the customer instead of waiting to see if someone would show up and it has shown amazing results
- Chatbot and Live Chat: chatbots can help deliver fast answers and sift the problem so the customer can either resolve their issue alone or be transferred to a human agent on Live Chat. This tool that is a new customers’ favorite is essential to provide personalization and fast responses.
- Predictive analysis: with the growth of data generation, companies understand their consumers better than ever, enough to the point of being able to predict their needs and anticipate solutions
- Privacy and security: also because of the increase in customer data, the laws of privacy and protection are becoming more strict, for the next years, there’s a tendency to see new, more specific regulations on the subject
At Arena, we offer solutions that will make your customer service shine. I can keep telling you how our thousands of clients worldwide are succeeding in their strategies, but the truth is, each one has particular needs, and so do you.
If you came here, you’re most likely looking for ways to improve your brand’s customer experience as a whole, am I right? With our platform and content just like the one you are reading, you can create an unbeatable strategy that will make you grow and stay ahead of competitors.
The best part is: there’s a free trial period. If you don’t see the results (which I highly doubt will happen), you can just stop using – no cost. Start using the Arena platform for free today!