Customer support has assumed a lot of significance during the last decade or so. It is simply due to the fact that as more companies try to engage customers, there is also a need for customers to get the right support from companies at all times. Some rules of customer service have stayed there since times immemorial whereas, other rules have also been added during this time.
Being polite and courteous is definitely a primary requirement but there is also a lot more than that which companies must provide.
Some of the rules are just mandatory in nature while others may not be as obligatory but at no times, a customer can be ignored. Customer service also has some core rules that may sound easy but adhering to them can be a different ball game altogether. However, corporations that stand by them stand to gain consequently as they can be quite rewarding if followed perfectly. In fact, following these rules to perfection can differentiate a business from the others. Hence, we take a look at some of these rules in the following sections.
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Customer service is a team job
As is often thought that customer service is the prerogative of a particular department in an organization – this can be a false notion. In fact, customer service is a team effort. Customers expect support and responsiveness from a business and they will not differentiate which employee is supposed to help them. It is the duty of business and all its stakeholders to keep a customer satisfied at all times through the little contributions that anyone can make.
Do not promise the moon
A customer can get disappointed if a product or service expectation is not met by a business. Therefore, service professionals should refrain from over-promising. Contrastingly, it is always better to promise what can be delivered and then exceeding the expectations of the customer. This way, a customer can feel that a business values the association and that can help in winning the trust of customers. Through time, a business can make some loyal customers in this way.
Giving it the best shot, each time
Most companies usually value their customers a lot so that a customer support function is there in most of them. What sets them apart from each other is when a customer request pops up at odd hours and how that is handled by a business. For instance, if there is a late-night request for a service while the support representative was just calling it a day, taking the call and providing a solution can have a lasting impression on the customer’s mind. Moreover, technologies like VoIP phone system can be really helpful in such circumstances as jobs can be easier. Hence, we see here that EACH call matters and hence, it is important to prioritize all of them.
Turning sour experiences into opportunities
In this age of increased competition in businesses, sometimes there can be a bad experience for a customer. Hence, customer service recovery has also become an important aspect of customer retention. Towards this end, Disney Institute’s H.E.A.R.D. method can be used so that an aggrieved customer can again be turned into a loyal one. The H.E.A.R.D. methods entail hearing, empathizing, apologizing, resolving and diagnosing a problem due to which a customer may have had a bad experience.
At times, businesses have to bear
There can be bad days at work for all of us and this extends to all types of businesses. When a customer doesn’t get an intended service or fails to find a service highlighted by a business due to any reason, the frustration levels can rise. In some instance, they may even take out all of it on a customer support staff. Giving them the benefit of doubt may not be that bad.
Also, the best customer support techniques can help in making them normal. However, customers with repeated issues like this may be handled differently.
Keep processes simple
One of the best ways to earn customer loyalty is to keep things simple so that less effort can be expended by a customer in getting to their goals. Great products can always attract customers, right, but at the same time, it is also important that not much effort should be made by a customer to get the product or service. Keeping things, products or processes simple and handy can make any customer turn to it.
Speed may not be the central theme
As there are more businesses in every sector these days, there is a focus on speedy delivery. While it can be argued that speed is important but so is efficient service and there cannot be a trade-off of speed with service. For example, a teller at a bank can win over his customer even if his speed of working may be slightly slower. That can be compensated by the courtesy and helpfulness which is offered to customers because most customers will like to have a personalized approach.
Treating employees with dignity
The best businesses know that when an employee is happy, the business does well. The positive vibe of an employee can reflect on the service provided by him so that a customer can feel more satisfied. On the other hand, the contrary can also happen! Hence, it is important for businesses to treat their employees with the same respect that they offer to customers.
By following these golden rules of customer service, any business can gain from them tremendously. All of these rules may not be found in ‘bestsellers’ but it is a fact that they can influence a customer’s decision and the final service outcome.
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