Happy customers mean more return business which translates to increased profits. The more contented your customers are about your services and products, the more likely they will return and spend money on your business. Today, customers need personalized services that meet their expectations at every point of contact in their purchasing journey.
Building and running a customer service department is not an easy task. Whether you are starting from scratch or looking to restructure your customer service department, you must have a well-written strategy.
Use the below tips to help you run your customer service department effectively:
Define What Great Customer Service Means for Your Company
Almost every business claims to have great customer service. However, not all customers will have satisfactory services. Defining what great customer service means to your business is the first step to implementing change and fostering improvement.
According to statistics, over 95% of customers who experience lousy service tell their friends and family about it. This may lead to your business losing money from poor-quality customer service.
When rebuilding a customer service department, the first step is specifying the quality of service you will be offering clients and involve your team in the process. The quality of service should also reflect your company’s values.
Suppose your company’s values include honesty, integrity, and faster service. In that case, customers expect your team to be honest, have integrity, and take care of their needs in the quickest way possible. Ensure you train and set up your employees to deliver on your company’s values.
Remember that your employees will only offer good service if facilitated by the management. As a business manager, take the initiative and lead by example.
Aim to Surpass Your Customers’ Expectations Consistently
Exceeding customer expectations will help you stand out from competitors. Look at the standard customer response time in your industry and work towards improving that time. You can also exceed expectations by offering higher-quality service than customers are used to in your industry.
When looking to surpass your customer’s expectations consistently, have a sit-down with your team. During the sit-down attempt to answer the below questions:
- How quickly can we respond to our clients?
- What tone, attitude, and language will we use when handling a client?
- What is the best way to handle disagreements and arguments with customers?
- What happens when you can’t solve the customer’s issues?
- What ethical values will everyone stand with?
High-level expectations can help you create standards and style guides to implement when handling customers. Customers love working with brands that consistently surpass their expectations.
Choose the Channels to Focus On
When looking for ways to please your customers, it’s easy to try and be available on all channels simultaneously. However, this is a grave mistake, as your team may be spread too thin. No matter how good your team is, they can’t consistently provide excellent service to all customers on all channels every time.
It’s best to choose a few channels to provide quality support to your customers instead of inconsistent service. Use the below tips to know which channels to select:
- Determine your customers’ channels of choice
- Conduct a survey
- Take advantage of your current skill sets
- Determine which products and services fit which support channels
When deciding which channels to choose, remember to consider the different products and services your company offers. For example, live chat may be ideal for retail products but frustrating for technical support.
Hire Employees With the Right Qualities
Your support team will be the customers’ point of contact with your company. Ensure to hire good employees who have the right qualities to handle your customers. Below are essential questions to ask when hiring call center staff and customer service employees:
- What personality should your customer support representative have?
- What skills are you looking for?
- What steps will you take to integrate them into the team?
- What should you do to retain your employees?
An ideal customer service representative should be empathetic, intelligent, and resourceful with good communication skills. You can also include other skills and qualities specific to your company. Ensure you also list down all the required skills when posting the job description.
Measure the Correct Customer Service Data
Most customer service undertakings are easy to quantify. While your metric software will give you well-detailed reports, it can’t tell you what is relevant to your team. It’s up to you to figure out which numbers matter to your company and what to do about them.
Below questions will help you understand which metrics matter more to your company:
- Why do you need a report?
- Who are you reporting to?
- What would you like the outcome of the report to be?
The metrics you decide to report must be authentic and meaningful to your company and business strategy. Some people present false numbers to the management team or their leaders. Fortunately, customers always reveal the truth.
After choosing the right metrics, start by taking some baseline measurements and setting targets for your department.
Pick the Right Tools
Dealing with sluggish and uncooperative tools is a costly waste of your team’s energy and time. Your team could use this time and energy to help customers with their inquiries. Ensure you pick relevant tools to increase your team’s productivity.
Remember that your customer service team will use these tools daily to interact with customers. Even the most minor enhancements in accessibility, comfort, and speed could improve your customer satisfaction rate. The right tools include customer service software, individual productivity internal tools, and metric tools.
When choosing the right metric tools, ensure to select those that measure customer resolution metrics, average response time, and call center metrics.
Now It’s Time for Your Customer Service Department to Do the Work
Building a customer service department is not an easy task. It’s an on-going process that requires a lot of patience and discipline. An excellent customer service team learns to adapt to changing trends in the market.
While you may choose to create a channel of support and set out new targets, the first step to creating an outstanding team is defining good customer service based on your company’s values.