Customer service and marketing are often seen as completely different processes by most companies. Strategies for each of the process are planned independently; employees of these departments take separate trainings and sometimes work in different buildings or even countries. Indeed, differences are obvious – marketing is about getting new clients while customer service is about making them happy. But if we look closely these processes often overlap, coincide and interchange. Let’s explore how customer service and marketing can intensify and strengthen each other. >>>
Client disputes are always damaging your reputation as a professional. No matter how you perceive it, when a negative review is attributed to your name will always have a negative impact on your career. However, conflict management is not a simple thing to attain, especially when we’re talking about highly important clients.
When these clients are important and also complex, which means that their perspectives and their unhappiness seem out of the place or complicated to consider, handling conflict in the most appropriate way might require some skills.
Conflicts are the roots of failure. You can have the best product, the best brand on the market, and you can be the best at what you do. However, absolutely no client will deal with you and your business in case they’re not emotionally satisfied with what you’re offering. >>>
The times when customer complaints were seen as a distraction that should be eliminated are over. Most businesses today understand that complaints are a valuable source of information. In fact, there might be no better way to collect direct feedback from your customers. A complaint not only shows what and where went wrong, whether it’s a problem with your product, service, customer support or internal processes. By hearing these problems and acting upon customer feedback you can improve your business and prevent similar complaints in the future.
Very often, though, dissatisfied customers don’t give voice to the complaints. Actually, a study by TARP Research as far back as 1999 uncovered the fact that for every 26 unhappy customers, only 1 will bother to make a formal complaint. The rest will either stay where they are disappointed or will silently take their business elsewhere. According to another research by 1st Financial Training services, 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, 91% of those will simply leave and never come back. >>>
It is no longer a secret that social media channels are used for assisting customers on a daily basis. Customers tend to ask questions and resolve their issues publicly. In fact, 90% of consumers surveyed by Social Sprout have used social media in some way to communicate with a brand. Over a third (34.5 %) said they preferred social media to traditional channels like phone and email.
No doubt that listening to customers on social media has become the main priority for any business today. And the main challenge is how you respond to your audience. Obviously that building better relationships with your customers through social media can add up to huge wins when it comes to customer loyalty and your brand reputation. Before we start exploring the main secrets of social media customer support, here are statistics you cannot ignore: >>>
The cost of losing customers differs wildly between businesses, but it gets even higher if a customer is lost due to poor customer service experiences. No doubt, customer service has a long-term impact on buying decisions, with customers continuing to avoid companies years after the initial negative interaction.
But what’s more, social media and online review websites enable bad service stories to be shared not only with family, friends or colleagues, but also with the general public affecting other potential customers. Which definitely means future lost sales for businesses, because:
- 95% of customers share bad experiences with others, 54% share bad experiences with 5+ people, 45% share negative reviews on social media;
- 63% of consumers read negative reviews on social media;
- 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust friends;
- A single negative online review can cost the average business an average loss of 30 customers.
Customer service representatives play a key role in business growth and promotion – by supporting customers they build trust and improve brand awareness, reduce the number of complaints and facilitate your marketing efforts. More than that, they often are the only contact a customer has with a company. If your business is in need of creating or growing a customer service team, there should be a process of evaluating its performance to make the team successful. >>>
Providing outstanding customer service naturally starts from finding and hiring the right employees for your customer support team. While perfection can hardly ever be achieved – some people just happen to possess the qualities that make them more suited for the role of a customer service representative, while others simply don’t. Before we jump into exploring what makes a fantastic customer service employee, here are the key questions you should ask before hunting for a perfect support agent:
- What is the ideal support personality for YOUR company culture?
- What hard skills are absolutely necessary for the job?
- What soft skills are ‘must-have’ and desirable to have?
- What exactly will the agent be responsible for?
Having those questions answered in detail will give you a better understanding of what you should be looking for in your ideal candidate. But beyond that, there are certain characteristics and qualities that set excellent customer service employees apart. >>>
New customer welcome letters have been utilized by many businesses that hold customer relations in high regard. It is considered as good customer relations, and it enhances personal relationships between business and their customers. Writing new customer welcome letters promotes friendly exchanges with the customer, and it sets the tone for subsequent communications with the customer. It also fosters customer engagement. When a business writes this letter, it manages the customer’s expectations and introduces them to what the business is going to offer in terms of products and services. All pertinent information that relates to the core business of the company is disclosed. >>>
Chat etiquette plays a huge role in customer service. Professional and authentic interaction with clients goes far beyond the opportunity to make a sale. It helps to build a lasting relationship with the customer, inspire future communication and create fans and advocates of your brand.
How to treat the customer to be able to appreciate all these benefits and escalate your service to a more professional and human level?
Customer service training is the most important part in achieving these goals.
Professional line of communication is not that obvious to expect your service agents to get at it intuitively. It is especially true with new employees who often need help finding the proper style of communication which would stick with your business objectives and allow them to maintain their authenticity.
More and more customers take an advantage of self service options before contacting customer support representatives. In fact, Gartner reports that improving the self-service experience of consumers is among the top 3 priorities for companies that aim to improve customer experience and service. According to Zendesk 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves. By creating a page for customer self service with most frequently asked questions and answers to them you will not only empower your online shoppers to find information they need in your support portal, but will also cut down on customer service costs. Here are the most important benefits of a FAQ page:
- Assist your customers proactively by anticipating their needs before they have to ask for help
- Cut down on customer service costs and save time of your customer service team
- Offer your customers a portal where they can find not only answers to their questions but also read more about your company
- Your FAQ page can be a valuable SEO and PPC asset
- Educate your customers on the topic related to your business