How to Become an Expert in Customer Service

How to Become an Expert in Customer Service
How to Become an Expert in Customer Service

As a customer service manager or representative, you know first hand just how important it is to provide quality, effective customer service – especially in today’s world where social media dominates. Though these media platforms have undoubtedly played a monumental role in the changing landscape of customer service communication, customer’s wants and needs remain relatively unchanged. They want to be heard, understood, and respected and they want it done on their own terms.

Esteban Kolsky, founder of thinkJar, a Customer Strategy consulting and think tank, notes that it is the customers themselves who must choose and validate their customer experience. >>>

Surviving Information Overload in the World of Customer Service

Surviving Information Overload in the World of Customer Service
Surviving Information Overload in the World of Customer Service

Monitoring service levels has always been a fundamental aspect of managing a contact center. However, advanced contact center and customer relationship software has led to an abundance of data and a growing number of reports that have become unmanageable.

This influx of information has become a perplexing problem for contact center managers, as well as C-level executives, who want to make sure their contact center is performing optimally. When you’re spending a considerable amount on contact center system hardware and software, you want to make sure you’re getting its full value, including effective use of data generated. However, you don’t want to get to the point of the proverbial “analysis paralysis.” >>>

How to Hire Live Chat Agents Who Delight Your Customers

How to Hire Live Chat Agents Who Delight Your Customers
How to Hire Live Chat Agents Who Delight Your Customers

In a fast-paced world where convenience is prized above all else, it’s not surprising customers appreciate communicating via live chat.

In fact, according to the Zendesk Benchmark report, live chat has the highest satisfaction level for any customer service channel.

A live chat channel provides clients access to warm, friendly customer support without having to pick up the telephone. As such, all replies must be as accurate, concise, and helpful as possible.

So how can you increase your chances of hiring live chat agents who exemplify these qualities and delight your customers? It all starts with identifying the skills necessary to succeed in the role. >>>

The Zen of Scaling a Support Team

The Zen of Scaling a Support Team
The Zen of Scaling a Support Team

There’s a delicate balance when it comes to scaling any professional team: hire too many too soon and resources go underutilized, but leave it too late and you risk overburdening your existing team members.

Customer support teams in particular can become overloaded and burned out if the company is growing faster than the team has capacity to handle.

There’s a big expectation on support teams to continue providing reliable service to customers at all times, and to never let the cracks show. For a customer, it doesn’t matter how many open tickets a support agent has on their plate as long as their agent is dealing with their issue right now.

For support agents, pressure comes from both sides – they’re held accountable for their efficiency from both the company and the customer. When the number of incoming inquiries is too much to handle, the only way to reduce the pressure is to get more hands on deck to deal with the volume. >>>

Ditch the Script: How to Personalize Real-Time Customer Service

Ditch the Script: How to Personalize Real-Time Customer Service
Ditch the Script: How to Personalize Real-Time Customer Service

Every actor’s worst nightmare is forgetting their lines. Just imagine it: you’re standing in front of a crowd of hundreds, deep into the Second Act of The Importance of Being Earnest and suddenly, your mind goes blank. The only sound you hear is the nervous beating of your heart. Luckily there’s usually a director waiting in the wings to whisper your line to you. If only social customer service agents had it so easy.

But then again, the title of Oscar Wilde’s famous play offers a great lesson for contact centers: it’s more important to be authentic, to be human and personalized, than it is to flawlessly deliver a customer service script. With an  increasing number of companies competing on customer experience — which essentially means competing to deliver the most authentic experience to customers who increasingly demand tailored service — it’s time for contact centers to ditch the script and personalize real-time social customer service. Here are four ways to make that happen. The first two concern agent behavior, while three and four focus on technology and social customer service software. >>>

5 Mistakes You Should Avoid with Your Customer Service Scripts

Customer Service ScriptsSomewhere along the line, the customer service industry envisioned that it would be a great idea to start scripting everything. On the surface, it seems as though a script allows little room for error. Everyone is representing the company’s stance through crafted statements, and that should leave little room for error. The only problem is that without room for error, there’s also no room for growth. Your scripts may be cheapening the quality of your service, and your customers will notice that immediately. >>>

Building Customer Loyalty in the Internet Age

Building Customer Loyalty in the Internet Age
Building Customer Loyalty in the Internet Age

There are those who still believe that the Internet has taken all the ‘friendly’ out of today’s commerce, but for the most part they would be wrong. In fact, because everything is more accessible (sharing, reviews, product descriptions, company backgrounds and even BBB ratings) the web has enabled much more communication between customers and the businesses that serve them.

It really comes down to a matter of choices: the ways in which you reach out to consumers and how they decide to provide feedback. Therein lies the rub. If your customer perceives your online presence as unapproachable and resistant to their issues, easily posted bad reviews may very well interfere with your enterprise.  >>>

5 Reasons Companies Fail To Meet Social Media Expectations

Why Companies Fail To Meet Social Media Expectations
Why Companies Fail To Meet Social Media Expectations

The automotive body repair shop is typically a dusty, smelly, male-dominated facility. Since the beginning of time this industry has been labeled as untrustworthy, legitimizing the status quo of caveat emptor.

Only recently have shops been trying to revolutionize the trade by offering clean facilities, wi-fi, coffee and play areas for kids. Some, like Toronto-based Hilary Ann started a crowdfunding campaign and subsequently launched an all-female auto body shop, Ink & Iron Automotive. Her business got every auto body shop in the city curious and talking about the changes it would bring. In other words, a single business can raise the expectation bar and disrupt the entire industry – forcing others to either adapt to new conditions or see demise.

Social media is really no different. >>>

How to Automate Customer Feedback

Customer feedback
Customer feedback

Feedback is necessary for a variety of reasons. Not only does it allow you to gauge how you’re perceived by your customers, but it also helps new customers find you. You may have heard that people are more inclined to complain about a negative experience than share a positive one, and that’s absolutely true. If you want to encourage people to share their positive experience, automation with a little positive incentive will go a long way. >>>

12 Reasons I Want Customer Service on Social Media

It goes without saying that today’s gigantic Twitter and Facebook user base makes brands more accessible than ever. Customer service via social media can no longer be considered as a luxury but as an essential component of any customer service strategy – for two simple reasons:

  • Everyone’s thumbs are practically connected to their cellphones – it gives little room for companies to consider alternatives.
  • Your brand is already online (whether you like it or not) and ignoring social media can be detrimental to your success as a company.

Instead of talking about what businesses should or shouldn’t do, let’s examine what social media does to customers and their expectations. Technology has changed to the point that a customer can learn anything they want about a product (or brand) on their own, before they even speak to a company representative. With all this power comes great responsibility, so here’s my reasons for using social media for customer support (I encourage brands to take notice): >>>