Everyone working in customer service knows that words are incredibly powerful, and some of them can truly either make or break customer service experiences. In fact, according to Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, the authors of Words Can Change Your Brain, a single negative word can trigger the release of dozens of stress-producing hormones. Using the right customer service phrases in your communication with customers makes all the difference between a bad service and a delightful one.
Empathy is the Key to Excellent Service
Empathy is the ability to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”. Believe it or not, customers are not expecting customer service professionals to resolve their issues 100% of the time. On the other hand, they do expect empathy from service agents every single time they contact your company’s support. Empathy statements can do so much in making customers feel that they are understood, respected, and their feelings are validated. >>>
Predicting what the future of customer service will be like a few years from now there is absolutely no room for doubt that artificial intelligence is going to transform the way businesses interact and engage with customers. In fact, chatbots are already dramatically changing the way customer service is provided in various industries.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human. A survey by Oracle found that 8 out of 10 businesses have already implemented or are planning to adopt AI as a customer service solution by 2020.
According to a recent report by Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.3%. Within the global chatbot market, approximately 45% of end users prefer chatbots as the primary mode of communication for customer service inquires. >>>
With the growth in messaging apps and automated bots, live chat is becoming the most popular customer service channel that offers huge opportunities for businesses, from support to marketing. In fact, more and more businesses are realizing today that live chat is much more than just a budget-friendly support channel. According to Kayako research, 79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.
Why Do Сonsumers Love Live Chat?
Because they want quicker service, faster resolution and greater flexibility. Live chat offers immediate support with no need to wait on hold: Zopim survey found that it takes a service agent less than a minute on average to reply and resolve an issue. But most importantly, it’s convenient. People can carry on working, shopping, eating or whatever they were doing while maintaining a chat conversation. It’s customer service that perfectly fits into their lifestyle. >>>
Over the recent years customer experience has dramatically grown in value to supersede product quality and price. Companies that deliver outstanding customer experience can truly win over the competition, retain more loyal customers and improve their bottom line. So what’s trending in the world of CX today?
Since customer expectations are changing just as rapidly as technology advancements, improving customer experience has become an ongoing goal for most companies. Dimension Data found that over 82% of companies recognize the customer experience as a competitive differentiator. According to another survey by Harvard Business Review, 86% of business leaders agree that CX is vital for success. >>>
To connect with new customers don’t try to get inside their heads. Get inside their hearts. Create an emotional connection. – Bill Quiseng
Some of the world’s most successful business leaders know that attracting customers and winning their loyalty isn’t merely about the product or service. It’s more about offering an experience that creates an emotional connection between the customer and the brand. In fact, the Temkin Group found that while all three components of customer experience – success, effort, and emotion – have a strong effect on loyalty, emotion turns out to be the most important element.
When companies connect with customers’ emotions, the payoff can be huge. According to the Harvard Business Review, consumers who are emotionally connected with a brand are anywhere from 25% to 100% more valuable in terms of revenue and profitability than those who are “merely” highly satisfied with it. >>>
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. >>>
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.
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. >>>
With over 2 billion Facebook users, +700 million Instagram users, and +300 million Twitter users, it’s no longer enough for brands to be merely present on social media. They need to be active and engaging. Today’s customers want their voices heard and problems resolved quickly and effortlessly whenever they reach out to brands on social media. And if brands are not part of the conversation – they will be left behind.
Obviously, it’s no longer a question if your business should listen to customers on social media – it’s a question of how you listen and, what’s even more important, how you respond. By delivering great customer support on social media, you can truly build stronger relationships with customers and improve customer loyalty. In fact, according to Aberdeen, companies that have a well-crafted social customer service approach experience 92% customer retention. >>>
Millennials now make up the largest consumer demographic with more spending power than any other generation. According to Accenture, while Millennials are already a potent force (spending approximately $600 billion each year), they will truly come into their own by 2020, when their spending in the US is projected to hit $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30% of total retail sales. Businesses that intend to keep them as customers need to rethink how to approach this generation.
Is your customer service Millennial-friendly?
Millennials have high standards for fast, seamless and consistent cross-channel, cross-platform, real-time, personalized experiences. And they can easily take their business to a competitor, if you fail to meet their expectations. In fact, studies reveal that 68% of 18 – 34-year-old consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a single poor customer service experience. >>>