Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers. ~ Ross Perot.
To build a successful business, whatever it is, you need to have a clear understanding of who your customers are. So how sure are you that you truly know your customers and what they really expect from your business and customer service? Do you know them at least as well as they know your brand?
Answering those questions might be challenging as today’s consumers are much more sophisticated, much more educated and more demanding as they used to be a while ago. In fact, 72% of them now expect a customer service agent to know their contact information, product information and service history as soon as they engage and without being asked. >>>
With big holiday season just around the corner, many online retailers are busy preparing their customer service teams for the holiday rush.
According to NRF’s survey conducted by Prosper Insights, American consumers plan to spend an average $935.58 during the holiday shopping season this year. Total planned spending this year is second only to the record total spending in 2015, at $952.58.
No doubt, the holiday season puts lot of stress not only on the customer service teams, but on customers as well. In rush hours average handle times often shoot upward, wait times escalate, which leaves many customers frustrated.
After all, holidays are about positive emotions and your customers want to get a pleasant emotional charge from their holiday shopping experience with you. What can you do to minimize the negative effects of the busy season and keep customer satisfaction high? >>>
Exceptional customer service starts with confidence. It is one of the most important components of delivering great service to your customers and developing quality employees.
After all, customers want to know that the employee they are dealing with knows what one is doing and they get served in a professional manner. If they have a question, they need prompt and honest answers and if an employee does not have an answer, they want to be sure that the representative is committed to getting it.
In an interview a few of years ago Donald Trump was asked about what were the most important keys to his success in business. In short, his answer was “Exude confidence. If you know what you’re doing, that should be easy.”
The second part of his answer speaks to me. I think each one of us knows from experience that when we know what we are doing, the question of confidence doesn’t even come into play. When you know something, you may need to watch out not to become cocky, but quiet confidence comes natural.
When applied to customer service, this means that if you want you reps to be confident in front of customers, they need to be well trained and prepared to answer any type of questions. >>>
If you are a startup, earning customer trust is so important to get those first few clients and get things rolling. However, even if you are a well established business, continuously maintaining customer trust and meeting customer expectations is as important for keeping existing relationships as for making new clients.
Adding a live chat tool to your website is one simple and efficient way to build credibility with your customers.
There are several aspects of how you manage live support on your website, which signal the customer right away how credible your company is and whether you are worth having business with. If you want to give the right impression and look credible in the customers’ eyes, watch out for the following things. >>>
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.” >>>
No one is so high up in the organization that they are above waiting on customers — Jack Mitchell, “Hug Your Customers”
There’s a great deal of talk today about the importance of customer service as a key competitive differentiator. More and more businesses are coming to the point of view that customer service is not a department within an organization, but rather an attitude, a philosophy and the mission of the entire company. It is widely stated that these days customer service is everyone’s job and responsibility. It is meant to go well beyond the frontline call center or a reception desk.
Although the “everyone does customer service” approach is widely accepted and fruitfully adopted by leading companies worldwide as a key part of their business strategy, one can’t help but wonder what it takes to get everyone involved in customer service. For startups and small businesses, keeping everyone on the same page and getting all employees to wear all kinds of new hats is quite a common practice. But it gets a bit complicated in case of a larger and long-standing organization. How do you go about turning the tide and implementing the new standards? >>>
There are many reasons why you should care to build a great customer service team.
One is, customer service is as important to a business as any other department, such as sales or marketing for example. It takes at least as much time and effort as other aspects of a business in order to move forward and succeed.
If you want to have a team of champions who will propel your business, it’s good to start off with a decent plan. The four key steps below are your landmarks for creating a best performing customer service 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. >>>
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. >>>
With so many stories of bad customer service we hear these days, many people are getting the impression that customer service jobs are entry-level or unimportant roles taken just to get by until a better opportunity. Do you share the same view? I hope, not. For me, it’s just the opposite. An experience of working in customer service, even as a temporary job, can be a stepping stone to a great career and many other life achievements.
Working in customer service can be a formative experience that exposes you to people from all walks of life with all different kinds of backgrounds. In the long run, it may turn out to be valuable lessons you would not trade in for anything. In this blog post I would like to share my insider’s view on customer service career and my key takeaways from it. >>>