Basic principles of customer service that drive business growth
Customer service is the backbone of any business. Today customers have higher expectations than ever before, and helping them extends far beyond just making a sale. Customers expect businesses to handle their queries on hand and ensure they get the most out of their products and services. It’s not easy to provide quality customer service, which is why you should design your service strategy based on these customer service principles.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the process of providing support to both prospective and existing customers. Customer service professionals typically answer customer questions through in-person, email, phone, chat, and social media interactions and also be responsible for creating documentation for self-service support. Businesses can create their own definitions of customer service depending on their values and the type of support they provide.
Why is Customer Service important?
86% of customers quit business with a company due to a bad experience. Hence businesses must approach every support interaction as an opportunity to acquire, retain, or up-sell.
According to a variety of studies, U.S. organizations lose more than $62 billion every year due to poor customer service. Understanding that customer service is the cornerstone of your customer experience leverage it as an opportunity to delight customers and engage them in new and exciting ways.
What are the principles of good Customer Service?
These customer service principles can help you transform your support operations and deliver the best customer experience every time.
1. Listen to customers and share their feedback.
Motivate your support team to ask more questions while interacting with customers. Your team becomes an asset when they learn more about your customer and their needs and can be a good source of product innovation. Therefore, encourage your customer support team to give customer feedback regularly at company meetings.
2. Spend time on building relationships
As a budding enterprise, you don’t need to hire more people on your team to do more tasks technology can do that for you. Scale your team and give them time to focus on solving problems and building stronger customer relationships.
3. Practice empathy
Empathy in customer relations has become very rare and it’s now a competitive advantage. Your support team must learn the art of empathy to provide effective customer service. Ask them to put themselves in the customer's shoes when working on a case. It will show in their empathy, and customers will appreciate it.
4. Know your product
The better your customer support team knows about your product, the more satisfactorily they’ll be at servicing it. Some companies offer boot camps to all new hires to ensure that they understand their products and services. Be sure to train them for every new release, too.
Customers expect companies to be proactive in reaching out to them. If any of your products are out of stock or your website is experiencing downtime reach out to your customers and explain the problem. They might not be happy about the circumstances, but they will be thankful that you keeping them in the loop.
6. Remember every second counts
Customers hate to wait. Give your team the tools to support customers as effectively as possible. Reducing the time it takes to assist a customer instantly reduces the time other customers must wait, too. At the same time, motivate your team to solve every problem completely. Speed is important, but resolution times should not trump customer satisfaction scores (CSAT).
Now you’re ready to improve your business outcomes with these customer service principles outlined here. Always remember customer service should always focus on customer needs rather than focusing on your company's needs. Prioritize your customers over every business decision to gain their satisfaction and loyalty in the long term truly.