The first goal of customer service is to make a customer’s experience with your business as easy and convenient as possible.
So why does it seem like customers have to put in the work to get help when they need it?
Delivering a seamless customer experience isn’t rocket science – and it’s certainly not unreasonable for customers to expect. Yet, many companies struggle to offer it.
The good news? You don’t have to be one of them! Here are some steps you can take to ensure your customers have positive, easy, seamless experiences with your customer service team.
No matter the size of your company or how many clients you have, it’s important to personally engage with each customer.
Why? Because your customers are people first – and developing stronger relationships allows you to deliver more effective, human-centric customer service.
Plus, greater customer satisfaction leads to longer loyalty. Businesses that optimize customer engagement also perform 85% better in sales growth.
As you get to know your customers better through building stronger relationships, you’ll develop a better grasp of who your best customers are.
In order to truly optimize the customer service experience, you need to understand who your customers are, what they care about, and what motivates their decisions. You can use this information to develop buyer personas and define your ideal customer profile, so you have a clear picture of who to tailor your service experiences for.
Once you have a clear understanding of who your ideal customers are, what they care about, and how they act, you can analyze the steps taken on their purchasing journey.
Mapping out these steps (and getting buy-in from the entire team) will help you understand what drives your audience’s decision-making, what types of interactions they expect, and how to serve them best.
Write a mission statement that encompasses your customer service goals and communicate it to your agents by incorporating into your training. It should be actionable, easy to understand, and provide guidance to your customer service team members.
However, your mission and the way you implement it doesn’t need to be set in stone. In fact, you should encourage employees to suggest new ways to streamline customer service.
In order for your customer service experience to be truly seamless, it needs to be uniform across the entire business. Every single one of your team members should be committed to providing amazing, seamless service and your entire approach to business should be customer-focused.
You can get everyone in your organization on the same page by using your customer experience mission statement to inform the rest of your strategy. So, no matter who a customer speaks to – whether it’s someone in leadership, tech support, or frontline customer service agents – they will receive the same high-quality level of service.
Being open and honest about your policies can contribute to a smoother customer experience. By setting clear expectations from the get-go, you’re positioning your customers and service agents for success.
For instance, if your website, pricing page, and confirmation email clearly outline your return policy information, there’s a lower chance that your team will need to explain why they can’t issue a refund to an unhappy customer.
If customers wanted to sift through technical lingo, they probably wouldn’t have opted to speak to a human support agent.
So, rather than bogging down the conversation with terms or explanations that might not make sense to your audience, reframe the dialogue to highlight practical, visible outcomes.
As far as seamless customer service experiences go, omnichannel support is a necessity. It improves the customer experience by preventing many of the communication issues caused by keeping information siloed by departments or channels.
How? By going beyond single-channel or even multi-channel support to give customers the ability to switch between channels with ease.
Without omnichannel support, a customer might find themselves getting transferred from agent to agent until they connect with someone who can give them a straight answer. Even worse, there might not be a complete record of their previous interactions, meaning they have to start from scratch whenever they contact support with a follow-up question.
The best time to ask your customers about their experience is when it’s still fresh in their minds – a.k.a. as soon as possible!
Send out a quick post-sale or post-interaction survey via email or text message. If you want more detailed responses, ask some of your top customers if they’d mind having a quick phone conversation or filling out a longer questionnaire.
This goes beyond simply asking for customer input. Social listening is the act of ‘eavesdropping’ on social media conversations to see what customers actually think of your product, brand, or service.
You can learn a ton from simply paying attention to what people around you are saying online. This includes customer needs, pain points, difficulties, feature wish lists, and brand sentiment.
Social listening also provides a valuable self-awareness that many brands lack. So much so that 80% of businesses think they provide superior customer service experiences – but only 8% of customers agree.
You should aim to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get in touch with your team, find solutions to their problems, and use your product or service. That’s why it’s important to invest in customer onboarding programs, create self-service resources, and fully adopt an omnichannel approach to customer support.
However, if you want to minimize customer effort even further, consider providing proactive support. For example, you can take advantage of advancements in network and technology monitoring to identify problems before customers even report them.
As you work to reduce the amount of effort required of your customers, you’ll likely uncover a few bottlenecks in the customer service process that create problems for both your customers and your team members.
If you can identify the barriers and roadblocks preventing you from delivering amazing customer service, you can begin to overcome them. This doesn’t mean your customer service team needs to be 100% perfect; it just means you should home in on real, tangible issues that can be addressed or improved.
The best customer service isn’t always the fastest. In fact, if your team gets caught up in trying to handle as many tickets as possible in a given timeframe, the quality of service will suffer.
Emphasising the importance of your first contact resolution rate (FCR), for instance, can encourage your team to resolve issues fully before moving on to the next ticket.
Amazing agents are the key to amazing customer experiences. They’re the face of your company and the people building your customer relationships.
So, hire personable, enthusiastic agents whose vision aligns with yours and supports the customer service mission statement you defined earlier. You want a team that is just as committed to delivering high-quality, consistent experiences as you are.
This might seem obvious if you’re thinking about visual branding – your website and social profiles should all reflect the color theme and aesthetic associated with your brand. However, this line of thinking should extend to delivering a consistent tone and brand persona.
Whether a customer tweets at, emails, calls, or live chats with your customer service team, they should receive a response consistent with your brand. It should feel like they’re having one continuous conversation with your brand, rather than many separate interactions with different team members.
Reward customer service agents who go above and beyond or receive glowing reviews from customers. Whether you create a point-based program that allows employees to earn bigger perks or offer bonuses to top performers every month or quarter, find a way to recognize and incentivize fantastic customer service.
Smart technology is available to help your customer service agents perform their absolute best. It’s not about replacing people with machines – it’s about using AI-powered chatbots and tech to boost productivity and deliver a consistent level of service with ease.
For instance, your team can use chatbots to resolve simple live chat requests and even ask chatbots for information internally. This allows your customers to receive more accurate responses, more quickly.
Your customers want to feel in control of their experiences. There are various ways you can hand over control, from allowing them to choose how and when they receive support to giving them access to self-service resources.
Proper training from day one is a must – but what about agents who have been with your company for years? Don’t they, more than anyone, deserve an opportunity to excel and represent your brand in the best light possible?
Continuously coaching your team and providing the resources they need to grow and succeed keeps your most committed agents at the top of their game.
Tracking customer service metrics is key to optimizing the type of experience your service team delivers. By keeping close tabs on agent performance, you can ensure your customer service strategy is implemented properly and gauge how well it's actually working to improve the customer experience.
Focus on measurements that reveal the strengths and weaknesses of your customer service team. For example, you might consider measuring net promoter score, churn rate, customer effort score, and other relevant help desk metrics.
In every purchasing decision and across every industry, today’s consumers have a multitude of different options at their fingertips. Creating a seamless customer service experience is one of the best ways to stand out from the competition and ensure they keep choosing you and your product above the competition.
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