Secrets to Providing Surprisingly Delightful Customer Service
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Customers are the reason your business can thrive. But closing a sale is by no means the end of communication with them. Taking care of the people who purchase from you is paramount to creating loyal and passionate customers who will return again and again.
Whether you’re answering a question about a product or resolving a problem, impeccable customer service means treating each case with urgency and a human touch. Here are a few ways to go above and beyond for your customers.
Give your customer support team the support it needs.
Empower your customer service agents, allowing them to do the best job they can for each individual case they handle. “Customer service is a way to learn from your customers and form relationships, so treat those interactions and the people handling those interactions with respect and appreciation,” says Abigail Phillips, vice president of customers at Help Scout, a company that makes helpdesk software.
Don’t just treat customer service as a call center. Give agents the autonomy to be flexible in their problem solving. This will allow agents to provide solutions more quickly, she says, rather than having to make a customer wait to bring in a manager or an engineer to solve the problem.
Additionally, make sure that there are healthy, robust channels of communication between customer service and other teams in the business. “You want there to be an easy dialogue between marketing, sales, product, and your customer,” Phillips says. “Your customer support folks are well-placed to be an essential part of that business conversation.”
Don’t waste your auto reply.
It’s useful to have an automated response to let customers know that you’ve received their submission. You can set up a simple email reply for online questions or use a service like Sprint Smart Messaging to send a text reply to missed calls and voicemails.
Don’t just send a generic response that could come from anyone, though. Phillips says to make sure the message customers receive is an extension of your brand. “When a company has really taken the time to make it informative or if it’s funny or charming, then it really stands out,” she says. It’s a lost opportunity if you don’t turn your automated response into a positive, meaningful interaction with your customer. Sprint Smart Messaging, for example, utilizes artificial intelligence to reply to common questions like store location or hours of operation.
Phillips also says not to waste a customer’s time with excessive small talk. Creating a script that has agents respond by asking repeatedly about the customer’s day may seem polite, but it also extends the interaction unnecessarily. “It feels disingenuous,” Phillips says, “That person is contacting you for help. No one wants to be contacting support.”
Prioritize quality over quickness.
While providing a prompt response is key, it’s important to evaluate the success of instantaneous automated tools. You can include search options on your website that return quick answers to frequently asked questions, but if many customers are still reaching out to agents, then the feedback needs to show that those cases weren’t helped by the automatic solutions, Phillips says.
For phone inquiries, Omni from Sprint, a cloud-based virtual phone system, can quickly greet and direct customers with a virtual receptionist and sub-menus to help them reach the right department. Once a customer is on the phone with an agent, take the time to really dig into the problem as much as possible before replying.
Pausing to research the customer’s account and the issue thoroughly takes a little longer, but will ultimately resolve the problem sooner, Phillips says.
To learn more about how Sprint Business can improve your customer service and help your company grow, click here.