3 Customer Service Best Practices That Could Change Your Image
For many businesses, your customer service is the “face” of your business.
In fact, today’s technology driven buyer is even more apt to commit to a contract through electronic communication, sometimes eliminating the need for a face-to-face, pen-and-ink deal. Once the transaction is made, your customer service becomes the main representation of how your customer perceives your business. It also is the single most important factor in sustaining your customer base and getting repeat business.
First, lets take a look at what is going through your customer’s mind when they take the time to contact your customer support center. For the sake of this example, lets say they are making a call to your staffed call center. It is important to remember that people usually call because your organization has let them down in some way. They may even have a chip on their shoulder about it. Nonetheless, there is a real opportunity here to make someone's day and even improve the way this customer perceives your business.
There are 3 key ways to accomplish this:
1. Eliminate transfers
2. Minimize wait times
3. Solve their problem
Sounds simple, but you would be surprised at the number of businesses that are not disciplined by these three customer call center best practices.
You customer service team is the face of your company, not your CEO.
Excellent customer service builds confidence in your customer to believe that if they picked up the phone and called the President of your company, the President of your company would drop everything to help them solve their problem. The reality is, your President or CEO will not be the one answering your customer calls. Let’s hope not! What is important here is to create a process that gets your customer directly connected with the right person to solve their problem.
Think about how pleased you are when the person that answers your customer care call is the same person that is able to help you solve your problem. It actually does build confidence in your customer about your business. The reason is, a one-touch support call:
- makes your employees seem more knowledgeable
- tells your customer that you care about not wasting their time
- eliminates the risk of dropped calls and incorrect transfers
- makes your customer feel like their call is important to everyone in your company
This last bullet is worth repeating: It actually makes your customer feel like their call is important to everyone in your company. If your customer service person listens to your customer’s problem, acts on it, and walks the customer through a solution that customer will have confidence that everyone in your company cares about their business.
Your customer has the patience to wait for their Doctor, and that is about it.
There are only a hand full of appointments on my calendar that I allow a one-hour grace period for waiting. And I’m about fed up with these businesses too. I sound like my sweet Southern Grandmother when asked how a visit to my dentist went, “Well, it was alright. I had to wait 20 minutes after my appointment to get into the waiting room. Then i waited there 15 more minutes for the nurse. It took 30 minutes for the Doctor to finally see me, but his news was good so I’m happy.”
Seriously? Not many other businesses can survive making their customer wait over an hour to get what they are willing to pay for---and these same customers actually call you to make the appointment for the sale. Can you imagine how unbelievably incredible it would be for a Doctor’s office to understand this concept? Their practice would explode if they revolutionized their customer service practices.
Fixing only the surface of the problem is like putting a bandage on a leaky faucet.
If a customer has a problem, don’t be satisfied by simply making the pain go away. If you solve only the surface of an issue, the problem will come back and may be bigger (and more costly) the next time around.
We at API Digital believe that a problem is only fixed from the root of the issue. We have built a business around having the right people performing a root cause analysis of all network and customer service related issues in an effort to find permanent solutions for problems. Our customers genuinely appreciate the time and attention that we afford to our customer service and we credit the success of our business over the last decade to our commitment to providing dedicated support services to our customers and to their end users also.