Have you noticed that more often customer support advice focuses on tactics? “Use your customers’ names while talking to them”. “Be polite”. “Thank the client for the time provided.”
Of course, these are important tips – when you have enough of these tactics and techniques in your arsenal, you feel more confident. But what if a problem arises for which there is no ready-made instruction and a prescribed script? And the decision must be made independently. Here and now.
In this article, we will share ten tips to help you stay firm and decisive in almost any customer support situation.
It so happens that the mood is at zero. You are either tired, or hungry, or the client, as luck would have it, wrote five minutes before the end of the working day. Colleagues who have ever worked in support will understand me perfectly. The temptation to simply unsubscribe with a formulaic phrase or, even worse, ignore the message and postpone the ticket until tomorrow, is huge. And here you need to pull yourself together, gather your will into a fist and remember that every appeal is important. Surely each of you has heard a colleague, relative or friend complain about the poor service of some company, mixing them with dirt and accusing them in devil-may-cares.
Sometimes employees make mistakes and angry customers leave forever. And sometimes they leave despite all attempts to prevent it.
Experienced companies know that customer service recovery is one of the most important aspects of customer retention. There are several techniques to make an angry and frustrated customer happy and loyal. We recommend using the Disney Institute method.
◾️ Listen. Let your client tell you everything about the painful one. Let me speak and don’t interrupt.
◾️ Empathize. Show that you understand their problem too. Here you can use the phrase “I would also be angry/upset if …”.
◾️ Apologize sincerely. Even if it’s not your fault for what made the client upset, express regret for the feelings they are feeling. In 74% of cases, a sincere apology helps to solve the problem on a positive note and leave the client happy.
◾️ Solve the problem and get it done as quickly as possible for you and your team. Do not be afraid to ask the question, “What can I do now for you to rectify the situation?”
◾️ Analyze. Draw conclusions without unnecessary emotions. Instead of looking for the culprit, find the root cause of what happened and try to fix the process so that the same problem does not arise again.
All clients have a choice. They may choose to do nothing. They can choose your company’s products or services. Or your competitors. What influences their choice?
A growing body of research confirms that their customer experience is the deciding factor. Oracle 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report estimates that 86% of customers are willing to pay more in exchange for better service. And these indicators remain relevant to this day.
Another American Express Customer Service Survey confirms that 70% of customers are willing to pay 13% more money to companies that provide impeccable customer service.
Perhaps this is the most overlooked rule of all. Great customer service adds value to your business. It is an intangible asset that requires very little to create – supporting your customers.
Let’s face it, none of us are perfect. Everyone has bad days when they want to throw thunder and lightning at others. A bad day and bad behavior don’t mean you have a bad client. If the client is showing aggression and inappropriate behavior for the first time, try to neutralize the negative using special tactics. What if this behavior is repeated regularly? Practice shows that it is necessary to part with such clients. Polite, non-offensive, and preferably with a refund. For example, there are some companies that offer a full 90-day refund if you don’t like something.
In customer support, speed matters, but not the most. One Gallup study calculated how customer engagement changed after serving at a bank. It was found that fast service six times increases the chance of customer satisfaction. But speed is not the main factor.
The highest ratings were given to such elements of the service as the helpfulness of the staff and their willingness to help. Empathy increases your chances of engagement ninefold. Therefore, we advise you to focus on it.
Researchers studied 75,000 users and found that the most important factor in achieving customer loyalty is minimizing customer effort. That is the work that he must do in order for the problem to be solved.
Always think about how you can solve the client’s problem so that he makes the least effort.
In any communication, it is important to keep in mind: you are not just selling a product or service to get a one-time profit from a client. One surefire way to get a loyal customer is to exceed expectations. Ask yourself the question: what is unique you can give your customers? How can you surprise them unexpectedly?
Take the Woodland Resort story as an example. As you know, sometimes when booking a hotel room online, you can leave a special request or wish. A guy named Dustin booked a room at The Woodlands Resort and jokingly added a special request: “Three red M & Ms on the nightstand. Not packaging, just three M & Ms. One for me, one for my girlfriend, and one to share if we get hungry late at night. And a photo of bacon on the bed. ” The young man successfully forgot about his wish. Imagine his surprise when, upon arrival at the hotel, he found three red M & Ms in the room and a photograph of bacon on the bed.
It’s easy to deliver flawless service when you’re a small startup. Each client can be given maximum time and attention. But when you scale the business two, three, four times, the level of support should not drop. And this is very difficult, at least because the flow of customer requests will grow significantly.
Want to know which support channel to channel more effort and resources into? Study your customers. In some businesses, these are active Twitter users, somewhere the audience sits on Facebook, somewhere they like good old mail. But so that the choice of the channel does not become a guessing game, it is better to provide the most popular communication channels and analyze along the way which of them get the most hits. To collect everything in one window and not have to worry about switching tabs, there are various services, for example Deskun, Zendesk, Helpscout, Deskero.
If you take care of your employees, they will have a lot more energy and motivation to take care of customers. We all know examples of companies that have a very sad level of service. One of the reasons is obvious – low employee salaries, poor working conditions and lack of development opportunities. The Journal of Service Research conducted research and found out that the happier you make your employee, the more customer satisfaction increases.
Think back to your experiences with different brands. As a rule, it would be positive if we talked with friendly and joyful employees.
Great customer service starts with the right installations, not rote scripts. Treat these attitudes as our father, and your customers will appreciate it.