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7 Principles of Customer Service That Spark Small Business Growth

How can a growing business support its customers and service agents? Easy: Create a flawless customer experience with robust, flexible helpdesk software.

Four people wearing operator headsets in a customer service center
Customer service is no longer a cost center. Rather, it is an opportunity in waiting. [Sean Locke/Stocksy]

How do you support customers and your customer support team? Easy: Adhere to the tried and true principles of customer service that work. To keep employees engaged and to create a memorable customer experience, you need flexible customer service software built for small businesses.

While it used to be that companies were king, now it’s the customer that wears the crown. Quality customer service has become a key driver of business success. Customer support is no longer a cost center. Rather, it is an opportunity in waiting. It’s an underused touchpoint for upselling, cross-selling, and most importantly, enhancing customer relationships.

These seven customer service principles can help transform your support operations and deliver the best customer experience every time.

1. Support customers as a team

Customer service is a team sport — and not just for your customer support team. Support customers on any channel at any time at scale by training everyone on the tools they’ll need when times are busy. Sure, you’ll want to pass highly technical cases to your support experts, but in growing businesses, everyone needs to be able to help out. If everyone spends time on the front lines of customer service, it’s easier to stay aligned around customer success and maintain service levels when things get busy.

2. Listen to customers (and share their feedback)

Encourage your support team to ask questions when interacting with customers. The more your team knows about your customers and their needs, the more of an asset they are to both your company and your customers. Your customer support team can be an amazing source of product innovation. Encourage your customer support team to present customer feedback regularly at company meetings.

3. Spend time building relationships

Leave the repetitive tasks to customer service chatbots. As a growing business, you don’t need to hire more people on your team to take on more tasks — technology can do the heavy lifting for you. Scale your team and give them time back to focus on solving complex problems and building stronger customer relationships. 

4. Be honest about what you don’t know

If your agents aren’t sure how to troubleshoot a problem, it’s okay for them to tell the customer they’ll circle back when they have the right answer. Maintain an open dialogue with your customers and keep them informed at all times; it’ll earn your customer’s respect and commitment.

5. Practice empathy

Empathy in customer relations has become such a rarity that it’s now a competitive advantage. Your support team must master the lost art of empathy to deliver effective customer service. Ask agents to put themselves in the shoes of the customer when working on a case. Their empathy will show, and customers will appreciate them for it.

6. Know your product

The more your customer support team knows about your product, the better they’ll be at servicing it. Make training a key part of your customer support operations. Some companies onboard every new employee — not just their sales reps — with a one week product bootcamp to ensure they know their products inside and out. Be sure to prepare them for every new release, too.

7. Remember – every second counts

Customers hate to wait. Give your team the tools they need to support customers as efficiently as possible. After all, reducing the time it takes to assist a customer directly reduces the time other customers must wait, too. 

At the same time, be sure to motivate your team to solve each problem completely. Speed is important, but resolution times should never trump customer satisfaction scores (CSAT).

Ready to upgrade your customer support? Use these essential principles of customer service to deliver an unbeatable customer experience.

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