Today’s customers want more than just a great product or service – they also expect an outstanding experience. Your customer service team plays a key role in making sure this happens. Case in point: 82% of people have recommended a company based on excellent customer service. To make sure you always deliver amazing results, here are three customer service tips.
Great customer service involves people, processes, and technology working in tandem. Each aligns with the same goal: Deliver an excellent customer experience – every time. Your agents bring empathy, understanding, and a personal touch. The right processes remove blockers to streamline customer service for your agents and customers. Technology enables your business to get data for decision-making, automate critical workflows, and offer convenient service channels. When you use customer service tips that incorporate people, processes, and technology, it’s easy to provide a great customer experience.
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3 customer service tips to prioritize now
We found that 88% of customers value experience as much as products or services. That’s a lot! Let’s look at how you can use each of these customer service tips to earn five-star reviews.
1. Set your customer service team up for success with the right skills
For this customer service tip, remember that every customer is unique. Your agents need to deliver personalized service in every interaction. This starts with making sure your team has the necessary customer service skills. Your agents should be able to:
- Identify customers’ needs and wants
- Show empathy
- Work effectively across different channels
- Manage difficult customer conversations
- Address customer complaints
Our research shows that 73% of customers expect you to understand their needs and expectations. This starts with active listening — patiently hearing what a customer says and then repeating what they’ve said back to them. When your agents mirror what a customer says, they help them feel heard while reinforcing that their perspective is important to your business. This may even help your agents to be more proactive and anticipate future customer needs. And of course, your agents need to show empathy throughout every interaction.
This list of customer service must-do’s requires training for your agents to be effective across the service channels your business offers. Trailhead, Salesforce’s free, self-paced learning platform, offers lessons on communication skills, digital engagement, and more.
Your support organization and company also needs processes for dealing with difficult customers, so that you appease them — and prevent negative experiences from reoccurring. Be sure to have clear written processes for handling complaints, so your response to criticism is consistent. Remember: Feedback from unhappy customers helps you improve.
2. Tap into AI to improve customer service experiences
Another customer service tip is to use AI. As customer service shifts increasingly to digital, AI helps to improve both customer and agent experience. One example is a chatbot: an AI-powered assistant that offers 24/7 support to customers for requests like order tracking. The chatbot also serves as a digital assistant to the agent, collecting customer information to save time if a case needs to be transferred to them.
AI in customer service can also help you make more informed business decisions. For example, AI can provide details on the types of questions that your customers most commonly ask, as well as peak query times. With this data, you can adjust resources to ensure effective and timely support.
Generative AI opens even more possibilities. AI can generate suggested responses based on relevant customer data, product information, and trusted third-party resources. Generative AI can also create the first draft of a knowledge base article. Be sure to have a person review AI output for accuracy and to make any edits.
3. Manage customer experience with a cloud-based software solution
Your customers’ service interactions may take place across multiple channels, or even involve different members of your support team, including chatbots. You need technology that ensures that no matter how — or when — your customers need help, they always get great service.
A cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution is the foundation for efficient customer service. It keeps customer data connected in one place, so your agents quickly see everything they need to know on a single screen. As your business needs change, a cloud-based service solution also offers scalability and flexibility.
As you evaluate potential customer service cloud solutions, ask yourself these questions:
- Will this solution support your customer service and business goals?
- Is it compatible with your existing systems and databases?
- What are the core features and functionalities? Psst! Ask about AI and analytics.
- Is the solution customizable?
- Is it user-friendly for your service agents?
- What kind of technical support is offered?
- What security protocols are provided?
- What is your expected return on investment?
Once your business chooses a solution, use change management to get your service team on board, choose KPIs, and then provide hands-on training for a fast start. Create online resources, such as knowledge base articles, help guides, and FAQs, they can reference at any time.
Remember: Customer experience can make or break a customer relationship. When you use these three customer service tips, you can be sure to have the right approaches for people, processes, and technology in place to consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience.
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