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It’s no secret that customer service is an important part of any business, large or small. In our Customer Expectations Report, we found that more than half of American consumers will switch companies as a result of poor customer service.
This same study cites a number of other findings that show how even with great products and services, poor customer service is a defining factor in not only connecting with consumers but retaining them as life-long customers.
5 tips on how to improve customer service
Understanding the importance of customer service is only the first step in creating a robust, human-centered customer service approach. One of the major challenges customer service organizations are facing is maintaining and carrying the efficacy of their customer service models into the future.
Rather than constantly looking for ways to improve their customer service strategies, teams get complacent and lose sight of what really matters: the customer.
Below are 5 practical tips to help you improve your customer service model today.
Tip #1 – Offer 24/7 customer service
Improving customer experience is an around-the-clock job. If your customers can purchase or utilize your goods or service in the middle of the night, then there will likely be a demand for 24-hour support.
There are several strategies to providing effective and customer-centered 24/7 customer service.
- Chatbots and self-service knowledge bases are great ways to minimize the need for additional agents, which can be a drain on your resources.
- If there’s anything the Covid-19 pandemic has taught the business world, it’s that our ability to conduct our organizations remotely can be an effective alternative to in-house hours. Intelligent support software, like Gladly, can help make remote support easy by providing life-long chat history reports and unique customer profiles.
- One simple way to integrate 24/7 support is to implement multiple-shifts and an after-dark program.
- You can always look at outsourcing or hiring freelance customer service agents. Again, advanced support software will help to ensure you’re always providing quality support by giving those agents the tools they need.
Tip #2 – Personalize customer experience
There’s a reason that more and more customer service teams are adopting personalized support strategies and embracing the customer-centered approach.
Accenture recently found that more than 30% of customers abandoned a business relationship because personalization was lacking. As agencies continue to personalize the way they do customer service, the onus is on you to keep up with these trends in order to stay competitive.
So how do you focus on the customer, make memorable experiences, and make your customers feel heard and understood?
- Personalized profiles: Support tools that provide personalized profiles will allow your agents to review their customers individually and learn about each customer through their unique profile.
- Communication: Whether your agents are communicating through live chat, phone, or email, they need to bring a personalized touch to the way they communicate. Positivity, empathy, and clear, concise language are all ways to make your customers heard and appreciated.
- Customer history: Advanced customer service solutions, like Gladly, offer life-long chat histories, allowing your service heroes to get to know your customers, their needs, and their history before the point of contact.
- Utilize customer feedback: The best way to make a customer feel heard is to utilize any feedback they provide. Especially if you’re seeing similar responses, your customers will notice when you implement the changes they’re seeking.
Tip #3 – Manage expectations with SLAs
Service level agreements or SLAs are a great way to manage expectations with customers and enlighten them on what to expect. SLAs are essentially a set of goals, standards, or expectations that a company creates and guarantees to maintain with their customers.
For example, an SLA might state a 24-hour resolution time on all missing or damaged orders.
Additionally, SLAs help set up deadlines, provide a straight-forward standard for your agents to refer to, and provide transparency to customers that will allow them to feel reassured and valued.
Advanced help desk software, like Gladly, can help you set up your SLAs and priorities today.
Tip #4 – Omnichannel communication
Gladly’s 2020 Customer Expectation Report found that 86% of customers expect conversations to seamlessly move between channels. This means that support teams need help desk software that provide omnichannel communication and chat history logs, so your representatives can move between communication channels with ease.
With omnichannel support, you give customers the power to choose how they want to communicate and where they want to meet you.
Advanced solutions provide support between live chat, phone, email, in-app chat, self-service, and via social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and Twitter.
Tip #5 – Never stop training and learning
The key to improving customer service is to never get complacent and to keep learning. Keeping communication lines open and having constant training keeps staff ahead of the curve and always engaged. Customers will notice this!
One way to make this a part of your overall strategy and process is to have perennial updates on your SLAs, which is great because it’s going to keep your staff constantly learning and it shows your customers that you’re utilizing their feedback.
Intelligent chat bots, AI, and automation are all ways to help alleviate the burden of in person training.
How to improve customer service with Gladly
With Gladly, you’ll have a platform that is designed for the customer experience. Our advanced AI and automation capabilities will also make it easier for your agents to connect with customers, meet customer needs, and excel at what they do best.
When Gladly asked customers what they care about in customer support, nearly 80% of them said that personalized service is more important to them than personalized marketing.
Gladly has taken the time to learn about customers’ wants/needs and created a platform that places people at the center of and makes customers feel known right from hello.
Radically personalize the way you do customer service with Gladly today.