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7 Steps to Deliver an Excellent Customer Service

Posted by David de Matias Batalla on Feb 20, 2018 2:01:27 PM
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Customer expectations are on the rise, but in parallel, there is a growing range of tools making customer service simple and more effective. Today, good firms have to keep track of (or even anticipate) changes in customer service standards and also choose the right solutions to meet the ever-increasing customer demands. 

By analogy to point one, issue handling time does matter, but there is also the question of not disturbing the customer by multiple interactions. As many as 84% of customers are frustrated that they have to contact a company multiple times for the same reason (Accenture 2017).

  1. Getting the issue resolved quickly

The resolution time, irrespective of the subject of the raised issue, whether it is a concern about a proposal, a complaint or a question regarding returns, is definitely of utmost importance to customers in every industry.

A shorter time frame means better customer experience.  Appropriate competences of customer service staff are a key factor in reducing issue resolution time. Not everyone is an expert on everything, so it is a good choice to focus on specialization, and then to handle customer calls in such a manner that specific issues are referred to consultants with relevant expertise. In that case, call queuing is an essential tool.

  1. First call resolution…

… or first interaction resolution in other channels.

By analogy to point one, issue handling time does matter, but there is also the question of not disturbing the customer by multiple interactions. As many as 84% of customers are frustrated that they have to contact a company multiple times for the same reason

The solution:

  • Training the employees on how to obtain relevant information during the first interaction (call recordings will make a perfect training material)
  • Empowering employees (to maximize their authority to decide without consultation)
  • Offering tools to consult managers during calls (asking boss ‘quietly’ in the middle of a customer conversation) and (as already said)
  • Providing appropriate call queuing systems that redirect calls to the most competent subject-matter experts. Here you can find more advice on how to implement first-contact resolutionin your business.
  • Appropriate voice menu (IVR) – a user-friendly tool which quickly directs customers to the right department   

     3. Quick response

Customers hate to wait. One thing is when they wait to have their concerns clarified or issue solved, as discussed above, and the other thing is waiting for the call center to pick up the call.

Would it be a good solution to shut down the call centers and leave customers with emails which can be answered in a less busy time? No! Most customers want to make contact by telephone, so we need to ensure that they can do it. Two solutions should be used to avoid customer frustration:

  1. Appropriate voice menu (IVR) – a user-friendly tool which quickly directs customers to the right department
  2. Callback automation, a feature of the communication platform (such as Focus Contact Center) excellent for handling less patient customers. If a customer hangs up even after a few seconds of call waiting time, the platform initiates the call automatically. It will call the customer at a predetermined point in time and our employee will say “Good morning/afternoon, I am calling you from XYZ. You have called us. Is there anything I could help you with?"

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What about other communication channels? In the case of live chat, customers expect a response within five minutes. For emails or social media contacts, they will accept a 24-hour time frame (LivePerson 2013). However, shorter response time means a better perception of the company as a whole by the customers.

     4. Integrated multichannel communication

Today, customers expect to be able to:

  • Communicate with the company using any communication channel of their choice (CX Act 2015, Loudhouse 2013) – it is up to the company to ensure that they can interact through traditional channels (telephone and post) and digital channels (email, live chat, online forms etc.).
  • Freely switch between channels, and that employees interacting with them in further channels will have the information already provided through other channels. Even if talking to a different representative on each occasion, the customer should not need to repeat any information (4 out of 5 customers find situations where they have to repeat the same information extremely inconvenient and discouraging – Accenture 2013).

In view of such expectations, omnichannel becomes a customer service standard. It can be implemented with the use of multichannel communication platforms with a CRM system integrating and recording data across channels.

  1. Create the best customer service team

It will be based on the customer service team that you have. So, it becomes imperative for you to bring the best people on board. Each member of your customer service team should have:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Ability to handle worst situations patiently
  • Customer-centric mindset
  1. Measure performance of your team regularly

Now, you need to measure the performance of your customer service team regularly. As discussed earlier, measuring KPIs regularly with your defined objectives will help you to find out whether you have the best people in your team. Well, this will prove helpful during measuring ROI for customer services.

  1. Choose the best customer support tools

Choosing the best customer support tools is the last yet very critical step to set up a successful customer service department. The tools like contact center software, CRM, etc. are great in improving the effectiveness of your team and offering world-class customer services.

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Topics: Digitaltransformation, CIO, ServiceNow, servicemanagement, CEO, Technology, Cloud, devops, HR, change management, Onboarding Plan, HR Manager, HR management

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