It’s a tough world for businesses trying to stand out among the competition, but one of the best ways that they can do that is also the most personal. Businesses should be trying to make each and every customer interaction the best that it can be because at the end of the day, marketing and advertising are how you get new customers but awesome customer support is how you keep them.
Here are a few tips for businesses looking to make every customer interaction a great one. It’s more than just making sure there’s a live chat widget on your site, it’s about providing an experience that’s as good as the products and services your business offers.
1 - Try To Put Yourself In Their Shoes
The last thing any customer wants to hear when they’ve got a genuine complaint or concern is disbelief or nonchalance from the support agents they’re talking to. All anyone wants is to be acknowledged, heard, and feel like their problem is one that customer support genuinely wants to help solve. And all of that begins with showing your customers a little empathy.
You can do this by making sure to ask them exactly what their problem is, not interrupting them while they’re explaining it, and telling them that you would feel the same frustration if you were in their shoes. “I’m sorry” is your biggest tool when showing empathy, and you should make sure the customer understands just how apologetic you are that their time, money, and patience were spent over this issue.
At the end of the day, they trusted your company enough to buy your product or service and reach out to you for help solving whatever issue they have with it. So show them your gratitude and tell them thank you for their trust and patronage, even if you’re dealing with angry customers.
2 - Go The Extra Mile
Chances are you’re only going to remember a customer experience if you’ve had either a really bad or really good one with a business’s support representative. Build a loyal customer base by being the business that has a bunch of great customer interactions, and you can do just that by consistently going the extra mile.
You can do this by following up and asking about a past issue after it has already been fixed, try and anticipate problems before they happen by asking how customers how they’re finding your products before there’s an issue, and try and learn a little bit about the person on the phone or email by asking about their day or hobbies. Your customers will remember and appreciate your initiative.
3 - Always Keep Them Informed And Up To Date
This is probably the most important part of customer service interactions, but don’t lie to your customers. Whether you’re trying to calm them down or make a problem seem smaller than it actually is, it’s important to be frank about cost, timelines, and quality about the fix or service you’re providing. Don’t let positive customer experiences turn sour because you can’t deliver on a promise you made them.
4 - Reach Out For And Be Receptive To Comments And Criticism
You’re never going to see positive customer service trends if you’re not open and receptive to comments about how you can improve. Instead of seeing customer complaints as faults in your business, see them as areas that you can work on to become strengths. Show your customers you care and want to do better by reaching out for feedback and thanking them when it comes your way.
5 - Be As Available As Possible
Having a good customer interaction all boils down to how quickly you can help solve their problem. So consider placing a live chat widget on your site, responding to customers promptly in the same social media or digital channel they reached out to you one, or even setting up a toll-free 24/7 customer support line for your business because these will all show your customers you’re available and ready to help.
6 - Surprise Customers From Time To Time
Raise customer expectations by showing them you’re thinking about them and are thankful for their patronage even when you’re not providing customer support. Do this by sending them little surprises that show your appreciation for their business, like sale information, coupons, thank-you letters, and shout-outs on social media. Customers remember personal touches like this and will raise their opinions of your business.
7 - Ditch The Corporate Lingo
Nobody wants to hear the same corporate-speak that they’ve been dealing with their whole lives when they’ve got genuine feelings, whether they’re bad or good, about your product or service. It can feel scripted and cold to respond to a customer’s anger or gratitude with the cookie-cutter customer service lines. Think about how your social media responses will differ from your email and over-the-phone responses. Being able to switch depending on the situation and channel is quite key to being your friendliest and best self during customer support.
Customer interaction doesn’t have to be hard or even tedious. It can be the difference between keeping a regular and loyal customer and giving up one because they had a bad customer experience – so have fun and be professional with it. It will make or break a customer’s impression of your business.