In our connected, social world, customers are more empowered than ever.
Couple that with some fine competition in improved customer relationships and you’ve got a pretty high bar to meet.
But providing great customer support isn’t the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but it is one of the most rewarding.
You get to interface with your customers one-to-one, get to know them personally, and get to see their satisfaction and growing dedication to your brand. It’s incredible.
Customer Service Essentials
1. Be responsive.
Customer support requests can come in when you least expect it and when you’re right in the middle of something.
Take the time to answer as soon as you can. These customers are your bread and butter, so making sure you solve their problems and alleviate concerns as quickly as possible will help them to see that you care and appreciate their business.
It also shows them that you’re dedicated to quality in your product or service.
2. Be everywhere your customer is.
We have more channels of communication than ever before. Email, phone, a herd of social networks… And your customers are probably on each one.
You have to be there to and engaged in the conversation. If a customer expresses a concern or complaint using Twitter, you need to know about it and be able to reply and turn the situation around.
There are several tools that allow you to monitor mentions across social networks. HootSuite and Nimble are good examples, while Twitter and Facebook have some tools of their own built in as well.
Be sure you are engaged at every point of contact with your customers.
3. Be a good listener.
This ties into our previous point. You have to be able to listen to provide great customer support.
Listen on every channel, listen to every concern and complaint. These are your tickets to improving your relationship with the customer and improving your product or service.
One of my biggest pet peeves is automated responses. If all you’re doing to respond to customer support issues is automating a response that gives them a link to an FAQ or knowledge base, or if you never respond afterwards, you’re failing at customer support.
You have to listen, read every word, and respond individually to the customer’s needs.
4. Be proactive and make adjustments.
The concerns your customers bring up are vital in knowing how to improve for the next customer.
Take their advice, find out where you went wrong, then make changes to assure that the issue doesn’t creep up again.
Not only will you be saving your time in the long run by reducing the amount of support issues you receive, you’ll also be making more customers happy while delivering a better product/service.
5. Be organized.
Get everything, every interaction, every activity, every good or bad thing into a CRM where you can see the entire relationship history with this customer in seconds.
A CRM is built to help you interact more readily and more completely with a customer, as you’ll know who they are, where they’re at, and what’s been done.
Having project management as part of your CRM will give you even more insight into what’s been done for them and how you can help.
Great customer service is a few steps away
Customers service is both quality and quantity, but quality comes first. Become an excellent provider to each and every customer by being responsive, omnipresent on communication channels, proactive, and organized.
Your customers, both old and new, will thank you for it.