No Matter How Good You Think Your Customer Service Is, It Could Be Better

No matter what industry you’re in, most companies are constantly looking for a competitive advantage. There is one very powerful tool that most of them overlook. That tool is customer service.

Here’s why customer service is such an opportunity

Better customer service means better salesIn today’s real-time economy, customers have high customer service expectations. Excellent customer service starts with offering a speedy and seamless experience across your support channels. How will your company keep up with demand and deliver great omni-channel support?

This infographic will show you best practices for boosting your customer service on your phone and social media.

Executives and Customer Experience

  • 93% of executives say that improving the customer experience is one of their organization’s top priorities.
  • 91% of executives want to be considered a customer experience leader in their industry.
  • In reality, only 37% of executives have a formal customer experience plan.
  • 20% of executives consider the state of their customer service experience to be advanced.

What Support Channels Are Your Customers Using?

  • 36% phone.
  • 33% live chat.
  • 25% email.
  • 5% online support portal.
  • 2% social media.

What Frustrates Customers Most?

  • Upset customers equals bad business22% being passed between agents.
  • 21% having to contact a brand or organization multiple times for the same issue.
  • 18% not being able to reach a live person.
  • 17% not being able to resolve an issue or find enough helpful information online.
  • 13% impolite customer service agents.
  • 9% being kept waiting on hold.

The Most Important Aspects of an Excellent Customer Service Experience

  • 34% getting the issue resolved fast.
  • 29% resolving the problem on first contact, no matter how long it takes.
  • 27% a friendly, knowledgeable agent.
  • 10% finding the information without help.

Social Media’s Role in Excellent Customer Service

  • Customers who engage with companies over social media are more loyal. They spend up to 40% more with those companies than other customers.
  • When customers reach out to companies on social media, they expect a response:
    • 15% in less than an hour.
    • 46% in 24 hours or less.
    • 14% in 48 hours or less.
    • 25% never.
  • To improve your response times on social media, use tools like Google Alerts and Mention to track social mentions of your company online. You can also manage multiple social media accounts simultaneously from one dashboard so nothing falls through the cracks. Consider tools like Buffer and Hootsuite.

When Customers Call Your Business They Expect:

  • To have their issue handled quickly and effectively.
  • To speak to a person without jumping through hoops.
  • To deal with professional and courteous agents.
  • To have their problem solved correctly the first time.

Common Customer Service Complaints Over the Phone:

Customer service is an opportunity for differentiationProblem #1 – “I keep getting transferred from person to person.” 56% of customers have to re-explain the problem. Here’s how to solve it:

  • Try to answer the question where it was asked: don’t shuffle customers around by telling them to contact you another way. Frustrated customers or those with more complex problems should be helped over the phone or email.
  • Instead of cold transfers, use call center software to conference in a colleague rather than transfer the call. If a transfer is still necessary, use a warm transfer.

Problem #2 – “You have no idea what you’re talking about.” 50% of the time customer service fails to answer customers’ questions. Here’s how to solve it:

  • Address recurring questions or comments with a more thorough response: add the answer to the FAQ section of your website. Write a blog post customers can reference. Chronic problems mays need to be addressed with in-house changes.
  • Use call center software that integrates with your other databases: always know the customer’s entire interaction history.

Problem #3 – “You were impatient and nasty to me.” 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. 82% of customers experience bad customer service and were most frustrated by unfriendly or impolite agents. Here’s how to solve it:

  • Show you care: use phrases like “I hear you” or “I’m sorry” when communicating online. Make it personal by allowing the rep to use his or her name in the response. “Don’t just listen; understand.”
  • Engage in active listening: allows for better understanding of the customers’ needs and shows a willingness to help. You can actively listen by allowing the customer to talk without interruption, reflect back their main question or concern and ask clarifying questions when necessary.
  • Ensure the customer is aware you understand them.

Upset customers are bad for businessSocial media is a valuable tool for customer service teams, but it can’t be the only one. Use it in conjunction with solid phone support to deliver excellent customer service, boost customer loyalty and increase your bottom line.

While everyone else is using traditional and expected solutions in an effort gain a competitive advantage, you should explore becoming the customer service leader to grow your sales.

Better Customer Service = More Sales

Best Practices to Boost Your Customer Service Across Channels

Good Selling!

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10 Tips for In-Home Selling

Effective sales In home pitchpreparation helps ensure success on the call.  Here are 10 steps that will help you have the confidence and information to get to “yes.”

  1. Attitude.  Don’t prejudge anybody or anything.  Don’t feel you’re wasting your time.  No customer is too small or too big!
  2. Introduction. Be sure to introduce yourself to everyone when calling on your customer.  Many times input into a decision comes from unlikely employees in the office, including the receptionist and administrative assistant, even from their sales team.
  3. Listen.  Learn to listen to your customer!  Many times the customer will tell you what their wants are – and if you’re not listening, you’ll miss it.
  4. Company.  Let the customer know who you are representing.  Talk about the history and strengths of your company.  Describe the support tools that you offer.  Leverage your service support and delivery.  In other words, take the time to explain in detail the benefits of working with you and your company.
  5. Product.  Be sure to show the customer your complete product line.  Explain the key product benefits and the value of your product line.  Explain how the construction and quality ensures better performance.  Use this as a chance to educate them on how your product can help differentiate them from others.
  6. Accessories.  Teach your dealer to try to separate themselves from the competition by upgrading the sale.  Many times by showing specialty items, this can help the dealer be different from the guy who follows you in the house.  This can also give them a tool if a lower price is needed later.
  7. Samples.  Make sure you always carry all the sales tools available to you, especially samples.  Be sure you show your customer all appropriate literature pieces that can help close the sales.  Go over the warranty with your customer so they understand it and can properly present it to their customers.
  8. Delivery.  Tell the customer about your delivery and lead time.  Let him know what happens in case of an emergency.  Tell him how claims and complaints are handled.  Be honest!
  9. Teacher.  Most dealers are simply tradesmen, not professional salespeople.  Help your dealer!  Don’t be afraid to give your dealer ideas on how to sell…
    • The dealer should remember why he was called.  The homeowner has a problem: paint is peeling, roof’s leaking, etc.  Be sure he explains to the homeowner why the problem exists, and how he can fix it.
    • Be sure the dealer tells the homeowner who he is, describes his company, his people, and the company he’s buying from.  Show the homeowner that he is licensed and insured.
    • He should learn to show the customer the product differences between good-better-best.  Show the homeowner the way the product works and how using a particular product or accessory can make their home unique.
    • What’s the price?  Dealer needs to let the homeowner know that they are not just spending money, but are making an investment.  Be sure to leave a warranty.
  10. Have fun.  Always leave a business card and follow-up immediately with an email thanking them for the meeting.  Keep the door open with regular contact.  Most importantly, enjoy your job!  Your enthusiasm and positive attitude will be the first thing anyone notices and remembers.