What Are They Doing That Your Business Is Not? This week we feature an article by Robert Occanyan who shares what successful customer support teams are doing to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Here’s an important fact that customer support teams should always remember—people are more likely to remember negative experiences over positive ones. In […]
This week we feature an article by Robert Occanyan who shares what successful customer support teams are doing to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
Here’s an important fact that customer support teams should always remember—people are more likely to remember negative experiences over positive ones. In fact, according to an article published in The Washington Post, “[…]in general, we tend to notice the negative more than the positive.”
This puts a lot of extra pressure on businesses to deliver exceptional customer service. It’s not enough to have a great product—that product also has to come with great customer experience. There’s very little room for error given that “it will take 12 positive experiences to redeem one unresolved negative experience among customers.”
Given all this, it certainly seems like customer support teams have their work cut out for them. However, while it seems challenging, it’s definitely not impossible. A lot of companies around the world have demonstrated their ability to go the extra mile for their customers. It all boils down to understanding the principles that differentiate a good support team from a great one.
Now, the question is, what could these principles be? For businesses that have become the benchmark for top customer service, what are they doing differently? Consider the following:
Today, a brand or service’s ability to deliver excellent customer service is a badge of honor. Businesses are proud of the fact that their teams know how to address and prioritize customer needs. They’re also more than happy to share and publicize their accomplishments. As a result, customers today are more educated about what great customer service is. They know they don’t have to settle for a sub-standard, or even average, customer experience; and this is why it’s so important to go above and beyond what is expected of you.
Online retailer Zappos is a great example. Consistently voted as one of the top brands that can deliver a one-of-a-kind customer experience, the brand refers to itself as “a service company that happens to sell shoes, handbags, and more.” This philosophy highlights that they’re more than just a business that wants to sell; they’re a business that puts their customers first.
Top customer support teams know how to build rapport and empathy with the customer. They do this expertly by using the right words and tone when speaking to them. They know the weight that their choice of words carries.
For example, when a customer is making an inquiry about a specific product that is unavailable, an expert customer support representative will do more than just tell the customer it’s unavailable. The customer will likely receive an apology, then be informed that the product is in high demand and that they would love to put the customer on the priority list to receive the product as soon as possible. This way, the rep is able to communicate accurately without putting off the client and making them feel like their needs won’t be addressed.
Customers already expect their needs to be addressed with every interaction they have with your company. That’s the baseline that all customer support teams should already be working on. Therefore, your goal should be to make sure that you’re able to cater to their concerns efficiently and exceed customer expectations, and do so every single time.
Consistency is the key to great customer service. It’s how top customer support teams can build trust and loyalty among customers.
Great customer support teams know that their interactions with customers go well beyond their ability to handle a query. They focus on the fact that trust is essential to the whole customer service experience and take the necessary steps to build the kind of rapport that will keep customers coming back to them.
How? By being proactive about the position they have to solve a customer’s problem; by empathizing with the customer’s frustration and clearly guiding them through the next steps; by regularly contacting and updating customers until their concerns are resolved.
Technology today gives customer service teams a lot of options to help them assist and manage customer needs better. Great customer service teams know what tools they can utilize to improve customer care. Some examples include platforms that offer multi-channel support to make it easier for customers to reach out to the business at the speed of need; or communication solutions that ensure better reliability. They also look into tools that can help gather useful analytics and track metrics. This way, they can use real data to improve operations and internal processes.
Customer support has largely been seen as an industry that requires teams to be reactive. And in a way, it’s true. However, to deliver exceptional service, they have to do more than just reacting to concerns as they come. These points are what sets the top customer teams apart from the average ones.
With marketing and advertising to attract new customers being one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses today, it’s more important than ever to retain existing customers by delivering exceptional customer service.
If you want your business to stand out, it’s time you incorporate these insights into how you do business.
Robert Oscanyan is a Product Marketing Manager at Jive Communications by LogMeIn, a hosted VoIP provider that helps thousands of organizations simplify how they manage their phone and conferencing systems. Rob spends his time creating new adventures with his wife, six kids, and rambunctious dog while still finding time to binge on crime podcasts. You can find him on LinkedIn.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: 6 Tips For Small Business Saturday
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