Customer service is absolutely key to the success of any business. In fact, 93% of customers are willing to make repeat purchases with a company based on their experience of the customer service offered by them.
Your customer service department acts as the face of your company; it is the vehicle through which your customers will establish a relationship with your business. Impressing your customers at this stage kickstarts a productive, long-lasting bond.
It is the first interface that meets a potential new lead and is responsible for whether that lead is transformed into a new source of revenue. If it isn’t already, maximising the quality of your customer service should be at the top of your list of priorities.
Furthermore, the experience that your customers have throughout their journey is the deciding factor as to whether you retain them long term.
Your odds of selling to an existing customer are between 60 and 70% compared to 5-20% for new customers. This shows just how important loyal customers can be for the success of your business.
If you underestimate the importance of this aspect of your business, you risk damaging its reputation irrevocably. 87% of consumers believe that companies need to provide a more consistent customer experience.
It only takes a few simple steps to improve customer service. Don’t overlook one of the easiest opportunities your company has to maximise revenue.
As always, we’re here to help your business become as successful as possible. So, we’re going to let you in on a few trade secrets. Here’s how to ensure your customer service department makes the most of every lead and looks after your existing customers perfectly.
1: The Speed of Your Customer Service
How quickly your customer service agents respond to queries makes a world of difference. Whether it’s responding to a call, an email, or a live chat request, the chance of that lead or query being transformed into revenue increases tenfold.
According to chilipiper.com responding within the first minute increases lead conversions by 391%!
How many times have you felt the frustration of being made to wait on hold when trying to get through to a company? You wouldn’t be alone in thinking the company didn’t deserve your business after showing such disregard for your time.
There aren’t many who have hours to kill waiting on hold. They will either give up through boredom or frustration, or lose their initial motivation altogether.
If someone offered you a handful of cash, would you leave them waiting? Probably not. So why do it to your customers who are your key source of income?
We understand that this feels impossible for many businesses, which is why we offer a call-handling service that you can outsource to. This option is so handy when you have periods of high call volumes.
With temporary bodies of staff, you can make sure every call is answered quickly.
2: The Efficiency of Your Customer Service
As well as answering queries quickly, it is also important that they’re handled efficiently.
This is another way in which you can avoid causing frustration for your customers. Taking a long time to reach solutions will undo the advantage of responding quickly in the first place.
Your staff should be knowledgable and able to give the necessary information quickly. An efficient customer service experience leads the customer to believe that any future experience with the company will be the same.
Dedicate plenty of your time to training your customer service staff in how to deliver an efficient service. This way, you’ll rise above the competition.
3: The Knowledgeability of Your Customer Service Staff
Knowledgeability is key to being able to deliver solutions efficiently. The more your staff know, the smoother they’ll be able to handle queries.
There will be no ‘umming’ and ahhing’ and no placing customers on hold for long periods of time while they find answers. They will have the knowledge to be able to answer all of the most common queries straight away.
The training given to your staff should be thorough and should include information on every aspect of the business.
The more your staff know about your business, the more likely they are to build their own relationship with it. This, in turn, helps them to become better advocates of it.
If you outsource your customer service to a company like Cymphony, you can make the most of their excellent training schemes. You’d be safe in the knowledge that your temporary staff will be fully versed on everything your company offers.
4: The Accessibility of Your Customer Service Department
As well as having fast response times, your customer service interfaces need to be easy to access. Ideally, you should aim to have at least one interface operating 24/7 so that there is always someone available to talk to.
A third of consumers say they would consider switching companies after just one instance of bad customer service. Having call lines and live chat services that only operate for a few hours a day is the fastest way to become part of this statistic.
Having a customer service department that is only available at inconvenient times gives the impression from the start that you do not care about your customers.
We understand that having staff that work round the clock, seven days a week is a big ask, but this is where outsourcing to a company like Cymphony comes in. We are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week; the perfect solution.
5: The Attitude of Your Customer Service Staff
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘service with a smile’. Even when you’re staff are at the other end of the phone or behind a live chat box, an optimistic approach to customer service is crucial.
Radiating a positive attitude rubs off on your customers, who will register the interaction as a positive experience.
Being impatient or unhelpful will alienate and frustrate them. 95% of customers tell others about a bad customer service experience they’ve had. So, your reputation could be tarnished or even destroyed if you don’t emphasise the importance of a positive attitude to your staff.
Remember, there may be lots of reasons why a member of staff has a negative mindset. Make sure that you respect your responsibility for their wellbeing, which, in turn, will help them to invest more in return.
Outsourcing can help you to make the most of the skill sets of other companies’ staff. For example, by outsourcing to Cymphony you could benefit from their experienced customer service experts.
6: Go Above and Beyond
Any good customer service rep knows that their responsibility doesn’t end at the point of answering a customer’s question. It is their job to make sure the customer has all the information they need, even if they don’t yet know that they need it!
Maybe you’ve answered a few questions about one of the services you offer, but you think they would benefit more from a different service. Tell them all about it! They will be extremely grateful and remember your company for going out of its way to help.
7: Work as a Team
With all the will and training in the world, there will always be some questions that your staff can’t answer immediately. This is where teamwork becomes so important.
Set up an internal communication platform where staff can confer with one another while they’re on calls. They can then share their knowledge straight away and improve efficiency of service.
Alternatively, outsource to a specialist team who have already done just that!
8: Make the Most of Automation
We all know that failing to digitise your company, in this day and age, is a recipe for disaster. It benefits every aspect of your business; improving the overall efficiency of its operations.
Increasing the speed and efficiency of your customer service in particular, can be a real life saver.
Digitising allows your team to have all the information they need. For example, having a fully functioning website full of useful content makes it easy to find the answers to lots of questions quickly.
Automation also allows for customer service statistics to be gathered quickly and easily; giving you useful analytics that you can use to improve your business going forwards.
9: Follow Up
Following up with customers can really help to solidify the brilliant impression you’ve made on them.
For example, you could give them a call to make sure they’ve managed to smoothly integrate some new software. This also benefits the company as it helps you to pinpoint and iron out any potential issues with your products before they arise.
Customers would rarely expect companies to follow up with them, when most fail to even respond to their query in the first place! So, make the most of this opportunity to stand out.
You’ll need the man power to be able to achieve this objective, and once again, outsourcing is the perfect solution. Thanks to the flexible nature of providers like Cymphony, you could outsource for this function only.
This would help to keep costs down while making the most of a tool that can have a big impact on your success.
10: Help to Prepare for the Future
Finally, as well as helping your customers with their current queries, helping them to prepare for future eventualities will have a real impact on their impression of the company.
This will also help you to cut down on the number of future customer queries, as you will have already answered them beforehand.
For example, you could foresee problems that might occur and advise on potential solutions they could put in place. This is sure to to solidify their impression of you as a company that truly cares about their customers.
Hopefully this article has been helpful and given you some inspiration on how you could give your customer service a boost. It’s crucial that you make the most of such an important tool, as it can help to bring huge success to your company.
If you’d like more information or you’d like to look into outsourcing, which would help you to achieve so many of these objectives, give Cymphony a call.