The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
I would like to modify this quote a little bit and say, “Outstanding customer service cannot occur just by seeking new strategies, but by having new eyes look at the existing strategies.” This concept of “new eyes” occurred to me while I was working out at my gym. For the past few years, I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time at the gym. I gained some crucial perspectives from my passion for staying fit and healthy. I find these insights very applicable in the area of customer service.
The gist of this article in one line:
Customer service isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.
At the gym, I’ve experienced three types of exercises:
1. Exercises that are enjoyable and beneficial.
2. Exercises that make me miserable while they’re happening but feel fantastic in retrospect.
3. Exercises that are not at all fun, neither at the time nor in hindsight.
My experiences in customer support are very similar. Customer service is full of type-one, type-two, and type-three interactions, sometimes all on the same day. If you have a type-one interaction with your customers, great, you’re doing great. For type-two interactions, the chances are that your customers are unhappy, but they haven’t given up on you. In such a scenario, you must be open to accepting comments and feedback. A quick turnaround that addresses your customer’s immediate needs can be a positive approach toward turning things around.
A type-three interaction, however, is a different game altogether. Type-three interaction means that your customer is very agitated. This is an indication that they’re about to leave you. It would help if you dealt with the occasional type-threes with the highest level of professionalism. This brings me back to my original point, i.e., “customer service isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.” Especially if you usually have a hard time retaining customers. Poor or unresponsive services can turn away even the most loyal customers. On the other hand, a great experience can turn dissatisfied customers into strong advocates of your brand.
It is essential to identify and pick the category you want to master and define specific areas to tackle each challenge. Just as it goes with working out at the gym, a single workout program won’t work for everyone. Similarly, conventional strategies won’t work out to satisfy all the customers. Expecting a single strategy to work out in every scenario and customer is a recipe for disaster.
Instead, having multiple strategies divided across your team is a much better way to conquer at the time of adversity. In such a structure, different team members will be responsible for different types of customers, and an overall account executive will be accountable to ensure collaboration. Additionally, this team can scale out of just one account and serve multiple clients to increase efficiency and lower the overall cost.
The definition of exceptional customer support depends on your industry niche and what you plan to achieve from it. These are some bare minimum things that customers expect from you:
However, you’ll need to go the extra mile to serve excellent customer service.
Here’s an excellent example of exceptional customer service. People at Ritz-Carlton know how to deliver exceptional customer experiences. In order to justify their premium prices, they make sure that their customers receive painstakingly good and personalized service. Check this story out!
A family staying at Ritz-Carlton in Bali had brought specialized eggs and milk for their son (who had numerous food allergies.) When they arrived, they saw the eggs had broken, and the milk had soured. The hotel manager and dining staff couldn’t find similar items from the town. The executive chef then remembered this particular store in Singapore that sold them. He contacted his mother-in-law and requested her to buy those products and fly to Bali to deliver them. This is the autonomy that Ritz is willing to give their employees, hence empowering them to deliver an amazing experience:
The goal is to develop a strong emotional engagement between the hotels’ staff and their guests that a guest will not consider staying anywhere else, even if they have an option.
This example says a lot about employee freedom and culture that leaders can and shall promote. If you strive for excellent customer service, you need to give your employees incentive and control to change things for your end customers. This would be better rather than regulating their roles and responsibilities and defining them in conventional ways.
This also exemplifies the kind of creative problem-solving and the length of services a company is willing to go to, to satisfy their customers.
Start delivering frictionless and proactive customer service with excellent helpdesk tools.
This brings me to my next point, which is all you can do to serve exceptional customer support. Here are seven key ways to build thriving customer support (or revamp your existing customer support.)
Multiple brands are heavily investing in inculcating qualitative customer support. Innovation in customer experience trends has become utterly crucial. Legacy methods won’t make companies as profitable. The reactive approach will no longer work; companies must strive to be proactive.
If you are willing to take this proactive path, here are the trends that you must adhere to. Let’s roll!
Advanced tech has offered several ways to connect with customers. This is beneficial for the customers as it will help them know your brand transparently. But imagine what would happen if the customers are on your website browsing your services or pricing page before the final purchase, and they get stuck?
Real-time live chats or video chat is the right way to guide your customers with their queries and help them walk through the services. Through real-time support, you can achieve:
Customer service chatbots use machine learning and AI to answer basic customer queries. This may include questions like “how do I add more users?” or “What are the pricing structures?”
AI chatbots use your existing resources (like FAQs or knowledge base articles) to help answer and resolve your customers’ questions. You can also proactively suggest relevant answers before the customer even finishes typing. This way, customers can get faster and consistent support. This also means there will be fewer repetitive questions for your support agents.
Customer empathy is a universal language that everyone can understand. Customer empathy isn’t about a specific strategy. You can quantify it by formula and teach your support reps. Organizations that place customers at the center of everything and rely on human insights to inform will fundamentally empathize with their customers.
Share your vision with your support reps about building and fostering an empathetic response. You need to ensure that every support representative sees the customer as a person and not just targets that need to be achieved. Plus, the above point about personalized services would always work.
Bots help, but they don’t replace your customer service agents.
Chatbots help your customer service agents do their jobs better. The biggest perk is that it saves a lot of time and gives your team the buffer to focus only on complex queries. AI chatbots aren’t a replacement for real-time human interactions, though.
“AI has advanced a lot, but it can never really offer a genuine, empathetic, “I’m sorry”.”
Remember that AI chatbots are just virtual assistants. It can help the agents do their jobs better, but it can never replace them entirely. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. You need a blend of both these aspects to excel in your customer support interactions.
Nowadays customers don’t want to contact the company through traditional ways like phone and fax. Customers expect you to be present on the channels of their preference. This includes:
Leveraging an omnichannel customer service trend, your company can deliver a seamless CX and maximize customer satisfaction (CSAT). An omnichannel approach enables you to:
Streamlining customer information and messages across channels is a sure way to ensure that you can provide exceptional service to your customers. The customer service team can also easily handle customer conversations through multiple channels from one roof.
Delivering an excellent customer support experience also means making it easy for customers to help themselves. Majority of customers attempt to take care of matters and solve it themselves before reaching out to the company for help.
This is why you must ensure that you have a knowledge base that has answers to all the FAQs and all the how-to articles.
Lousy customer service means bad press. Company scandals spread around social media like wildfire and make your shortcomings visible publicly. Companies need to monitor what customers say about their company on social media.
Brands miss out on valuable information and opportunities to understand their customers through social media. It is always best to pay attention to what your customers are talking about and track the bad reviews about your brand. You can begin with conducting regular social listening through hashtags. For example, if a customer tweets about how frustrated they are with their delayed delivery, you can respond instantly and offer a solution.
Tesco mobile proactively checks in with customers through their social media customer support. The company connects with its new customers on social media. After customers sign up, a support rep follows up, asking them about their experience. Additionally, they ask questions like, “whether there is anything they can do to help?”
It certainly is possible to run your entire support operation using a shared inbox or Outlook mailbox.
But that won’t always set your team up for success. Dedicated customer support software is often an ideal choice to enable your team to deliver excellent support.
Customer support software that has been designed specifically for support teams offers features like shared inboxes, built-in self-help centers, canned responses, robust ticketing features, automated workflows, collision detection, and customer relationship data. These features help your team deliver personalized, fast, and expert service with every customer interaction.
Carve out a new standard of support in an industry that often prioritizes profit margins over people. Empower your team with the latest tools and features.
DeskXpand enables you to stand out in a busy crowd and catch (and resolve) the exact pain points of customers. Here’s your secret ammunition to making your customers feel valued. With DeskXpand, you can:
Take a demo to find more!