Performance in every field is subject to principles. Say you want to improve your swimming skills. The trick is to practice swimming daily. It will help you but until a certain plateau. To master it, you need to get a teacher who will explain the core principles of swimming, like decreasing drag and increasing propulsion. That goes for customer service too. You can implement the common customer service techniques and drag along, or you could start by focusing on the core principles of customer service and strategize accordingly.
For example, efficiency is one of the fundamental aspects of great customer service. You can act on it by providing instant support with features like live chat, chatbot, multi-channel support, etc. Similarly, you can improve their shopping experience by offering custom product bundles made using a Shopify bundle app.
The key to improving customer experience is quality service. Remember – Happy customers, happy you! Thank them and keep them happy. So, here are the 6 hallmarks of excellent customer service.
- Accessibility: Help Instead of Convert
- Speed: Offer Multiple Channels
- Proactivity: Respond Promptly
- Quality: Give Unexpected Surprises
- Accountability: Empower Them
- Transparency: Be Accurate and Open
1. Help Instead of Convert
Your customers might have queries, and they may need your support team’s help with products and their details. So, when they reach out to you through emails and calls, get to the root cause of the issue. Fix the issue completely and retain your customers.
Offer valuable feedback that will solve the issues. Often, it’s said that good customer service depends on exceeding expectations. However, it focuses on reducing customers’ efforts, of which accessibility is the biggest hurdle. Your customers might be already preoccupied with their problems. Simply offering speed and accuracy in solving problems won’t help. You have to make the service easily accessible and understandable. Keep the communication clear. Offer easy access to relevant content and customer support. When you focus on improving their experience rather than your conversion rate, ultimately, you can achieve double the expected results.
With CommerceXpand, you can take advantage of apps like recently viewed products, product reviews, Facebook Messenger Chat to reduce your customers’ efforts while shopping.
2. Respond Promptly
Remember – the longer your customer waits for your reply, the shorter they stay on your website. In other words, response time is the major factor affecting customer service satisfaction. According to research, customers expect businesses to reply to their emails within one hour of receiving them. Sixty-six percent of businesses take a day or more to reply. This can cause a negative impact on your business. Hence, make your customer service quick and provide instant replies. Acknowledge your customers’ presence even if you’re busy serving another customer. Make them feel valued and appreciated.
Apart from this, you can track various service speeds such as:
- First response time: How long do agents take to respond to customers after they first reach out?
- Average response time: The total average time between responses if it exceeds more than one response.
- Problem resolution time: The total time taken to resolve a problem.
- First contact resolution time: The number of issues resolved with a single response.
These service speeds depend on three factors – the support team’s skills, their autonomy, and the channel type. So, provide excellent training to your support reps. The more knowledgeable they are, the fewer questions and time they will need to solve the problem. For that, they also need decision-making power. If they can make the judgment call, it will reduce costs and save time as well. Lastly, the channel you choose defines your response time. Hence, offer an omnichannel experience.
You can also include customer self-service options like AI-enabled chatbots, help centers, FAQs, and a knowledge base to provide proactive support.
3. Give Unexpected Surprises
When you give your customers extra, it often grabs their attention. Let’s learn how – from our favorite brand Disney. Disney found that a few children would wait in line for a ride only to find out that they were too short for the ride. To turn their disappointment and frustration into a positive experience, Disney offers those kids a special pass to skip to the front of the line for their next ride. Isn’t that great?
A small gesture goes a long way. So, include those little surprises in your customer service. It can be a thank you for a visit, a personalized email, or a customized letter. You can even offer freebies and custom product recommendations based on past purchases. You can leverage the Shopify bundle app and make customized product bundles that they might like.
Delighting your customers with personalized offerings and surprises will positively impact your customer service.
4. Empower them
Customers often like to troubleshoot their queries themselves. In fact, 89 percent of US consumers expect businesses to provide a self-service option. Self-service is faster and more convenient than opening a ticket. It reduces the efforts of your service team by redirecting their focus to high-priority tasks. Customers, on the contrary, can troubleshoot their problems themselves using the knowledge base. They can get back to real-life service agents if required.
Features that you need for customer accountability and empowerment:
- Ratings and reviews
- Knowledge base
A self-service portal alone will be enough to provide your customers with personalized service.
5. Be Accurate, Open, and Polite
Showing effort is the first sign to improve your customer service. Next, you need to ensure that customers receive the same quality of service across all the channels because if they have to repeat themselves, that will disappoint them. While providing consistent service, make sure you maintain honesty and openness. For example, if you’re unsure about a solution, let your customers know about it. Don’t keep them waiting; it frustrates them. The key is to keep them in the loop, not keep them hanging around.
Most importantly, give your service a human touch. People don’t feel like interacting with a soulless machine, no matter what channels and how prompt you answer. So, keep your customer service at the forefront. Show your customers that you care about them and you’re not just a brand. There are real humans caring for them and their problems.
Keep improving. Ask your customers if they need anything else and work on it because customer service is not complete until they are satisfied with the result. Your staff may not be well-versed with customer service, but you as their manager can help them by focusing on the core principles, i.e., speed, accuracy, accountability, proactivity, openness, transparency, and quality.
These principles will guide you in keeping up with the changing customer demands and train your staff on what’s expected from them.
Last but not least, customer service is not just about helping customers solve a problem. It’s about the overall experience from the moment they visit your store to check out and post-delivery – a long-term process. Hence, don’t limit yourself to one way of service. Bring in apps like the Shopify bundle app and currency converter to make shopping convenient for your customers. You can try our Shopify app – CommerceXpand, an all-in-one app bundle that offers all the apps required for management, conversion, and sales.
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