You’re about to go on a ski trip, and you order new gloves from an online website. You’re pumped, but when you get the confirmation email, you realize you’ve ordered them in the wrong size.
So you call up customer service to change your order.
Sometimes, it’s easy as can be. The representative you talk to is kind, efficient, and handles the issue. Other times, you can’t get a hold of a human, and you’re stuck figuring out how to get help. When you do get in touch with someone, they’re not particularly helpful. Those gloves you were so excited about? Well, you’re not very excited any more.
As a founder or manager, it’s your job to make sure your customers have positive experiences when they encounter any issues with your company. Whether you run a restaurant, hotel, or software company, you can provide amazing customer service that delights customers.
To do that, you need to make sure amazing customer service is a top priority. In this quick guide, we’ll show you how.
Why Does Customer Service Matter?
Many believe customer service is hard to quantify because it depends on relationships. They say it’s one of those lovey-dovey aspects of business that can be difficult to measure.
That’s actually not the case. The quality of your customer service is directly connected to your company’s bottom-line. If you have great service, customers are more likely to continue using your company’s services, even if they have to pay more.
Here are some stats that prove how important customer service is:
- 55% of people would recommend a company to others based on its exemplary customer service. (Zendesk)
- 58% of people say they will never use the company again after a negative customer service experience. (NewVoice)
- 86% say they would pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience. (RightNow)
In the end, great customer service can differentiate you from competitors, help you retain customers, and encourage customers to pay premium for your offerings. If you run a restaurant or beauty salon, customer service ties into the sorts of reviews you get on sites like Yelp, as well.
What Does Amazing Customer Service Entail?
No matter the environment– whether you run a restaurant, software company, or beauty salon– customer service is the processes you have in place, the tone you use with customers, the content you provide to help customers, and the measurement of how well you’re doing.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to provide amazing customer service:
Step 1: Create Processes
Even if you have the best intentions, disorganization ruins customer service. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to.
If you’re managing multiple platforms like social media, review sites, phone, email, etc., then you need to have processes and systems in play. For example, who manages what? And when should they do their duties? Perhaps your social media manager needs to check Twitter and Facebook once every hour.
It’s your job to make sure you know who is in charge of what. You can always use scheduling services to make it clear who is working on desk.
There are a wide variety of customer service tools that can help, too. Online help desk tools like Help Scout, Zendesk, and Groove seamlessly integrate with email platforms to provide seamless customer service ticketing experiences.
Step 2: Focus on Tone
How you talk to your customers matters… a lot. But sometimes it’s the subtleties that make the big difference. You need to be careful in the tones your departments use when speaking with customers.
For example, the following two messages say exactly the same thing, but vary greatly in how they come across:
Dear Sir, thank you for your inquiry. We will receive a message from us shortly.
Hi there! Thanks for your question. We’ll get back to you soon.
Additionally, you should adjust your tone depending on the customer, or the industry you’re in. Greg Ciotti, content lead at Help Scout, recommends talking like your customer. If you use the type of language they use, you’ll make them feel at ease.
How do your customers write emails? What do they sound like over the phone? You want to mimic how they talk, except when they’re on bad behavior.
Step 3: Make it Self-Service
Often times, your customers don’t need to talk to you, and would prefer not to. They’d rather find answers themselves on your website or social media pages.
If you make customer service issues self-service, then you stand to save time, money, and resources. For example, if you allow customers to make reservations for your restaurant online, you’re not saddling your hosts with the responsibility of creating a schedule.
To make customer service more self-service:
- Look for ways to put answers online.
- Create a help database.
- Get a phone service with a dial-by-problem directory. If customers have questions on how to cancel, they can press 1.
Step 4: Give Freedom to Reps
Customer service scripts have gone out of fashion in favor of guidelines for reps. If you want to foster real connections between your employees and your customers, then you need to drop the script in favor of real conversations.
If you want your employees to feel empowered, you can’t give them super specific directions. Instead, you need to trust them. Give them guidelines for how you want them to talk to clients, and have them read resources. You can also go through trainings with them to see how they interact with customers, and help them improve. It’s good for your employees to learn by doing, rather than rely on a script.
Help Scout put together a very helpful list of 15 customer service skills that are essential for all employees.
Step 5: Measure Sentiment
Customer service isn’t any good if you’re not measuring it. At all times, you need to be checking in to make sure that your reps are doing a good job, that your customers are happy with the service they’re getting.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Use NPS to measure how your customer service reps are doing. Tools like Wootric and Promoter.io can help make this process incredibly easy.
- Send out and collect customer surveys. Use can use tools such as SurveyMonkey or rely on survey cards if you run a brick-and-mortar business.
- Look to Yelp reviews, Google reviews, Angie’s List reviews, and other review sites.
Amazing Customer Service at Your Company
Amazing customer service can make all the difference. Great service is about a lot more than business– it’s about fostering relationships with your customers that are long-lasting and mutually beneficial.
As a company leader, it’s your job to make sure your company is doing all it can to provides experiences that delights your customers, exceeding their expectations with every interaction.A Quick Guide on How To Provide Amazing Customer Service Rob Wormley