9.customer services

5 key practices to improve your customer service in 2021

Over the past 2 years, with the corona virus pandemic, most businesses have changed their approach for the sake of survival. One of the first steps towards survival for any business, is how well they treat their customers. Customer service is a major aspect of any business as it defines the experience customers have dealing with you both before, and after they purchase your product or service. And with today’s never-ending evolution in communication technology, you communicate with your customers using their preferred method – text, chat, email, website, social media etc. Customer service is more than providing answers, nowadays it forms part of your company’s identity and brand.

Here are 5 key practices you should consider to improve your customer service:

1. Train your customer service team on your product or service

It seems pretty obvious to say that your employees need to be efficient. But how do you become efficient? The answer is training! Your customer support team needs to be thoroughly trained in the product or service you are offering so that anyone with a query feels reassured as it will be clear that they are in good hands. The more you train them, the faster they can treat customer queries, which in turn results in improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.

2. Patience is a virtue

Many of us have experienced disgruntled customers who might often be loud, angry and vulgar. Even more so with the pandemic as research has shown that “long term isolation creates negative emotions, impaired cognition, and stress (Hawkley and Capitanio, 2015)”. As part of training, your customer service team needs to learn to de-escalate tense situations. Staying calm, choosing words carefully, being honest, making the customers feel understood and that you will do all in your power to help them – those are some important things to keep in mind. The fruit of patience is sweet.

3. Empathy – showing that you really care!

Let us now talk about empathy and customer service. In this case, empathy is the effort made to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. To do so, your customer support team needs to be trained to listen attentively. Your customers will feel that they are being heard and taken seriously and that all is being done to address their concern. It happens that there might be no solution to your customer’s problem. Empathy will ensure them that you did all you could to help and it might keep your customer satisfied with your service even though the issue was not resolved.

4. Set up proper communication channels

Sometimes, your customer service agent will not have the knowledge or skills to help resolve a situation. In such cases, you need to have proper channels put in place. Your agents need to know exactly to whom they need to transfer the query. Also, it is important to remember that communication works best both ways, so if your agents feel they need to ask customers supplementary questions to better help them resolve the issue, ask away!

5. Use a CRM platform

An omnichannel customer relation management platform will up your game in all aspects! By omnichannel, we mean a platform which is able to communicate with your customers through their preferred method while keeping all data related to each individual customer centralised. This in turns helps you improve overall efficiency as with each customer, you’ll be able to quickly pull up their file through which you will have a history of all conversations, problems and solutions and this in turn will allow agents to better handle each case.