The primary job function of staff members is to represent your company and convey to the customer that they are heard, understood, and appreciated. The trick is incorporating these standards of customer service into daily practices. We’ve compiled 20 of the best customer service practices in our infographic below.
What are Customer Service Best Practices?
Whether in person, online, or over the phone, customer service best practices are the things that convey to the customer how important they are to you and your company. Use the list below as a guideline for creating your own customer service best practices and putting them into action.
Start by hiring employees with the right skills and qualities needed for meaningful customer interactions. Then, keep your employees happy by providing competitive pay, benefits, and advancement opportunities. Satisfied employees are more likely to spend extra time or effort on a customer, and a satisfied customer is more likely to return or tell their friends.
Put ongoing and consistent effort into tracking and collecting feedback from customers and employees. Texting or emailing a customer immediately after a purchase is ideal because the interaction is fresh in their mind and they can quickly answer from their phone. Pay attention to areas with lower scores and set goals for improvements.
Know Your Stuff
Make sure customer service employees are clear on the details of the company. They need to know a lot about the products and services you offer, as well as possible causes for a problem and effective solutions so they can resolve complaints. It is also helpful to know about various products when a customer has a question. For example, when you ask your waiter which dish they recommend, you expect them to have tried the food and have an opinion.
Budget for Extras
When a customer reaches out with a complaint, they expect the issue to be resolved immediately and completely. When this isn’t possible, or the customer is particularly upset, it can help to go above and beyond to win back their loyalty. Have a specific item or service you can provide them as a gift and set up a specific budget for this purpose.
It only takes a minute to send an email to a customer asking if the issue was resolved to their satisfaction. This type of gesture can go a long way, especially if it is personal. Include details about their interaction and have the representative sign their name, rather than that of the company.
Popular social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are prime space for addressing problems or providing added value. Many people will follow the pages of brands, companies, and figureheads to which they feel an attachment. Create or encourage this type of loyalty with engaging posts, current information, and personal responses to posts you are mentioned in. For example, acknowledging a problem and letting people know a solution is coming, informing customers of a sale or new product, or a Q&A session. Live videos, memes, and GIFs are also a great way to grab attention and encourage engagement, just be sure to keep them in line with your brand.
Examples of Great Customer Service
There are a lot of ways you can show good customer service. Check out these examples of companies who went far beyond the expectation.
- Zappos – This online shoe company actually sent a courier to pick up a pair of shoes that a customer was late in returning. The customer had mentioned she was late because of a funeral, so Zappos took care of everything, including shipping cost. Even better, they sent sympathy flowers!
- JetBlue – After a customer tweeted about not having a chance to stop at Starbucks before catching his flight, JetBlue had some delivered to him on the plane before take-off.
- Tommee Tippee – After discontinuing a type of sippy cup they made, Tommee Tippee found out that an autistic child of a customer would only drink from this particular cup. They made an additional 500 cups just for him.
What Do You Need for Great Customer Service?
To create a great customer service program or department, you need staff members who are trustworthy, professional, and caring. It also helps if you have some type of help desk services, technical services, in-bound call services, order taking, and 24-hour access to call specialists. Check out ROI Call Center Solutions for more tips and ideas for customer service best practices.