It’s not complicated. You have to treat your customers well or they won’t come back. This is becoming more important all the time: 65% of people have higher customer service expectations than they did five years ago.
Nobody wants to come back for shoddy service. However, there are countless examples of call centres which failed to deliver and consequently hit the skids. Let’s look at how you can set about making your customer service calls better, and in so doing avoid the pitfalls that some companies go headlong into.
Table of Contents
The most important aspect of making your customer service calls better is its speed. Of the numerous ways that a customer can get in touch with a business, they will favour a call usually because they want a rapid resolution.
So, your business needs to aim for a prompt pick-up when the call comes in. Mind you, don’t go all out for speed. An answer during the first ring can be disconcerting for the customer who thinks they have a few seconds to compose themselves and have a swig of their tea. It also looks a little like the call centre doesn’t have much work on at the moment.
Three rings is optimal. Any more and it can appear that the customer’s not a priority and/or the business is overwhelmed (never a good look).
When aiming for a good answering speed, it’s important to think about staffing levels. Techniques such as workforce management can assist with forecasting, as well as helping to schedule staff more efficiently.
Remember that point about increased customer service expectations? People are coming more and more to expect extended service hours, and, with 56% of customers still preferring the phone, you need to offer them a service that suits them.
Don’t panic – you don’t have to have agents in your centre 24/7/365. You do though have to offer customers assistance at times that are convenient to them.
So, evening hours are good: stay open until 7pm at least. Weekend service is good too.
Beyond this, you should consider tech assistance. Using internet phones and interactive voice response, you can factor in some elements of automation to help with beefing up your service provision.
The customer’s got through to you, so now you need to resolve whatever their issue might be with expertise and charm. The former at least can be guaranteed no matter which employee picks up the phone. This is where training and regular product updates are enormously important.
Should the employee not be in a position to satisfy, they need to know how to resolve the matter by other means. If this means escalating the call or putting the customer on hold, that’s fine as long as it’s done with efficiency and respect.
…but Don’t Answer Back
Finally, even the rudest customer should be treated with courtesy. No staff member is perfect and tempers can fray, but part of customer service is dealing with some pretty objectionable types. So, take the hit, and smile. Audibly.
And there you have it – just a few examples of how customer service can encourage repeat custom, complete with top tips for improving your customer service provision.
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