How to Be Successful in Customer Service? Top Questions You Should Ask Yourself and Your Employees

Do you know what customers say about your service and company? Do they like you? If you know the answer to these questions, this means you have your customer success strategy and do not need to worry. However, if you have no idea what customers think about your company and customer service you provide you need to change your customer success strategy urgently. In this blog post we outlined the main points you need to consider when rebuilding your company customer success strategy. Here is our checklist: 

Answered support requests vs unanswered

Are all customer service queries resolved by your team? If yes, this means your support works fine and there is no need to make changes within your team. However, if there are customers whose issues remain unresolved, you should consider taking measures. We have outlined the main reasons why this happens:

  • Your team has no time to handle all customer service requests. In this case you need to hire more employees or consider outsourcing customer support agents.
  • Your customer support agents multitask and perform tasks not related to customer service. In this case you should make customer service the main priority and let your team resolve all customer support queries before switching to other tasks.
  • Your agents know that you do not monitor them. If you have enough customer support agents to handle all queries but still there are unanswered calls or chat requests then there is a necessity to introduce supervising system and hire a customer support manager who will monitor your customer support department and help to improve your team performance.

Are your employees competent?

According to the Freshdesk’s Customer Happiness Benchmark Report 2018, the average FCR (First Contact Resolution) is 71%. Everything below this means your team is not competent and your customer support department requires major changes. Here are a couple of tips we can suggest in this case:

  • Set up additional team training
  • Involve your team in knowledge base building
  • Make a strong knowledge base with commonly raised issues
  • Set up weekly meetings to discuss with your team interesting customer support cases

Number of complaints and negative reviews

Customer complaint and negative feedback is always a chance to improve. However, if you leave them unresolved, you should include complaints and negative reviews processing to your customer success checklist. If you start improving based on negative feedback provided by your customers, you will see how fast they are changed to positive reviews.

How do you monitor and respond to complaints?

Not always customers complain directly. Sometimes, they use social media, forums or various discussion boards where they share experience they had with your brand. It is difficult to monitor and check each possible website or social media platform on a daily bases. However, there are special tools which make things simple and save lots of precious time.

Communication

Excellent customer service is all about communication. Customer service representatives should speak slowly, clearly and have the proper telephone hardware to do their job. While chatting or composing emails they should not make grammar mistakes, avoid slang and acronyms. However, besides proper language and grammar your customer support agents should possess various soft skills like:

  • active listening
  • demonstrating courtesy
  • using positive language
  • an ability to stay calm
  • using easy-to-understand words

You can find more soft skills and useful tips and tricks in our Top Customer Service Soft Skills to Master Whitepaper.

Following up

It is important to follow up with customers to ensure their issues have been resolved or to notify about the release of the feature they have requested. Here are main reasons why your follow up is important:

  • It makes your customers feel special
  • A regular follow up gives your customers a chance to be heard
  • Existing customers will more likely make new purchases after a follow up
  • It gives you a chance to ensure whether customers expectations fulfilled or not

Do you organize brainstorms?

Short weekly meetings are important if you want to keep your team motivated. You can discuss the most interesting and complicated customer service cases, share experience or useful articles and books. This way you will stay closer to your team and will be informed about their problems and expectations. Such weekly meetings help keep your customer service climate healthy and fresh.

Are your employees empowered with the right tools?

Using the right tools and having everything at fingertips is really important in customer service. By empowering your customer support department with the right tools you will make the right environment for them to provide excellent customer service right here and right now. On the other side, if they don’t have the right tools, your customers will have to wait for response and this in turn will rise customer dissatisfaction.

Are your employees authorized to make decisions?

If you trust your employees and give them freedom to make decisions, you have a great team of professionals who will do their best to provide excellent customer service and solve issues right away. This in turn raises FCR rate as your employees do not need to wait for manager’s authorization or contact other departments for assistance.

Do you measure your customer service team success?

Numbers can be scary. However, there are lots of metrics that can show how successful your customer support department is and where you need to make changes to improve their performance. Here is a short list of metrics you can consider measuring:

  • Time of first response
  • The number of resolved cases per agent
  • Average issues handling time
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Unresolved customer support requests
  • First contact resolution rate
  • Net promoter score

Do you monitor competitive service performance?

While you are working hard to improve your customer service and products, your competitors do not sleep. The only way to be one step ahead is to monitor their activity. When you have this information, you will be able to modify your strategy quickly and be ready to face new challenges and competitors entering the market.

Being successful in customer service is not an easy task. However, if you go through the points mentioned in our post, you will b able to improve your overall customer service experience and develop your company customer success strategy. What steps do you perform to become successful? You are welcome to share them in the comments to this blog post.

Olga is a customer service expert and owner at Supportyourcustomer.com. She is writer and blogger on customer service and customer experience excellence.

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