Customer service is an integral pillar of your business. Some may argue that it’s the central pillar. Because if the service you are providing is below average, then people will flock to your competitors.
There are the main aspects of customer service that many adhere to. That is, your frontline staff are well-trained. Customers can contact you through a range of channels. The CRM you use is stellar. The software gives you the data to keep your finger on the customer service pulse. Your incredible list goes on and on.
Kudos to you for being on the ball. But let’s step things up a notch and think outside the box.
Here we will show you a bunch of customer service practices that few know about.
What are your customers thinking?
Developing a buyer persona is Marketing Practice 101. So is figuring out your customers’ pain points.
That’s what you designed your FAQs and other service support around. Yet, what if you could get deeper into figuring out your customer? That would take your support to a whole new level.
Consumer psychology is the key. This branch of psychology looks at why people buy the things they do. Why do they react to ads the way they do? What persuades them?
It helps you understand why your customers have decided to choose you over your competitors (and vice versa).
You gain an understanding of what irks them at a deep-down level. A level that maybe your frontline staff hasn’t yet fathomed the depth of.
Your staff are intelligent – emotionally
You can’t deny that those who work for you are a bunch of smart individuals. Yet, how do they fare when it comes to being emotionally intelligent?
This type of smarts refers to how well one can genuinely empathize with another person. It also encompasses the ability we have to acknowledge and control our emotions. When dealing with several upset customers in a row, it can be hard to remain emotionally stable.
Get your frontline staff, heck, all your staff, emotionally intelligent, and you will see the results in your customer service. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Listen for impatience in your customer’s voice. If you hear it, you’re talking too much and need to stop.
- Be sensitive to when your customer is feeling pushed into a decision. No one likes being forced into action when they aren’t ready.
- Show empathy. This could be considered the number one trait for all customer support reps.
- Become self-aware of the emotions you are feeling. We’re human and angry customers can trigger us emotionally.
By having your staff develop emotional intelligence, your customers will feel love and compassion. Your support team will have better resilience when dealing with emotionally charged situations. That means less stress and less burnout experienced by your staff.
Train all staff on customer service
As we just mentioned, everyone on your team should increase their emotional intelligence. That not only improves relationships with your customers but also within your organization.
Customer service may just be seen as something the guys in marketing and sales do. However, it’s an aspect of your business that shouldn’t be siloed.
It’s a team effort. That means everyone should have exposure to customer service. Make spending several weeks serving customers part of your induction process.
It’s a paradigm-shifting experience. Your entire organization is completely customer-focused. That’s because everyone has had their boot camp time on the frontlines of service.
Get the boss involved
Managers are busy people; we get that. Yet, how nice would it be for a customer who had an issue to receive a personal call or response from a higher-up?
Not just one of those “cut and paste” replies either. Customers can tell when they get one of them.
When a customer gets to interact with the higher-ups, it conveys a more profound sense that the company cares.
The benefit is that customers stick around and rave about you to their friends. That’s advertising money can’t buy.
Carrying on with the theme of caring, it’s awesome when people remember a birthday. Use this to your customer service advantage.
When customers first register with you, have them include their date of birth. That way, you have a record of their birthday.
Send them a birthday card that your team has personally signed and the boss. If you have many team members, having them all sign the card can be impossible. In that case, have the boss do it.
Be sure to include a gift. It could be a discount voucher or a small present.
You can use this same approach to celebrate the anniversary of your customers’ first purchase. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
Offer VIP experiences
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there were only five golden tickets. Those lucky enough to find one got an exclusive tour of the chocolate factory. Of course, some of the winners’ tour didn’t turn out well (but they didn’t follow the instructions).
Run a competition asking your customers how to enhance your customer service. The top ideas then can be voted on to narrow down the selection to 5 ideas. Then invite the customers whose ideas were chosen, to join an exclusive brainstorming group.
This benefit is that your customers know they have been listened to. Also, they have a sense of ownership of your brand.
WhatsApp may be an underutilized (or non-existent) tool in your customer service effort. However, it can be used in powerful ways to engage and support your user base.
Wherever you display your customer support information, have WhatsApp as another channel option. With over two billion users, you are allowing your audience to connect with you in a way they are familiar with.
The app is integrated easily with your CRM. It also allows you to set up chatbots for customers trying to reach you out of hours. You can customize the responses so that they reflect your brand’s voice.
WhatsApp has the functionality to provide proactive information for customers so that:
- they can keep track of the status of their order
- be updated on the resolution of their issue/complaint can be sent to them
- you can provide video, pictures, audio, or files in which you offer help (such as step-by-step instructions)
You can also send a copy of your product catalog or other marketing information (such as special events and exclusive deals).
Send some swag
For your more loyal customers, you can thank them by sending them a little kit of your goods. Create swag if you don’t have any physical product (because you provide software or service).
Match the type of swag with your customers’ lifestyle. If they are into running, let them have a water bottle with your logo. For the more passive audience, post them out a mug or headphones.
You can grab swag from sites such as 4imprint or Swag Expert.
Don’t let your customers know they will receive a bag full of swag. Delight them with a surprise and thank them for being so awesome.
There are well-known ways to offer excellent customer service. Providing an omnichannel support system and having updated FAQs and self-help areas on your site are just a few examples.
To raise your customer support to that next level of awesomeness requires non-standard approaches. Having emotionally competent staff aids in increasing empathic support towards your customers.
Discover which apps your customers typically use to communicate with friends and family. Use that same app to provide another means of support and outreach.
Have the manager or boss sit in for a day answering phone calls and providing customer care.
Let your creativity flow as you discover novel ways to support your end-users. Don’t be scared to experiment. Some things will work like a charm, and other ideas will fall flat. That’s life.
But it’s a great life because you give your customers the support they crave. Revel in that.