How to give excellent customer service – part 2
How to give excellent customer service – part 2.
As mentioned in an earlier post
I will be looking at the first two of seven key areas of a report on customer service, I came across from last year.
In that earlier post I wrote how your business depends on how you manage Customer Service.
It makes or breaks companies regardless of size or turnover.
More so now than ever with the” Name and Shame” culture showcased on social media.
How many times have you said to your friends or family “Wait to you hear…”
“You’ll never guess what happened when I phoned a, b, or c, about x, y, or z.”
You then go ahead and tell them all the details of your bad experience with the lack of their customer service.
How do I know the experience was bad?
You are more likely to relay a bad experience of customer service than you are a good one.
It’s only human nature after ll.
So, what, as a consumer, are you looking for when it comes to customer service?
Why are so many companies getting it completely wrong?
Most companies know that their business depends on their ability to deliver excellent customer service.
Yet, research shows that while 80% of businesses believe they give excellent customer service.
Only 8% of customers believe they are actually receiving excellent service.”
So, what can companies do to make sure they are providing excellent customer service?
(I) Follow the report’s seven key areas to good customer service.
(II) Ensure that they have the correct processes in place for dealing with customer service requests.
Seven Key Areas
1. Responding to customer requests.
2. Acknowledging that the email has been received.
3. Following up with customers.
4. Solving the request in the first reply.
5. Reducing the response time.
6. Making it easy for customers to contact you.
7. Adding the element of sincerity.
Let’s start by having a look at the first two: –
1.Responding to customer requests
When a customer sends an email they normally expect a reply.
In fact, that’s why most companies hire a team of professionals to handle customer service questions.
So, when the research company contacted their sample of 1,000 companies they, of course, expected to receive a reply from all 1.000.
What they found was that 62% (624 companies) did not respond to the customer service email – that’s more than half of all companies contacted.
It was also noticeable that the companies who did not reply to customer service email had a few things in common: –
- They could only be contacted through an email on their website – no number
- They were mostly smaller sized companies and employed less than 100 people.
- They didn’t send an automated response once to confirm that our message had been received.
Based on these findings they concluded that these companies do not have the correct processes in place when it came to handling support requests.
Best Practice tip #1
Always answer customers when they contact you.
If you don’t respond they are likely to spend their hard-earned money elsewhere.
If you cannot answer the question right away, at least tell them that you are working on it, and let them know they can expect a reply.
Personally, I would use the Best Practice Tip as much as you can.
It shows the customer that you are not ignoring them and shows a personal touch..
If you find you are overwhelmed you can contact an email management company like myself at Apple Rose Business Services.
There are some software apps that can give an automated response.
However, automated services are just that, automated and generic and don’t allow editing to cover for ALL eventualities that may pop up.
You may also find that not everyone, especially if a start-up or small – medium business has the budget for that kind of software.
2. Acknowledging that the email has been received.
Letting your customers know that you have received their email enquiry shows that you are listening and working on a solution to help them.
However, if customers send an email to your support team and they do not know that your team has received it.
They may find themselves contacting you on more than one channel looking for a reply.
Then before you know it.
You’ve got an increase in the number of customer service requests from the same customer on the same topic.
One way of letting the customer know you have received their request is to send a response.
Here’s an example of an acknowledgement.
“Thank you for contacting us.
We will reply to your message as soon as we ca.
Please note that our team is available on weekdays from Monday to Friday between 9 am – 5 pm.
While you’re waiting, you’re very welcome to take a look at our help section to see if the answer to your question can be found there.
This message was sent out about case ID #12345″
This acknowledgement email is great for three reasons:
1. It clearly explains when the customer support team works.
2. It includes a request case id, which is great for tracking requests.
3. It includes links to their FAQ page to offer further support.
Unfortunately, after sending 1,000 emails to companies worldwide, only 95 companies acknowledged that they received our email request, which means that 90% didn’t acknowledge the request at all.
The key here is to keep your customers informed.
Yes you got the email.
Yes you are working on a way to find a solution agreeable to both yourself and your customer.
However, unless you communicate this to them.
How will they know.
As the report stated will likely result in multiple emails.
All about the same request and each one escalating to a higher level of frustration as your customer increasingly feels ignored and left in the dark.
After all, how would you feel if you were the customer?
It’s only common sense, and courteous.
These simple steps will go a long way to keeping your customers happy and that is what we all want – Happy Customers.
Happy Customers, Happy Business