Copywriteroffice

Serp data

Request Result

The request result help you to show your API requests results.

stdClass Object
(
    [data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [query] => customer service
            [search_url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=customer+service&oq=customer+service&num=30&hl=en&gl=GB&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
            [device] => desktop
            [hl] => en
            [gl] => GB
            [search_engine] => google.co.uk
            [number_of_results] => 4240000000
            [related_searches] => Array
                (
                    [0] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => customer service number
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Customer+service+number&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiFARAB
                        )

                    [1] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => why is customer service important
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Why+is+customer+service+important&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiGARAB
                        )

                    [2] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => customer service skills
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Customer+service+skills&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiPARAB
                        )

                    [3] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => customer service jobs
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Customer+Service+jobs&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiTARAB
                        )

                    [4] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => types of customer service
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Types+of+customer+service&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiSARAB
                        )

                    [5] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => customer service examples
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Customer+service+examples&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiRARAB
                        )

                    [6] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => customer service representative
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Customer+service+Representative&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiKARAB
                        )

                    [7] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [title] => customer service chase
                            [url] => https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30&hl=en&gl=gb&q=Customer+Service+Chase&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibju30oav1AhVzj4kEHTIXDwIQ1QJ6BQiIARAB
                        )

                )

            [result] => Array
                (
                    [0] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [description] => Customer service is the support you offer your customer, both before and after they buy your products or services which helps them have an easy experience
                            [title] => What is Customer Service? Definition & Tips - Salesforce.com
                            [url] => https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/what-is-customer-service/
                            [source] => https://www.salesforce.com › products › service-cloud
                            [position] => 1
                            [serp_type] => featured snippet
                            [isOrganicPage] => 1
                            [isOrganic] => 1
                            [serp_title] => What is Customer Service? Definition & Tips - Salesforce.com
                            [serp_description] => Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. ... Customer support is more than just providing answers; it's an important part of the promise your brand makes to its customers.
                            [zero] => 1
                            [hostname] => salesforce.com
                            [canonical] => https://www.salesforce.com/products/service-cloud/what-is-customer-service/
                            [h1] => What is Customer Service? Definition & Tips
                            [h2] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => The definition of customer service.
                                    [1] => Why is customer service important to the success of your business?
                                    [2] => Customer service can have a big impact on your bottom line.
                                    [3] => Customer service can make or break your reputation.
                                    [4] => Support is an integral part of the product experience.
                                    [5] => Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
                                    [6] => Eight ways to provide excellent customer service.
                                    [7] => 1. Support customers as a team.
                                    [8] => Getting Started with Customer Service
                                    [9] => What Is Customer Service?
                                    [10] => How to set up customer service for your business.
                                    [11] => Why customer service is important to growing your business.
                                    [12] => Six signs you need to improve your customer service experience.
                                    [13] => What should I look for in a customer service solution?
                                )

                            [h3] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 2. Listen to customers (and share their feedback).
                                    [1] => 3. Offer friendly, personable service.
                                    [2] => 4. Be honest about what you don’t know.
                                    [3] => 5. Practice empathy.
                                    [4] => 6. Know your product.
                                    [5] => 7. Remember that every second counts.
                                    [6] => 8. Improve as you go.
                                    [7] => Trailhead Contact Center Transformation
                                    [8] => What is Salesforce Service Cloud? It's Salesforce's customer support solution built to deliver service across any channel. Try it for free.
                                )

                            [h2WithAnchors] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => The definition of customer service.
                                            [id] => the-definition-of-customer-service
                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Why is customer service important to the success of your business?
                                            [id] => why-is-customer-service-important-to-the-success-of-your-business
                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Customer service can have a big impact on your bottom line.
                                            [id] => customer-service-can-have-a-big-impact-on-your-bottom-line
                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Customer service can make or break your reputation.
                                            [id] => customer-service-can-make-or-break-your-reputation
                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Support is an integral part of the product experience.
                                            [id] => support-is-an-integral-part-of-the-product-experience
                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
                                            [id] => customers-are-willing-to-pay-more-for-a-better-experience
                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Eight ways to provide excellent customer service.
                                            [id] => eight-ways-to-provide-excellent-customer-service
                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => 1. Support customers as a team.
                                            [id] => work-as-team
                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Getting Started with Customer Service
                                            [id] => getting-started-with-customer-service
                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => What Is Customer Service?
                                            [id] => what-is-customer-service
                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => How to set up customer service for your business.
                                            [id] => how-to-set-up-customer-service-for-your-business
                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Why customer service is important to growing your business.
                                            [id] => why-customer-service-is-important-to-growing-your-business
                                        )

                                    [12] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => Six signs you need to improve your customer service experience.
                                            [id] => six-signs-you-need-to-improve-your-customer-service-experience
                                        )

                                    [13] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [text] => What should I look for in a customer service solution?
                                            [id] => what-should-i-look-for-in-a-customer-service-solution
                                        )

                                )

                            [type] => website
                            [wordCount] => 1824
                            [imgCount] => 5
                            [lang] => 
                            [faq_on_page] => Array
                                (
                                )

                            [anchors] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [size] => 40
                                    [outboundSize] => 5
                                    [list] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => acquiring customers costs 6–7x more
                                                    [href] => http://www.bain.com/Images/BB_Prescription_cutting_costs.pdf
                                                    [hrefDomain] => bain.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => U.S. Small Business Administration
                                                    [href] => https://www.sba.gov/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => sba.gov
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [2] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => in a recent poll,
                                                    [href] => https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Companies-Keep-Up-with-Soaring-Customer-Expectations/1012615
                                                    [hrefDomain] => emarketer.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [3] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => support centers
                                                    [href] => https://www.desk.com/product/support
                                                    [hrefDomain] => desk.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                            [4] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [text] => 86% of consumers
                                                    [href] => https://www.pardot.com/blog/9-must-know-stats-customer-centric-marketer/
                                                    [hrefDomain] => pardot.com
                                                    [isOutbound] => 1
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [toc] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                The definition of customer service. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Why is customer service important to the success of your business? 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Customer service can have a big impact on your bottom line. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 4
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                decrease in support costs 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                customer retention 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                faster case resolution 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                increase in customer satisfaction 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Customer service can make or break your reputation. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Support is an integral part of the product experience. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Eight ways to provide excellent customer service. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                1. Support customers as a team. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                2. Listen to customers (and share their feedback). 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                3. Offer friendly, personable service. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                4. Be honest about what you don’t know. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                5. Practice empathy. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                6. Know your product. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                7. Remember that every second counts. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                8. Improve as you go. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Trailhead Contact Center Transformation 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Free Trial 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                What is Salesforce Service Cloud? It's Salesforce's customer support solution built to deliver service across any channel. Try it for free. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [8] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Getting Started with Customer Service 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 4
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Overview 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                )

                                        )

                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                What Is Customer Service? 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 4
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Chapter 1 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                            [children] => Array
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                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                How to set up customer service for your business. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 4
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Chapter 2 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                            [children] => Array
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                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Why customer service is important to growing your business. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 4
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Chapter 3 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                            [children] => Array
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                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [12] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Six signs you need to improve your customer service experience. 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 4
                                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                Chapter 4 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
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                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [13] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
    
    
        
        
                        
        
        
        
        
            
                What should I look for in a customer service solution? 
            
            
            
            
        
        
        
    
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [og] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [ogImage] => https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/images/resource-center/article-what-Is-customer-service.jpg
                                )

                            [schema_type] => Array
                                (
                                )

                            [comment_questions] => Array
                                (
                                )

                            [body] => What is Customer Service? Definition & Tips The definition of customer service. . Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. Offering amazing customer service is important if you want to retain customers and grow your business. Today’s customer service goes far beyond the traditional telephone support agent. It’s available via email, web, text message, and social media. Many companies also provide self-service support, so customers can find their own answers at any time day or night. Customer support is more than just providing answers; it’s an important part of the promise your brand makes to its customers.  Why is customer service important to the success of your business? . Customer service is critical to competing effectively. In the past, people chose which companies they did business with based on price, or the product or service offered, but today the overall experience is often the driver.  “89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.” Great customer support drives an amazing customer experience, especially when your support team moves beyond just reacting to problems and toward anticipating customers' problems. When support agents are empowered to go above-and-beyond with customers, or have a help desk solution that makes it easy for them to upsell or cross-sell relevant services, they can create winning experiences that help you stand out from the competition. Customer service can have a big impact on your bottom line. . It’s often said that it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to find new ones. (It’s even been estimated that acquiring customers costs 6–7x more.) And it’s true: Bad customer service is a key driver of churn. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that 68% of customers leave because they’re upset with the treatment they've received. Don’t let that happen to you. Prioritizing customer service support helps you attract and retain loyal customers, and can have a big impact on your company’s bottom line.   +22% decrease in support costs . +26% customer retention . +31% faster case resolution . +35% increase in customer satisfaction . Average Percentage Improvements Reported by Salesforce Customers Source: Salesforce Relationship Survey conducted 2014–2016 among 10,500+ customers randomly selected. Response sizes per question vary. Customer service can make or break your reputation. . It’s no surprise that as today’s social, mobile consumers have grown accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it, their expectations have risen accordingly. In fact, in a recent poll, 82% of CEOs reported that customer expectations of their companies were “somewhat” or “much” higher than they were three years ago. What’s more, today’s customers are quick to share negative experiences online, where they can quickly reach large audiences. It’s more important than ever to support customers on every channel from day one and establish what good customer service looks like internally and externally. Support is an integral part of the product experience. . The line between products and services is blurring, and customer experience has become part of the product or service itself. (Think Amazon Mayday button — it’s a totally seamless way for customers to get help.) It may seem like only a big technology company thing, but even small companies are building product into their customer experiences. Some online businesses start by integrating their support centers into their website’s headers and footers or by adding links to relevant support articles to specific pages on their site. And many app companies are adding a way for customers to log tickets within their product experience. In-product support is the wave of the future for customer service. Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. . Focusing on the customer experience isn’t just the latest trend — it’s also smart business. It turns out that making every touchpoint great doesn’t just make customers love you; it can also increase your profits. Surveys have shown that 86% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience. You may decide to tier your customer base if some are willing to pay more for premium experiences, including premium support, early access to features, or other benefits. Either way, good customer service experiences will benefit your bottom line. Eight ways to provide excellent customer service. . Since customer service is a key driver of business success, it’s time for businesses to stop thinking of support as a cost center, and start recognizing customer service for what it is: an opportunity waiting to happen. Every person or company will have their own definition of what good customer service means. No matter how you define it, these eight tried-and-true customer service principles can help you transform your support operations and deliver the best customer service experience every time. Work as a team Listen and share Friendly, empathetic support Be honest Improve empathy Deep product knowledge  Timeliness Identify ways to improve processes 1. Support customers as a team. . Customer service is a team sport — and not just for your customer support team. Accept that you'll never have a perfect grasp of every issue coming into the support center. Keep up with the big picture by maintaining open lines of communication with your team. And train every employee on your help desk software so they can all pitch in during busy times. Sure, you’ll want to pass highly technical cases to the experts, but everyone needs to be able to help out. Successful startups can tell you that when everyone spends time on the front lines, it’s easier to stay aligned around customers and maintain service levels when things get busy. 2. Listen to customers (and share their feedback). . There's nothing like talking to a support agent who really listens on all cylinders. Take time to understand issues and how they affect the customer's business. When people know you value their needs, they're more likely to stay with your brand. Encourage service agents to ask questions when interacting with customers. The more your agents know about your customers and their needs, the more of an asset those agents are to both your company and your customers. Your customer support team can also be an amazing source of product innovation. Some successful startups have the customer support team present customer feedback at every company meeting. 3. Offer friendly, personable service. . Robots are cool, but people would rarely choose to have a conversation with one. Show customers you aren't a machine. At the end of the day it's how you make people feel that matters the most. Don’t be afraid to add personality to your service, and encourage agents to add it to their emails. Or to fill the quiet time when they need to pull up account information by asking customers how the weather is or who their favorite sports teams are — basically anything that adds a personal, friendly face to your support operations. 4. Be honest about what you don’t know. . Nobody likes being lied to. A customer can't expect anything more than the truth. When you maintain an open dialogue and keep your customer informed at all times, you'll earn their commitment to your business. If your agents aren't sure how to troubleshoot a problem, it's okay for them to let the customer know they’ll get in touch with the right person and circle back when they have an answer. Maintain an open dialogue with your customers and keep them informed at all times; it’ll earn your customers’ respect and commitment. 5. Practice empathy. . Put yourself in the customers' shoes, especially in tough situations. Not only will customers appreciate it; your empathy will become a competitive advantage. A company cannot be successful with a culture of apathy. Your service agents especially must master the lost art of empathy to deliver effective customer service. Ask agents to put themselves in the shoes of the customer when working on a case. Their empathy will show, and customers will appreciate them for it. 6. Know your product. . The more your customer support team knows about your product, the better they’ll be at servicing it. Make training a key part of your customer support operations. Some companies onboard every new employee — not just their sales reps — with a one-week product boot camp to ensure they know their products inside and out. Be sure to prepare them for every new release, too. 7. Remember that every second counts. . Customers hate to wait. They gain confidence when you respond quickly and solve their problems for good, and then are more likely to have an ongoing relationship with your brand. So give your agents the tools they need to support customers as efficiently as possible. After all, reducing the time it takes to assist a customer directly reduces the time other customers must wait, too. At the same time, be sure to motivate agents to solve each problem completely; speed is important, but resolution times should never trump customer satisfaction. 8. Improve as you go. . Seeing the same issues time and again? It may be that there’s an issue with your product or service, and you need to alert other teams to fix it. Or it may be a problem with your manuals or support content. Dig into what's unclear and update your knowledge base or FAQs. By clarifying your messaging, you can reduce contacts for many repetitive issues and improve customer satisfaction. Be sure to track any drop in service load and share your results.   Trailhead Contact Center Transformation . Use Trailhead — Salesforce’s free e-learning platform — to learn about hiring, coaching, and empowering service agents for success. Hit the Trail   Next chapter   Free Trial . What is Salesforce Service Cloud? It's Salesforce's customer support solution built to deliver service across any channel. Try it for free. . START MY FREE TRIAL   Getting Started with Customer Service . Overview . What Is Customer Service? . How to Determine the Types of Customer Service Tools You Should Use Chapter 1 . How to set up customer service for your business. . How to Determine the Types of Customer Service Tools You Should Use Why is Customer Service So Important to Growing a Business? Chapter 2 . Why customer service is important to growing your business. . Why is Customer Service So Important to Growing a Business? 6 Signs It's Time to Improve Your Customer Service Solution Chapter 3 . Six signs you need to improve your customer service experience. . 6 Signs It's Time to Improve Your Customer Service Solution What to Look For In a Customer Service Solution Chapter 4 . What should I look for in a customer service solution? . What to Look For In a Customer Service Solution
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                                                    [text] => The customer support platform for growing teams. 12,000+ support teams in 70+ countries use Help Scout to deliver outstanding multi-channel support to their customers. Start in minutes with a free trial.Try for freeThe customer support platform for growing teams
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                            [body] => 21 Key Customer Service Skills (and How to Develop Them)Written by Help ScoutIt doesn’t matter how great your product is: If your customer service is poor, people will complain about it, and you’ll lose customers.The good news: It’s not impossible to turn things around. Transforming your customer service from mediocre to great won’t happen overnight, though. It requires a serious commitment to meaningful change, a team of rockstar support professionals, and work across the entire organization. What is customer service? Customer service is the act of providing support to both prospective and existing customers. Customer service professionals commonly answer customer questions through in-person, phone, email, chat, and social media interactions and may also be responsible for creating documentation for self-service support.Organizations can also create their own definitions of customer service depending on their vaues and the type of support they want to provide. For example, at Help Scout, we define customer service as the act of providing timely, empathetic help that keeps customers’ needs at the forefront of every interaction. Why is customer service important? When 86% of customers quit doing business with a company due to a bad experience, it means that businesses must approach every support interaction as an opportunity to acquire, retain, or up-sell.Good customer service is a revenue generator. It gives customers a complete, cohesive experience that aligns with an organization’s purpose. According to a variety of studies, U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service, and seven out of 10 consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.Understanding that customer service is the cornerstone of your customer experience helps you leverage it as an opportunity to delight customers and engage them in new, exciting ways. What are the principles of good customer service? There are four key principles of good customer service: It's personalized, competent, convenient, and proactive. These factors have the biggest influence on the customer experience. Personalized: Good customer service always starts with a human touch. Personalized interactions greatly improve customer service and let customers know that your company cares about them and their problems. Instead of thinking of service as a cost, consider it an opportunity to earn your customer’s business all over again.Competent: Consumers have identified competency as the element that plays the biggest role in a good customer experience. To be competent, a customer support professional must have a strong knowledge of the company and its products, as well as the power to fix the customer’s problems. The more knowledge they have, the more competent they become.Convenient: Customers want to be able to get in touch with a customer service representative through whichever channel is the most convenient for them. Offer support through the channels of communication your customers rely on most, and make it easy for customers to figure out how to contact you.Proactive: Customers want companies to be proactive in reaching out to them. If one of your products is backordered or your website is going to experience downtime, proactively reach out to your customers and explain the problem. They may not be happy about the situation, but they will be thankful that you kept them in the loop. By building your customer service strategy around these four main principles, you'll create a positive, hassle-free customer experience for everyone who deals with your company. Customer service tips by business type and industry:. B2B customer service B2C customer service SaaS support Customer service in healthcare Startup customer service Customer service in education Financial services customer service Small business customer service Customer service in nonprofit organizations Ecommerce customer service 21 key customer service skills. While delivering consistently good customer service requires work and alignment across your entire organization, a good place to start is your support team. It’s important to hire people who genuinely want to help your customers succeed — and to pay rates that are attractive to skilled professionals.Finding the perfect hire for a support team can be challenging. No particular checklist of job experiences and college diplomas adds up to the perfect candidate. Instead, you’re looking for qualities that can’t necessarily be taught.These folks thrive on one-on-one interactions within their community. They love problem solving. They’re warm, approachable, and great at teaching other people how things work.Here are the 21 customer service skills that every support professional should seek to develop and every leader should look for when hiring new team members.Foundations of Great Service. Discover the tools and techniques used by high-performing customer service organizations in our free, six-part video course.Sign up for free1. Problem solving skills. Customers do not always self-diagnose their issues correctly. Often, it’s up to the support rep to take the initiative to reproduce the trouble at hand before navigating a solution. That means they need to intuit not just what went wrong, but also what action the customer was ultimately after.A great example? If somebody writes in because they’re having trouble resetting their password, that’s ultimately because they want to log into their account.A good customer service interaction will anticipate that need and might even go the extra mile to manually perform the reset and provide new login details, all while educating the customer on how they can do it for themselves in the future.In other situations, a problem-solving pro may simply understand how to offer preemptive advice or a solution that the customer doesn’t even realize is an option.2. Patience. Patience is crucial for customer service professionals. After all, customers who reach out to support are often confused and frustrated. Being listened to and handled with patience goes a long way in helping customers feel like you’re going to alleviate their current frustrations.It’s not enough to close out interactions with customers as quickly as possible. Your team has to be willing to take the time to listen to and fully understand each customer’s problems and needs.3. Attentiveness. The ability to truly listen to customers is crucial to providing great service for a number of reasons. Not only is it important to pay attention to individual customers’ experiences, but it’s also important to be mindful and attentive to the feedback that you receive at large.For instance, customers may not be saying it outright, but perhaps there is a pervasive feeling that your software’s dashboard isn’t laid out correctly. Customers aren’t likely to say, “Please improve your UX,” but they may say things like, “I can never find the search feature” or “Where is (specific function), again?”You have to be attentive to pick up on what customers are telling you without directly saying it.4. Emotional intelligence. A great customer support representative knows how to relate to anybody, but they’re especially good with frustrated people. Instead of taking things personally, they intuitively understand where the other person is coming from and they know to both prioritize and swiftly communicate that empathy.Think about it: How often have you felt better about a potential grievance simply because you felt immediately heard by the other person involved?When a support rep is able to demonstrate sincere empathy for a frustrated customer, even just by reiterating the problem at hand, it can help to both placate (the customer feels heard) and actively please (the customer feel validated in their frustration).5. Clear communication skills. Your customer support team is on the front lines of problem solving for the product itself, and serves as a kind of two-pronged bullhorn.On one side, they’ll be the voice of your company to your customers. That means they have to have a practiced grasp on how to reduce complex concepts into highly digestible, easily understood terms.On the other, they’ll represent the needs and thoughts of customers to your company. For example, it doesn’t behoove the customer to receive a long- winded explanation on the ins-and-outs of solving a particular bug.The ability to communicate clearly when working with customers is a key skill because miscommunications can result in disappointment and frustration. The best customer service professionals know how to keep their communications with customers simple and leave nothing to doubt.6. Writing skills. Good writing means getting as close to reality as words will allow. Without an ounce of exaggeration, being a good writer is the most overlooked, yet most necessary, skill to look for when it comes to hiring for customer support.Unlike face-to-face (or even voice-to-voice) interactions, writing requires a unique ability to convey nuance. How a sentence is phrased can make the difference between sounding kind of like a jerk (“You have to log out first”) and sounding like you care (“Logging out should help solve that problem quickly!”).Good writers also tend to use complete sentences and proper grammar — qualities that subtly gesture toward the security and trustworthiness of your company.Even if your company offers support primarily over the phone, writing skills are still important. Not only will they enable your team to craft coherent internal documentation, they signify a person who thinks and communicates clearly.7. Creativity and resourcefullness. Solving the problem is good, but finding clever and fun ways to go the extra mile — and wanting to do so in the first place — is even better.It takes panache to infuse a typical customer service exchange with memorable warmth and personality, and finding a customer service rep who possesses that natural zeal will take your customer service out of “good enough” territory and straight into “tell all your friends about it” land.Chase Clemons at Basecamp advises the following: “You want to have somebody who you don’t have to give a lot of rules and regulations to. You want to have somebody who is talking to a customer and understands ‘Their boss is really yelling at them today. This person is having a really bad day. You know what? I’m going to send them some flowers to brighten things up.’ That’s not really something you can teach. They have to go the extra mile naturally.” 8. Persuasion skills. Oftentimes, support teams get messages from people who aren’t looking for support — they’re considering purchasing your company’s product.In these situations, it helps to have a team of people with some mastery of persuasion so they can convince interested prospects that your product is right for them (if it truly is).It’s not about making a sales pitch in each email, but it is about not letting potential customers slip away because you couldn’t create a compelling message that your company’s product is worth purchasing!9. Ability to use positive language. Effective customer service means having the ability to make minor changes in your conversational patterns. This can truly go a long way in creating happy customers.Language is a crucial part of persuasion, and people (especially customers) create perceptions about you and your company based on the language that you use.For example, let’s say a customer contacts your team with an interest in a particular product, but that product happens to be back-ordered until next month.Responding to questions with positive language can greatly affect how the customer hears the response: Without positive language: “I can’t get you that product until next month; it is back-ordered and unavailable at this time.” With positive language: “That product will be available next month. I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse.” The first example isn’t negative per se, but the tone it conveys feels abrupt and impersonal and could be taken the wrong way by customers — especially in email support when the perception of written language can skew negative.Conversely, the second example is stating the same thing (the item is unavailable), but it focuses on when and how the issue will be resolved instead of focusing on the negative.10. Product knowledge. The best customer service professionals have a deep knowledge of how their companies’ products work. After all, without knowing your product from front to back, they won’t know how to help when customers run into problems.All new Help Scout employees, for example, are trained on customer support during their first or second week on the job; it’s a critical component of our employee onboarding process.According to Help Scout’s Elyse Roach, “Having that solid product foundation not only ensures you’ve got the best tricks up your sleeve to help customers navigate even the most complex situations, it also helps you build an understanding of their experience so that you can become their strongest advocate.” Mitigating gaps in product knowledge. It takes time for team members to build up their product knowledge. And if you have a very complex product, it may take your team members years to learn every one of its ins and outs. However, the right customer support tool can help you mitigate those gaps in product knowledge. For example, with Help Scout, you can: Create a database of saved replies that support agents can use to answer frequently asked how-to questions about your product. Search your help center articles and insert links to them in responses without ever leaving the conversation view. Set up automated workflows that attach helpful internal notes to conversations with instructions on how to reply. Search all previously sent responses by keyword, tag, and more to see if someone else on the team has already answered the question. 11. Acting skills. Sometimes your team is going to come across people who you’ll never be able to make happy.Situations outside of your control (such as a customer who’s having a terrible day) will sometimes creep into your team’s usual support routine.Every great customer service professional needs basic acting skills to maintain their usual cheery persona in spite of dealing with people who are just plain grumpy.12. Time management skills. On the one hand, it’s good to be patient and spend a little extra time with customers to understand their problems and needs. On the other hand, there is a limit to the amount of time you can dedicate to each customer, so your team needs to be concerned with getting customers what they want in an efficient manner.The best customer service professionals are quick to recognize when they can’t help a customer so they can quickly get that customer to someone who can help.13. Ability to read customers. It’s important that your team understands some basic principles of behavioral psychology in order to read customers’ current emotional states. As Emily Triplett Lentz writes: “I rarely use a smiley face in a support email when the customer’s signature includes ‘PhD,’ for example. Not that academics are humorless, it’s just that :) isn’t likely to get you taken seriously by someone who spent five years deconstructing utopian undertones in nineteenth-century autobiographical fiction.” The best support pros know how to watch and listen for subtle clues about a customer’s current mood, patience level, personality, etc., which goes a long way in keeping customer interactions positive.14. Unflappability. There are a lot of metaphors for this type of personality — “keeps their cool,” “staying cool under pressure,” and so on — but it all represents the same thing: The ability some people have to stay calm and even influence others when things get a little hectic.The best customer service reps know that they can’t let a heated customer force them to lose their cool. In fact, it is their job to try to be the “rock” for customers who think the world is falling apart as a result of their current problems.15. Goal-oriented focus. Many customer service experts have shown how giving employees unfettered power to “wow” customers doesn’t always generate the returns many businesses expect to see. That’s because it leaves employees without goals, and business goals and customer happiness can work hand-in-hand without resulting in poor service.Relying on frameworks like the Net Promoter Score can help businesses come up with guidelines for their employees that allow plenty of freedom to handle customers on a case-to-case basis, but also leave them priority solutions and “go-to” fixes for common problems.16. Ability to handle surprises. Sometimes, customers are going to throw your team curveballs. They’ll make a request that isn’t covered in your company guidelines or react in a way that no one could have expected.In these situations, it’s good to have a team of people who can think on their feet. Even better, look for people who will take the initiative to create guidelines for everyone to use in these situations moving forward.17. Tenacity. Call it what you want, but a great work ethic and a willingness to do what needs to be done (and not take shortcuts) is a key skill when providing the kind of service that people talk (positively) about.The most memorable customer service stories out there — many of which had a huge impact on the business — were created by a single employee who refused to just follow the standard process when it came to helping someone out.18. Closing ability. Being able to close with a customer as a customer service professional means being able to end the conversation with confirmed customer satisfaction (or as close to it as you can achieve) and with the customer feeling that everything has been taken care of (or will be).Getting booted before all of their problems have been addressed is the last thing that customers want, so be sure your team knows to take the time to confirm with customers that each and every issue they had was entirely resolved.19. Empathy. Perhaps empathy — the ability to understand and share the feelings of another — is more of a character trait than a skill. But since empathy can be learned and improved upon, we’d be remiss not to include it here.In fact, if your organization tests job applicants for customer service aptitude, you’d be hard pressed to look for a more critical skill than empathy.That’s because even when you can’t tell the customer exactly what they want to hear, a dose of care, concern, and understanding will go a long way. A support rep’s ability to empathize with a customer and craft a message that steers things toward a better outcome can often make all the difference.20. A methodical approach. In customer service, haste makes waste. Hiring deliberate, detail-oriented people will go a long way in meeting the needs of your customers.One, they’ll be sure to get to the real heart of a problem before firing off a reply. There’s nothing worse than attempting a “solution,” only to have it miss the mark entirely on solving the actual issue.Two, they’ll proofread. A thoughtfully written response can lose a lot of its problem-solving luster if it’s riddled with typos.Three, and this one may be the most important, it means they’ll regularly follow up. There’s nothing more impressive than getting a note from a customer service rep saying, “Hey! Remember that bug you found that I said we were looking into? Well, we fixed it.” That’s a loyal, lifetime customer you’ve just earned.An important side note: The best hires are able to maintain their methodical grace under regular fire.Since the support team is often tasked with the tough work of cleaning up other people’s messes, it’s especially important they understand how not to internalize the urgency — and potential ire — of frustrated customers. Instead, they know how to keep a cool head and a steady, guiding hand.21. Willingness to learn. While this is probably the most general skill on this list, it’s also one of the most important. After all, willingness to learn is the basis for growing skills as a customer service professional.Your team members have to be willing to learn your product inside and out, willing to learn how to communicate better (and when they’re communicating poorly), willing to learn when it’s okay to follow a process — and when it’s more appropriate to choose their own adventures.Those who don’t seek to improve what they do — whether it’s building products, marketing businesses, or helping customers — will get left behind by the people who are willing to invest in their own skills.The customer support platform for growing teams. 12,000+ support teams in 70+ countries use Help Scout to deliver outstanding multi-channel support to their customers. Start in minutes with a free trial.Try for freeWhat if someone on your team is lacking these skills?What if you’re leading a team of support professionals who aren’t open to improving their approach to customer service? What if they lack the skills above and don’t seem to be interested in developing them? Help Scout’s Mathew Patterson has a solution:Often, the root cause of what could be perceived as a lack of skill or unwillingness to learn is the result of a work environment (current or prior) that didn’t reward going above and beyond to provide excellent service.Try providing your team with some clear guidelines for what you expect and some examples of what great customer service looks like at your company in a way that brings to bear all of these skills, and as you do it, make sure that you’re celebrating those small wins as you see people starting to use these skills.Once your team starts to see that their efforts are being acknowledged and rewarded, you’ll have people start to get more engaged, and you’ll have a clearer picture of whether or not there are actually people on your team who have real skill gaps that you need to work on.The evolution of customer service. As Seth Godin wrote, customer service means different things to different organizations, but things aren’t going to end well for the companies who simply see customer service as a “cost-cutting race to the bottom.”Gary Vaynerchuk echoes that sentiment in The Thank You Economy, where he outlines the evidence that there is profit and growth for any company that openly communicates with its customers in an effort to make them feel appreciated and valued.The bottom line: Great customer service is a growth center, not a cost center. It’s really that simple.Help ScoutHelp Scout makes customer support tools that keep customers happy as you grow. Try it free today!Get started with Help Scout. Want to learn what Help Scout can do for you? See for yourself with a free trial — we'll happily extend you if you need more time.Try for free
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                            [title] => What Is Customer Service? Qualities + Examples for 2022
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                            [body] => Customer service definition, skills, and important qualities for 2022 Customer service is the act of supporting customers. Learn key customer service skills, types, job requirements, and more. . By Courtney Gupta, Customer Service Enthusiast Published May 26, 2021 Last updated January 3, 2022 Customer service can make or break a business. But not everyone agrees on what it is or how to do it well. In this guide, we’ll share how to set your business up for customer service success. The definition of customer service. Customer service is the act of supporting and advocating for customers in their discovery, use, optimization, and troubleshooting of a product or service. It's also the processes that support the teams making good customer service happen. The goal of customer service is to foster lasting customer relationships. The evolution of customer service. The main difference between service today and service 10 years ago is that customers expect premium service to be built-in from the first sales or marketing interaction and carry through to the moment they ask for help, post-purchase, and back again. To position themselves for success, businesses must integrate service into the journey at every interaction point. Why is customer service important in business? Customer service is important because it sets your business apart from competitors. It can make people loyal to your brand, products, and services for years to come. In fact, 77% of customers say they're more loyal to businesses that offer top-notch service, according to our Trends Report. But this is only possible if your business makes customer service a priority—customers will vote you off the island if you don’t. Our research also revealed that roughly half of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience. In the case of more than one bad experience, that number snowballs to 80%. And the experience you provide for your customers is only becoming more important, with 50% of customers reporting that CX is more important to them now compared to a year ago. Top customer service questions. What is good customer service? Good customer service means meeting customers' expectations. And meeting customers' expectations pays off: 75% of customers are willing to spend more with companies that give them a good customer experience, according to our 2021 Trends Report. What company has the best customer service? We found that some of the companies with the best customer service are Zappos, Dollar Shave Club, Slack, Amazon, and Lessonly. Is the customer always right? This customer service philosophy was never meant to be taken literally. The point wasn’t that customers should always get their way no matter how outrageous their demands. It was to give employees permission to truly listen to customers and go the extra mile to understand their needs. How do you handle a difficult customer? Handling difficult customers is challenging for any customer service professional. The most important thing you can do is show them respect, patience, and care. It helps to remember that your customers are human beings. If you can connect with them in a human way, it can make a big difference. What are 4 important qualities of customer service? We surveyed 3,000 customers across the world and looked at our data index of 90,000 companies using Zendesk to find this answer. Good customer service has four core qualities: quick resolutions, helpful and empathetic agents, 24/7 support, and the ability to use preferred channels. How do you provide excellent customer service? Excellent customer service ultimately comes down to the human elements. Customers want speed and convenience, but they also look for empathy and commitment to the issues they care about. Walking a mile in customers' shoes has big-time business value: 61% of customers say they will spend more to buy from a company that is empathetic and understanding, according to our Trends Report. The difference between customer service and customer support. There is a difference between customer support and customer service. It helps to think of customer support as the how, such as the nuts and bolts of troubleshooting an issue, and customer service as the why—why it’s recommended to set up your cloud account in a certain way or why today’s issue could balloon into a bigger issue in time if certain steps aren’t taken. A customer support team can fix a technical issue in the short term, but providing good customer service helps build relationships and establish a true partnership in the long term. Adding the “why” into the support process improves the experience for customers, and it helps agents grow. This may sound like a lot more than you thought. If so, you’re not alone. We've narrowed it down to a few key takeaways: Customer service examples Types of customer service Customer service skills Customer service objectives Customer service trends Customer service books Top customer service stories Customer service tweets Examples of customer service. Examples of good customer service. We’ve all heard the stories of companies going above and beyond to provide their customers with incredible support. Morton’s steakhouse met a man at the airport with a steak because he asked for one in a tweet. Nordstrom’s accepted a set of returned tires even though Nordstrom doesn't actually sell tires. But good customer service is ultimately about the scalable ways a company meets customer needs every day. Here are a few everyday examples of excellent customer service. Resolving issues quickly 73% of customers say quick resolutions is the top factor of good customer service. Providing 24/7 support 47% of customers believe 24/7 support is a key component of great customer service. A knowledge base or chatbot are two great ways to provide customer service when agents are off the clock. Serving your customers via the channels of their choice Customers want to connect with you on the same channels they use to talk to friends and family—so being able to help a customer on their preferred support channel is one of the best ways to create an excellent customer service experience. Being proactively helpful Great customer service often means anticipating your customer's needs before they even have to tell you. Personalizing interactions 75% of customers want a personalized experience. Helping customers help themselves 69% of customers want to resolve as many problems as possible on their own, and 63% always or almost always start with a search on a company's website. Using customer feedback to get better If you want to provide better service for your customers, you have to listen to what they have to say. Instead of approaching customer complaints as a game of dodgeball, customer-focused companies use their feedback to create a better experience. Examples of bad customer service . Bad customer service is when a customer feels their expectations were not met. According to our Trends Report, the top indicators of poor customer service include long wait times, an automated system that makes it hard to reach a human agent, and having to repeat information multiple times. People have expectations for how a company will serve them. If your customer support is not up to par, it can spell bad news for your brand. When customers have a negative service experience, they’re often quick to voice their complaints on social media. The message is clear: You can’t afford to ignore these annoyances in today’s digitally connected world. The Museum of Annoying Experiences brings customer service nightmares to life: Types of customer service you should know about. Each channel could be considered a different type of customer service, but the mindset your business has around customer service is more important. There are four main types of customer service your business should know about: proactive vs. reactive and synchronous vs. asynchronous. Proactive vs. reactive support. Reactive support used to be the standard: you wait for a customer to contact your business with an inquiry or issue. Proactive service, however, is now a crucial type of customer service—it means anticipating your customers’ issues and addressing them before your customers do. This might include: An e-commerce company getting ahead of abandoned shopping carts by deploying a chatbot on its checkout page to answer frequently asked customer questions. An internet provider sending customers a text about upcoming service disruptions. Synchronous vs. asynchronous support. Live chat is typically a one-to-one real-time conversation that is session-based and synchronous. Synchronous means real-time chat. Like a phone call, it requires most or all of your attention, and has a defined beginning and end. Unlike live chat, messaging is asynchronous. Asynchronous messaging can be understood as conversations that start and stop when convenient for the participants. They can occur in real-time, but like an exchange on WhatsApp or in your Instagram DMs, you can put it in your pocket and pick it back up where you left off without losing the context and history of the conversation. This allows customers to troubleshoot while they do other things, like walking the dog, and agents to help more customers at once. And it's one of the reasons why companies that provide messaging support have the most satisfied customers. In fact, support teams that have the fastest resolution times and highest CSAT ratings are 42% more likely to be messaging with their customers. The most important customer service skills. Customer service skills or characteristics represent the qualities and abilities a customer service representative needs to deliver good customer service. Customer service managers tend to hire for technical skill sets. Technical skills are important, but soft skills matter, too. Here are the top customer service skills your customer service representatives need: Language and tone Active listening Clear communication Interpersonal skills Comfort multitasking Attention to detail Attentiveness Collaboration skills Ability to mirror a customer's language and tone. Mirroring another person’s language and tone can help you connect with them. Now, if a customer is angry on a call, you don’t want to copy their frustration. Instead, remember that “calm is contagious.” Be firm and work to bring the intensity down a notch. Customers respond well to getting help from someone who's clearly level-headed. Learn more tips for dealing with customers that are angry in this Forbes article. On live chat, responses are often short, quick, and incomplete. This makes it harder for you and the customer to understand each other’s tone. Choose your words carefully and err on the side of caution and clarity. Try to avoid puns or regional turns of phrase. Instead, use a gentle, informative tone. Patience is your best friend when helping a frustrated customer. Active listening. When customers complain and are frustrated, they might not be able to take in what you say. So scrambling to a solution isn’t always the best approach. The ability to display empathy first is crucial. Remember, both you and the customer want to reach a resolution, not just a solution. Customers who are stressed need to feel heard. Explain that you understand the reason for their call. This little bit of empathy will go a long way toward improving a difficult customer experience. Clear communication. Nobody likes to wait on hold, especially if they don’t know how long it’ll be until they can talk to someone. When customers call or start a live chat, set their expectations about hold times. This can help them feel like their issues matter to you. Interpersonal skills. The best customer service templates do more than give agents pre-written text to copy and paste. They’re the starting point for high-quality, personalized answers so agents can build real, human connections with customers. Start with a template, then adjust it before replying to customers. This makes your answers feel more personal to customers. It’s OK to use your own voice and approach—just make sure you reflect the company’s brand and philosophy. For example, maybe you can make your own email signature unique. Comfort multitasking. Live chat agents are expected to handle more than one chat at a time. This is a skill in itself. Great multitaskers don’t lose sight of the bigger picture as they're bombarded by questions. Be careful not to handle too many chats, or else your customers will be waiting too long between responses. You can always put a chat on a brief hold if you need more time to find an answer. But just like with phone support, set expectations first. For example, ask if you may put them on a brief hold to conduct more research. Attention to detail. Sometimes it’s harder for customers to express themselves in writing. Don’t read too quickly and jump to conclusions. It takes a lot of training and practice to understand how different customers communicate. But it's key to success in customer service. For example, someone who works in sales might come off as assertive or aggressive. Or, an engineer might want more technical details about how their problem was solved. Being able to read cues like this can give a customer care representative a better idea of how to tailor their customer service approach. Attentiveness. Always respond to a customer’s social post when they need help. You may not be able to answer right away. But it’s still important to make quick initial contact with that customer and let them know when you’ll respond. Providing speedy responses means being adept in addressing a customer's problem with a precise and polite tone. The exception to “always respond” is when agents are confronted with an obvious attempt to pick a fight on public channels. These comments are often directed at the company itself. It can be tempting to engage with the person if you feel strongly about the issue at hand. But a company can’t afford to have an agent, or any employee, make mistakes on social media. So, always proceed with caution when responding publicly. Collaboration skills. Answering a customer's question often involves working with other teams or departments. Is answering a social media post a job for customer support, or for marketing? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. If your marketing team manages your social media, make sure they connect with the customer service team for help with any incoming support requests. Remember, everyone is responsible for good customer service so agents will need to have strong collaboration skills. Learn the top customer service skills for 2021 in our blog post. What skills should you put on your resume for customer service? Agents need all of the above skills to help them do their jobs well. Some common customer service skills and qualities employers look for include: Experience working in a customer service focused environment Excellent problem-solving skills—you have ideas for how to make a challening situation successful Strong attention to detail, with exceptional time management Passion for building relationships Clear, effective communication with strong interpersonal skills Anticipates customer needs by constantly evaluating customers for cues Acts with a customer comes first attitude Remains calm under pressure Can juggle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment Self-motivated and has a positive attitude Empathy for customers to maximize customer happiness Confidence that if you don’t know something, you can learn it Enthusiasm for the company's industry Experience using customer service software, such as Zendesk Support, to track and manage customer conversations Customer service responsibilities and job requirements. The primary job of a customer service representative is to advocate on behalf of the customer. Responsibilities of support professionals often include: Directly interacting with customers across all communication channels Defusing high-stakes situations by listening to customers and providing speedy, effective resolutions Acting as the voice of the company on the front lines servicing customers Keeping customer records up-to-date Sharing customer feedback with other teams to improve the customer experience Canceling or upgrading accounts Helping with refunds or exchanges Creating knowledge base content While agents may have slightly different roles, they all share one thing in common: they're on the front lines, communicating with customers directly - so at least a few of these phrases are bound to sound familiar:     Customer service objectives. The primary objective of customer service is to be the customer's champion. This means: Answering customer questions quickly and effectively Resolving issues with empathy and care Documenting pain points to share with internal teams Nurturing customer relationships Improving brand credibility Support teams can measure objectives with key metrics such as: Average first response time Average resolution time A customer’s CSAT rating over time CSAT ratings, by channel Ticket backlog When customer service teams master more direct objectives such as high CSAT scores and fast resolutions, they help the organization meet more cross-functional goals. Here are a few ways customer service impacts the bottom line: Improving customer retention: According to our research with ESG, companies that prioritize customer service are more than six times more likely to exceed their customer retention goals Increasing customer lifetime value: Our research with ESG also revealed that companies with high-performing customer service teams are nearly nine times more likely than their low-performing peers to have significantly grown customer spend during the COVID-19 pandemic Boosting customer loyalty: Our Trends Report showed that 77% of customers report being more loyal to a company that offers a good customer experience if they have an issue Customer service trends 2021. All year, every year at Zendesk, some of the world's sharpest analysts are doing research and then painstakingly interpreting it to illuminate the coming year's biggest trends in customer service. A few of the top customer service trends in 2021: Speed up your digital timeline 75% of company leaders agree that the global pandemic has compressed the timeline for acquiring new technologies to reach customers and connect distributed service teams. Customers expect companies to lead with their values 63% of customers want to buy from socially responsible companies. 54% want to buy from companies that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities and workplaces. The rise of messaging Nearly a third of customers messaged a company for the first time in 2020, and 74% of those say they will continue to do so. Automation improves experiences for customers and agents Interactions with automated chatbots jumped 81% in 2020. Emphasis on agility Managers cited difficulty adapting to change as their biggest pain point last year. Customer service books to share with your team. Here are our favorite customer service books to help customer service professionals grow their skills and deliver knockout experiences: The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the "Customer" in Customer Experience (and at the Heart of Your Business) by Annette Franz The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman, and Rick DeLisi Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It by Jill Griffin Strategic Customer Service: Managing the Customer Experience to Increase Positive Word of Mouth, Build Loyalty, and Maximize Profits by John A. Goodman Undefined World - life in CX & beyond by Elisa Reggiardo with Alexa Huth Top customer service stories. The 3 Customer Service Training Imperatives, Post-Covid Generation game: how to sell to all ages Why Social Messaging is the Future of Customer Experience How to unlock the business value of customer support Customer service tweets. i once worked with someone who told customers “sorry, it’s my first day!” any time they messed up. for 2 years straight — makayla (@makaylathinks) May 19, 2021 good morning to people who respect customer service workers only — elena (@elenavic__) May 28, 2021 #MyPetPeevesInclude Trying to get through to customer service of any kind pic.twitter.com/EMilpfm9Bp — Cindy Gail Prince (@cindyrellapr) May 27, 2021 For anyone who questions the importance of customer service in the current business environment. @zendesk #ZendeskAnalystSummit pic.twitter.com/INFE0e9lsX — J. Bruce Daley (@brucedaley) May 20, 2021 March 2: I emailed a company with a question about a small order. March 16: I received a short response, full of typos, with no personalization. March 16: I decided against placing that big order.#servicefailure #custserv — Jeff Toister (@toister) March 17, 2021 me switching my customer service voice off the moment a customer gives me attitude pic.twitter.com/eISn1XQsRX — weeababe, blood devil (@seventhssage) May 27, 2021 Customer service impacts the bottom line. Customers have long memories. It’s up to everyone in an organization to help make them positive ones with great customer service. How to structure your customer service department. Learn more about the key steps for structuring your customer service team with this free guide. Read now Related stories. Article Making spirits bright: 5 ways to support your CX team during the holidays . When spending is up and inventory is down, it puts extra pressure on customer service teams at a time when ticket volume is already high. Here's how to help your staff through the busiest season of the year. Article Conversational UX: A beginner’s guide (+5 best practices) . Conversational UX is quickly becoming a key ingredient in an exceptional customer experience, but getting started can be difficult. Here’s everything you need to know about conversational UX before you dive in. Artificial intelligence Design Article 3 ways to provide an AI customer experience . Learn how you can use AI to improve the customer experience at every touchpoint—and why you should. Artificial intelligence CRM Article Understanding customer lifecycle management . Businesses need to prioritize customer lifecycle management to both attract customers and retain them. Here’s how to get started with your own client lifecycle management program. Customer retention Customer satisfaction We know. It’s a lot to take in. Sign up for our newsletter and read at your own pace.
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                            [body] => Customer service From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigation Jump to search This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by removing promotional content and inappropriate external links, and by adding encyclopedic content written from a neutral point of view. (August 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) E-commerce Online goods and services Digital distribution Ebooks Software Streaming media Retail services Banking DVD-by-mail Delivery (commerce) Flower delivery Food delivery Online food ordering Grocery Pharmacy Travel Marketplace services Advertising Auctions Comparison shopping Auction software Social commerce Trading communities Wallet Mobile commerce Payment Ticketing Customer service Call centre Help desk Live support software E-procurement Purchase-to-pay Super-appsvte Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest".[1] From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization's ability to generate income and revenue.[2] Customer service also plays a crucial role in both increasing and maintaining customer loyalty,[3] the tendency of a customer to repeat doing business with a company in the future. One good customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer holds towards the organization.[4] Contents. 1 Customer support 2 Automated customer service 3 Metrics 4 Instant feedback 5 Criticism 6 See also 7 References Customer support[edit]. Main article: Customer support Customer support is a range of customer services to assist customers in making cost-effective and correct use of a product.[5] It includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product.[5] These services may even be done at the place in which the customer makes use of the product or service. In this case, it is called "at home customer services" or "at home customer support." Automated customer service[edit]. Customer service may be provided by a person (e.g., sales and service representative), or by automated means,[6] such as kiosks, Internet sites, and apps. An advantage with automated means is an increased ability to provide service 24 hours a day, which can, at least, be a complement to customer service by persons.[7] An increasingly popular type of automated customer service is conducted through artificial intelligence ("AI"). The customer benefit of AI is the feel for chatting with a live agent through improved speech technologies while giving customers the self-service benefit.[8] Another example of automated customer service is by touch-tone phone, which usually involves IVR (Interactive Voice Response) a main menu and the use of the keypad as options (e.g., "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish", etc.).[9] However, in the Internet era, a challenge has been to maintain and/or enhance the personal experience while making use of the efficiencies of online commerce. "Online customers are literally invisible to you (and you to them), so it's easy to shortchange them emotionally. But this lack of visual and tactile presence makes it even more crucial to create a sense of personal, human-to-human connection in the online arena."[10] An automated online assistant with avatar providing automated customer service on a web page. Examples of customer service by artificial means are automated online assistants that can be seen as avatars on websites,[7] which enterprises can use to reduce their operating and training costs.[7] These are driven by chatterbots (also called "chatbots"), and a major underlying technology to such systems is natural language processing.[7] Metrics[edit]. The two main ways of gathering feedback are customer surveys and Net Promoter Score measurement, used for calculating the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer.[11] Instant feedback[edit]. Many organizations have implemented feedback loops that allow them to capture feedback at the point of experience. For example, National Express in the UK has invited passengers to send text messages while riding the bus. This has been shown to be useful, as it allows companies to improve their customer service before the customer defects, thus making it far more likely that the customer will return next time.[12] Criticism[edit]. Some argue [13] that the quality and level of customer service has decreased in recent years, and that this can be attributed to a lack of support or understanding at the executive and middle management levels of a corporation and/or a customer service policy. To address this argument, many organizations have employed a variety of methods to improve their customer satisfaction levels, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).[14] See also[edit]. Automated attendant Customer experience management Customer experience transformation Customer relationship management Customer satisfaction Customer service advisor Customer service representative Customer service training Demand chain Interactive voice response Live support software Privacy policy Professional services automation Public Services Sales Sales process engineering Sales territory Service climate Service system Social skills Support automation Technical support Help desk software References[edit]. ^ Buchanan, Leigh (1 March 2011). "A Customer Service Makeover". Inc. magazine. Retrieved 29 Oct 2012. ^ Paul H. Selden (1998). "Sales Process Engineering: An Emerging Quality Application". Quality Progress: 59–63. ^ Jeon, Gye Hyun (2008). "The effects of cosmetic purchasing customer's complaint handling behavior on service satisfaction and loyalty". doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.26180.55685. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) ^ Teresa Swartz, Dawn Iacobucci. Handbook of Services Marketing and Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage ^ a b businessdictionary.com > customer support Retrieved March 2011 ^ "10 reasons why AI-powered, automated customer service is the future". ibm.com. Retrieved 2020-05-17. ^ a b c d Kongthorn, Alisa & Sangkeettrakarn, Chatchawal & Kongyoung, Sarawoot & Haruechaiyasak, Choochart (2009). "Implementing an online help desk system based on conversational agent". Bibliometrics Data in: Proceeding, MEDES '09 Proceedings of the International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems. New York, NY, USA: ACM. ISBN 978-1-60558-829-2.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) doi:10.1145/1643823.1643908 ^ Goebel, Tobias. "Google Duplex's Conversational AI Shows a Path to Better Customer Service". CMSWire.com. Simpler Media Group. Retrieved 2 June 2018. ^ Tolentino, Jamie. "Enhancing customer engagement with interactive voice response". The Next Web. Retrieved 2020-05-17. ^ Solomon, Micah (4 March 2010). "Seven Keys to Building Customer Loyalty--and Company Profits". Fast Company. Retrieved 29 Oct 2012. ^ Mandal, Pratap Chandra (2014). "Net promoter score: a conceptual analysis". International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy. 8 (4): 209. doi:10.1504/ijmcp.2014.066899. ISSN 1478-1484. ^ "Lunch Lesson Four - Customer service". BBC News. October 3, 2003. Retrieved October 27, 2008. ^ Dall, Michael; Bailine, Adam (2004). Service this: Winning the war against customer disservice (1st ed.). Last Chapter First. ISBN 0-9753719-0-8. ^ "Performance Management and KPIsLinking Activities to Vision and Strategy". mindtools.com. Retrieved 2018-08-31. Authority control General Integrated Authority File (Germany) National libraries United States Japan Other National Archives (US) Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Customer_service&oldid=1063923715" Categories: Computer telephony integrationCustomer serviceServices marketingTelephonyHidden categories: CS1 errors: missing periodicalCS1 maint: uses authors parameterArticles with a promotional tone from August 2020All articles with a promotional toneArticles with GND identifiersArticles with LCCN identifiersArticles with NDL identifiersArticles with NARA identifiers Navigation menu. Search .
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                            [body] => Customer Service By Mitchell Grant Full Bio Mitchell Grant is a self-taught investor with over 5 years of experience as a financial trader. He is a financial content strategist and creative content editor. Learn about our editorial policies Updated July 01, 2020 Reviewed by Amy Drury Reviewed by Amy Drury Full Bio Amy is an ACA and the CEO and founder of OnPoint Learning, a financial training company delivering training to financial professionals. She has nearly two decades of experience in the financial industry and as a financial instructor for industry professionals and individuals. Learn about our Financial Review Board Business Essentials Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions What Is Customer Service? . Customer service is the direct one-on-one interaction between a consumer making a purchase and a representative of the company that is selling it. Most retailers see this direct interaction as a critical factor in ensuring buyer satisfaction and encouraging repeat business. Even today, when much of customer care is handled by automated self-service systems, the option to speak to a human being is seen as necessary to most businesses. It is a key aspect of servant-leadership. Key Takeaways. Customer service is the interaction between the buyer of a product and the company that sells it. Good customer service is critical to business success, ensuring brand loyalty one customer at a time.Recent innovations have focused on automating customer service systems but the human element is, in some cases, indispensable. 1:13 Customer Service. Understanding Customer Service . Behind the scenes at most companies are people who never meet or greet the people who buy their products. The customer service representatives are the ones who have direct contact with the buyers. The buyers' perceptions of the company and the product are shaped in part by their experience in dealing with that person. For this reason, many companies work hard to increase their customer satisfaction levels. The Cost of Customer Satisfaction . For decades, businesses in many industries have sought to reduce personnel costs by automating their processes to the greatest extent possible. In customer service, that has led many companies to implement systems online and by phone that answer as many questions or resolve as many problems as they can without a human presence. But in the end, there are customer service issues for which human interaction is indispensable, creating a competitive advantage. Amazon is an example of a company that is doing all it can to automate a vast and complex operation. It has to, given that it delivered five billion packages to customers' doors in 2018, and that's just the purchases made by Prime members. Nevertheless, Amazon still offers 24-hour customer service by phone, in addition to email and live chat services. Most successful businesses recognize the importance of providing outstanding customer service. Courteous and empathetic interaction with a trained customer service representative can mean the difference between losing or retaining a customer. Customer service should be a one-stop process for the consumer whenever possible. Key Components of Good Customer Service . Successful small business owners understand the need for good customer service instinctively. Larger businesses study the subject in-depth, and they have some basic conclusions about the key components: Timely attention to issues raised by customers is critical. Requiring a customer to wait in line or sit on hold sours an interaction before it begins.Customer service should be a single-step process for the consumer. If a customer calls a helpline, the representative should whenever possible follow the problem through to its resolution.If a customer must be transferred to another department, the original representative should follow up with the customer to ensure that the problem was solved. $33,750. The average annual salary for a customer service representative in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Customer Services Job Requirements . Much is expected of customer service representatives. Yet the pay for the job is low. The average salary in 2018 was about $33,750, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of the job expectations: Customer service representatives must be accessible, knowledgeable, and courteous. They require excellent listening skills and a willingness to talk through a resolution. Training in conflict resolution can be beneficial.Strong speaking skills are important. For phone staff, this means speaking clearly and slowly while maintaining a calm demeanor even if the customer doesn't. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected customer service representative job growth at 5% between 2016 and 2026. That's close to the average for all occupations. Customer Services Employer Responsibilities . Poor management can doom any customer service operation. A couple of important tips for managers: Make sure your customer service representatives are fully informed and have the latest information and the company's products and policies.Periodically assess the customer service experience you are providing to ensure that it's an asset to the company.Consider conducting regular surveys to give customers the chance to provide feedback about the service they receive and suggest areas for improvement. Using Mobile Services Effectively . In recent years, studies of customer service have centered on creating the perfect online experience. The first and most difficult factor is the multiplicity of channels. Today's customers expect to get service through whatever app or device they happen to be using at the moment. That may be a mobile device or a laptop, a social media site, text app, or live chat. Once again, the focus has been on packaging how-to content and related resources that are designed for self-service. Increasingly sophisticated data analytics also are being used to identify dissatisfied or low-engagement customers. But, as always, the most effective customer service apps need to incorporate human contact, if only as a last resort. Take the Next Step to Invest Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. Service Name Description Related Terms. What is Client Facing? Client facing refers to the point of direct contact and interaction between a business and its customers. more What You Should Know About Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship have key effects on the economy. Learn how to become one and the questions you should ask before starting your entrepreneurial journey. more How Human Resource Planning (HRP) Works Human resource planning (HRP) is the continuous process of systematic planning to achieve optimum use of an organization's human resources. more What Is Interactive Media? Interactive media is a method of communication whereby the program's outputs depend on the user's inputs, and the user's inputs affect the outputs. more Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 Definitions Web 2.0 refers to the current version of the internet; Web 3.0 is its next iteration, which will be decentralized, open, and of greater utility. more Understanding Quality Control Quality control is a process by which a business ensures that product quality is maintained or improved. Discover what quality control is and how it works. more Partner Links Related Articles. Life Insurance Life Insurance Review Methodology. Career Advice How to Become a Life Insurance Agent. Automated Investing Nutmeg Review. Trading Skills & Essentials How to Choose an Online Stock Broker. Macroeconomics Structural Unemployment vs. Cyclical Unemployment: What’s the Difference? Career Advice Tips for Succeeding As a Real Estate Agent. About Us Terms of Use Dictionary Editorial Policy Advertise News Privacy Policy Contact Us Careers California Privacy Notice # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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                            [body] => Inspiring a Service Nation, Powering the Future We are the independent professional membership body for customer service, working across all sectors to drive business performance through service excellence. The roi of excellent customer service Our open letter calling for action to protect public-facing workersWe have published an open letter – signed by over 75 business leaders and cross-party parliamentarians – raising awareness of the increasing volume of incidents of customer abuse across all industry sectors to encourage the Government to pass proposed new legislation to tackle the issue.   #servicewithrespect See our open letter Service with RespectWe have been working with businesses and parliamentarians to protect employees by introducing legislation that acts as a strong deterrent to those who assault public-facing workers. #servicewithrespect 💚 Join our 200+ campaign supportersUK Customer Satisfaction IndexThe UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) is the national barometer of customer satisfaction. It is an independent, objective benchmark of customer satisfaction on a consistent set of measures on over 272 organisations and organisation types in 13 sectors. 👇 Download the latest UKCSI results 📥 UKCSI July 2021 reportMembership Benefits. Develop your peopleBetter trained staff are able to service your customers more efficiently and effectively. Measure & BenchmarkIndependently measure your success, identify opportunities and benchmark against competitors. Policy EngagementWe engage with the Government and other public officials through our APPG, policy campaigns and partnerships with regulators. Enhance Your ProfileGain recognition of your organisation’s expertise in customer service, building your influence and raising your profile. Set Service StandardsFind out how to set the highest quality standards to provide excellent customer service consistently. A Critical FriendWe act as your critical friend – giving you an impartial outside perspective when you need it. Research & InsightUnderstand the evolving customer environment, the secrets of excellent service and get practical insight to inform your strategy. Advice & SupportWe’re here to make sure everything is aligned around your customer to create a compelling, competitive advantage. Membership InformationView All Benefits Redefining the Service Nation. Building a better future. The pandemic has highlighted the true value of customer service not just to our economy but society and our way of life. The scale of the challenges that confront us make thoughts of a return to the ‘old business as usual’ futile. This is our defining moment to reassess, refocus and act – together and with a common purpose. More about membership Insight & Thought Leadership. CEO BlogFeaturedResearchStay focused on the service essentials in 2022. December 21, 2021It’s been another demanding year for organisations in an environment beset by the pandemic, economic…Read more → Delivering Service during Challenging TimesFeaturedHomepageInterviewWeekly webinar: Head to Head Interviews with Business Leaders. October 12, 2021Each week our CEO, Jo Causon, will interview a business leader to discuss the challenges their organisation is facing.Read more → FeaturedHomepageResearchBreakthrough Research: Work with a Purpose – Building a shared vision of the future. September 29, 2021This research looks beyond the Covid-19 crisis to examine how work culture, environment and practices…Read more →Developing and investing in people is key to retaining them. December 6, 2021The end of the year is approaching, and what a…Read more →National Customer Service Week is a reminder of the importance of service excellence all year round. November 1, 2021It was National Customer Service Week (NCSW) at the beginning…Read more →Protecting the mental wellbeing of our service professionals is key to business success. October 18, 2021By Jo Causon, CEO, The Institute of Customer Service The…Read more →Webinar: Head to Head with Michael Lewis (EON UK plc). October 12, 2021Each week our CEO, Jo Causon, interviews a business leader…Read more →View All Thought Leadership Our Members. We have around 400 organisational members – big and small – spanning all sectors. We have many individual members, from experienced business leaders, to those starting their careers. View all members Become a member Latest ServiceMark Achievers. Our ServiceMark accreditation recognises members who consistently achieve the highest standards of customer experience excellence – and have aligned their workforce with their service strategy. More about servicemark Success Stories. The NatWest team discuss the impact they have seen from embedding The Institute's Professional QualificationsNatWest GroupNatWest GroupWatch Simon Wilkes MMICS, Business Enablement Manager at NatWest discuss his experience of The Institute's Management Qualification programme.Simon Wilkes MMICSHead of Business Enablement at NatWest Corporate & Institutional ServicingWatch Andy highlight the key membership benefits that have helped them rank among the top 5 in Ofwat's Customer of Measure Experience and Developer Services Measure of Experience league tables.Andy PymerExecutive Director of Finance & Regulation, Wessex WaterWatch Dean Anderson, Customer Experience Manager at Edinburgh Trams, share how membership has helped them improve customer satisfaction and increase employee retention.Dean AndersonCustomer Experience Manager, Edinburgh TramsWatch the inspiring story of Hampshire County Council’s transformation journey and how the improvement in service performance brought positive impact on employee engagement and business performance.Shared Services TeamHampshire County CouncilView all stories Sign up to our newsletter. Institute Of Customer Service, A Company Limited By Guarantee. Registered Office: Mill House, 8 Mill Street, London, Se1 2Ba, Registered In England No: 3316394 © 2022 Institute Of Customer Services. All Rights Reserved. × Close cart Basket Back To Top × Close search Search
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                            [body] => 10 tips to improve your customer service skills 6 min read Whether you’re working in a customer-facing role, managing a team in a contact center or looking to improve customer experience on a company-wide level, use these customer service tips and skills to make sure you’re at the top of your game. 1.   Practice active listening. Behind every customer service call is a real human who has a question or concern that needs to be answered. The person needs to feel understood, heard, and served. Active listening is a key skill set you can develop by practicing daily on your co-workers and family. First, you should approach each conversation with the goal to learn something and focus on the speaker. After the customer is finished speaking, ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand what they’re actually saying. Finally, finish the conversation with a quick summary to ensure everyone is on the same page. By practicing active listening, you’re not only going to possess the ability to become a truly exceptional customer service agent, but you’ll also improve your relationships outside of the office. 2. Learn to empathise with your customers. Empathy is the ability to understand how the customer is feeling and where they’re coming from. While some people seem like they’re born with this trait, it’s a skill that can be acquired. When listening to the customer, try to see the problem through his eyes and imagine how it makes him feel. This is important in customer service because the customer will be more receptive if they feel understood by you. It can also de-escalate a conflict and create a more enjoyable interaction with your company. 3. Use positive language. When attending to customers’ problems, using positive language takes the stress away from the situation. Words are powerful and they can create trusting relationships with your customers. Verbs should be used positively. For example, instead of saying “don’t hit the red button” say “the green button is the best option.” Future tense is also positive as it doesn’t dwell on the customer’s past issues. Phrases like “Great question, I’ll find that out for you!” and “I’d love to understand more about …” can keep the customer in the present moment. Also, remember when speaking to customers to make sure you’re authentic, positive, memorable, and to stay calm and positive, even if the customer is angry. 4. Improve your technical skills. Customers may come to you with all types of problems and they want their questions answers fast. If you don’t know how to properly implement a service ticket, you’ll be wasting their valuable time. Before interacting with customers, you should fully understand how to use your live chat and ticketing system and learn to type fast. eBook: The Call Center Agent Experience Guide Download Now Download Now 5. Know your products and services. In order to help the customer, you must have a deep knowledge of your products and the way they work. It’s recommended that each customer service agent spends onboarding time with a seasoned product specialist so he can ask questions and fully understand the ins and out of the product. This way, you’ll be able to help customers when they’re troubleshooting issues, and you’ll know product tips and tricks you can share to make the product easier to use. 6. Be human. Live chat, email, or even telephone communication can seem impersonal because you can’t read the other person’s facial expressions and body language. Consumers want to feel connected so look for common ground to make a quick connection. 7. Look for common ground. Live chat, email or even telephone communication can seem impersonal because you can’t read the other person’s facial expressions and body language. Consumers want to feel connected so look for common ground to make a quick connection. 8. Communicate clearly. The ability to clearly communicate, both verbally and in writing, is essential in customer service, especially if you are speaking to someone who has a different native language. Answers to your questions should be clear, concise and in your natural tone of voice. Customers want an explanation, but they don’t need to know all the details. If they ask for more details, you can share, but most people want their issue resolved quickly. Always end each conversation with the question, “is there anything else I can do for you today?” so they have one more opportunity to ask another question and you know you’ve done everything you can to resolve the issue. Also, be sure to communicate hold times if you put them on hold while you pull up their account or talk to your manager. On live chat especially, it’s important that you don’t idle too long. 9. Measure and analyse customer feedback. The best way to understand if your customer service is top notch is to ask your customers. Use surveys to track top customer service metrics individual performance and ask service agent-specific survey questions, such as, “How knowledgeable or unknowledgeable would you say our service team member was?” and “How effective or ineffective would you say the service team member’s communication was?” Once you understand which areas you excel at and which ones you need to improve, you can focus on specific skills. 10. Be willing to learn. Tom Brady didn’t learn to be a great American football player in a day. It took years of practice and he was even a backup quarterback before he earned the starting position. And now, even though he’s a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, he continues to eat nutritious food, watch game tapes, and receive feedback from his coaches. Customer service is no different and in order to be a world-class customer service agent, you must be willing to work on these customer service skills and learn from your mistakes. If every team member did this, your organisation would excel. eBook: The Call Center Agent Experience Guide Download Now Related resources Customer Service Customer effort score (CES)7 min read Customer Service Customer Service11 min read Customer Service Conversation Analytics10 min read Customer Service Customer Self Service15 min read Customer Service Customer Care20 min read Customer Service Customer Service Survey Questions10 min read Customer Service Customer Service Metrics16 min read SEE MORE. Customer effort score (CES) Ready to learn more about Qualtrics? Request Demo ×
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                                    [17] => Related Articles
                                    [18] => The 22 Best Help Desk Ticketing Software and Tools for IT Professionals
                                    [19] => How These 4 Types of Customer Segmentation Will Improve Your Customer Service Team's Emotional Intelligence
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                            [body] => Why Customer Service is Important: 16 Data-Backed Facts to Know Written by Swetha Amaresan @swethamaresan When your business is on a low budget, there are probably several functions that are high-priority when allocating funds. Of course, your product team could use some financial assistance, and marketing — especially advertising — could always use a little padding. However, it might seem like a waste to invest money in your customer service team. After all, how can it really improve? Contrary to popular belief, your customer service team should be just as important — if not more important than — as your other teams. After all, it's the direct connection between your customers and your business. Still not convinced? Read the following list to understand how essential customer service is to improve your business and relationships with customers. Why is customer service important? Customer service is important to your business because it retains customers and extracts more value from them. By providing top-notch customer service, businesses recoup customer acquisition costs and cultivate a loyal following that refers customers, serves as case studies, and provides testimonials and reviews. Investing in customer service helps activate your flywheel because loyal customers will help you acquire new customers, free of charge, by convincing prospects to interact with your brand. And, their positive testimonials will be more effective than any of your current marketing efforts — and cheaper, too. Aside from that, let's look at some data-backed reasons why you should invest in your customer service team. 1. Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition. An increase in customer retention of merely 5% can equate to an increase in profit of 25%. This is because repeat customers are more likely to spend more with your brand — 300% more, to be exact — which then results in your business having to spend less on operating costs. According to our research team, the customer acquisition cost (CAC) — how much it costs to acquire a new customer — is more for a company that doesn't invest a small percentage of its budget in customer service. Ultimately, investing in customer service can decrease your churn rate, which decreases the amount you must spend on acquiring new customers and decreases the overall CAC. 2. Customer service represents your brand image, mission, and values. You may have an idea of what your brand represents. However, your customers can't get into your head and they'll make assumptions based on your social media presence, advertisements, content, and other external marketing. Your customer service team, however, is where you have more control over this perception. These individuals speak directly to your customers and they have the responsibility of representing your brand when interacting with current or potential buyers. In fact, 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. Without your customer service team, you have no means of direct communication. Due to this, your customer service team is essential in relaying to customers what you want your brand image to be. They can help influence customers and convince them of your strengths over competitors. 3. Happy customer service employees will create happy customers. No employee is going to enjoy coming into work if they feel under-appreciated compared to employees on other teams. The same goes for your customer service team. After all, 69% of employees say they work harder when they're appreciated. It's important to note that 55% of employees who strongly disagree about being happy with their jobs will still work especially hard for customers. However, their reasoning behind serving customers is less about wanting to provide quality service. Instead, it's about maintaining their professionalism and integrity, not wanting to get fired before quitting, being empathetic to customers, but getting recognition from them in the end. Therefore, if you want your customers to do their best work, they should feel respected and appreciated. Only then will they find intrinsic motivation for doing a good job and serving their customers the right way, which will lead to your customers also feeling more respected and appreciated. 4. Happy customers will refer others. And, when your customers are happier, they're more likely to spread the goodness to friends, family, and coworkers. In fact, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people. Think about it: if you have a stunning experience with a brand, you're probably going to rave about it to your friends over dinner later that night. It's natural; you want your close ones to commit to a brand that you trust. It's a chain reaction. If you have a happier customer service team, they'll work harder to satisfy and exceed the expectations of your customers. Then, those customers will be extremely happy with your brand and refer others to it. Your customers can be your best — and cheapest — form of word-of-mouth advertising, as long as you give them a reason to do so. 5. Good customer service encourages customers to remain loyal. As said before, it's a lot cheaper to retain an old customer than to acquire a new one. In this sense, the higher a customer's lifetime value — the total revenue a company can expect a single customer to generate over the course of their relationship with that company — the higher the profit for your company. Image Source In comparison to, possibly, hundreds of competitors with similar products and services, your company has to do more than relish in the exciting features of your products. By providing stellar customer service, you can differentiate your company to your customers. Loyalty is rooted in trust, and customers can trust real-life humans more than the ideas and values of a brand. So, by interacting with your customer service team, those customers can build, hopefully, life-long relationships with your business. 6. Customers are willing to pay more to companies that offer better customer service. 67% of customers would pay more to get a better customer service experience. Clearly, customer service matters so much to customers that they would literally pay more to interact with a brand that does it well. These are statistics that can't be ignored. In an era where companies are learning to prioritize customer service, any company that doesn't do so will crash and burn. Customers are influenced by even a single experience; one positive experience could be the deciding factor for them to stick to a brand, whereas one negative one could send them running to a competitor. 7. Customer service employees can offer important insights about customer experiences. It doesn't matter how you perceive your brand. What matters is how your customer perceives it. For instance, if you work for an athletic wear company, you might associate your brand with fitness, health and wellness, and people who play sports. However, your customers may purchase from you because they associate your brand with leisure, comfort, and attractiveness. So, you should align your marketing with those values as well. Your customer service team can answer a lot of these probing questions for you. Rather than having to spend time and money on constantly surveying customers, you can have your customer service employees simply ask these questions while interacting with customers. Their response can give you a lot of insights into improving your products, marketing, goals, and employee training. And, the more you improve the customer experience, the harder your employees will work. Research shows that companies that invest in customer experience also see employee engagement rates increase by an average of 20%. 8. Customer service grows customer lifetime value. If you're running a business, customer lifetime value(CLV) is a pretty important metric. It represents the total revenue you can expect from a single customer account. Growing this value means that your customers are shopping more frequently and/or spending more money at your business. Investing in your customer service offer is an excellent way to improve customer lifetime value. If customers have a great experience with your service and support teams, they'll be more likely to shop again at your stores. Or, at the very least, they'll share their positive experience with others, which builds rapport with your customer base. This makes new customers more trustworthy of your business and allows you to upsell and cross-sell additional products with less friction. New users will trust that your sales team is recommending products that truly fit their needs which will create a smoother buying experience for both the customer and your employees. 9. Proactive customer service creates marketing opportunities. If you're looking for a cost-effective way to invest in your business, you should consider adopting proactive customer service. Rather than waiting for customers to report issues, this approach reaches out to them before they even know they exist. That way, customers know you're constantly working to remove roadblocks from their user experience. Image Source But, proactive customer service isn't just used for customer delight. It's also an effective marketing tool for introducing and promoting new products and services. For example, if you create a new feature that solves a common problem with your product, your customer service team can refer it to your customers. They can use your CRM or ticketing system to look up customers who have had this problem in the past, reach out to them via the service ticket, and introduce the new feature as well as its benefits. And, this can sometimes be more effective than a sales pitch because customers feel like the service rep truly understands their issue after troubleshooting their problem. 10. Customers expect high-quality service. People don't just expect your business to have a customer service team; they expect your customer service team to be world-class and ready to help at a moment's notice. In fact, according to new data gathered after the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of those surveyed (58%) said their customer service expectations are higher today than they were a year ago. But, customers don't just want high-quality customer service, they're demanding it. 66% of customers said they would switch brands if they felt they were being "treated like a number, not an individual." Customers have more options now than ever before, and now that they've realized it, they're not afraid to take their business elsewhere if they're unsatisfied with their experience. It's now on brands to meet customer expectations if they want to attract and retain loyal customers. 11. Businesses need omni-channel solutions. Before COVID-19, businesses were gradually exploring new, digital ways to engage and support customers. But, once the pandemic hit, this timeline accelerated significantly and it was no longer a commodity for businesses to communicate with customers via social media, live chat, or video calls. While we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, these communication channels will be here to stay for the foreseeable future. Customers not only enjoy using these channels but, over time, they’ll come to expect them as a standard in the customer service industry. That’s why businesses need to invest in omni-channel solutions so they can link these new mediums together and create a seamless customer experience. The image below explains how omni-channel experiences work. Image Source Rather than having each channel operate independently, the channels are linked together so messages and information can be shared freely between them. That way, customers don’t have to navigate away from what they’re doing to get help from your business. Any time they need help, they can reach out on any channel of their choice and will get an immediate, reliable response. 12. Excellent customer service is a competitive advantage. No matter what industry you're in, you want your business to stand out. After all, nobody strives to be the "second-best" at something. You want to be better than every other company you're competing with and you want your customers to know it, too. That's the key to keeping customers loyal and getting them to continuously interact with your brand. Customer service can be an excellent differentiator for your company. In fact, 60% of customers stop doing business with a brand after one poor service experience. And, 67% of this churn is preventable if the customer's problem is resolved during their first interaction. That means if you provide excellent customer service, you'll not only retain your customers, but you'll acquire your competitors' as well. It's undeniable that a well-trained, positive customer service team can make your company the best version of itself. Their ability to communicate directly with customers can revolutionize your company and grow your customer base. 13. Positive customer service makes people more likely to do business with you. Consumers consider customer service when they're making purchasing decisions. In fact, 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. This means that the reputation for your customer service will impact a large majority of potential customers. Additionally, customer service doesn't begin and end with your frontline reps. The customer service potential customers experience during the sales process will also impact their purchasing decisions. Providing positive customer service should be the goal for any customer-facing role. 14. Excellent customer service will protect customers who experience a mistake down the road. Like we've mentioned, when customers have a poor customer experience, they're quick to share about it and leave the company. However, if your company provides excellent customer service overall, 78% of consumers will do business with a company again after a mistake. Additionally, only one in five consumers will forgive a bad experience at a company whose overall customer service they rate as “very poor,” while nearly 80% will forgive a bad experience if they rate the service team as “very good.” 15. Customer service can lead to more revenue. At the end of the day, you probably make your budgeting decisions based on what brings in the most revenue. It might surprise you to learn that customer service can bring in revenue and impact the bottom line. Businesses can grow revenues between 4% and 8% above their market when they prioritize better customer service experiences. Additionally, 89% of companies with "significantly above average" customer experiences perform better financially than their competitors. A positive customer experience has a direct impact on your revenue and growth. 16. Personalized customer service can improve your online conversion rate. Similar to the point above, better customer service can also improve your conversion rate, not just your revenue. In fact, your online conversion rate can improve by roughly 8% when you include personalized consumer experiences. A higher conversion rate should lead to more sales and then more revenue. At the end of the day, customer service keeps your flywheel moving, just like marketing and sales. Without customer service, retaining customers and success would be impossible. In fact, the flywheel would probably stop spinning altogether. With excellent customer service, you'll attract new customers, prevent customer churn, and build your brand reputation and image. Plus, the data continues to support the fact that great customer service is an expectation, not a "nice-to-have." Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.   Originally published Sep 30, 2021 12:00:00 PM, updated January 10 2022 Topics: Customer Service Don't forget to share this post! Related Articles. The 22 Best Help Desk Ticketing Software and Tools for IT Professionals . Service  | 21 min read How These 4 Types of Customer Segmentation Will Improve Your Customer Service Team's Emotional Intelligence . Service  | 6 min read Qualtrics Head of CX Explains How To Use Customer Service to Improve the Brand Experience . Service  | 6 min read Expand Offer Customer Service Metrics Calculator Get it now Get it now Download for Later.
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                                    [7] => Don’t leave your customers in the dark. Light the path to loyalty with great customer service. 💡Discover the ROI HERE.💡
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                                    [0] => In the most simple terms, customer service is the ongoing actions taken to support customers. Take a deep dive into the types of modern customer service and benefits of it, customer service definition and strategy, what qualities make up great service, stats about the industry, examples of brands providing outstanding service, and much more
                                    [1] => Brands with the best customer service 2022: No more status quo
                                    [2] => What does customer aftercare mean | Definition, examples, benefits
                                    [3] => 4 ways airlines could soar using Twitter for customer service
                                    [4] => So, what are the key elements of great customer service? What brands are killing it? We’ve got the answers in this customer service infographic:
                                    [5] => Machine learning in customer service: Your new favorite colleague
                                    [6] => Customer service trends 2022: Service becomes savior
                                    [7] => The Future of E-Commerce
                                    [8] => The Rise of HXM
                                    [9] => Future ofGrocery Retail
                                    [10] => Future ofSupply Chain
                                    [11] => Customer Data& Privacy
                                    [12] => COVID-19
                                    [13] => El Futuro de la Experiencia del Cliente (LATAM)
                                    [14] => O Futuro da Experiência do Cliente (Brasil)
                                    [15] => Die Zukunftvon CX(Deutsch)
                                    [16] => Sustainabilityin Business
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                            [body] => What is customer service in 2022? Definition, types, benefits, stats 25 shares Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin In the most simple terms, customer service is the ongoing actions taken to support customers. Take a deep dive into the types of modern customer service and benefits of it, customer service definition and strategy, what qualities make up great service, stats about the industry, examples of brands providing outstanding service, and much more. What is customer service in 2022: Customer service definition. Customer service is the assistance and guidance a company provides to people before, during, and after they buy a product or service. There’s a direct correlation between satisfied customers, brand loyalty, and revenue growth. Customer satisfaction has always been a fundamental part of business, but it’s more important than ever now. Consumers expect a lot from brands – and have eternal brands to choose from. Service needs to be part of each step of their journey, from initial interactions through post-purchase and beyond. Simply put: Brands need to step up with great service that provides the experience customers expect or risk losing out to the competition. Brands with the best customer service 2022: No more status quo. The brands with the best customer service in 2022 have not ranked before. Discover the brands that have risen and fallen in rank since 2019. The days of customer service being a number that you call to get help are gone. Today, service is a crucial element of any product, service, or business, and needs to be baked into all platforms and channels of your brand, including via: Phone Email Social media Your website SMS or text In-person/on-site support And yes, even traditional postal mail More than pricing, and even the product itself, service is the biggest driver of customer loyalty. Time and again, research shows that service excellence is essential to building customer loyalty and driving business growth. But customer service has changed dramatically over the years, expanding far beyond phone calls and email. There’s a lot to know and keep up with. In a digital-first economy, customer service is critical to the customer lifecycle and loyalty. To avoid churn, sales and service must be able to work together in real-time – and efficiently (and securely) share information about each customer to gain insights and understand what’s expected from consumers: Customer service vs. customer support and customer aftercare Other terms often used interchangeably with customer service include: Customer support Customer aftercare Customer care There’s overlap with these and all are essential to customer experience, but it’s important to know the differences. While customer service encompasses the entire buying journey, customer support generally means providing technical help to a customer after a purchase, like installation help and troubleshooting. Customer aftercare, or customer care, also takes place after a sale, but is broader than technical support. As the term implies, it means taking care of the customer. It goes beyond a one-time fix to a series of communications and actions designed to keep your customers satisfied. What does customer aftercare mean | Definition, examples, benefits. Customer aftercare refers to post-sale customer service. It includes all of the steps, actions, communications, and processes that take place after a sale to keep customers satisfied, engaged, and loyal. Types of customer service. Customer service has come a long way from the days when a phone call or a visit to the store were the only options a customer had for reaching a brand. Today, the explosion of e-commerce, mobile devices, and social media has created a multitude of ways for customers to connect. Here are some of the types of customer service: Social media: Responding to questions, requests, and complaints on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Social media provides an immediate way for customers to contact a brand at any time. Chatbots: These online tools allow customers to get very quick answers to frequently asked questions or be directed to a customer service rep for assistance. They use AI to automate conversations, providing 24×7, cost-effective service. Self-service: Users get questions answered on their own without a service representative. Examples include chatbots, online, FAQs and product tutorials. SMS/mobile: People love texting, especially younger generations, so service via SMS has become commonplace. Brands text order, shipping, and delivery confirmations, and can also answer questions via text. Phone: It may no longer be the dominate type of service, but some customers prefer the option. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and AI help answer common questions and route customers to the right rep. Email support: Responding to customers via email has its downsides (slower), but gives customers a way to clearly explain what they need. In-person (traditional, in-store): And of course, there’s still on-site service: Talking to live a human being, in-person. This type of service can make it easy for customers to learn about a product or service, and for service reps to build customer relationships. 4 ways airlines could soar using Twitter for customer service. Social media is a powerful tool for customer service, especially travelers. Learn how Twitter could help airlines soar with engagement and loyalty. INFOGRAPHIC: What is good customer service? The most important qualities of modern service. Every customer is unique, and will expect something slightly different based their preferences as to how they want to communicate with a brand. This is a crucial point for companies to understand when it comes to providing exceptional customer service. Good customer service involves a few key elements: Responsiveness – the quicker, the better Making sure the customer feels heard Positivity – while the circumstances for contacting a service rep are driven by a problem, positive outcomes must be the goal of the interaction Resolution – confirm that the customer is satisfied with the end result, and that their issues were solved So, what are the key elements of great customer service? What brands are killing it? We’ve got the answers in this customer service infographic:. When embarking on a journey to plan your customer service strategy, don’t forget: Your first step must be understanding your customer. To do this, you should ask two important questions:  Who are your customers?  How do they want to be treated? Machine learning in customer service: Your new favorite colleague. Meet Machine Learning, your new favorite colleague, who will dramatically change customer service both for customers and for customer service personnel. Customer service strategy 101. Service is a core element of business, and can help companies thrive, or be their demise if service isn’t up to par. Here are the key considerations for a customer service strategy: In times of change, customers need support to help quickly answer questions and address any concerns Customer feedback through the service channel is an invaluable source of information about how your company is performing, and ways that you can continue to improve To be able to help, customer service agents need all relevant data at their fingertips Intelligent technologies help reduce contact volume and manual work so agents have more time to focus on customer interactions Customer service improves business resilience by smoothing the effects of change, supporting customers in all situations. If you support your customers when times are difficult, it’s highly likely they’ll stick with you for the long term. Customer service trends 2022: Service becomes savior. Customer service trends in 2022: More companies will make service a priority to drive growth, customer loyalty, and C-suite strategies. Show me the data: Service stats. Still doubting the importance of great service? Let’s explore hard data regarding how the modern consumer prefers to shop and do business.  More than half of consumers expect a response within an hour, even on weekends: This is a pure-play expectation by consumers, and must be built in to a brand’s CX strategy if they want to stay competitive. Most organizations provide this kind of service via AI and chatbots.  76% of consumers think companies should understand their expectations + needs: Thanks to direct to consumer brands that completely customize and personalize their CX (including their customer service strategies) to the specific needs and wants of customers, consumers want more of this white glove treatment from anyone they spend money with. This is also an area where many legacy retailers are struggling to implement the internal change needed to address this new reality.  Email is the most commonly used customer service channel, with 54% of consumers using it: For Millennials, email and text messaging are the most two most convenient ways to deal with any customer service issues. For Gen Z, you’d better have customer service as part of your social media strategy. If you don’t have a team readily available or a nurture stream already set up to answer questions (bonus points for having an FAQ page that can answer most questions for people – 90% of consumers expect companies to have an online portal for customer service), then you’re behind.  33% of consumers who ended their relationship with a company did so because the experience wasn’t personalized enough: To reiterate, if you’re not meeting customer expectations, you’ll lose them as customers.   43% of Millennials contact customer service from a mobile device: It’s no longer enough to only have a website. You need that website to be mobile-optimized – in fact, it needs to be mobile-first. If people can’t navigate your mobile site to easily find what they want, including FAQs, how to contact you, service, etc., they won’t shop with you.  79% of younger generations are more willing to buy from brands with a mobile customer service portal: If you do have a mobile customer service portal that’s easy to find, navigate, and use, younger generations are more likely to shop with you more often. Omnichannel customer service Omnichannel service is the name of the game for business success. Companies need to engage with customers on their terms, anywhere at anytime, but they also need to provide consistent, seamless experiences. If a customer contacts a company via one channel – say a chatbot – but also calls about the same issue, the conversation should carry across channels. The service rep should have the history of the customer’s communication, so the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves and the rep can provide better, more personalized service. While many companies provide multi-channel customer service by offering customers a variety of communication channels, omnichannel service is different. It goes beyond siloed service channels via integration that provides agents with a single desktop with contextual information about the customer and recommended solutions to speed resolutions. Top benefits of customer service done right. A business benefits in many ways when it provides excellent service. Customer loyalty. When customers have a good service experience, they’re more likely to stick with a brand. Get it right, customers will keep coming back for more. But there’s little margin for error. A global study by PwC found that 32% of consumers will leave a brand after just one bad experience. Brand ambassadors. Loyal customers are likely to tell others about their good experiences with a brand. This word-of-mouth advertising is priceless, especially in today’s world of social media, which can quickly amplify that goodwill. Of course, consumers also are quick to take to a social platform to share a bad experience, ramping up the pressure on brands to get service right. Seal more deals. According to the PwC study, 73% of consumers say the experience that companies provide – including customer service – is a decisive factor in making a purchase. And many are willing to pay a higher price for a better experience. Upsell, cross-sell. When reps have a holistic view of the customer, they can spot opportunities to offer customers new products or services. The White House Office of Consumer Affairs estimates that the lifetime value of loyal customers, on average, is worth 10 times more than their first purchase. Competitive edge. Brands that deliver exceptional customer service differentiate themselves to gain market share against the competition. Boost the bottom line. Companies can learn a lot about how to improve their products or services from the issues raised by customers, and make improvements to drive more sales. Altogether, researchers have found that a business that delivers great customer service can have sales increases of 20% or more of total revenue. Be the food truck: Modern service requires that you go to the people, where and when they want, serving up the best that you can offer. If you do this, folks will begin flocking to you wherever you go. It’s a virtuous circle. Examples of brands with the best service. Businesses with a reputation for delivering sparkling service include: Chewy: The online pet products retailer has won over pet parents with its personalized customer service. Agents are trained to answer all kinds of pet questions, new customers receive handwritten notes, and all customers get holiday cards. Chewy even surprises customers with oil paintings of their pets. #Chewy sent paintings of my baby's! Such a cool surprise. ❤ pic.twitter.com/CSwomLBclf — La La (@phillybaby29) July 7, 2021 Costco: The membership-only, big-box retail giant is known for its high-quality goods, warehouse prices, and generous return policy. Low employee turnover and high morale help drive great CX and service. Five Guys: This burger chain beat out stalwarts like Wendy’s and McDonald’s to win the top spot in the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s recent restaurant study. “Five Guys outperforms the other burger chains in most customer experience benchmarks,” ACSI said in a blog post, citing the restaurant’s helpful and courteous staff, accurate food orders, food quality, speed, and reliable mobile app. Finally… We've not been to a Five Guys since Feb last year due to shielding! How happy are we right now 😊🥰❤#fiveguys#bestburgers#ourhappyplace #dayoff #couple #ourfavouriteburgers #happy @fiveguys @[email protected] pic.twitter.com/OHTu3nu8ik — Claire Austin (@VoodooDollEnt) July 15, 2021 Nike: The footwear company scored high marks in ASCI’s Retail and Consumer Shipping Report, shining in the areas of store cleanliness and layout, and impressing customers with its in-store speed, staff courtesy, and mobile app. Publix: The food retailer with nearly 1,300 stores across the Southeast ranked No. 1 in the supermarket category of Newsweek’s 2022 America’s Best Customer Service list. The company, which is the largest employee-owned company in the US, scored well in the areas of communications, range of services, and customer focus. Wanted to say THANK YOU to the wonderful pharmacists @Publix here in St. Petersburg, Florida. You are appreciated! #ThankYouPharmacists #Publix #StPetersburg #Florida pic.twitter.com/HwQW2ZFeBo — StorySpirit4U (@StorySpirit4U) September 25, 2021 Ritz-Carlton: The luxury hotel chain is well-known for a culture focused on service excellence. The brand adheres to its Gold Standards, which includes three steps of service: a warm and sincere greeting by name, anticipating and fulfilling each guest’s needs, and a fond farewell. Great resort! Amazing service! Everything is top quality!! Enjoying my stay at @RitzCarlton Ras Al Khaimah ! Loving the pool #Staycation #RAK #RitzCarlton pic.twitter.com/eqNpnqfyND — Rashed Al-Suweidi (@3eemany) July 22, 2021 Don’t leave your customers in the dark. Light the path to loyalty with great customer service. 💡Discover the ROI HERE.💡.   Share this: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn 25 shares Marcia Savage Follow Marcia Savage on Twitter Follow Marcia Savage on Linkedin Subscribe to our newsletter for the most up-to-date e-commerce insights. Featured Sections. Prev The Future of E-Commerce. The Rise of HXM. Future ofGrocery Retail. Future ofSupply Chain. Customer Data& Privacy. COVID-19. El Futuro de la Experiencia del Cliente (LATAM). O Futuro da Experiência do Cliente (Brasil). Die Zukunftvon CX(Deutsch). Sustainabilityin Business. Next Close Video Overlay Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linkedin Read Article Close Dialog× Subscribe to our newsletter for the most up-to-date e-commerce insights. Commerce trends and insights presented by SAP Customer Experience Close Dialog× Success! Thanks for contacting us! We will get in touch with you shortly. Okay
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                                    [22] => Understanding Service Vs Help desks and ITSM
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                            [body] => What is customer service? A definition of customer service with details of the different types of customer service and a discussion of the modern/historical perspective as well as advice on developing an effective customer service model. Editorial team | November 22, 2014 Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after the purchase of any product. Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the experience of the customers. The sole purpose of the customer service is to meet the expectations of the customers so that they are satisfied with the outcome. These services are also available to understand the queries of the customers and ensure that they enjoy a cost-effective experience after purchasing any product from the respective company. A good customer service benefits the business or companies as it will eventually produce satisfied customers. However, a bad customer service might end up generating unhappy and unsatisfied customers. It may result in effecting a business in a negative way. What is customer support? Customer support is a series of customer services to support the customers in making the correct use of a product. Customer support provides the customers with a series of services in order to make cost-effective choices and appropriate use of a product, customer service is just one aspect of customer support though remains the primary and most important aspect. Different kinds of customer service. Many businesses today follow the trend of providing the customers with good customer service to ensure the customers’ good experience during the use of their product. This eventually helps businesses to leave a positive impact on the customers and keep customers satisfied. Over the years, companies and organisations have been coming up with different kinds of customer services to have a cost-effective marketing experience. For instance, customer service can be of many kinds. It may be in person through sales representatives or over the phone. One more popular kind of customer service is known as automated service. One excellent example of automated service that many people might be able to relate to is through internet sites. Irrespective of what kind of customer service an organisation is providing, as long as the customers benefit through it and enjoy a cost-effective experience it will always prove beneficial for both; the customer and the company. Some customers also require at home customer services for the installation, maintenance or upgrading of their products. In order to provide the customers with excellent experience, customer support teams tend to the problems through at home customer services. Customer service – From the beginning to the present. The need for customer service has been felt by people ever since the very beginning of time. It might be hard to figure out a definite year or time when the customer services began. As soon as people buy something, there is an on-going need for finding out more about the product through the seller in order to have a cost-effective experience. Dawn of civilisation. Like mentioned earlier, there is no definite year that can tell us when the customer service first began. As soon as a person purchases something from the seller, there is a level of customer service experienced by the buyer. It is the duty of the person selling a product to answer any queries that the buyer may have. To sum up, the first customer service may have begun at the dawn of civilisation when trading items, buying and selling various items was first practised by the people. In-person customer service. When trading items first began, that was the beginning of the very first kind of customer service; in-person customer service to be exact. Trading began as soon as the people started to realise their need for better items and necessities in life. The people involved in trading, buying and selling items at the dawn of civilisation were unknowingly implementing customer service as a part of their activities. However, now with the advancement in technology, in-person customer service has evolved quite dramatically as the sales representatives are trained to provide the customers with a good and cost-effective experience. Automated customer service. The evolution of customer service led to the beginning of automated customer service. As the majority of the people began to rely on technology for various purposes, organisations and businesses felt the need to gain direct contact with the customers. This could be done effectively by making use of their websites. Today, there are many large companies and organisations that offer automated customer service software and other solutions. Using customer service for your benefit. The sole purpose of customer service is mainly to ensure that all of the questions and problems of the customers are answered and solved. Most customers who seek help from a company’s customer service department are mainly looking for a chance to get to know the product better. A good customer service may not just benefit the customers, but it may also help in growing the company or the business. It may help the company figure out where they might be lagging behind or change the way any unhappy customer feels about them. A good customer service may do wonders for any start-up or known company. Builds reputation and client loyalty. When a customer has any queries about a product, it may be an opportunity for any business to earn the loyalty of their customer by providing them with good customer care.  When a company takes the queries or the problem of a customer seriously and offers a good solution, they are building a good reputation for their company. A content customer will most likely recommend a company’s product or service to their friend which is great especially for start-up businesses. Customer service today. Customer service has evolved drastically over the past few years and with it, the needs, requirements and attitude of the customers towards the sales representative has also changed. A sales representative today may have to face several challenges while listening to the customers’ queries and problems. Today customers can be very straightforward with how and what they feel and expect instant results and answers; this makes the job of any sales or service representative quite difficult. It is also important for a customer service representative to understand that while listening to a customer, it is their job to change the way a customer feels and not the facts. Understanding the needs of the customers. Most customer service departments today neglect the queries of the customers. A customer’s complaint or query may change the outlook for your company. One-time bad service to anyone customer may leave a bad impression for many years to come. Neglecting queries of the customers may bring harm to the reputation of the company built by a lot of hard work. However, by simply understanding the needs of the customers, companies today may gain the opportunity to rise above their weakness and leave a good impression on their clients and customers. Challenges for customers service representatives. A customer service representative faces several problems in one single day. There are many challenges in this field and all of them need to be taken care of quite efficiently, or it might leave a bad impression on the name of the company. With the rising demand and needs of the people, the complaints and queries of the customers rise equally when these demands and needs are not fulfilled. There may be several questions that a customer may have or numerous things that the customer does not understand, and all of these must be answered efficiently, and it may help any business flourish. Unsatisfied customers. The most common problem that is often faced is unsatisfied customers. Sometimes their reason for being unsatisfied with your product is valid, and sometimes it is not. It is the duty of a customer service representative to tackle all their queries and reasons for being unsatisfied and seek a suitable solution. To avoid any misunderstanding and miscommunication in between the customer and the customer service representative, the best thing to do is to be upfront and clear about what solution a company is willing to offer and what a customer may expect. A customer might also be unsatisfied with the service that a company is providing and that is also one of the most crucial challenges faced by many customer service departments. To always be on top, a customer service representative needs to be upfront and very clear about what the company is willing to do in order to provide them with a satisfying service. The ever-changing needs of the customers. The needs of the customers are ever changing. With every second call and query, their needs and demands change. It is often a drawback for the company to fulfil the needs of all the customers, hence, a company and customer service representatives are often unable to satisfy all the customers. With the changing needs of the customers, it becomes difficult for the companies to focus on one goal. When a company tries to satisfy all the customers, they often end up satisfying no one which is often a very common problem for large companies and business. However, for any company to have a customer-focused business, there is a need to acquire all the resources such as trained staff, time and innovative ideas. Developing a successful customer service model for a small business. Now you understand what customer service is, discover how you can create and develop a customer service team and customer focused business that will support small business growth. Create a culture of ownership. In larger organisations, there are customer service teams, technical staff, managers, sales superstars and all number of hierarchies with distinct and easily defined job roles. In early stage startups, there are usually less than ten people. Customer service is something which can easily fall through the cracks. A Founder-CEO might want to treat every customer to a personal response. That’s fine if they have the time. If not then there should be a structured, accountable process for fielding customer contacts. One person should be responsible. It should be their primary function. They should have clear and open accountability with every case so that the whole team can learn from wins and failures when it comes to service delivery since how you do with one will impact how you handle one thousand customers. Fast responses for the win! Have a back-end service in place which sends automated updates to both staff and customers when contact has been made. Make sure inbound social contacts are assigned automatically too since no one wants to have a Tweet – which is public – go unanswered. Customers need to know: a.) they’ve been heard; b.) a timescale for a resolution; c.) who’s responsible; d.) updates if there are any unexpected delays. The same principles which apply in call centres should apply in startups. Aim for a fast resolution (under 24 hours). Don’t keep the customer waiting so long they feel the need to email, Tweet or call again. If there is no resolution, then it should go up to a more senior member of staff. Always aim to exceed expectations. Giving a customer false hope is the same as ignoring an email or hanging up during a phone call. All they want is the truth. It will set your customer service free. Aim to give them as realistic a timescale as possible. So if you solve a problem sooner, then they’ll be even happier with the result. This means the person responsible has to know they can resolve the issue within the allotted time. If this doesn’t look likely, then let the customer know in advance, rather than on or just before they were expecting an answer. The one advantage of being in a startup team compared to a call centre agent is your customers probably don’t have very high – or low – expectations. As a new company there’s little precedent; except for the fact that customer service is a universal experience, so get it wrong and a customer won’t hang around for long. The customer isn’t always right. Work in a shop, restaurant, call centre or any customer facing role long enough, and you’ll meet Mr. Belligerently Obnoxiously Right, even though they couldn’t be more wrong. He’s the customer, so he’s right, obviously. Every startup will eventually encounter Mr. B. O. as well. Do your best. Always do your best to resolve every problem and answer every question. But when the facts are against a customer, and you’ve done all you can then sometimes you have to let go and walk away. After that, the best solution is either to do your best to repair the relationship or move on. Go above and beyond. Every customer contact is a chance for you to show them why they made the right choice when they bought your service. Every contact is an added value extension of that service. A chance to keep building the relationship. That’s why you should never miss the chance to exceed expectations. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture either. A personal, handwritten note can go a long way in a digital age. Send a box of tissues and flu tablets if you know a customer has a cold but is still in the office. With red cup season at Starbucks just around the corner why not send an e-gift card? The little things are what counts in our personal relationships, so as a startup employ that mindset when it comes to customers. As you grow your customer base, keep finding ways to delight them. The happier your customers, the more secure your revenue, the more inbound leads you will start receiving. Growth will get incrementally easier with a strong customer-centric approach. Dealing with angry customers. We have all been angry customers. We have also had to deal with angry customers. A customer can be anyone who has been involved in a transaction or deal. Such transactions or deals need not be confined to the world of business, and indeed it is more accessible to generalise. An angry customer is someone who feels that the transaction or deal has gone sour for them. They may feel exploited, cheated, undercut or overcharged. They want someone to listen to them. You want resolution. What matters to both of you is empathy. Say sorry to the customer. Everyone knows the best way to deal with anyone who feels that they have a right to be angry at you or something you stand for is an apology. The rest of the article is not filler but an approach to a more pragmatic way of thinking and delivering the apology. The sorry is the start, and the heart of the message and the customer should know that. The angry customer should walk away with the apology, a resolution and hopefully a changed perception. The resolution and the changing in perception is what follows. Empathize with the customer. We have all had to deal with this situation and consequently there is a range of language to deal with it. The skill used to deal with angry people generally is negotiation and this is no different for the customer. The angry customer situation has arisen because the customer’s expectations have not been met by either the product or service offered or by the deal itself. The customer may be angry because of poor performance of the product, lack of understanding of it or the transaction, or even bad media coverage. An example of angry customers could be those of Vodafone (which has the worst Trust Pilot score I’ve ever seen and makes for entertaining reading.) Understand your customer’s expectations. Can it be the case that the customer’s anger is not legitimate or it is misplaced? Yes, this can be the case, however, if it is, then what’s the incentive to drive the anger towards your company? Your product may be associated with something that the angry customer has a grievance with or it may be that this type of customer tends to find faults with all products or services. In both cases, it would be worth evaluating whether you are pitching the right people in the most efficient way. Seek a resolution. The resolution is the fix to what made this customer angry. Explaining to your customer how it will be resolved gives you the opportunity to show that this person means enough to you and your business to permanently change your ways so that this scenario does not happen again. The resolution, therefore, deserves the right message. Getting the right message across. Getting the right message across is even more important when negotiating with an angry customer. You have to put the message in terms they can understand, and the most effective means of doing this are getting them to give it to you. Giving an angry customer the opportunity to rant will give you the opportunity to explore their justification. Understanding why someone thinks and feels the way they do will give you the tools to deliver your message and dispel their anger. Use the right words to deliver your message. There are specific words that we like to rely upon. These words form the core of our vocabularies. Words often used in the vocabulary of anger and frustration are hate, not, why and don’t. While these words are unhelpful, there will be words that a customer will say that will have meaning for them. Demonstrating your understanding of their anger with the use of these words will resonate with them. Relay their words back to them in a different structure and with the same meaning. The next part of your resolution is the re-pitch. Demonstrate your understanding. The angry customer is still a customer. That implies at some point this individual valued your offering enough to part with money for it, or that they intended to. This aspect of your company, product or service is what appealed most to them and to remind them of this demonstrates your understanding and more importantly allows you to remind this person what makes your company great. The understanding is as much about the reason why your customer is angry as it is about the anger itself. Demonstrating your understanding that this person is upset is expressing your empathy. Delivering your explanation as to why their upset gives you the scope to change this angry perception. To summarise this article, the most overwhelmingly important aspect is to remain calm. If you remain calm, then the rest should naturally follow. Related topics. Tags: Customer service Related Posts. Sales 5 Ways your business can employ excellent customer service . Customer service skills are necessary in a wide variety of industries, from advertising to consulting, and to retail, food, and ... Published by Editorial team 27th July 2021 Sales Understanding Service Vs Help desks and ITSM . The IT world is full of difficult to understand terms, making it tough to keep track of the tools, processes, ... Published by Editorial team 27th July 2021 Sales The art of survival after losing a client . The fate of your business surviving after the loss of its biggest client lies in the assessment and execution of ... Published by Editorial team 27th July 2021 About. Advertise with us Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us Topics. Finance Insurance Technology Marketing Human resources Legal eCommerce Leadership Procurement Luxury Start a business Advertise with us Contact us Cookie list Home Alpha Join the Entrepreneur Handbook community Notifications error Privacy & cookie policy Terms and conditions of use Thanks for subscribing! Copyright © 2013 - 2022 Entrepreneur Handbook Ltd. All rights reserved. Registered offices at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU, United Kingdom. Finance Insurance Technology Marketing Human resources Legal eCommerce Leadership Procurement Luxury Start a business Advertise with us Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us Copyright © 2013 - 2022 Entrepreneur Handbook Ltd. All rights reserved. Registered offices at 20-22 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7GU, United Kingdom.
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                                                (
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                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => The Game of Chess: How to Anticipate Your Customers’ Next Move. 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

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                                                                        (
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                        About Steven MacDonald
                    . 
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                                                                        )

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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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Shahbaz Shahbaz                                . 
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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
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Steven MacDonald                                        . 
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                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [6] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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Ashish                                . 
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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [7] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
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                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

                                                                    [8] => stdClass Object
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Steven MacDonald                                        . 
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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

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                                                                        (
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Bob                                . 
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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [10] => stdClass Object
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Steven MacDonald                                        . 
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                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [11] => stdClass Object
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                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

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                                                                        )

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                                                                                (
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                                                                        )

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                                                                    [20] => stdClass Object
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                                                                    [21] => stdClass Object
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                                                                            [name] => 
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                                                                        )

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                            [body] => 5 Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service (With Examples) Posted by Steven MacDonald - 48 Comments Last updated: 4 May, 2021 Post summary: There’s a lot of negative press coverage for companies that deliver poor customer service. If you want to stand out, you need to rethink how you treat your customers. The number one reason why a customer leaves is because they feel like you don’t care about them. But, how can you show them that you care? It’s simple. Provide excellent customer service. We share 5 ways to help you deliver great customer service, including real-life examples from Lexus, Starbucks, Amazon and more. When was the last time you provided good customer service? Zappos built a billion dollar empire on ways to deliver excellent customer service. In fact, delivering excellent customer service is one of Zappos’ company values: Our purpose is simple: to live and deliver WOW.” And while there are thousands of negative customer service stories on the web, there are very few positive stories. Whether you provide customer service by phone, email, live chat or social media, we've gathered some of our favorite stories online and share our thoughts on what makes them so good. What is good customer service? Here's 5 stories to inspire you and your team to provide professional and high-quality customer service. 5 good customer service examples to provide great service. Here are five ways to stand out from the crowd to help you deliver excellent customer service. Let's get started! 1. Respond as quickly as possible. One of the biggest factors in good customer service is speed, especially when a client is requesting something that’s time sensitive. Several years ago, STELLAService conducted a response time report and found that the average email response time for the top 100 retail companies was 17 hours. Today, it's not much better as own customer service study found that the average response time is 12 hours. While Frost reported that 41% of consumers surveyed listed being put on hold as their biggest frustration. Make sure you don’t leave customers waiting. A great example of this is when Lexus recalled a series of Lexus ES 350 sedans and asked car owners to visit a dealership to bring their cars in. Instead of having to sit in a waiting room watching their cars being worked on, their customers were given a brand new Lexus instead. 2. Know your customers. Great interactions begin with knowing your customers wants and needs. Customers love personalization. Get to know your customers, remember their names and previous conversations. If needed, make a note of what was discussed previously so you can refer to it the next time you meet. In January 2020, Starbucks launched their "Every name's a story" campaign focusing on improving relationships with their customers. The award winning campaign promotes inclusivity, recognition and acceptance at Starbucks stores across the world. The video, a focal point of the campaign, has generated more than 2.8 million views on YouTube. 3. Fix your mistakes. Not taking responsibility of your mistakes is a sure fire way to getting a bad reputation. Transparency is important in business and customer service is no different. Always strive for a high quality output as it shows you have a high level of standards. An Amazon customer ordered a new PlayStation for his son for Christmas. When the shipping company delivered the parcel, the customer was away and had a neighbor sign for the package. The neighbor left the package outside the customer’s house and unfortunately, it soon disappeared. When the customer realized what had happened, he was left in complete shock! Even though Amazon was not to blame for this mistake, they were quick to resolve this by not only sending a new PlayStation in time for Christmas, but did not charge for the extra shipping. The Customer Success team at Amazon showed great empathy here towards the customer. Rather than sticking to their refund policy, then chose to do good. And that's what matters most. 4. Listen to your customers. Listening to your customers will not only result in an indebted and happy customer, it can also go a long way in terms of keeping yourself on their radar for future business. A three year old named Lily Robinson wrote a letter to Sainsbury’s, a UK grocery store, a letter asking why ‘tiger bread was called tiger bread and not giraffe bread?’. Lily was clearly onto something, as the bread really does look like a giraffe print! In most cases, these types of suggestions are met with a simple "Thank you". But, to Lily’s surprise, Chris King, the customer service manager of Sainsbury’s responded with “I think renaming it to giraffe bread is a brilliant idea!”. Several months later, the bread was renamed to giraffe bread. How's that for appreciating your customers? 5. Think long term – A customer is for life. Think long term when dealing with customers. By keeping customers happy, they will be loyal and through word of mouth, will do the marketing for you. In fact, according to author Pete Blackshaw, a satisfied customer tells at least three friends (whereas an angry customer tells 3,000!) Peter Shankman, author and business consultant, was ready to board a flight before tweeting “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)”. A fun attempt at humor, right? Peter admitted he was joking. He never expected anything after he sent that Tweet... But, as soon as Peter landed, a gentleman wearing a tuxedo was holding a bag that contained a porterhouse steak, shrimp, potatoes, napkins and silverware. Knowing that Peter was a regular customer and having tracked down his arrival details, Morton’s traveled more than 23 miles to deliver his food and with - one of the greatest customer service stories of all time. Would you travel 23 miles to provide one of the most legendary stories on customer service? I know I would. How important is it to deliver excellent customer service? Customer service has an impact on both existing customers and potential customers. A recent survey found that 68% of consumers would react by telling family and friends about a bad experience by posting it on a social network. And as each Facebook profile has an average of 155 friends, one negative experience can quickly reach thousands! However, there is great value in ensuring you deliver a positive customer service. A RightNow Technologies Customer Experience Report found that 86% of U.S. adults are willing to pay more for a better customer experience and 73% of U.S. adults said a friendly customer service made them fall in love with a brand. Not only will brands get happy, loyal customers but will see increased business. 3 ways to improve customer service. If you want to improve relationships with your customers start by making small changes to your customer service. No matter how great your business is or how talented your team may be, customers will always remember the interactions they have with your company.  Here are a few customer service tips to deliver a better customer experience: 1. Deliver contextual-based support. When customer service teams have a 360-degree view of a customer’s needs are better at finding opportunities to improve customer experience.  In Microsoft’s report on the State of Global Customer Support, more than 75% of consumers expect customer service reps to have visibility into previous interactions and purchases. Yet, nearly half say agents almost never or only occasionally have the context they need to most effectively and efficiently solve their issue. Customers feel frustrated whenever they have to repeat themselves or believe that customer service lacks the knowledge about their issue. By unifying customer information with a CRM, customer service reps gain the context and ability to resolve inquiries in a single interaction.  2. Innovate the customer journey. Customer experience has become the driving force that determines whether a customer will stay or abandon your business. However, the methods of delivering a memorable customer experience has changed over the years. Back in 2013, Walker Information surveyed more than 300 customer experience professionals from large B2B companies to gain insights on future trends for customers in 2020. While email was the most common communication channel (77%) with customers, they predicted that online communities (68%), social media (63%), and corporate websites (61%) would come to dominate the way customers interact with companies.  Were they right? Sprout Social’s report shows that 88% of marketers understand the importance of customer service appearing on social media with nearly 45% of consumers surveyed saying they have reached out to a company on social media.  While this is just one sample of the evolution of customer support, companies must innovate their customer journeys to adapt to today’s technology, platforms, and demands.  3. Invest in human and automated service channels. Losing loyal customers is detrimental to every company’s bottomline. In CallMiner’s 2020 Churn Index Report, 43.3 billion people are switching companies and 88.3 million are considering to switch for reasons that could have been avoided. That’s more than $35.3 billion in lost revenue due to unplanned churn. Companies that fail to invest in a combination of human and automated self-service channels are missing opportunities to create loyal, satisfied customers.  Automated self-service channels, such as a knowledge base, offer customers with the ability to solve issues on their own.  However, if they can’t find the information that they need, that’s when human service channels, such as real time chat, serve to complement customer support and address issues quickly before frustrations escalate. Conclusion. Business should be built around how to deliver excellent customer service. It’s easy to forget its importance when you are building your brand’s web presence and marketing your website. But, these five examples above have stood the test of time and provide truly excellent customer service. Do you have any stories of a company that deliver excellent customer service? Please let us know in the comments section below. P.S. One of the best ways to deliver excellent customer service is to provide fast customer support. Download our free customer service templates. Customer Service Back to articles Related resources. CRM buyer’s guide. Investing in the wrong CRM is expensive. Get a guide that helps you identify the optimal solution for your organization. Get Guide More happy customers? Learn from the best-in-class customer service providers. Get the Customer Service benchmark report. Get Guide Better customer service? Increase response speed and reduce workload with 7 email templates to improve customer service. Get Guide Want more inspiration on how to improve your customer service? . Sign up to Thrive with SuperOffice to receive original content in your inbox, designed to help you improve your customer service processes and turn relationships into revenue. Sign up Related Posts:. The Game of Chess: How to Anticipate Your Customers’ Next Move. While acquiring more and more new customers may look like a sign of growth, those are your exis… 3 Ways to “WOW” Your Customers and Exceed Expectations. Every customer service manager wants to provide great customer service. Here's 3 ways… About Steven MacDonald . Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia.  You can connect with Steven on LinkedIn and Twitter. View all articles by Steven MacDonald Get rich Radio . 7 years ago Great article. Shahbaz Shahbaz . 5 years ago Alot of amazing ideas for earning customer smiles. Thank you for this nice post. Steven MacDonald . 5 years ago Glad you like it, Shahbaz! Ashish . 5 years ago A great post that illustrates the relevance of customer service. Businesses should be built around delivering amazing customer service that constantly delights the customers. This example featuring how Amazon rates high on customer satisfaction surveys ( https://goo.gl/sxnNno ) will help you understand their approach to delivering effective customer service. Johnny McCarron . 5 years ago I really liked that you pointed out how important a good customer service experience is, particularly when it comes to a "word-of-mouth" reputation. Often, people will express their disdain for poor customer service to their family and friends. That can really lead to a loss in potential customers, which is something you undoubtedly want to avoid. Steven MacDonald . 5 years ago That's very true, Johnny. Thanks for the comment. Bob . 5 years ago The importance of customer satisfaction coupled with excellent delivery of goods and services can not be underestimated because from it alone comes the defining moment for the company and its endeavor to grow as a business. Such a brilliant article right here. Steven MacDonald . 5 years ago Thanks, Bob! David . one year ago Great customer service article. Keep up the good work! Nickki . 5 years ago Very Informative .. Thanks For Sharing kilindo . 5 years ago Great post! Helps explain the how and why customer service reps go extra mile in providing excellent service to customers in an organization. Erin . 4 years ago Kudos! It's very informative and easy to understand. Indeed, customer satisfaction is a great plus in a company, better than any marketing strategies. Thanks for sharing. maggie . 4 years ago Point out what you have that competitors don't, instead of pointing out what is wrong with your competitors, because bad advertising is still advertising. The customer will shop around and end up asking the competition about what you pointed out you had they didn't and come right back to you. Its a mistake that politicians are making these days in campaigns. Bashing only makes the basher look bad, and gives free advertising to their opponent or competition. David . 4 years ago Well said, Good info. From above Always get confirmation from the customer that the issue has been fixed. Don’t assume that simply telling them what to do is enough. They may be having trouble following your instructions. If you’re on the phone/in person stay with them until they’re up and running again. For email support, follow up messages you’ve sent. This final “Are you ok?” goes a long way. James Roberts . 4 years ago Very useful post. Sabrina Costain . 4 years ago Great article , word of mouth can make or break a business. Going the extra mile to ensure your client is happy never hurts anyone, and helps build a better business for you and them. David . 4 years ago Great points. Thank you for this article. So, if so much is known and proven about creating quality service. Why are there 'so many' establishments with poor to dismal service? I've been in the hospitality/customer service industry for 39 years. Our present service in America really is quite dismal. Yet, most owners are happy with 'okay' (what THEY think is okay). I really believe most Americans are lazy, and are very happy if they are doing 'okay'. It does take extra work to create a quality experience for every customer, but it would seem most managers/owners don't want to work that hard. Of course when their business/restaurant closes in two years. They blame everyone else but themselves. Every business has the potential to become profitable. It all depends on how hard the owners/managers want to work and if they want to work 'pro-actively instead of re-actively. Thank you for your time. Steven MacDonald . 4 years ago Well said, David, and I completely agree. Far too many business owners put good customer service at the bottom of their priority list. It should be at the top! Matthew Doherty . 3 years ago Great and well-written post. Customer satisfaction plays a vital role in the business success, so it is important to make your customer as happy as you can. Thanks a lot for sharing the information. Shep Hyken . 3 years ago Great article, and especially love reading the examples. It doesn’t matter if these happened yesterday or ten years ago, the perfectly make the point. Thank you! Abdul . 3 years ago These tips are great. It is the best option to reply fast to customers and take care of them, talk to them politely and solve their problems as soon as possible. These are the major issues customers feel while doing business with companies. Steven MacDonald . 3 years ago You nailed it, Abdul! Angela Brezovsky . 2 years ago Would you agree that "The Strategic Sweet Spot" in a company should be excellent customer service? Do you feel that this could have a great advantage on setting you apart from your competition the most? Steven MacDonald . 2 years ago Definitely! Louis Mattel . 2 years ago Thanks for sharing this beneficial information with us and I especially like the customer service examples. No doubt every customer wants the best service when they purchase products and their feedback really helps to know the customers experience. Alex Bryan . 2 years ago Indeed, a great article Steven! The ways it explained the service really helps in understanding the value of customer satisfaction. Decreasing the respond time to going extra miles to jump into the customer’s shoe, all are the key metrics for great customer service. Megha Jain . 2 years ago I totally agree with what this article communicates. The customer is indeed the king! Alvin Moore . 2 years ago Learning new ways to improve your customer service is necessary for keeping your customer's trust and positive feedback to the product or services you offer. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips I can use on our lovely customers. Ken Briesemeister . 2 years ago Steve, You and I are exactly on the same page. Customer service has always been my #1 priority. Because of my dedication to my customers we are the #1 rated roofing company in America for having all 5 star reviews. Steven MacDonald . 2 years ago That's amazing, Ken. Well done! SARAH LUCAS . 2 years ago Thanks Steven, for such an impactful article. Samreen . one year ago Thanks, Steven your article is really hopeful to understand about customer service. I hope I can get a job and provide great customer service to all great people. Perry A. . one year ago Hey Steven, thanks for sharing this useful article. Indeed, great customer service can sustain customers and potential customers. Business people should put customers as their no 1 priority. Keep up the good writing, by the way :D Taylor Hansen . one year ago It's interesting that 41 percent of consumers say that being put on hold makes them frustrated. I'm trying to train my team for customer service since our customers have been complaining about their service. I'll be sure to remember these tips and see if we can get a professional to train my team. Deepak dhiman . one year ago I think the long term is the most important thing regarding customer management. We have to build that kind of bonding with customers so that in future they come to us frequently. Great blog, Thanks for sharing this Steven! Maria Kassapidis . one year ago Great article on customer service, Steven! Brad . one year ago Great read! In addition to your tips, I believe live chat has helped businesses bring the best of both worlds together in one single place to provide better customer service. David Law . one year ago Great post. I really believe in responding to customers as quickly as possible. Whenever a company has a KPI for response times I say that it should be the maximum amount of time to respond not the minimum! If you can reply to an email in five minutes then do it! Its such an easy way to provide great customer service! Bhooshan . one year ago Great list of customer service tips! Deepak dhiman . one year ago A very knowledgeable blog for a beginner like me. Thanks for sharing these customer service tips. Great work. Fiona Nabi . one year ago Customer service is important for any business. Thank you for sharing these tips! Neha Singla . one year ago One of the best articles I've ever read on customer service. Thank you! R. Loganathan . one year ago Most companies see the customer as just a number, which is why they can't sustain their business. Companies that really about their customers achieve successful growth. That's why customer service is so important. David Warner . one year ago While i was searching for "Business Care Management" on google, i reach to your website. You say that "Great interactions begin with knowing your customers wants and needs" it is absolutely right. I like that point. In order to provide quality services to your customers, it is most important that we should understand the customer needs. In this way we can make customer happy and can grow. Pratik S. . one year ago Hi Steven! Delivering excellent customer service is very important in order to make a presence and profit as well. I would like to say thanks to you for sharing ways to stand out from the crowd to help you deliver excellent customer service. I will use these tips for my business too. Keep sharing such kinds of nice blogs. Anna Oliveros . one year ago Great Information and tips on customer service. Lasu Alfred . 11 months ago Good customer service is to accept mistakes and respect your customers! Douglas Boakye-Yiadom . 10 months ago Great piece. Excellent customer experience leads to positive recommendations and loyalty. ×
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                            [body] => Empowering positive changefor consumers and brands MARTIN NEWMANThe Consumer Champion. Want to share your customer experience? You're in the right place! ClickTap to share your customer experience   Recent customer experiences. J An experience about: Argos Went in argos at merry Hill center and a young girl name of Louise came u... Read this experience An experience about: Downyourhighstreet.com It was Chelsea Gamers,the console arrived on time within 24 hrs of ordering... Read this experience An experience about: Downyourhighstreet.com Fast delivery, hassle free and came well packaged. Items in immaculate cond... Read this experience L An experience about: Marks & Spencer I had an appointment with Judith for a bra fitting at Marks and Spencer in ... Read this experience P An experience about: TK Maxx Stumbled upon the nicest cashier who made sure the glasses I had selected w... Read this experience A An experience about: Aldi As always excellent service. The lady on the till was helpful as usual and ... Read this experience V An experience about: Dunelm Group Needed help from staff and they were available and helpful Read this experience An experience about: Dreams We were greeted by Johnny Murphy who ascertained what type of mattress woul... Read this experience R An experience about: Target i like visiting Target than anyhing else because they have almost everythin... Read this experience An experience about: Aldi I forgot my bank card to pay for my shopping and the lovely guy that was o... Read this experience D An experience about: Downyourhighstreet.com Tower of London Read this experience P An experience about: Itch Was afraid I may not have ordered the right dosage for my cat's flea treatm... Read this experience An experience about: Morrisons A lovely man named Keith at the Swindon Dorcan morrisons store really helpe... Read this experience An experience about: Kwik Fit I had a flat tyre so I had to get a new one. I couldn't buy it online at th... Read this experience A An experience about: Downyourhighstreet.com Bought an iPad holder and was really impressed with the product, the price,... Read this experience L An experience about: Tesco When visiting the store to make a complaint, I spoke to a young man named L... Read this experience V An experience about: Amazon Item did not arrive, Amazon provided refund request. Funds back in account ... Read this experience A An experience about: DPD Driver didn't even attempt to ring my door & then after speaking to the dpd... Read this experience An experience about: Argos Bolton Shopping Park Argos 14.11.2020 a young women was very kind, approach... Read this experience A An experience about: British Airways Had a flight cancelled but was refunded within 5 days. Read this experience S An experience about: Specsavers Visited today by Sanj and Annemarie for an eye test. I would just like to s... Read this experience P An experience about: TK Maxx TK Maxx Purley Way's staff is the nicest staff you can find! They are alway... Read this experience T An experience about: B&Q We ordered a new bathroom and kitchen from the Warrington store, we were se... Read this experience An experience about: Amazon I bought a product on their marketplace and thought it was poor quality so ... Read this experience An experience about: B&Q Good service, their assistants are extremely helpful and we found all we we... Read this experience P An experience about: Dunelm Group Dunelm is the first store I have visited during covid that wipes down surfa... Read this experience R An experience about: Vets4Pets We had to have our Cocker Spaniel put to sleep last week. We’ve been usin... Read this experience An experience about: Nandos Delivery man was so lovely “robin” nandos Springfield quay. Read this experience C An experience about: Travelodge I was trying to obtain a refund from A hotel Chain in the UK but they would... Read this experience M An experience about: Burnley Football Club Suites I went for training and as part of my daily reflection, I needed a quite sp... Read this experience R An experience about: Amazon They were very helpful. Read this experience J An experience about: Morrisons The staff in Morrison's, Letchworth are working so hard to keep everybody s... Read this experience K An experience about: DPD After a rocky start in December, I can safely say that DPD have never faile... Read this experience P An experience about: NHS In 2011 I was referred by my GP to an ear, nose and throat specialist, Prof... Read this experience L An experience about: Curzon Cinema Every time we visit the Curzon, we get friendly, efficient and personalised... Read this experience P An experience about: Royal Sussex County Hospital great friendly staff always smiling ,even when dealing with very difficult ... Read this experience O An experience about: Hermes I received and email saying my parcel has arrived I went to look outside wh... Read this experience An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets I have just been into the Ellesmere Port store of Morrisons and I was very ... Read this experience An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets Today (08.01.2022) at 10:30-11:00 I went to Norwich Riverside Morrisons to ... Read this experience An experience about: Hermes My parcel got left in my wheelie bin out side and it got took away I am fur... Read this experience D An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets Terrible substitute products and some items weren't even substituted. Drive... Read this experience An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets They had contractors digging up their car park overnight for 3 days. It was... Read this experience B An experience about: Morrisons Leighton buzzard branch cafe have the worse staff refusing to sub any items... Read this experience M An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets I purchased something that was on offer, when I got to the till I was charg... Read this experience An experience about: Morrisons Management aren't clamping down on customers AND staff wearing face coverin... Read this experience E An experience about: Morrisons I did a large order for my food shop. Went to check out only to be told tha... Read this experience An experience about: Shein My parcel suppose to come by 23rd of December I haven't received yet. Track... Read this experience J An experience about: Morrisons Order cancelled due to my card being compromised.spoke to bank.placed order... Read this experience An experience about: Lloyds Pharmacy i was sent by my partner to collect some lateral flow test kits which she h... Read this experience P An experience about: Morrisons On 14th December I was cycling along Bishop Road in Bristol. Part way along... Read this experience J An experience about: NCF Living (Birmingham) I ordered a bed from the Rugby NCF store in September 2021. The bed that w... Read this experience An experience about: Virgin Media Home move team failed to do their job which has left me without service. I... Read this experience L An experience about: Jacamo I ordered A qty 2 of Lynx Chill and was only delivered 1 the customer advic... Read this experience K An experience about: Morrisons Bought a prawn sandwich from the cafe. Redcar branch. Opened my second to a... Read this experience T An experience about: Morrisons My son is registered disabled. The website says that the cafe opens at 9am.... Read this experience An experience about: Morrisons I filled up my car for petrol and paid at the pump and was charged £100 fo... Read this experience An experience about: Boots Ordered for store delivery on 25th October. Delivered to store later than t... Read this experience An experience about: Morrisons Took payment on 25th October for £14 arrived in store 2 weeks later rather... Read this experience I An experience about: Morrisons I brought a bottle of vodka and the till assistance could not remove protec... Read this experience An experience about: Hermes Supposed to have delivery, states was delivered and picture got in touch a... Read this experience K An experience about: Morrisons I went into the store today and they clearly have a sign up saying customer... Read this experience K An experience about: Morrisons Bought a delivery pass can not get slots order tuned up after a good few pr... Read this experience An experience about: Yodel Rang for collection refused to pick up on behalf virgin Read this experience D An experience about: DPD I delivered my parcel in the very morning on Sunday morning. It was not eve... Read this experience An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets Purchased 10 pkts of marzipan for several Christmas cakes but it has gone s... Read this experience S An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets disgusting meal from their new fast food hall in Lincoln Read this experience An experience about: Arriva Bus I got on the bus in the morning and asked for a return and the bus driver g... Read this experience P An experience about: Sainsbury (J) In March 2020 I had been going through I rough time I’m disabled an got s... Read this experience M An experience about: Morrisons Bought a salmon sandwich and there was hardly any salmon in it, an absolute... Read this experience An experience about: Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets Good morning I just wanted to express the really awful customer service I... Read this experience R An experience about: Morrisons I bought a ready meal for my daughter as we have dance on a Friday as need ... Read this experience An experience about: Morrisons Nearly fell Over in Dereham store disgusting floor and shelves empty no sto... Read this experience A Few Words From Our Users. Caitlin M:. "I think this is a good idea especially in terms of gathering a case and evidence in regards to a specific issue." Matt G:. "Great site! It really gives you a voice." Jess R:. "Really like this idea. It's great to see the specific employee getting recognition for their great service." Lorraine W:. "What an excellent service! I contacted CSA yesterday with an issue I had with Argos. Today I had a call from Argos HO and reserved my issue within minutes even though Shop Staff, Online Chat, FB communication said there was nothing they could do!" Christine D:. "Very helpful, problem was finally resolved one day after my post went live, despite multiple previous calls from me to the company with no results. Thank you" James B:. "Highly recommend Customer Service Action. It's so frustrating dealing with customer service departments!" Companies Improving their Service. In an effort to help vaccinate the UK, Uber offers discount on rides to or from vaccination centres.  Read more   Asda gives 7,000 laptops to help school tackle digital exclusion.  Read more   Selfridges introduces "Resellfridges": a shopping initiative where customers can buy pre-loved, Selfridges-curated pieces.  Read more   Recent Posts. Holidays, travel and refunds during COVID 19: our FAQ. Updated 30/11/2021 We've been through nearly two stressful years, so it is only right to relax and have some holidays ! However, what if not... Read More   Our partnership with Synergy. With only 47 million complaints out of 173 million reaching the brand (Ombudsman, 2018) and 89% of consumers switching their business to a competi... Read More   How to spot fake reviews. Reviews are everywhere; this much we know. Reviews can be useful as they give us an insight into what we’re going to buy before we purchase ... Read More   Have a question? Get in touch   Cookie Compliance When you visit our Website, we place cookies on your computer or other device. For the most part, these cookies are used to enable the Website's functionality, improve the user experience or help us optimise our Website, measure traffic and other internal management purposes. You can find out more about our use of cookies, including how to reject cookies, in our Cookie Policy. Accept all Manage cookies
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                            [body] => Understanding customer support and customer service Index What is customer support? The definition of customer support The history of customer support Common customer support responsibilities Types of customer support The future of customer support What is customer service The definition of customer service Common customer service responsibilities The importance of good customer service What is customer success? The definition of customer success Common customer success responsibilities Differences between customer support, service and success What are the prerequisites for building a successful customer service team? Customer service best practices Important customer service skills Tips to create an effective customer support and service strategy What are the most common customer service issues? The toughest customer service challenges and how to overcome them Tips to proactively identity and address customers’ issues What are the most popular customer support channels? Common customer support channels The importance of omnichannel customer support How to evaluate the success of your customer service strategy? Important customer service metrics or KPIs Mediums that offer cues into customer behavior, needs and expectations We are in an age where competition is immense, and differentiating your brand solely on the basis of your product and service offerings is becoming more and more challenging. In a scenario like this, customers tend to flock to brands that they perceive will offer better value in comparison to their competitors. Delivering superior customer experiences is a great way to create this value and gain a competitive advantage against other players in the market. And great customer support and customer service are the cornerstones of a memorable customer experience. What is customer support? 1. The definition of customer support Simply put, customer support is a dedicated function that offers tech support to customers who use a company's products and services. The term is commonly associated with technology and SaaS companies that provide complex IT solutions and whose customers require ongoing technical assistance. A good customer support agent has a thorough understanding and technical know-how of the company's product and service portfolio. The agent also possesses excellent listening and communication skills since support interactions with customers involve high levels of patience, coherence, and concision. 2. The history of customer support Customer support is not a new concept. In its traditional sense, it dates back to the time humans started trading. Meeting customers’ requirements and serving them better than the competitors to encourage good word-of-mouth and loyalty was, and remains, the core of customer support. Of course, over time, the method and mechanics of delivering customer support have evolved, as have customers’ expectations of what constitutes great support. Until the 1870s, customer support was mainly confined to physical interactions between the buyer and the seller. With the invention of the telephone in 1876, that changed, and from there, support constantly evolved, with the origin of call centres in the 1960s, email and live chat in the 1990s, CRMs and social media in the 2000s, to the dynamic tech-driven customer service helpdesk solutions of today. Today, support is highly customer-centric. With the help of the latest developments in technology, brands are doing everything in their power to constantly delight customers – ensuring they meet customers wherever they want (email, chat, social, phone). Gone are the days where merely meeting customers’ expectations was enough. This is the era of proactive customer support. Source: Kommunicate Whitepaper: Customer Support in 2020 3. Common customer support responsibilities a. Onboarding assistance Onboarding refers to the entire process of helping new customers understand how to use your products and services. Customer onboarding is crucial because it sets the foundation for their long-term association with your brand. Customer support agents can offer onboarding assistance in the form of welcome emails, video tutorials, sign-up process/first login, data import, etc. b. Troubleshooting When a customer reports a technical issue, the customer support team has a two-fold responsibility. Firstly, they must effectively communicate with the customer and note all the essential details pertaining to the problem. Secondly, they must be able to help them fix the issue in the most seamless and timely manner. According to the book Technical Support Essentials, troubleshooting is a multidimensional skill that requires a combination of confidence, analytical reasoning, and experience. c. Maintenance and upgrading Another crucial aspect of customer support includes helping customers with timely maintenance and upgradation of systems. Doing this keeps customers up-to-date with the latest versions of the company’s services and ensures high performance and security levels. d. Sharing customer feedback with other departments After every customer interaction, support agents must ask for feedback and share it with the relevant departments. Customer feedback, whether positive or negative, helps brands grow at various levels. It fosters product innovation and development, improves marketing performance, and enhances the overall customer experience. Some standard feedback collection outlets include surveys, emails, social media, and the brand’s official website. 4. Types of customer support Brands can extend customer support in different ways and through different channels, depending on individual customers and their unique support needs. It's a combination of the following types of support that makes up a world-class customer support strategy. a. Self-support Most customers try to find solutions to their queries using a brand's internal knowledge and resource base. Self-support is one of the most essential and cost-effective forms of support that brands must focus on building and updating consistently. According to a study, 92% of people prefer using a knowledge base for self-service support if available, and 77% of people view organizations more positively if they offer self-service options for customer support. Common forms of self-support include FAQs, white papers, user guides, and case studies. Recommended Read Customer Self-Service: Importance, Examples, and Tips b. Anticipatory support Anticipatory support is support offered to customers proactively, foreseeing their needs at various points during their lifecycle. A customer support strategy that aims to improve loyalty, places a lot of importance on anticipatory support as it demonstrates a brand's commitment towards serving its customers well. Customer support teams must maintain a database of common customer support inquiries so they can anticipate issues frequently faced by customers, and address them even before they arise. In this way, anticipatory support can lower the number of support requests received. Since customers are already equipped with the required tools and guides to better understand and use your product or service, it reduces your customer support team’s burden. An example of anticipatory support includes sending automated emails with explainer videos and FAQ links while onboarding new customers. Recommended Read The Art of Anticipating Customer Needs: Benefits and Tips c. Responsive support Responsive or reactive support is support offered when a customer reaches out with a query or complaint. Unlike anticipatory or proactive support, responsive support cannot prevent issues before they crop up. Although responsive support is important since not all issues and concerns faced by customers can be foreseen, customer support teams must aim at offering more proactive support as it improves customer experience. An example of responsive support includes help offered to a customer experiencing an issue with a particular feature or tool after they reach out to your support team via email or call. What are the differences between self, anticipatory and responsive customer support? Key Differentiators Self-Support Anticipatory Support Responsive Support Approach Proactive Proactive Reactive Key focus To provide customers with adequate data to resolve their own issues. To help customers prevent issues from arising by preemptively offering them support. To resolve customers’ issues as and when they arise. Objective To reduce the number of customer calls and emails and thus, improve the efficiency of customer support teams. To enhance customer experience and loyalty. To solve customers’ issues swiftly and satisfactorily, ie. lower turnaround time, prevent escalation, etc. Common channels Knowledge base and FAQs. Explainer videos, walkthroughs. Email, phone, social and chat. 5. The future of customer support The field of customer support is in a constant state of evolution. The latest innovations in technology have helped companies deliver customer support experiences that are highly tailored and intuitive. Here are three of the most significant future trends in customer service: Recommended Read How will CX evolve in 2021? Inputs from Customer Experience leaders a. Digital transformation to improve customer experience Today, digital is at the centre of customer experiences across all geographies and industries. Digital transformation is about going beyond merely digitizing and automating existing customer support processes. It is about creating platforms that allow customers to communicate, exchange data, and switch between different legacy systems seamlessly, thereby enhancing their experience. b. Greater focus on data speed and security One of the most important customer support trends for the future is the efficient collection, analysis, and application of customer data. More and more brands are looking at ways to accelerate their speed of data collection and analysis so they can make effective data-driven decisions, quicker. Real-time customer data and analytical insights, when used in conjunction with technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual reality and customer journey analytics, can revolutionize support interactions. c. Enhanced human experiences Brands today have access to multiple cutting-edge technologies and solutions that allow customer support personalization at scale. Edge computing can improve real-time data analysis, CRM creates a single record of all customer information, and automation tools make the implementation of decisions and actions faster. However, none of these technologies can help your brand establish a personal connection with customers. To do that, you need the human touch. In today’s era of hyper-digitalization, customers want support interactions that are high on empathy and less automated. What is customer service? 1. The definition of customer service Customer service is the more human aspect of customer experience. It mostly pertains to non-technical customer interactions. Even when there may be an instance of inferior experience on the customer support side, high-quality customer service can compensate for it. In the absence of great customer service, it can get difficult for brands to build a long-term relationship of trust and satisfaction with customers. Customer service is more proactive than customer support — it offers customers ideas, solutions, and recommendations for dealing with potential concerns so that they can prevent issues even before they crop up. A good customer service agent must possess incredible soft skills, in addition to in-depth knowledge around the relevant product or service. They must be great communicators and listeners with excellent persuasion skills, high levels of emotional intelligence, and stellar problem-solving abilities. Source: Netomi 2. Common customer service responsibilities a. Understanding and anticipating customer needs Perhaps the most important element of exceptional customer service is being able to anticipate customers’ needs. When customer service agents approach clients, they must do so with a view to solving their problems — especially the ones customers aren’t yet aware of. An Inc. Magazine article suggests the following 7 keys to anticipating customers’ needs: a) Industry research and trend reports b) Influencer reviews on social media c) Tools and analytics to decode industry trends d) Hiring smart people e) Building a team of effective mentors f) Asking customers for inputs and ideas g) Accepting and adapting to change b. Customer engagement Engaging with customers via unique experiences and interactions can help brands create a deep emotional connection with them. According to a research by global analytics firm Gallup, customers who are fully engaged with a brand contribute 23% more in terms of profitability and revenue as compared to the average customer. Some effective customer engagement strategies include offering customers personalized experiences, building a strong brand personality, and sharing unique and compelling content on social media to connect with customers. Recommended Read The Complete Guide to Customer Engagement c. Maintaining customer records Maintaining a record of customers’ details is key to offering them tailored and personalized customer service. According to Segment’s The 2017 State of Personalization Report, 71% of customers find lack of personalization frustrating while 44% of customers say that they will become repeat buyers of brands that offer them a personalized buying experience. And for personalization, you need data. Customer service agents must maintain a record of important customer data, collating information via order forms, feedback forms, email inquiries, complaints, etc. d. Building a knowledge base Creating a comprehensive self-service knowledge base helps customers find quick solutions to their own problems and goes a long way in improving customer experience. Building a knowledge base is a time-intensive process, but it comes with several benefits. In the long run, it can help reduce customer service costs and customer service agents’ workload. Recommended Read Understanding Customer Service Roles and Responsibilities 3. The importance of good customer service Source: Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report Brands spend considerable amounts of time and resources in building great products and marketing them. However, despite their best efforts, not many are able to survive tough competition. On top of that, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has only aggravated the situation, forcing many promising small businesses and startups to shut shop. According to a report by Failory, 90% of startups fail, of which 20% fail by the end of the first year and 50%, by the end of the fifth year. Market intelligence company CB Insights reports that 23% of companies fail because of the wrong team and 14% fail because they ignore their customers. These stats are a testament to the fact that to survive cut-throat competition, brands need to invest in a team of talented people who understand and embody great customer support and service. Recommended Read [Infographic] 11 statistics about customer support through the consumer’s lens Following are some of the key reasons why good customer service is critical for a company’s growth and success: a. Enhances your brand value Companies whose customer service representatives go that extra mile in assisting and surprising their customers with top-notch experiences are the ones that stand out. Such companies are perceived to be superior than their competitors in the industry, even if their products and services are similar in terms of quality and features. Great customer service, and therefore a great customer experience, can justify a company's higher price tag in comparison to its competitors. According to the third edition of Salesforce's 'State of the Connected Customer' report, "66% of customers are willing to pay more for a great experience." b. Increases customer retention and thus, customer lifetime value (CLV) Businesses emphasize retaining their current customers because as per research, customer acquisition is anywhere between 5-25 times more expensive than customer retention. The happier your customers, the more likely they are to maintain a long-term association with your brand. This, in turn, increases customer lifetime value (CLV), i.e. the amount of money a single client spends on your business during their association with you and lowers your operating costs to serve them. c. Increases customer endorsements and improves brand image Brands that ‘wow’ their customers with stellar customer service are bound to earn their respect and admiration by way of testimonials and referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing can prove to be a lot more useful than traditional marketing. According to a report by the marketing agency IMPACT, 75% of people don't believe advertisements, but 92% believe brand recommendations from friends and family. When used strategically, customer testimonials are an excellent means to establish and demonstrate credibility in your brand, thereby enhancing your company's image. d. Fosters a customer-focused culture Excellent customer support and service are at the heart of great customer experiences. Companies that invest time and effort in enhancing their customer service are better positioned to foster a customer-focused culture across the organization. Customer service teams that proactively reach out to their customers for feedback and concerns, and later report them back to the other departments in the company can help improve performance across marketing, sales, and product development functions. They can help the company fine-tune its strategy to customers’ needs, ensuring it's a win-win for both parties. What is customer success? 1. The definition of customer success Customer success is a business function aimed at helping customers achieve their goals sustainably. This function ensures that all of the interactions customers have with your brand holistically contribute to their organization’s overall growth and success. Customer success is very much relationship-focused -- with every customer success manager responsible for a specific number of clients, ensuring they derive maximum value from the product or service. The term customer success first originated in the '90s but has gained greater traction over the past decade, especially in the world of SaaS. 2. Common customer success responsibilities a. Enhancing the brand’s perceived value One of the key responsibilities of customer success includes demonstrating a brand’s products and services in a way that customers see value in it. This, in turn, lays the foundation for building strong customer relationships and improving retention rates. b. Turning free trials into paying customers SaaS businesses often offer customers free trials with the hope that they can convert those trial users into long-term paying customers. Customer success managers who are proactive in assisting customers and keeping them in the loop about the product and its functionalities are more likely to convert free users into paying customers. Often, it’s the lack of initiative and support from brands during the trial phase that makes customers leave. At the same time, customer success managers must also focus on constantly delighting their paying customers with unique experiences. c. Turning customers into loyal brand ambassadors Great customer success managers continuously work towards helping customers achieve their business goals. Consequently, they help build a community of committed and loyal brand ambassadors who in the long run are huge drivers of business growth - through positive word-of-mouth. d. Increasing expansion revenue and reducing customer churn Expansion revenue refers to expanding revenue from the brand’s current customer base through up-selling and cross-selling. Customer churn, on the other hand, is the rate at which customers stop using the brand’s product(s). The aim of customer success is to increase expansion revenue - by proactively identifying opportunities for revenue growth - and minimize customer churn. According to a report by Profitwell, companies with a dedicated customer success team see about a 27% decrease in gross churn and up to 125% increase in expansion revenue. 3. The differences between customer support, customer service, and customer success The terms customer support and customer service are interconnected and, in common parlance, are often used interchangeably. Another important aspect of customer experience that businesses have started concentrating on is customer success. Understanding the differences between them can help you contextualize your customers' needs better and devise a strategy to build a meaningful relationship with them. Key Differentiators Customer Support Customer Service Customer Success Approach Reactive Proactive Proactive Support provided Technical Non-technical Tailored to customers’ needs and goals Interaction Type Transactional Personal Transformational: focused on turning every customer interaction into a long-term association Key focus areas Problem resolution and maintenance Customer satisfaction Customer loyalty and commitment Objective Lowering customer attrition Earning customers’ trust Turning every customer into a long-term revenue stream What are the prerequisites for building a successful customer service team? 1. Customer service best practices Over the past couple of decades, customers’ expectations have grown remarkably, and to live up to them, companies have radically changed how they approach customer service. Today, it’s very easy for customers to switch to another business, so even a single instance of poor customer service can result in churn. This makes it all the more necessary for customer service teams to look beyond merely satisfying customers and focus on constantly delighting them. Following are 5 customer service best practices that can help them do so: a. Make customer centricity a part of your culture Focussing on making customers happy is not the job of your customer service team alone, but your entire organization’s. Ensure that everyone in your company, every goal you set, and every decision you make, places the customer in the centre. Approaching your business from a perspective of customer-centricity helps you build products customers need, anticipate and meet their future wants, and constantly deliver stellar customer service that turns them into lifelong fans. b. Allow your customer service team to take initiative Once you’ve hired a great customer service team and set up all the processes, allow the team to take charge and use their strengths and creativity to serve customers. Doing this will empower them, get them out of the rut and stay driven. Remember, happy and motivated employees = happy customers. c. Be transparent with customers Oftentimes, in the hope of winning new customers, companies tend to make big promises that they can’t follow through. The result? Unhappy customers that are likely to churn and share negative reviews about the company. While customer delight is important, you must know your limitations, and ensure your customers know them too. Be honest with your customers – tell them exactly what to expect, but always try and surpass those expectations. When you meet their expectations, they’ll be satisfied. When you go out of your way to exceed them, they’ll become loyal to your company. d. Tailor your interactions We are in the era of personalization. Today, customers don’t want to be treated like a ticket number. They expect their customer service interactions to be tailored and personalized. With the help of a robust helpdesk, you can set up a system that will help you personalize customer interactions without hampering efficiency. Additionally, your helpdesk platform can equip your customer service team to reach customers on their preferred channels – email, chat, social, or phone. e. Collect and utilize customer data Without understanding customers’ experiences and expectations, you won’t know how to serve them. Therefore, regularly collecting customer data via surveys, social media, and customer reviews is imperative in helping you improve, not just your customer service performance, but the performance across various functions within your company. Once you’ve collected customer feedback, it’s ineffective unless you act on it. Implementing customer feedback, in addition to benefiting your business, will also give customers the assurance that you value their word. Recommended Read The Complete Guide to Customer Service Best Practices 2. Important customer service skills Knowing about the best customer service practices isn’t going to deliver any results unless your team has the skills needed to implement them. Following are important customer service skills your team must possess/inculcate: a. Empathy Empathy is one of the most essential qualities of successful customer service teams. It refers to the ability to develop an emotional bond with customers by understanding their needs, issues, and expectations, and delivering solutions that are in their best interests. According to a research article published in Cogent Business & Management journal, employee empathy displayed during customer service interactions has a considerable impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. b. Patience A customer service role is rife with several challenges, and to be able to deal with each one of them well requires a great degree of patience. It’s a quality that can help your customer service team remain calm and stoic during tough situations, and deliver delightful customer experiences, consistently. c. Troubleshooting Great troubleshooting is about collecting important information pertaining to customers’ problems, evaluating all possible solutions to those problems, and implementing the most ideal fixes to the issues in a time-efficient manner. An important aspect of good troubleshooting is being able to effectively communicate with customers to get all the details about the issues they are facing. d. Great communication Effective communication (including effective listening), as mentioned earlier, is crucial in helping your customer service team solve customers’ issues to their satisfaction. Communicating with clarity, concision, and confidence is one of the key ways you can instill trust and loyalty in your customers. e. Attentiveness Most memorable customer service moments are made up of customized and tailored interactions. Your customer service team must pay attention to the smallest of details from all customer conversations and constantly surprise them by making the interactions personalized and special. f. Knowledge Without thorough knowledge about your product(s) and company, your customer service team won’t be able to respond to customer queries with clarity. The team must know the purchase process, product features, updates and specifications, company policies, etc. g. Effective multitasking For most customer service teams, work is highly time-bound, and efficient multitasking is often the only way they can close tasks quickly. Having said that, multitasking can also result in errors and inconsistencies, and therefore, your customer service team must know how to multitask effectively without hampering service quality. h. Collaboration The success of your company’s customer service function lies not just in how quickly the team can resolve customer queries but also in how effectively they can collaborate and deliver exceptional customer experiences consistently. Customer service teams often also have to collaborate with other functions including engineering, sales, and marketing. Recommended Read Your support team deserves better than Google’s Collaborative Inbox 11 must-have Customer Service Skills + How to develop them 3. Tips to create an effective customer support and service strategy Customer support and service are highly nuanced functions that require thorough planning and consistent improvements along the way. A well thought-out and effective customer service strategy gives an organization better judgment and clarity needed to serve customers. It is also extremely essential in providing customers with a consistent and reliable support experience. Following are some tips to keep in mind while devising a customer service strategy: a. Set actionable customer service goals Setting SMART goals should be the first step in developing a customer service strategy. SMART is a mnemonic acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Goal setting can help establish expectations and act as a great standard to measure your service team's performance against. It is also important to ensure that the goals you set for your customer service team are aligned with the larger goals of the company. b. Build a well-trained and customer-centric service team For companies aiming for customer success, hiring employees that already possess the personality traits and skill-set to align with an overall customer-centric strategy is imperative. For example, great interpersonal skills, the ability to handle a crisis, and high emotional intelligence are some of the many qualities that customer service agents must possess. Recommended Read 5 real-life examples of legendary customer service The next important thing is to invest in periodic training programs for both new as well as existing employees. These programs can empower your customer service team with the knowledge of new techniques, tools, and skills to better serve customers and enhance their experience. Gamifying customer service training is a great way to ensure the team grasps essential concepts and skills faster. c. Invest in the right customer support tools Your customer support tools must meet the requirements of your support team as well as your customers. When starting out, companies usually have a single point of contact to manage customer support. As companies grow, their need for a more sophisticated support helpdesk grows as well. For example, in companies with limited clients and low volumes of support requests, a group email can often suffice. However, with an increase in their quantity of support emails, doing everything from a single inbox becomes cumbersome. It can lead to multiple issues internally, such as unanswered support queries, duplicate emails, poor accountability, and much more! This can cause a huge blow to the brand's reputation. Recommended Read Mistakes to avoid while purchasing customer service software Hiver, a Gmail-based helpdesk solution, allows customer support teams to handle huge volumes of support queries in an efficient, transparent and human way. d. Personalize your customer service Personalization is a great way to make your customers feel important. However, as businesses scale, communication with customers tends to become impersonal. A smart way to personalize email communication is using placeholder variables, i.e, information unique to different customers, such as name, email address, etc. while creating email templates. This way, you can enjoy the convenience that comes with email-automation as well as offer a customized service experience to each one of your customers. e. Monitor customer service performance indicators Monitoring your customer service performance is highly crucial in helping you understand whether your customer service strategy is working or failing and adopting corrective measures if need be. Amidst the daily grind of managing a business, it can become difficult to keep a tab on the performance of your customer service agents and the quality of service provided by them. Customer service performance indicators such as Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), First Response Time (FRT), and Net Promoter Score (NPS) can give you a clear and unbiased picture of your team's performance and help them strive for continuous improvement. f. Solicit and implement customer feedback Customer support agents must solicit feedback from customers at every stage of interaction with them. According to Microsoft's 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, 77% of people view brands more favorably if they reach out to them for feedback and implement it. Customer feedback is crucial as it not only improves customer experience but can also play a huge role in enhancing your product and overall business strategy. It helps improve outcomes across marketing, sales, and product development functions. Your customer support team must pay close attention to what your customers have to say — both the praise and the criticisms. Often, your most demanding customers will give you the most important feedback. What are the most common customer support issues? 1. The toughest customer support challenges and how to overcome them Customer support can be a tough job, but when done right, it can also be one of the key factors responsible for building customer loyalty and retention. Gone are the days when customer support and service were considered inconsequential to a brand’s sustenance and growth. Today, a single unhappy customer can cost your business a lot of money and bring down its reputation. According to Hiver’s Customer Support Through The Eyes of Consumers in 2020 survey, 70% of customers will advise their friends and colleagues against buying a brand’s product/service after a negative customer service experience. While your customer support team may strive hard to deliver timely, constructive, and personalized customer service, they are bound to face the following challenges at various stages of interacting with customers. Recommended Read How the Pros Handle Customer Service Challenges a. Being unable to respond to customers in a timely manner As organizations grow, so does the pressure on support teams to respond to customer queries and complaints swiftly and satisfactorily. While most organizations promise a 24-48 hour window to respond to customers, customers today expect and value faster turnaround time. According to a recent research by SuperOffice, 88% of customers expect a response from your business within 60 minutes, and 30% expect a response within 15 minutes or less. That's the kind of time efficiency customers expect today! Poor turnaround time can hugely tarnish a brand's reputation and credibility. Some simple tips for dealing with a barrage of queries and complaints from customers and reducing response time include: a) Using email auto-responders b) Using email templates c) Categorizing emails using keywords depending on priority d) Setting time-based alerts b. Being unable to resolve customers' issues satisfactorily Time and again, your customer support team will encounter issues that are complex in nature and those they may not have ideal solutions for. They may respond to such queries and problems by redirecting customers to other departments. This can be an extremely disappointing experience for customers. Recommended Read How To Handle Customer Complaints Instead of asking your customers to get in touch with other teams, do that work for them instead. Acknowledge that you don't have a solution to their problem currently, but you will work towards finding one within a stipulated time frame. Customers notice and appreciate it when you go out of your way to serve them. Good service recovery can help you turn customers’ bad experiences into memorable ones. c. Dealing with difficult customers The true test of your customer support team’s competence is in how they deal with difficult customers. Customers may lose their cool because of a product or service issue that they might be facing or because they might be dissatisfied with your support quality. Whatever be the reason for their grievance, customer support agents must maintain their composure, and avoid getting defensive, as doing so will only exacerbate the situation. A highly popular technique of dealing with customer conflict is Disney's 5-step H.E.A.R.D framework: a) Hear - Listen to the customer with an open mind and without interrupting them b) Empathise - Tell them that you understand their frustration c) Apologize - Make sure to apologize to the customer d) Resolve - Work towards resolving their issue as quickly and satisfactorily as possible. Ask the customer what you can do to make the situation right e) Diagnose - Review the situation with your entire team and try to get to the root of the problem so that a similar issue can be prevented in the future d. Lack of personalization In the age of automation, technology has remarkably transformed how we work and operate. Customer support teams are making use of technology to improve the quality and efficiency of their operations — be it in terms of process automation or data management and analytics. That being said, nothing can replace the good-old personal touch when it comes to customer interactions. Offering personalized and customized support can make your customers feel valued and set you apart from your competitors. As per a report by PwC, 82% of U.S. and 74% of non-U.S. consumers want human interaction in their customer service interactions. Some effective ways to offer personalized customer support include: a) Addressing customers by their first name b) Knowing your customers well and surprising them — for example, offering them an exclusive discount on their birthday or on the anniversary of their first year of business with you c) Being receptive to customer feedback and implementing it d) Offering a tailored service experience depending on their search history, past issues, and past purchases e. Having to transfer customers’ calls repeatedly According to a research report by Hiver, more than 50% respondents think there's nothing more frustrating for a customer than having to explain their issue over and over again to different customer support representatives. Not only does it waste the customer's time, but it also ruins their experience. To avoid such a situation from arising, the support staff must be trained to assist customers with the most common support issues. At times when an agent needs to transfer a customer's call, they must not 'blind transfer', ie. transfer the call without verifying whether or not a designated agent is available to assist the customer. f. Managing a crisis or an outage When your business experiences a crisis or an outage, your customer support teams end up being put under a lot of pressure. It's these teams that have to bear the brunt of customer frustration and anger in such difficult times. Recommended Read Short guide: Delivering great customer service during a pandemic A prudent way to handle a scenario like this is to anticipate and prepare for it in advance. When you have a plan of action to handle a crisis, you will be better equipped to deal with the bombardment of customer calls and emails, and respond to them in a reassuring and effective manner. Following are the most important things customer support agents must remember to do in times of a crisis or an outage: a) Inform customers about the situation at hand and apologize for the inconvenience caused to them b) Update them regularly about the progress happening behind-the-scenes c) Reassure them that the services will be back up soon 2. Tips to proactively identity and address customers’ issues A crucial aspect of great customer service is being able to proactively address customers’ issues. Following are some tips to help you identity and avert possible customer problems even before they arise a) Send out customer surveys Customer surveys are the most simple yet often the most effective way of understanding and what customers like and what they don’t. If you haven’t implemented customer surveys, a good way to start is by sending out a basic CSAT survey at the end of every interaction customers have with your brand. Over time, you can start sending across questionnaires that offer room for more open ended responses. Chances are, you’ll begin to notice similar trends in some of the customer responses, and that should help you identify the specific aspects of your business and processes that need improvements and changes. b) Keep a record of support issues Each time a customer gets in touch with your support team for an issue or a query, you should make it a practice to document the details of that interaction and the issue reported, if you don’t already. Doing this will help you identify if multiple customers are experiencing similar issues and address its root cause so that other customers don’t experience the same problem in the future c) Map customers’ journey Customer journey maps go a long way in helping you pinpoint the specific aspects of your product and support strategy that are sure to delight your customers, and those that may possibly disappoint them. Identifying different touchpoints in your customers’ journey can help you plan opportunities for proactive customer service. For example, if a majority of customer interactions occur at the time of onboarding, try to identify ways to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible. Identify possible weak spots that may result in issues and correct them before they escalate. Recommended Read Customer Journey Mapping: Guide to Designing Superior Customer Experiences What are the most popular customer support channels? 1. Common customer support channels When customers reach out to your support team, more often than not, it’s because of an issue they’re facing. Customer support teams have an excellent opportunity here to turn your customers’ experience around through speedy and high-quality support. According to a survey conducted by Hiver, 48% of Gen Z and 35% of Millennials prefer email as a channel, making it the most-used channel for support communications. This trend is followed by phone - 30% of Gen Z and 31% of millennials prefer using the phone after email as their preferred medium of communication. This goes to show that businesses need to stay abreast of varied communication channels that their customers prefer. The following are popular customer support channels that your brand can use individually or in combination with each other, depending on the type of your business and the scale at which you operate. a. Email Email is one of the easiest, low cost, and effective tools that brands can use for managing support queries. Queries received across other channels can further be routed back to your email to minimize confusion. Recommended Read How to write compelling support emails: A style guide Top 9 features to look for in a customer email management software When managing a huge volume of emails, as in the case of support, shared inboxes can help streamline processes since there is little chance of inbox clutter, duplication, confusion, and therefore, inefficiency. b. Knowledge base and FAQs An essential yet often under-used customer support tool is the company's self-service knowledge and resource base. More often than not, customers will try to find a solution to their queries and issues with the help of the information available on the company's website For small businesses with limited manpower, building an exhaustive knowledge and resource base including FAQs, user guides, video tutorials, etc. not only saves time but also money. c. Chat Live chat has become a very popular customer support channel because it offers speed of phone support, sans the possible awkwardness for those who are more comfortable dealing with customer support agents online. It gives customers the ability to instantly clarify their doubts and concerns regarding your products and services, making their purchase decisions easier and quicker. According to a report published on Statista, the global customer satisfaction rate with live chat stood at 83.04% in 2019. d. Social media A lot of businesses, particularly small businesses, can benefit from developing a personal rapport with their present and prospective customers through social media channels. Depending on the business you are in and your target market (74% of millennials report that their perception of a brand improves when the company responds to customers' social media inquiries: Microsoft), you can use social media to your brand's advantage. e. Phone The humble telephone is one of the oldest, and often the most trusted forms of support. Despite the remarkable advancements made across customer support tools, the reason why many still prefer phone support is because of the human element. It gives customers a chance to explain their grievances with more clarity, and customer support agents to solve them, with more empathy and patience. That being said, phone support is not free of setbacks. Some of the biggest frustrations customers experience with phone support are long waiting times, too many call transfers, and talking to under-prepared agents. 2. The importance of omnichannel customer support Back in the day, in order to have their issues resolved, customers had to reach out to a single point of support contact that brands provided. Today, however, customers can choose to contact brands via their preferred channels, be it email, phone or social. Omnichannel support helps streamline and simplify this process for both, customers and brands. Omnichannel support is about offering customers an integrated and seamless customer experience. It ensures that no customer issue gets missed, and all customers enjoy a consistent support experience. Following are the key reasons why you should look at adopting omnichannel customer support: a. It helps resolve customer issues faster With an omnichannel support strategy in place, support teams can resolve more number of customer requests faster. Streamlined workflow ensures that incoming queries/issues don’t pile up. This helps enhance customer satisfaction and lowers your support team’s average resolution time. b. Convenience and consistency help improve customer experience Some customers prefer email support, while some prefer finding solutions to their issues themselves. Meeting customers wherever they want, and providing them consistent support across all channels can dramatically improve their experience. Omnichannel support is all about lowering the effort it takes for customers to have their problems resolved. c. It increases customer retention Omnichannel support also helps improve customer loyalty considerably. Research suggests that businesses that have omni-channel strategies in place report 91% greater year-over-year customer retention. That’s not a figure you can ignore! d. Streamlined insights help you deliver tailored customer experiences Since omnichannel support streamlines and centralizes customer interactions that take place across different channels, it can help you easily provide tailored support experiences based on customers’ conversation history. How to evaluate the success of your customer service strategy? 1. Important customer service metrics or KPIs It's no secret that giving your customers a great experience goes a long way in determining your company’s success, especially given the competitive nature of markets today. Customer surveys can offer very valuable and actionable insights into customer experience as well as the quality of your customer support and service. Recommended Read A detailed guide to customer satisfaction surveys Following are some useful metrics that can help you track your customer service team's performance over a given period: a. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) Customer Satisfaction Score or CSAT, as the name suggests, is a key performance indicator used to measure how satisfied your customers are with your products and services. The higher the CSAT score, the better your customer satisfaction. A Harvard Business Review study found that customers who had the best support experiences spent 140% more than customers who rated their past experiences poorly. b. Customer Effort Score (CES) Customer Effort Score is a metric used to measure the effort put in by a customer to use your product or service. It also takes into account the effort required for a customer to resolve a product or service related issue. A lower CES score corresponds to higher customer satisfaction, and subsequently, better customer loyalty. c. First Response Time (FRT) First Response Time measures the average time taken by an agent to respond to an initial customer request, complaint, or query. More often than not, customers value a quick first response to their queries more than a deliberate but delayed response. d. First Contact Resolution (FCR) Customers dislike having to repeatedly contact customer support for a single query, and have their issue getting transferred from one agent to another. First Contact Resolution is the percentage of support requests that are resolved in a single interaction with a customer. A study by Ascent Group found that 60% of companies that measured FCR for a year or longer reported improvements of up to 30% in their performance. e. Overall Resolution Rate Being unable to solve customers' issues promptly can be reason enough for them to switch to your competitors. Overall Resolution Rate — the average rate at which customer requests and issues are resolved by your support team. This is a great measure of your support team’s overall efficiency. It can also give you cues into how satisfied your customers are. f. Net Promoter Score (NPS) Net Promoter Score is one of the most important metrics that indicate customer loyalty and satisfaction. It measures the willingness of your customers to recommend your products and services to others. A high NPS score suggests that your brand's relationship with its customers is healthy. 2. Mediums that offer cues into customer behavior, needs and expectations While customer service KPIs are great indicators of the success (or failure) of your customer service strategy, below are a few others methods to help you get more qualitative and nuanced insights into what your customers like and dislike: a. Web analytics Data-driven analytics are an indirect but pivotal source of information that can help you fine-tune your customer service strategy. Web analytics can offer you invaluable insights into customer behaviour and intent. For example, you can find answers to questions like how visitors landed on your website, what they were looking for, at which point did they bounce (or convert), and much more. With this information, you can then implement corrective strategies to improve customers’ support experience by introducing live chat, improving your knowledge base, etc. b. Customer reviews on product review sites Customer reviews on third-party product review websites can provide you in-depth insights into how customers perceive your product as well as your support quality. It also helps you gauge how you feature in comparison to your competitors. Be aware that most customers will write product reviews only if they are very delighted or very disappointed with your brand. Therefore, this information can be extremely vital in helping you correct what you’re doing wrong and reinforce what you’re doing well. c. Social listening As customers become increasingly vocal about their experiences with brands, support teams can’t ignore the importance of social listening. Social listening refers to the process of identifying and engaging in conversations (both positive and negative) that customers have started about your brand on social platforms. This can be achieved by tracking your brand mentions across different social channels, and looking out for specific keywords, phrases and comments. Like customer reviews, social listening can help you understand what your customer expectations are, and where you’re falling short in meeting them. d. Surveys Apart from the indirect methods mentioned above, a more straightforward approach to gauging customer preferences and expectations is surveys. You can send out customer surveys at various touchpoints during a customers’ journey, including after onboarding, after every support interaction, after a purchase, etc. Conclusion. Companies must remember that great customer support and service, and eventually, customer success is a constant work-in-progress. They are not features that can be introduced and left on auto-pilot. They require consistent learning and improvement. They require a team that is driven, motivated, and rewarded for their efforts. Most importantly, they require time — the rewards will come slowly but surely. Join the 8000+ teams that are using Hiver to deliver a great customer experience. Request a Demo Loved by 8000+ teams on Google Workspace Get in touch with us
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                            [description] => We want to inspire you to treat shoppers better. That's why for this post, we've compiled several examples of good customer service in retail that you'll want to emulate. Check 'em out!
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                            [body] => 13 Examples of Good Customer Service in Retail (and How to Apply Them to Your Stores) Francesca Nicasio • July 26, 2021 • No Comments • Quick take: Good customer service means meeting your customers’ needs in a timely, efficient, and pleasant way. In retail, that could mean remembering and appreciating repeat customers, forging a local connection with shoppers, putting your product knowledge to good use, and more. The best retail systems have customer management features and reporting that provide you with insights that you can incorporate into your sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. While there are many things that can affect the in-store experience (e.g. products, prices, store environment, etc.) customer service is always going to be one of the top factors that impact how shoppers perceive your brand. And here’s the good news: when it comes to customer service, you’re in the driver’s seat.  You may not be able to influence the weather or control your competitors, but the level of service you provide is completely within your control. That’s why you should always be cooking up ways to wow your shoppers. Now, I understand that this advice can be vague. (What exactly do I mean by “improving the customer service”?). So, to help your concertize the concept, I’ve put together a handful of real-life examples and action steps for taking your retail customer service to the next level. What is good customer service? Good customer service means meeting your customers’ needs in a timely, efficient, and pleasant way. Customer service can mean many things, depending on the environment. In retail, it could entail directing shoppers to the right part of the store or assisting them with a product issue. What are some examples good customer service? In retail, examples good customer service include remembering and appreciating repeat customers, forging a local connection with shoppers, putting your product knowledge to good use, and more. Read on below to discover what you can do to level up your customer strategies. 1. The store owner who remembers — and appreciates — repeat customers. Make surprise and delight key components of your customer service and retention strategies. Repeat customers are the best types of shoppers to have and they’re very appreciative of retailers who remember them. So, make it a point to let your frequent customers know that you’re grateful for their purchases. One of my favorite examples of this in action comes from T-We Tea, a tea shop in San Francisco. I’ve purchased from them a number of times, and with my previous order, I found a sweet note that read, “OMG, Hi Francesca! So lovely to see your name come up! We miss you dearly up here but know you are always doing epic things!” It was a lovely gesture and it’s certainly not something I get from other retailers (even the ones I shop with regularly). Because of this, T-We Tea will always be one of my go-to places for loose leaf tea. Action steps. Take note of your repeat customers – Use a good CRM that lets you record customer details — i.e. contact info, purchase history, and birthday, among other things. Put that info to good use – Once you have their information, be sure to use customer data to serve shoppers better. For instance, if you see an order from someone who’s already in your database, acknowledge them for the repeat purchase then send a sincere note of gratitude. Vend Tip. Vend’s customer relationship management tools make it easy to personalize the shopping experience. Build customer profiles, add notes, and track their purchase history, so you can make relevant and timely recommendations. Learn More 2. The online merchant that sends personalized video message to each new customer. Sending welcome messages to new customers is a common practice in online retail, but here’s something you don’t see every day: a personalized video message thanking the customer for making their first purchase.  Magic Mind, the maker of the popular productivity drink, is doing just that. When I made my first purchase with the company, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a personalized video message from Rebecca, one of Magic Mind’s team members.  Not only did she mention me by name, but she took the time to tell me a bit more about the brand and the results that Magic Mind customers have achieved.  Check it out here.  Action step. Come up with personalized ways to welcome new customers. Like Magic Mind, you could opt to record personal videos to really make shoppers feel welcome. In some cases, a tailored note or phone call might be a better fit.  Get creative. See what your competitors are doing to engage new customers, and ensure that your strategy is better.  3. The online store that proactively addresses shipping issues. When you’r selling online, problems with shipping and delivery issues come with the territory. Between missed deliveries, damaged shipment, and delays, there are a host of problems than could arise. And while these issues technically aren’t your fault, you are still responsible for the customer experience. That’s why it’s important to closely track customer orders and ensure that their products get to their hands safely and on time. In the event that something goes wrong, stay ahead of the situation by immediately getting in touch with shoppers (rather than waiting for them to contact you) and aim to rectify the situation. That’s what the food delivery service Yumble did, when it’s courier was experience delays in delivering the meals. Instead of doing nothing or waiting until the shoppers got in touch, Yumble proactively emailed customers about the problem and even issued a $10 credit to make up for the inconvenience. Action step. If you’re selling online, come up with a system that enables you to keep an eye out on the status of customer orders and shipments. If anything is amiss, stay ahead of the situation by proactively reaching out to shoppers instead of waiting for them to contact you. 4. The associate who comes up with the perfect greeting. Great customer service starts the moment people walk through your doors. Make an amazing first impression by coming up with a solid greeting for your customers. Avoid cookie-cutter message like “Can I help you?”. Instead, tailor your greeting or grab the opportunity to serve and get to know them better. A great example of this can be seen in Francesca’s, a clothing boutique chain. I walked into their Los Angeles location, and was immediately acknowledged by the associate. She asked for my name and offered to free up my hands from the shopping bags I was carrying. Consider doing something similar in your store. Craft your greetings in such a way that every customer feels special. Action steps. Read our guide on how to greet customers in retail – It’s packed with tips and scripts of what you could say when shoppers walk through your doors.  Come up with 10 creative ways to greet customers – Already read the post? Brainstorm new customer greetings with your team and start using them in your store! 5. The employees who go out of their way to cheer up a shopper. It a customer looking a bit down? See if you can cheer them up. Sometimes, this can be as simple as smiling at them and giving them a sincere compliment. Other times, you could crack a joke or tell a story to cheer them up. The right approach varies from one customer to the next, so get creative with your approach. We see this in action at Trader Joe’s, when the employees broke into song and dance to stop a toddler’s tantrum. Check it out below: Action step. Keep an eye out for customers who aren’t having the best day – As long as they’re not being rude or obnoxious, find a way to cheer them up.  6. The retailer who finds a way around stockouts . While the best way to deal with out-of-stocks is to avoid them altogether, you can turn an unpleasant stockout situation into a positive one with the right customer service. Here’s a cool example from Real Canadian Superstore. A customer decided to use the store’s click-and-collect service by ordering her groceries online and then opting to pick up her purchases at the store. According to her Instagram post, some of the products she ordered were unavailable, so one of Superstore’s employees called her up and offered substitutes. The whole experience was smooth and efficient, and the customer was so happy with Real Canadian Superstore’s service, that she raved about them on social media. Action steps. Have a backup plan for stock-outs – When a customer asks you about a product that’s unavailable, make sure you have a better response than “Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do.” Always be ready to recommend substitutes so you don’t miss out on the sale. Offer to ship from your store/warehouse – You could also offer a service in which you order an item from another location or channel (i.e. your online store) then ship it the customer for free. 7. The cashier who forges a local connection with shoppers. This particular example isn’t strictly about retail, but it’s still a great example of notable customer service. I was purchasing a drink from a local cafe, and the cashier behind the counter noticed that I was holding a business card from a nearby eyebrow threading place. “Oh, you go there too? Aren’t they the best?” she said. We then had a quick chat about why we love the business and our experiences it with. It was a brief encounter, but certainly a memorable one. I loved that the cashier established a connection by referencing something local that we both liked. That effort didn’t take much, but it went a long way as far as customer service goes. Why? Because so few people do it. The majority of cashiers just ring up sales and spout impersonal lines like “How was everything?” or “Have a nice day.” Don’t be one of them. Make the checkout process as pleasant as you can by making an effort to connect with the customer. Doing so could be just the thing that keeps you top of mind and gets them to come back. Action steps. Be on the lookout for commonalities – Find a way to connect with customers through things you have in common. Do you have similar tastes? Do you frequent the same local spots? Use those commonalities to start conversations. You don’t always have to push a sale – In the example above, the cashier and I chatted as she was ringing me up at the counter. I was already a paying customer, but she still made an effort to connect with me. Strive to do something similar in your own store. Don’t just chat up a customer because you want to make money off of them. Do it to build a relationship. Further Reading. Connecting with customers starts with how you greet them. If you need ideas on how to welcome shoppers in our store, this post offers 20+ examples of retail store greetings you’d want to try. Learn More 8. The retail worker who knows his regulars. One of the best ways to make retail customers feel special is to demonstrate that you know them — not just by name, but by their shopping habits.  We can see this in action at a particular 7-Eleven store, where an employee immediately recognized when a customer’s order was amiss.  According to Nathan Hughes, marketing director at Diggity Marketing, he went by his regular 7-Eleven store to grab a quick meal but his usual order,  Kimchi Fried Rice, wasn’t in-stock. He settled for another product, but was surprised to see that an employee recognized that he didn’t have his usual order.  “One of the employees noticed it somehow. He came to the table and told me that my usual order would be here soon as they are restocking,” Nathan recalls.  “I was quite surprised but true to his words, the Fried Rice was restocked and he himself microwaved the meal for me!” Action steps. Be more observant of the people in your store, particularly if they shop with you often. Get to know their habits and top purchases, and if something seems amiss, see if there’s anything you can do to ensure that your shoppers get the experience possible.  As mentioned above, a robust customer management system can do wonders here. 9. The sales employee who takes the time to find the perfect fit. Earlier this year, I swung by the Sunglass Hut location in SoHo, as I needed a new pair of sunglasses. The associate manning the store was super friendly and offered to help after noticing that I was unsure of what to buy. She took the time to find out what I needed and what my preferences were, and then she walked me through the different brands they had. She then hand-picked pairs of sunglasses that best fit the shape of my head, and even brought out an eyewear tray so we could easily compare different products. It was a great experience and I appreciated the employee’s sincere effort. Action steps. Work *with* shoppers to find the right product – Exert more effort to help your customers in need. This could mean different things, depending on your store. For example, you could accompany a shopper to the shelf where an item is located instead of just saying “It’s in Aisle 4.” Or, like the associate above, you could bring out different products to help the shopper compare items. But be sure to read your customers appropriately – To be clear, not every customer needs an associate to show them around the store. Some shoppers want to be left alone, in which case you shouldn’t bother them. But for those customers who do need assistance, do your very best to help them find what they need. 10. The associate who puts her product knowledge to good use. Product knowledge is an essential component of customer service, so you and your staff must be on top of your merchandise and catalog details at all times. This comes in handy when you’re: Talking about your bestsellers Discussing the features and benefits of various items Teaching shoppers how to use a product Here’s an example that shows an associate doing all three of these things: I was shopping around for dry shampoo, and I decided to take my search offline. As someone who’s never used dry shampoo before, I didn’t want to rely on online product descriptions or reviews; I wanted to touch, feel, and maybe even test products in person. I decided to visit the Birchbox store in SoHo to see what they had to offer. Birchbox had a great selection, but ultimately, it was the store’s customer service that made my experience stand out. The associate I worked with was knowledgeable and helpful; she told me which brands she liked best, what their top-sellers were, and she explained the distinctions between different products. Then when she learned that I’ve never tried dry shampoo before, she recommended I purchase a travel size bottle instead of pushing me to buy a full sized product. She even showed me how to apply the product to my hair. I walked out of that Birchbox store with a product that I was excited to try, and I was reminded of just how powerful in-store customer service can be. Action steps. Use the “FAB” formula – The “FAB” formula, which stands for “Features, Advantages, and Benefits” helps you and your associates easily remember what each product is all about. Basically, features are the components or characteristics of a product while its advantages pertain to what the features can do. The benefit, which is the most important part, is what the customer can get out of the product and its features. For best results, see to it that the benefit you pitch to the shopper is unique to them. For instance, let’s say you’re selling a pair of sunglasses. Features could include the frame size, the material that it’s made out of, or the fact that it’s polarized. The advantages could be the durability of the pair as well as its ability to reduce the glare from certain surfaces. Finally, the benefit could the fact that it helps the customer see better. Know your top-sellers  – Get familiar with your product trends and bestsellers so you always have handy items to recommend. To make things easier, choose a retail management system that has robust product reporting capabilities. The best retail systems provide you with insights that you can incorporate into your sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. Vend Tip. Already using Vend? Take advantage of the software’s reporting features, which enable you to create your reports and gain insights into your inventory, customers, sales, and more. Learn More 11. The retailer offering a sincere apology. Things don’t always go your or your customer’s way, and it’s during times like these that your customer service is really put to test. While the “right” way to deal with unpleasant situations will depend on your circumstances, often you’ll fare a lot better if you apologize and try to compensate for what happened. DSW offers a great example of the right way to deal with mishaps. According to Mikaela Kornowski, Marketing & PR Executive at OFFPRICE Show, “Lost packages, website glitches, and other unforeseen issues are always going to plague retailers, but excellent customer service in light of those mishaps will be rewarded with loyal shoppers.” “DSW’s website crashed this fall, leaving many shoppers like myself stranded mid-checkout. The next day I received an apology in my inbox with a note letting me know their flash sale was extended because of the mishap. And guess what? I bought the shoes… and a few more pairs since then!” Action steps. Have an apology ready – Even if the situation isn’t necessarily your fault, saying sorry that a customer is having difficulties can go a long way. Make it up to the customer – If there was an error on your end, do your best to own the mistake and make it up to the customer. Is there a way to reverse the error? Can you offer a discount instead? 12. The retailer who makes an effort to upsell and educate customers. Think upselling is sleazy or bad for customer service? Not if you do it right. If you take the time to educate customers before they purchase and tailor your recommendations to their needs, I guarantee that the shopper will leave happy. Case in point: a while back, I took my toddler shopping at our local shoe store for kids. We encountered a great associate who helped him select and try on different pairs of shoes. The associate then came up to me and said, “I noticed your son’s feet were a bit sweaty. What types of socks is he using?” I told him we just used standard cotton socks. “Cotton isn’t ideal for sweaty feet,” he replied. Do you want me to show you some of the socks we have that can help?” He proceeded to tell me about the various types of socks they carried, the materials they were made out of, and which ones would work best for my son. I ended up buying a couple of pairs, and I was thrilled with my purchase because it did wonders for my son’s feet.   Action steps. Train your associates to upsell and cross-sell – Start by encouraging them to pay attention to each customer and determine any potential needs or wants they may have. In the example above, the associate took note of the fact that my son had sweaty feet, and then made the right call by recommending the right type of socks for him. Make sure they educate shoppers – Upselling or cross-selling shouldn’t just be about pushing products. See to it that shoppers know the benefits of the products you’re pitching and why they should buy it. Further Reading. Need more tips on how to upsell and cross-sell? Read this post to learn the sales techniques that can help you and your associates increase basket sizes and transaction values in your retail store. Learn More 13. The kind hearted janitor who went above and beyond for a guest. Spot a customer in a pickle? Extend compassion and see what you can do to help them out. Not only will you help brighten up the customer’s day, but you’ll likely win them over for life.   Jeslin Tan, a writer at Good Noise Music, experienced this first-hand at Disney California Adventure Park. “As someone who has been to many Disneyland parks in different countries, I am familiar with the good hospitality of Disney. However this encounter still warms my heart,” she says.  Here’s what happened: in 2017, she went on a trip to Disneyland with a friend. It just so happened that she was on her period and was bleeding heavier than usual.  “I brought a spare sanitary pad but the second one overflowed after a few hours. I went into the restroom alone and it had a sanitary pad vending machine but the machine was not working,” she explains.  “I started panicking, and then this kind and helpful janitor came into the restroom, I told her what happened and she went out to get the keys to the vending machine, she came back and opened it, gave me a few sanitary pads. I wanted to pay her some money for the sanitary pad but she said don’t worry about it. She even helped me to check my skirt from the back, making sure I was okay before I left. I am so thankful to her and still remember her kindness till this day.” Action steps. While tools and technology can go a long way in enhancing the customer experience, nothing beats genuine kindness and compassion. Strive to instill these values in your staff, constantly look for ways to demonstrate them to everyone who walks into your store.  Final words. Customer service is more than important ever. We’re doing business in an environment where consumers have more choices than ever before. How you treat them is a huge differentiating factor and it can turn indifferent shoppers into raving fans. Bottom line: make customer service a priority at all times.  Recommended Articles Implementing Experiential Retail: 7 Stores That are Doing It Right... How to Deal with Difficult Customers: 11 Proven Tips for Retailers... How to Improve Ecommerce Customer Service in 2020 (and Watch Customer Loyalty Skyrocket)... About Francesca Nicasio. Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.Web | More Posts (566) GET ACTIONABLE RETAIL ADVICE, WEEKLY No fluff. Just practical, award-winning content sent straight to your inbox. Thanks for signing up to the Vend newsletter. You will receive a confirmation email shortly. By providing your information you agree to our privacy policy.
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                                    [9] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Oyster. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [10] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Contactless. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [11] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Accessible travel. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [12] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Lost property. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [13] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Report. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [14] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Feedback about staff. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [15] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Enquiries and complaints . 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [16] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Support after serious incidents. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [17] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Contact us. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                        (
                                                            [level] => 3
                                                            [name] => By phone:. 
                                                            [tag] => h3
                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                (
                                                                    [0] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [1] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 08:30-16:00 Monday to Friday:. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [2] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 09:00-17:00 Monday to Friday:. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [3] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 08:00-20:00 Monday to Friday:. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [4] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 09:00-17:30 Saturday to Sunday:. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                    [5] => stdClass Object
                                                                        (
                                                                            [level] => 4
                                                                            [name] => 08:00-20:00 Monday to Sunday:. 
                                                                            [tag] => h4
                                                                            [children] => Array
                                                                                (
                                                                                )

                                                                        )

                                                                )

                                                        )

                                                )

                                        )

                                    [18] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Court proceedings. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [19] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Our customer service commitment. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [20] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Also on this site. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [21] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Related websites. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [22] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My Lines. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [23] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My Buses. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [24] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My Roads. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [25] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My River Buses. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [26] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My Emirates Air Line. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [27] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My Journeys. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [28] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My Places. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [29] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => 
Add favourites for quick access to live status, journeys and places
. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [30] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Favourite lines. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [31] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Favourite buses. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [32] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Add new bus. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [33] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Favourite roads. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [34] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Favourite river buses. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [35] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Favourite Emirates Air Line. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [36] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => Favourite journeys. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [37] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name] => My places. 
                                            [tag] => h2
                                            [children] => Array
                                                (
                                                )

                                        )

                                    [38] => stdClass Object
                                        (
                                            [level] => 2
                                            [name]