Do you watch as your customers disappear before your eyes? (Warning, this blog comes with A LOT of puns!)
It’s witchful thinking that you can make everyone happy all of the time however there are practices that you should repeat in order to keep your customer base happy. At UGP we have some fangtastic tips.
To us, customer service is not just a department, it’s an attitude. Because of this, we’ve collected hundreds of great customer reviews and have an Excellent Trust Pilot score.
Creep it Real
Have clear, concise SLA’s and make sure you stick to them. Have a template email set up that once a communication is received that it’ll take X amount of hours or days for a response. Additionally, make sure you have the best channels set up, if you don’t have enough staff to take calls ensure there’s a process to either email or complete an online form.
Don’t Suffer with Recurring Nightmares
If you find the same complaints keep cropping up, you need to dig deeper. You should always be asking for feedback from your customers and analysing the data to see if any recurring themes keep coming up. However, if you are struggling to get to the bottom of something push for further feedback. Contact customers who have left poor reviews and ask them to go through what they were unhappy with, also ask your staff for feedback as they may be struggling to deliver the best service because of something that is easily fixed like an issue with equipment.
Hire Bewitching Staff
It’s really important to hire the right people. The quality of your customer service will never exceed the quality of the people providing it. If you invest in the right people you can take your customer service department from a necessity to a dynamic aspect for your business and even get noticed because of the way your people do things. Engaging customers and helping them get the most out of your product will give them a reason to tell others why they love your company.
Make it Purrrsonal
Ensuring your customer service is human will go a long way, start emails with first names and let the customer know that they are likewise speaking to a human! Also remember to give thanks, you can do shout-outs on social or just do an email campaign that is purely about showing gratitude.
Instil the Right Spirit
All of your employees whatever their department should understand the role they play in making the company a success and the message your company wants to send out. Ensuring branding is clear, concise and consistent is key but also making all staff aware of the company values and mission statement. Likewise, customers also like to know what your company stands for and how you represent yourselves is very important. It’s critical that you hire the right people but just as imperative that you instil your company values, so they don’t become disenchanted and you end up taking a great employee into a dissatisfied and likely a poor performing one.
Don’t be Frightened of Complaints
Harsh words are not always indicative of insight, and complaining customers are not always a sign that something is wrong. Be that as it may, sometimes great feedback is buried within the vitriol—give credence to every message.
To stay consistent in tone and process, use the CARP method:
- Control the situation.
- Acknowledge the dilemma.
- Refocus the conversation.
- Problem-solve so the customer leaves happy.
Receiving the same complaint repeatedly is the beginning of a narrative. This shouldn’t dictate what to do next, but it will begin to reveal what requires your attention.
Sprinkle Fairy Dust
Positive language is a great way to avoid accidental conflicts sprung from miscommunication. While the change is subtle, the effects are drastic.
Say one of your products is backordered for a month and you need to relay this information to a customer immediately. Consider the following responses:
- Negative language: “I can’t get you that product until next month. It is back-ordered and unavailable at this time.”
- 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!”
Redirecting the conversation from negative to positive places focus on the proposed solution. When the outcome takes centre stage, it reduces the odds that customers will be upset.
Give Your Customers a Magic Wand
Help customers help themselves. Great customer service should always be available, even when you aren’t. When done right, self-service is personal at scale. View your help content as a top tier reply from your support team made public for all to see and benefit from. Screenshots, videos, styling and more ensure you’re frequently asked questions will get frequently loved answers. You can do ‘how to guides’ or video tutorials that walk the customer through solving an issue, which some might prefer to do anyway.
Always Live Happily Ever After
Every conversation you close with a customer should end with you saying “Is there anything else I can do for you today? I’m happy to help!” and your customer saying “Yes, I’m all set!” loud and clear. Correctly closing a conversation shows the customer three vital things:
— You care about getting things right.
— You’re willing to keep going until you get things right.
— The customer is the one who decides what “right” is.
Every member of the UGP family plays a role in making the business a success and represents the company values no matter what department they work for. Continually asking for feedback and acting on it, is integral to business growth. Each individual, from the business owner, to the newest member of the team, has an important role in the development of a culture that delivers great customer service and turns the customer relationship from supplier to trusted partner.