No matter the size of your business or what product or service you offer, good customer service is the way you stay in business. Proof of this lies in the startling but unsurprising statistic that 78% of customers will abandon a transaction if a company provides bad service.
But making sure your customer service department is performing above standard is not as cut and dried as it seems. Never fear, there are plenty of help desk solutions that can elevate your business and the customer service it provides to the next level.
The first of many held desk solutions is to have a set of policies regarding customer service in the first place. These policies can grow and change with your business, and be adapted if something needs to be added. For example, there should probably be some kind of call escalation policy in place, as well as guides for how reps should handle irate customers and rules regarding abuse and profanity. Another good policy would be to have a set maximum response time to e-mails and other customer communications.
…But Don’t Be Afraid To Bend Them
Policies are all well and good, but there are circumstances where bending them is truly in your best interest. Have your customer service representatives be flexible and willing to bend a rule or two to appease a client, especially if that client is a good one or has been working with you for a long time. Customers are people too and make mistakes – be willing to accommodate them. In other words, your customer service representatives need to be able to make good judgments and be willing to bend the rules occasionally. Make sure their supervisors understand this as well, so your reps do not get unfairly blamed for going the extra mile to appease a customer.
Have you ever gotten a reply from a company’s customer service that didn’t answer your question in any shape or form? This annoys the customer to no end, so don’t let your customer service staff do this. They need to take the time to understand each and every customer’s need and act on them appropriately. This will also prevent your company from being seen as a faceless, distant organization instead of a vibrant entity that values friendship with customers.
Sometimes customers call in with ridiculous or unfounded complaints. It’s even worse when their issue is not unfounded but there’s really nothing your company can do about it. In these cases, customer service reps have to be able to empathize with the customer, making them feel as though they are important, and that their concerns are important. Even if your reps are unable to help, an empathetic, respectful conversation with a client will rarely see the client end the conversation as angry or irritable as he or she began it.
Hire Good People
To have a good customer service department, as well as remain in charge of it, you have to be in control of the people you hire. Hiring good people in the first place might just be at the very top of held desk solutions because there are some skills and personality traits that just can’t be learned. Employees who work customer service must genuinely enjoy interacting with people and solving their problems. They need to be outgoing and friendly no matter what gets hurled at them, and they need to remain professional at all times. Try and discern these qualities when interviewing a potential new hire by their demeanor and past experience. If all else fails, go with your gut.
Train Your Customer Service Reps Properly
To truly take control of your help desk, you need to make sure your customer service employees are trained properly from the beginning. Right from the start, you want to ensure your customer service employees are taught the importance of empathy, patience, consistency, adaptability, clear communication, knowledge and having a thick skin. Make sure they are very knowledgeable about your industry, your product or service and your company. Also ensure that they have the resources needed to succeed, and always feel they have someone to go to who can help or answer questions.
Taking charge of your help desk is imperative if you want a good relationship with your customers. Customers who have a negative impression of your customer service are not only unlikely to come back, but they will discourage other potential customers from buying your product or service. On the other hand, a positive customer interaction will make that customer more likely to spread the word about how well they were treated and recommend your company to others. To increase the quality of customer interactions, be sure to use the tips above to better take charge of your help desk.