No matter what line of business you’re in, it’s critical to pay attention to the quality of your customer service delivery if you want to keep your customers happy. Read on to find out how much of a difference quality customer service can make — and how you can start taking action today.
Quality Customer Service, by the Numbers
The importance of delivering good customer service becomes all the more significant when it’s quantified. Consider these numbers that speak to the value of quality customer service:
- 77% of customers are likely to recommend a brand to a friend after a good customer service experience.
- 93% are likely to bring repeat business to a company that delivered excellent customer service.
- 96% say customer service is a key consideration when choosing to be loyal to a brand.
- It can be at least six to seven times cheaper for a business to retain existing customers than acquire new ones.
- A modest 5% increase in customer retention has the potential to generate a 25% increase in profits.
What business wouldn’t want to reap the benefits of word-of-mouth exposure and loyal customers who keep coming back?
But, sometimes, the dramatic results and exciting possibilities make it easy to forget where to start. Let’s zoom out and establish a clearer vision for what quality customer service can and should be.
Before You Can Deliver a Great Customer Experience, You Need to Define It
An important first step toward delivering great customer service is understanding what quality service actually looks like — to your customers and to your employees.
What It Means to Your Customers
One way to find out what the ideal customer experience (CX) looks like is to dig into the most common customer expectations. If you understand what your audience anticipates when they reach out to a support agent, you can model your customer service systems and procedures around that vision.
We’ve previously highlighted the top 10 customer service qualities that can contribute to top-notch customer care. Here’s an overview of the characteristics your customers expect to see from support agents:
- Respectful: Show an appreciation for customers’ time, energy and business as well as the situation that caused them to reach out.
- Attentive: Use active listening skills that uncover what the customer is and isn’t saying, and show that you’re invested in helping them.
- Caring: Exhibit empathy and emotional intelligence to demonstrate a genuine concern for your customer’s feelings.
- Positive: Transform customer complaints into positive touchpoints with the brand by leading with a positive attitude and a warm, friendly tone.
- Patient: Demonstrate plenty of patience when attempting to fully understand someone’s frustrating situation and work toward the type of resolution that leaves them a satisfied customer.
- Communicative: Employ strong communication skills to ensure that your responses are as clear, informative and helpful as they can be.
- Knowledgeable: Be prepared and forthcoming with expert knowledge about products or services, giving your customers the support and answers they’re looking for.
- Determined: Prove that you’re actively committed to discovering the root of the issue and arriving at a solution that meets your customers’ needs.
- Creative: Use outside-of-the-box thinking and sharp problem-solving skills to tackle more nuanced and complex issues with personalized solutions.
- Efficient: Find ways to minimize the time and effort you put into your support services while maximizing the results to improve the customer experience.
If you’re not sure how your business stacks up against the ideal customer experience, take a look at our ultimate CX checklist.
What It Means to Your Agents
Excellent customer service starts with empowered employees. As these customer expectations show, your audience expects to interact with highly skilled agents. But having the right customer service skills is just the baseline.
Customer care agents must also possess:
- Expertise to represent your products and services.
- Data to gain a 360-degree view of the customer.
- Authority to take action on behalf of a customer.
- Tools to manage their work efficiently.
However, they won’t show up with these resources and capabilities on day one. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your staff is adequately trained and that they have access to industry-leading software solutions designed to support quality customer care delivery.
Easy Ways to Start Improving Your Customer Service Right Now
With a better idea of what superior service looks like, you can start making informed decisions and steady progress toward improving your customer service and experience. Here are some simple steps to take right away. While they don’t require too much effort, they can lead you in the right direction and result in a much-improved experience for employees and customers alike.
Get Used to Measuring Customer Service Metrics
Your customer interactions can generate valuable data — if you’re prepared to collect it. With the right insights at your disposal, you can identify service gaps, bottlenecks and other pain points for customers and agents.
For example, a high abandonment rate could mean you need to respond to each customer inquiry sooner than you do right now. A high resolution rate paired with a low satisfaction rate could indicate an issue with how customers feel they’re being treated.
If you haven’t done so in the past, take some time to craft and distribute satisfaction surveys and generate internal reports to see where things stand. Focus on measuring and interpreting these important customer service metrics (and learn more about what they mean here):
- Customer service abandonment rate
- Customer retention rate
- Resolution rate
- Average resolution time
- First response time
- Customer effort score (CES)
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
- Net promoter score (NPS)
- Sentiment analysis
Start Anticipating Your Customers’ Needs
Shifting from a reactive mindset to a proactive one can have a dramatic impact on the quality of your customer care. Getting ahead of customer needs and concerns is a great way to promote a more positive CX and better prepare your agents.
For instance, retailers heading into the holiday rush can beef up their customer support teams with seasonal employees. Companies can anticipate continued COVID-19 complications and prepare with contingency plans and clear communications.
Additionally, brands can adopt an omnichannel approach and provide customer service via phone, mobile chat and even social media. This allows customers to access the help they need no matter what device they’re using to reach out. Even better, customers can switch channels seamlessly, without skipping a beat or losing context. And companies that plan to embrace remote work for a longer duration can implement the right tools to let customer care teams work from anywhere.
Discover the Impact of Upgrading Your Customer Service Software
Bringing the vision of superior customer service to life requires the right infrastructure. Kustomer’s leading customer service CRM platform can help you achieve those goals faster and more seamlessly by providing the data, automation and customization your business needs.
To discover more, request a free demo today.