Customer service is something that every business must do well in order to succeed. The customer’s satisfaction is key to keeping them coming back for repeat business. One negative customer service experience is sometimes all it takes to lose a customer forever.
To avoid bad customer service experiences, we’re going to share the top seven customer service best practices for businesses to focus on. Read on to learn more about what matters to customers.
Don’t Miss These Customer Service Best Practices
The following best practices are essential to creating a positive customer service experience every time. By using these as a guide for training your employees, you can trust that customers will be treated with respect.
- Respond Quickly
One key best practice for customer service is to respond as quickly as possible to customer inquiries and complaints. The sooner you can address the problem and find a solution to appease the customer, the better. Make sure to have enough staff to answer phone calls, emails, or chat messages in a timely manner. This makes a huge difference in customers’ attitudes towards a company.
- Know Your Products
Nick Santora from Curricula says, “Knowing your products is the only way to provide the best customer service to your customers. When they ask you a question, you should be able to answer it right away.” Knowing your products means being well-versed in common issues or questions that have risen in the past. Representatives should be trained and tested on product knowledge to ensure they are fit to assist customers.
- Be Creative When Problem Solving
One customer service best practice is to be creative and think outside of the box. If you come across a problem you haven’t had to solve for a customer before, think creatively. Troubleshooting is sometimes the only way to solve a problem. Stay calm with the customer and ensure them that you will be working hard to find a solution. Don’t be afraid to ask coworkers if they have encountered the problem before to get an idea of what worked for them.
- Listen Actively
Active listening is a skill that’s vital to customer service. Showing that you are listening with your gestures, posture, or verbal communication will help customers feel heard and respected. Henry Babichenko from European Denture Center says, “When a patient is telling me about their concerns, I always repeat back to them what they just told me. This lets them know I was truly listening and taking in their concerns.”
- Stay Positive
“Staying positive and friendly is my number one priority when addressing customer concerns,” Nataly Vanunu from Boho-Magic shares. “It keeps customers feeling calm and appreciated which helps when looking for a solution.” Don’t just fake being positive, but rather, truly be happy to assist customers and you will get better responses from them. Being positive helps both the customer and the representative to avoid conflict.
- Be Proactive When Possible
Another customer service best practice is to be proactive when possible. Anticipating a customer’s needs and asking about them will make customers feel extremely valued. This can mean reaching out to customers before they reach out to you or asking them questions that may lead them to mention an issue they are having. Being proactive in customer service is a smart way to keep customers happy.
- Provide Self-Service Opportunities
Some customers would much rather browse through a help forum or self-service area on your website than take the time to connect with a customer service representative. By giving customers the opportunity to look for solutions to their problems by themselves, you free up time and energy for representatives and give customers what they want. Creating documentation that can help customers troubleshoot and answer common questions can be super helpful. Consider creating a help portal where customers can go before reaching for the phone to call your company.
These seven customer service best practices will go a long way in creating positive customer experiences. Remember to reference these when creating training materials for employees or hosting a training session.