Provide Exceptional Customer Service Always: Three Things That You Can Offer Your Customers
When a customer has a problem with a product or a service that your company provides they are already in a bad mood. The longer it takes to get that issue addressed, the angrier the customer becomes and the more likely it is that you will lose the customer. You want to provide exceptional customer service at all times, and there are things that you can do to make sure that your customers are getting the best service any time they contact your company. Here are three areas that you will want to address.
First and foremost, you are going to need to have some kind of call center for your customers to contact you to make a complaint or ask a question. This is especially true when your company moves from being a small business and becomes a medium sized company with different departments and a dispersed staff. The first thing that most customers will do when they have a problem is look for a phone number to call. They will only use email as a last ditch effort because they want the problem to be solved quickly, so it is vital that your call center have enough employees to handle calls during peak hours and that your employees know what they need to do to help solve customer issues quickly and efficiently.
Though many customers will head to the phone the first time that something goes wrong with a product that you have sold them, some will try to find the solution to the problem on their own through your website. If you have links to some of the most frequently asked questions about your products and services, customers can find quick answers to the most common problems. This keeps customers from spending a long time on the phone waiting for a response to a simple question, and it helps to keep the customer attitude towards your products positive. Customers who can find the answer to their problems via a F.A.Q. are more likely to return than customers who have to call in their problems.
Self-Service Knowledge Bases
Finally, you can post a self-service knowledge base that can guide customers to the solution to the problem that they are having. These knowledge bases empower customers to fix problems on their own, even if the problem is relatively complicated. The customer starts with a simple proposition, such as “My unit will not turn on”, and they can be shown a variety of options that can narrow down their problem to a solution. Customers are able to solve more problems with knowledge bases than with any other method, and they feel like they have more control over their time and their products when they are able to work out the solution to their issue. If you find that you have a lot of customers calling with similar issues, then the creation of a knowledge base can help save your company time and money, and help your customers save on frustration at having to call your call center.
Customers do not appreciate it when they have issues with your products, and they want those issues solved as soon as possible. Through the use of self-service portals and call centers you can make sure that customers get solutions to their problems so they can go back to their normal lives as soon as possible.
I am Miranda Gomez, and I wrote this article as a small business owner who has struggled with customer service. My SugarCRM portal showed that I had a lot of customers calling with similar issues with my products and we realized it was because the instructions were missing an important paragraph. We added a support portal to Sugar that we found at https://www.sugaroutfitters.com/addons/detectid-cloud-for-sugarcrm, and customers were able to help themselves solve many of their issues. The volume of calls dropped, and customer satisfaction rose. I highly recommend this customer service portal if you are in the market for a way to help customers handle their own issues.
Update for Online Retailers
It’s been a few years since I last updated this post. I am happy to report that my call center operations have been recently service numerous online retailers. In order to provide the best support for these retailers, which often process orders from various online sales channels and marketplaces, we’ve found that a new type of CRM helps us stay ahead of the curve: an ecommerce CRM. These newer CRMs create easy-to-access customer profiles and contacts based on the orders. When a customer calls in, service agents can easily access their order history, shipping and returns timelines. The ability to add notes to the accounts, tag contacts, and even process returns with the RMA widget help us maintain relationships and build loyalty. Make sure you’re using a combination of CRMs to best serve your call center clients.