What could be great ways to increase retention and make every customer interaction a delightful experience? The answer is simple – to follow the best customer service tips & examples to deliver excellent sales and support assistance.
Accenture says, “$1.6 trillion is lost by companies in the United States due to customers switching as a result of poor customer service”. When businesses give high credence to customer support, only then they can build customer loyalty and increase the customer lifetime value (CLTV).
Customers always remember brands by the kind of service quality they offer. If your customer service strategy is not well structured, you will lose business no matter how good your product is or how proficient your team is. So, how to improve your customer service?
20 Customer service tips & tricks for the top support teams
Businesses have been using many customer service tips time and time again to create great experiences. One common way followed to keep the support team responsive is giving them a customer service tip of the day.
Well, we have put together the key customer service techniques and ideas showing how to enhance your customer satisfaction levels and boost loyalty.
- Provide omni channel customer support
- Deliver real time customer support
- Automate your customer service
- Measure your customer satisfaction
- Measure your team productivity
- maintain the response time
- Exceed your customers’ expectations
- Automate customer service tasks
- Humanize your customer service conversations
- Make use of the right customer service tools
- Proactively reach out to your customers
- Escalate the support requests to the right team
- Give credence to customer complaints
- Train your customer service team regularly
- Make everyone part for customer service
- Be consistent across all customer service channels
- Offer money-back guarantee
- Offer premium support for loyal customers
- Make design an integral part of customer service
- Evaluate your customer support team KPIs
Let’s discuss the best customer support techniques and ideas so that you can inculcate them in training your team to deliver excellent customer service tips.
#1. Provide omni channel customer support
Nowadays, customers multiple channels and devices to connect with businesses. So as a business, you should focus on making it easy for your customers to contact you. Usually, customers complain about not reaching out to the support agent in real time.
Omni channel customer support integrates different channels to deliver a unified brand experience and consistent service across multiple channels. Depending upon your business, you should identify the most relevant channels your channels could opt for to connect with you.
Suppose you are a Saas business, your strategy should include channels like:
- Email support
- Phone support
- Social media support
- Email support
- Live chat support
- In-app support
All the above platforms ensure a seamless customer experience no matter the channel they use.
How omnichannel support can improve your customer service?
- Allow your customers as many ways to reach out to your business
- Identify the most preferred channels by customers to connect with your business
- Be available to deliver customer support 24×7 across those channels
- Improve team productivity by reducing the time of offering support
- Allow to measure all the activities and gain deep insights of customer behavior
When you are able to engage customers seamlessly by being where they are and provide consistent service across channels, you deliver the best omnichannel customer service.
Oasis is a popular UK retail brand and is an outstanding customer service example. They function online as well as have stores across the globe. The major highlight of the store is how nicely they have integrated both the online and physical stores together to provide overall omni channel experience.
What did Oasis do to provide omni channel great customer support?
- They integrated all their touchpoints to deliver a unified experience to customers.
- They created a gallery of user-generated Instagram content to encourage customers to model the clothes they have bought from Oasis.
The good customer service tip is that your business goals should be to make the customer journey hassle-free and provide many options across channels to engage them 24×7 effectively to deliver a great service experience.
#2. Deliver real time customer support
When customers face any issue or have any query related to your products and services, they expect a real time effective response. Forrester report says, “73% of online adults in the US claim that the best thing a brand can do to offer them great customer support is to value their time.”
Real time support is directly related to customer satisfaction levels. The faster your support, the higher is your satisfaction rate. It is an important factor for customer retention and increasing their lifetime value.
You can use different customer service tools to engage clients in real time to deliver effective support.
- Live chat: helps you deliver immediate support assistance to sales and support concerns raised by customers and boost their satisfaction.
- Co-browsing: allows you to collaborate with the customers in real time and guide them through a complex form fill up process.
- Chatbots: helps to answer customer queries in real time and is available 24×7 to engage customers.
- Video chat: empowers you to have face to face interactions to identify the issue faster and reduce the resolution time up to 2-3x.
Using visual engagement tools is one of the best customer service tips that can help businesses to make conversations interactive and boost customer satisfaction.
#3. Automate your customer service with chatbots
Automation is an important part of businesses in the current time to improve operational efficiency in order to reduce costs while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Chatbots can save up to 30% in customer support costs and can help businesses by speeding up response time and answering up to 80% of common questions.
AI enabled bots are best to handle basic customer queries on the first go. But when it comes to complex queries bots fail to answer, and it directs the conversation to the right human agent.
How can chatbots improve customer service quality?
- 24×7 support – Chat Bots allow brands to engage with their customers 24×7. Chatbots can take care of the customers’ queries when human agents are not available.
- Less number of helpdesk support tickets – Chatbots help to answer all the basic queries that are based on providing information that results in less number of support tickets.
- Collect customer information: Along with having chat conversations with customers, chatbots also collect basic customer data such as name, email, etc. that is further analyzed and processed as per requirements.
- Human involvement for complex queries – When chatbots find the queries complex to answer, it is transferred to the right human support agent for effective resolution.
FundsTiger has launched its customer service chatbot for easing the loan service for its customers.
The conversational chatbot can help you to know more about business loans, personal loans as well as help users to file business/personal loan applications in the course of these conversations.
#4. Measure your customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction scores have a significant impact on customer retention rates. It is key to create long term relationships with customers. You have to woo your prospects to win over as your customer.
Higher satisfaction scores lead to greater customer loyalty. 95% of customers will “take action” after a negative experience like sharing concerns with friends and family or churning.
So, it is important to measure customer satisfaction. It helps you to know the current position and the areas you need to improve. Collecting feedback and acting on it is the best way to measure customer satisfaction.
Feedbacks can be one of the best customer service tips to improving branding by refining your products & services. You can collect customer feedback through different methods like email or live chat with a rating view after the session.
How to improve customer service by collecting customer feedback?
- When you act on feedback, customers feel their contribution has been valued.
- Implementing feedback and opinions helps to instill loyalty in existing customers.
- Customers who have a positive experiences with your brand can become your best advocate.
Key metrics to measure customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a key metric that measures how well your company or its product and services are meeting customers’ expectations.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS measures your customer satisfaction and loyalty. On a scale of 1 to 10, customers are asked about their willingness to recommend your brand to family or friends. NPS survey questions are triggered through various survey channels like email, web, text, etc. during any stage of the customer lifecycle.
- Customer Effort Score (CES): With this survey methodology, you can measure ease of experience with your company by asking customers, on a 5 point scale of “Very Difficult” to “Very Easy”.
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): CSAT metric directly measures the levels of customer satisfaction. The score is calculated by dividing the number of responses that are rated above 4 with the total number of responses.
The above customer service metrics can be implemented to measure overall customer satisfaction, as well as in the specific area of your business, product or offer.
#5. Measure your customer support team productivity
As said – what gets measured, gets improved.
One of the most important things that you need to keep your eyes on is to measure the productivity of your customer support team. The key KPIs to measure team efficiency are as follows:
- First response time (FRT): It is the time between the chat made by the customer and when it is responded to by the agent.
- Average resolution time (ART): The average time is taken by the customer service rep to resolve the problem once it is taken over.
- Total conversations: The total chat conversations handled successfully by the support professional out of how much was assigned.
- Conversations across channels: It helps to understand which channels are more popular and be given importance when it comes to meeting your KPIs
The above support metrics give a complete overview of how productive your support team is and ensures that you have your hand on the pulse. So that you can act according to the results.
The reasons for measuring the Return On Investment (ROI) in customer service are as follows:
- Good customer experience boosts sales conversion and if you get an idea of what extent and how exactly you can improve CX helps you to drive even more sales.
- The customer service departments and reps are often overlooked and overworked. If you invest in them can certainly change that to a great extent.
#6. Lower your response time
The average response time for customer queries is one of the important attributes of good customer service. Ifbyphone research finds 59% of customers are more likely to buy when brands answer their queries in under a minute.
Responding within business hours is always the best practice that can follow. If the problem is easy to fix, that’s even better. Don’t put it off. Delayed response time is one of the top 3 reasons why customers leave your website.
- Acknowledge your customer’s issue – Make sure your customer knows that you have listened and understood the issue even if the mistake might not be on your side.
- If you can resolve the query right away, do it – As it is said: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
- If you can’t resolve the problem immediately, set a time of resolution – When your customers know you are working on a solution, it will bump up customer satisfaction.
In order to maintain the response time you can set KPIs like, “Answer calls within 20 seconds,” and “Process emails within 2-hours of receipt.” Your KPIs should be specific and measurable.
Live chat software is one of the best tools to reduce response time.
You can maintain the response time with live chat in the following ways:
- Know the complexity of the customer’s problem and deliver the right resolution in the first contact itself.
- By using canned responses to the FAQs helps to make chat conversations effective and helps customers in quick decision making.
- Comprehend customer problems instantly and give the right solution by using live engagement tools.
- Track visitors activity with real time visitor monitoring, and provide personalized solutions for the problem.
Live chat improves the customer experience by offering quick responses as compared to other communication channels such as email, phone or social. The customer service tip for the day is lesser the response time higher is customer satisfaction.
#7. Exceed your customer expectations
Identifying and understanding customer expectations is a vital part of every business. It means you need to meet their requirements to improve customer satisfaction and keep them loyal to your brand. Also knowing customers’ opinions is equally important to deliver superior customer service.
Customers tend to show loyalty towards companies that have met or exceeded their expectations, both in terms of customer service and the products that they have purchased. Feedbacks help to identify the gaps between customers and businesses.
How customer feedback helps businesses?
- It helps to improve your brand quality
- You can measure the customer satisfaction level
- You can build and improve your customer communication strategies
The right way that a business can conclude about its performance by asking customers what they think. Once the information is gathered it should be acted on to fix the specific issues that are identified from the feedback.
By knowing customers’ expectations and analyzing customer feedback you can retain your customers with your business. It helps your business to grow by improving the services and products proving to be one of the top client service tips.
#8. Automate customer service tasks for increasing productivity
Automating customer service tasks improves response time and increases the productivity of your business. Customers are becoming highly demanding and their top expectation is instant response.
Microsoft says, “globally 54% of all consumers say that they have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago”.
You can automate repetitive business tasks with chatbots and engage them 24×7. You can easily scale your conversations during high traffic or when your team is busy or not available. With bots, you can manage your resources without any extra infrastructure costs.
Follow the below customer service tips to automate business tasks:
- Chatbots – Implement chatbots to handle the information based queries 24×7.
- Knowledgebase – Empower your customers and improve your response time by using knowledge base information.
- Canned responses – These are responses for the common customer queries, used to reduce the handling time and make customer support effective.
For example, Cleo is a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to manage your finances. The chatbot links with your bank account to track your spending, manage your budget, and recommend how much you can afford to save.
#9. Humanize your customer service conversations
Genesys survey made over 9,000 consumers asked about what mattered to them most when it came to doing business with companies and 40% of them said “better human service”.
Here are the ways how to humanize your customer service interactions:
- Address your customers with their first name to give a friendly touch
- Make your customers feel comfortable with warm-up conversations
- Send personalized “thank you” gestures to your customers
- Use live engagement tools to deliver to engage them in real time
Humanizing customer service is all about making your customer feel they are interacting with a real human being. It is important because when your customers feel they are getting personal service they become your loyal customers.
So you can believe that providing humanized support is one the easiest client support tip you can implement, which directly affects your customer experience.
#10. Make use of the right customer service tools
Choosing and implementing the right customer service tools is important to encourage customers to have greater interaction with their brand. It helps you to build your brand credibility and deliver great customer experience.
Here are the suggestions for selecting the right customer service tools which can be users for various customer communication objectives
- Live chat – Live chat delivers instant support to the customer’s queries over the website as well as mobile applications.
- Social media – Connect with your customers over social media and offer consistent support services. e.g. Hootsuite
- Customer feedback – Collecting feedback is very important to deliver better service and improve the brand quality. e.g. Qualtrics
By using the above-mentioned tools, you can deliver outstanding customer service to your customers and create memorable experiences. Empowering your support team with the customer service tools can be good customer support tricks for helps your business in the following ways:
- You are able to deliver faster responses to your customers and increase your customer satisfaction scores.
- It helps to promptly engage with your customers across social media channels and deliver relevant solutions.
- Handle your customers’ requests 24×7 and reduce the number of support tickets raised by customers.
- Collect real time feedback and know the areas where improvement is needed to build a stronger brand.
#11. Proactively reach out to your customers
Proactive support is one of the best customer service tips that allow you to predict and address the customer’s issues proactively based on their behavior. InContact study found that customers are satisfied and positive with proactive customer service.
How having a proactive approach improves customer service?
- Improves customer loyalty – GDS international group report says companies following a proactive approach noticed an increase in customer retention rates by 3-5%.
- Reduces support requests – Proactive service allows you to know the customer’s problem and guides them using different tools to deliver the right solution. It reduces the total number of support requests.
- Boosts customer retention – Proactive support develops good relationships between the customer and business. You need to meet your customer expectations by delivering good customer service across all channels.
Source: Temkin Group
Examples of the proactive approach
- Canned responses for FAQs: Preset answers for the FAQS help customer service teams to guide consumers that reduces the response time with effective engagement.
- Live chat for real-time support: Using live chat and other live engagement tools such as co-browsing and video chat can help to offer real time support for form fill up or transaction check out.
- Self serve customers with support content: Provide step by step guide to your customers with FAQs, tutorials, and videos that are considered to be the best ways to provide self-service informative content to your customers.
#12. Escalate support requests to the right team
Just imagine saying “No” to a customer’s question. It will totally diminish the value of your support service. Of course, you won’t always know the answers, but, it’s 100% about how well you manage the “No.”
If you don’t offer to be helpful to a customer in need, that only frustrates them more.
Follow the practice: Focus on alternatives
- “That’s a great question. I want to be sure I give you the right answer, so I need to double-check with someone. Can I call you back?”
- “Before I answer your question, I need to check a few things on my side. Can I follow-up with you later today?”
- “My colleague is an expert in that area. Could you hold just a moment while I check with him?”
The tone is really very important as it affects communication. The common mistakes that customers make are using passive-aggressive language (“Actually…”) or confusing customers with slang or technical jargon.
Which one of the following statements sounds more appropriate to you?
- You are being transferred. Your call is very important to us.
- Hey Amy, I’m going to introduce you to our customer support expert who will be better able to answer your question!
#13. Give credence to customer complaints
The key to improving your customer service and growing your business is to learn about both the good and bad experiences of your customers. Practically, it is very difficult to get in front of every customer problem no matter how good you are on it.
So, what can you do?
You can create multiple touchpoints that are easily accessible for your customers to give feedback for your products and services. Collecting feedback can be a good customer service tip to improve your brand overall. You need to ask customer feedback regarding products, check in with your customers regularly.
Feedback is something you should ask at the right time and right way.
- At the end of the chat: you can ask customers to provide feedback about the chat experience.
- After a transaction checkout: ask your customer to provide their valuable feedback.
- When the service request ends: a feedback can be requested to your customers.
- After a demo: ask to provide feedback about the understanding of the product or service.
While inside the product – you can ask the customer about the product features and easy navigation.
Not collecting the feedback is enough but acting on it is more important to improve the brand and deliver better customer support. Essentially, once you receive customer feedbacks, you are supposed to:
- Discuss the feedback internally to have a better understanding and improve upon customer pain points.
- Share the feedbacks with the potential team members across the different departments to know more about customer expectations
- Identify the gaps between your brand and customers. Based on that you can plan new business strategies to bridge the gaps.
Let’s take the example of Disney, known for their excellent customer support, and have a great approach to service recovery. It is a five-step process, with easy acronym H.E.A.R.D.
- H- hear
- E- empathize
- A- apologize
- R- resolve
- D- diagnose
With all these steps, you can easily turn around poor customer support to a good one.
#14. Train your customer support team regularly
It is very important to invest in refining the emotional intelligence, understanding, and training of the customer service teams. Imparting examples of customer service etiquette to the team helps to make every customer interaction deliver an optimal experience.
Have company-wide personal upskilling sessions. It is easier if your customer service department enables ongoing training. You need to check the following grounds:
- Product knowledge
- Time management
What should companies focus on when training the support team?
A well-planned marketing strategy acts as a great customer support tip and trick to increase the conversion rates. You have to train your team efficiently to handle all kinds of customer queries with great ease.
Here are some positive client support tips for training for enhancing the skill set of your CSR.
- The customer service teams should be patient and empathetic. They should use positive sentences, for eg. “you are completely right”, “I agree with you” to make the customers feel special and trust that their problem will be resolved.
- When support agents are polite and gentle towards customers it ends up with positive results. Using courteous phrases like “Let me find out for you”, “I’m glad that I was able to help you” acts as a wow factor.
- Customer support teams should effectively handle queries and requests for support, product, and service knowledge.
- Make sure to acknowledge and advise your support team when there is a product or service upgrade. Upgrade the knowledge bases and update the agents about the same.
Thus, your team will continue to improve their ability to serve your customers and to provide top-notch support you expect to be associated with your brand.
#15. Make everyone part for customer service
One of the best customer support tips to improve the quality of support by making all the teams to be part of the improvement process. When from the top management to all the departmental teams are involved in customer service, there is a significant improvement.
Why? Because the knowledge of issues and features is much more widespread throughout the team. Why is it beneficial?
Because right from the management to all the teams, everyone should be aware of the customer’s pain. Everyone can suggest and be a part of setting new processes in order to deliver better customer service.
When you involve all the teams altogether, the ideas and new strategies that come up helps in providing improved services and customer experience.
#16. Be consistent across all customer service channels
Never overlook the consistency part while interacting with customers over multiple channels (website, social media, email, etc.). Your support team should be well trained in communication ways with your customers. It should not vary from one channel to another.
It is very important for customer service teams to maintain consistency in tone and approach across all the channels and the processes they follow. To use the CARP method is one best way:
- C -control the situation.
- A – acknowledge the dilemma.
- R – refocus the conversation.
- P – problem-solve so the customer leaves happy.
For example, if the customer approached for the first time over Facebook messenger and the kind of service he received differed from what he received over the website it becomes a bad experience. The inconsistency of information and lack of instant support across multiple channels frustrates customers.
How service consistency can act as good customer service tips?
- Escalates business growth by adding more customers by delivering 24×7 real time support.
- Delivers a better customer experience to customers by effective services at the right time and developing long-lasting relationships.
- Providing instant resolution boosts customer satisfaction and turns customers into brand advocates.
- Identify your customer’s preferred channels and be available to assist them round the clock.
#17. Offer money-back guarantee
Having a refund or money-back guarantee in your service policy acts as excellent customer support tricks. Following the policy increases customer trust in your business that enhances the brand value. There is no insecurity feeling, so customers show a willingness to try your products and services.
Just offering a money-back guarantee policy to customers is not enough. In order to stand out from the competition follow the below-mentioned customer support tips.
- Make your refund policy easier to understand for the customers. It is recommended not to use complicated legal jargon, which can confuse customers.
- Use bulleted lists to showcase the eligibility requirements, and clearly outline any deadlines or options people need to keep in mind.
- Create a separate landing page or FAQ article discussing how your refund policy works in plain terms.
Customer service tip of the day
Offering a 15 to 20-day guarantee policy is always great. But you go the extra mile to wow your customers with a 60 or 90-day money-back guarantee policy. Well, whatever that helps you prepare refund policies from your customers’ point of view is indeed a smart move.
#18. Offer premium customer support for loyal customers
Not all customers are the same. Some customers have been associated with your brand for a long time and are loyal to your company. Basically, they are the customers who are satisfied with your support services and are even ready to pay more.
According to industryanalysts.com 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
You need to manage VIP customers in a better way. You can filter enterprise or long-term customers to ensure timely responses. They may have different needs; set them up for success by getting them with what they are looking for.
For e.g. premium banking services
Garanti Bank, the leader of the Turkish banking sector, allowed its loyal customers to decide the name of the new branch. For this purpose, the bank used Pisano’s real-time digital surveys that offered the premium customers 4 name options in those surveys.
Garanti made it possible for its customers to feel like a member of the Garanti Bank family by constructing a special customer experience journey.
#19. Make design an integral part of customer service
A visually appealing interface is an integral part of the client service tips. It plays an important role to provide a delightful digital customer service experience. The brands that take this concept seriously and invest in design outperform their competitors.
Business Insider reports – over a 10-year span, the stock price of companies that placed a premium on design excellence outpaced the S&P Index by almost 220%. The brand that values creativity exceeds its design-negligent competitors. Great design needs an understanding of how your brand fulfills your customer needs.
Let’s take Airbnb for example – During the company audit, Airbnb website failed to impress because of dull photos and property descriptions.
Here is how Airbnb managed to improve customer service
Airbnb took its website design seriously. Instead of allowing users to upload property pictures, it hired professional photographers and content writers to create property profiles. And it worked! The new beautiful looking profiles actually doubled the company’s revenue in a week.
#20. Follow the right customer service etiquette
Empower your customer support team with proper training and education on how to interact with customers. The customer service rules can help businesses to deliver excellent customer service, cultivate long-term relationships with clients, and build customer loyalty.
High quality customer service etiquette can be a distinguishing factor for your business. The basic principles of service etiquette should be integrated into every facet of your business to deliver top quality service.
Customer service tips of the day
- Use the right vocabulary while interacting with your customers. The first impression is created generally with certain words or phrases used by the customer support agents.
- Listen to your customers and make them feel comfortable, valued, and appreciated. Be knowledgeable of and understand the relevant policy and procedures.
- Offer gratitude to your customers. Kindness and gratitude to customers are a sure way to further engage them in the long term.
- Follow the right phone, email, live chat, and call center etiquette.
Final thoughts on customer service tips & tricks
Customer service is an essential part of every business. By following the customer support best practices and techniques help you convert prospects to the next level and deliver higher satisfaction and a better experience. Hence, the bottom line is the exceptional service quality is directly related to great customer experience (CX).
Hopefully, the above list of customer service tips has provided useful information. Let us know your favorite customer service tips that you have accumulated in the comments section.