June 17, 2016
Even when conducted online, customer service should always have a personal touch. With conversational interfaces being hotter than ever, and big data offering personal experience to the customers, you have to value your customer service more than ever before. But how can you do that?
Don’t treat incoming queries like “tickets”, instead focus on making your users feel involved in a one-on-one conversation. If you need some direct tips for pulling that off, here are few to get you started:
Talk Like Humans
The problem with most customer service is that the reps sound faceless and overly professional. Canned replies and duplicate messages make customers doubt whether they are speaking to another human being or an auto-reply bot (and there’s nothing worst than the latter).
The basics should include addressing your customer by their first name, asking how they are doing and making some small talk comment. Most likely, the customer will mirror your tone and be equally friendly and reasonable. Train your reps to use the right vocabulary to persuade, comfort and sound genuinely compassionate and reassuring. Side with your customer and pretend you are on the same rally with them and fighting for the same cause. Don’t try to negatively about other reps – that wouldn’t make you look good for sure.
Explain in Multiple Ways
Stop telling people where to click and instead, show them. Make sure your staff is prepared and eloquent enough to try different approaches for breaking down the concept – a step-by-step list, a GIF, a short video – whatever that works best.
Additionally, you can choose to offer support in different forms. Start shooting explainer videos based on the popular FAQ and featuring them on your channel. This way you’ll increase your brand visibility and reduce the incoming load of issue and the time needed for each customer service. Snapchat can be another great channel to offer customer support.
Don’t Shy Away from Emojis
Younger peeps will definitely enjoy the less formal tone of the conversation and the use of emojis (which are faster to type and can convey the same message). Just train your staff to use them when appropriately, rather than turning the whole conversation into one huge emoji list with zero sense. After all, there is nothing young people love more than older people trying to assimilate their culture.
Don’t assume your customer is design-savvy if he just bought some premium software. He might be a humble beginner still unfamiliar with all the professional terms. Likewise, don’t think the person on the other end knows anything. Your customer service reps should maintain the proper balance and pitch the right reply depending on the situation. Making assumptions too quickly can make you appear arrogant or disrespectful.
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a promise that your issue will be fixed and waiting for a week till the solution is found. Stay honest with what you can do for the customer and how long will it take. Over-promising and subsequently under-delivering makes you lose your reputation and leaves the customer frustrated.
If some product feature isn’t working, acknowledge that and apologize. If you’ve messed up somehow, admit that and work towards making it right. Such kind of transparency feels real and builds trust in your brand.
It’s Never the Customer’s Fault
If a customer finds your product too complicated, it’s not their fault – it’s yours. Great products are intuitive and simple. You should be apologetic about the confusing feature, ask for the user’s feedback, and consider making adjustments if it's a persistent issue.
Loyal customers are the backbone of your company’s success. They spend more with your brand and bring you new referrals on board. Personal, reliable customer service is one of the essential ways to retain them and nurture the relationships.
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