Customer service is one of the most important components of a successful company. The level of service you provide influences every aspect of your business.
Exceptional customer service gives your business a competitive advantage. You can overcome poor marketing, sell more products or services, and grow your business.
Poor customer support keeps you from retaining customers and employees. Forty percent of customers have stopped doing business with a company due to poor service. Ninety-six percent of consumers also list it as an essential factor in their loyalty to a brand.
Customer satisfaction is essential, but what is exceptional customer service and how can you provide it? Use the following examples and helpful tips to learn how to better serve your customers.
What Is Exceptional Customer Service?
Exceptional customer service is the best kind of customer support. It’s when you provide a positive, helpful, and timely experience for your customers. It happens when a company goes above and beyond what its customers expect. This is often done through the use of exceptional communication skills, superior knowledge of products or services, and an overall sense of sincerity.
Excellent customer care is an essential part of creating a great business. Everyone has had an experience where the customer support was top-notch. It makes it hard to forget about that business. Great customer service keeps customers coming back. Customers associate good customer management with your business for a long time. You want your business name to come up when people are thinking about your service or product. The best way to do this is to create an exceptional customer experience. This is a great way to improve your business.
What Are the Criteria for a Great Customer Service?
Offering reliable customer support helps businesses provide a better customer experience. Customer service is the assistance and advice that your company provides to customers. This includes support, before and after buying your products or services.
Customers expect companies to help when they experience problems with their purchases. Here are some of the most important qualities for delivering exceptional customer service:
Good customer support requires you to provide swift, effective solutions while emphasizing with the customer. With exceptional customer care, you also need to go beyond the anticipated response. Keep reading to learn how these factors influence customer service.
Make Sure Your Customer Service Is Available
Quality customer support is readily available to customers. Poor customer service occurs when customers struggle to reach your business. Limited helpline hours and a lack of contact options make it difficult for customers to receive help at a time that works for them.
Companies that deliver exceptional customer care connect with customers using their preferred communication methods. Some of the most common ways to provide customer assistance include:
Customers often expect a business to provide phone support. Due to the rise of the Internet, email and social media have also become popular options for providing convenient support services.
Along with reaching customers on various platforms, you need to offer a timely response. Customers do not like waiting for solutions to their problems. Close to half of all customers expect an initial response within four hours.
Using multiple platforms is one way to provide client support during more hours of the day. For example, online knowledge bases and chatbots help customers find solutions to basic problems without requiring live customer support agents.
Outsourcing phone support is another method for providing 24/7 customer assistance. Many businesses outsource customer service to the Philippines, which offers access to work shifts during any time of the day or night.
Provide Solution-Driven Results for Your Customers
Customers contact customer support in search of solutions to their problems. Failing to provide an adequate solution is a clear example of poor customer service. However, for the level of service to become exceptional, the solutions must exceed the customer’s expectations.
Exceeding expectations is a core characteristic of exceptional customer service. You may exceed expectations by resolving the issue faster than the customer anticipates or offering something of value as compensation for their difficulties.
Customer Care Requires Compassion and Empathy
Poor support services often include an unempathetic response. Customer support agents need to acknowledge the customer’s pain and explain that they will do everything that they can to resolve the issue.
Providing a human response can help ensure greater empathy. While chatbots are useful tools for helping customers help themselves, many customers still need a human connection. They want answers from a real person, which makes offering phone support an essential feature for exceptional customer service.
Exceptional Customer Service Requires Consistency
Providing superior customer assistance is an ongoing process. You need to provide a consistent customer experience for all customers. Exceeding the expectations of a single customer will not influence the opinion of other customers. Every customer should receive the same level of service.
Developing a script or set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) can help ensure greater consistency. Require customer support agents to follow a set of guidelines for responding to customer queries.
Using SOPs also allows you to analyze and tweak your support services. Providing consistent customer service makes it easier to detect faults in your current strategies.
22 Ways You Can Provide Exceptional Customer Support
If you work in a customer service position, it is your job to provide exceptional service. However, how do you know if the level of customer assistance that you are providing is really “exceptional”? Here are some ways how you can do it:
- Make customer service a priority and take ownership of problems
- Have a high level of professionalism and courtesy
- Be flexible and accommodating to your customers’ needs
- Always provide information that is useful and accurate
- Be friendly and helpful
- Exceed Your Customers’ expectation
- Be sympathetic to the customer’s situation
- Be respectful of the customer’s time and money
- Be prompt in responding to the customer’s queries
- Apologize if you have made a mistake or failed to deliver on your promise
- Do not make the customer feel guilty for asking a question or seeking clarification
- Be honest and upfront with your customers
- Provide excellent follow-up service, even after the sale is completed
- Provide the customer with multiple options
- Respect the privacy of your customers by not sharing information with others
- Be helpful and courteous to everyone you deal with, whether they are customers or not
- Be proactive, not reactive
- Do everything possible to meet the customer’s needs and wants
- Go out of your way to help customers
- Be honest and trustworthy with the customer’s information, including financial information
- Be available to help the customer when they need you, not just when it is convenient for you
- Be a good listener and ask questions to better understand the customer’s needs and wants
4 Real Examples of Good Customer Service
Sometimes, it helps to learn by example. Use the following examples to better understand what quality customer service looks like.
1. JetBlue Performs Small Acts of Kindness
JetBlue Airlines is one of the best examples of a company that offers exceptional customer care thanks to its repeated acts of kindness. The company frequently performs small gestures that go beyond standard customer service.
For example, a passenger was recently preparing to board a flight and tweeted his disappointment in not grabbing a Starbucks coffee before takeoff. JetBlue reacted to the tweet instantly. The company contacted an airport customer support representative. A Starbucks coffee was delivered to the customer in his seat on the airplane within minutes.
2. Companies Deliver Food During Snowstorms
Trader Joe’s and Chick-Fil-A both helped customers during recent snowstorms, showing their commitment to go above and beyond. The story of Chick-Fil-A went viral after the company handed out free sandwiches to motorists stranded on the highway during a snowstorm.
In the case of Trader Joe’s, employees from a store delivered groceries to an 89-year-old man stuck in his home during a snowstorm. The man’s granddaughter was worried that he would not have enough food to last through the storm. She contacted several local grocery stores to arrange a delivery, but they all turned her down until she reached Trader Joe’s.
These companies performed a service that was outside of their normal operations. These acts show compassion and empathy, which are important for providing exceptional customer service.
3. Zappos Responds to Every Email
Zappos stands out for responding to every email sent to the company, no matter the topic or recipient. For example, a woman recently emailed the CEO of Zappos for assistance. While the CEO did not personally respond to the customer, a representative instantly sent a humorous reply.
Responding to every inquiry and the smallest comment helps your customer support team develop good habits. It becomes common practice to treat every comment with the same level of urgency and empathy.
4. Sainsbury’s Renames its Popular Tiger Bread
Sainsbury’s is a leading supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. The company offers a wide selection of groceries and freshly baked products.
One of the company’s popular products was a “tiger bread” that supposedly resembled tiger stripes. However, the company received a letter from a three-and-a-half-year-old girl explaining that the bread did not resemble a tiger. It looked more like a giraffe. The company agreed with the young customer and renamed its bread thanks to her insight.
Having the courage to rebrand a product shows a commitment to customer service. The company did not need to rename the bread but doing so helped boost the brand’s image.
Dangers of Providing Poor Customer Service
Poor customer management hurts profits, but there is more to consider. Here are some of the main drawbacks of bad customer service:
- Failure to retain customers
- Lower conversion rates
- Higher employee turnover
- Damaged reputation
Customer relations influence your ability to retain customers. Customer retention is essential for maintaining a successful business. Acquiring new customers costs more compared to keeping existing ones.
Poor customer support also lowers conversion rates. Some sales leads need more information before completing a transaction. If they cannot reach your customer support team, they may take their business elsewhere.
Inadequate customer service can also lower staff morale. Your employees may become dissatisfied with the level of service associated with their employer, resulting in higher turnover rates.
These drawbacks typically hurt a company’s reputation, which is difficult to repair. Luckily, you can take steps to provide better service.
How to Ensure Your Business Offers Exceptional Customer Service Experience
Exceptional customer assistance requires a lot of different factors. You need to offer timely responses and effective solutions. Your support agents should also treat customers with respect and empathy.
Outsourcing some or all your customer support functions offers a way to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. As mentioned, outsourcing allows you to increase the availability and swiftness of your customer service.
Outsourcing also ensures a consistent level of service. BPO companies specialize in building remote teams that strictly adhere to the client’s standard operating procedures. You can provide agents with clear instructions and expectations for providing customer support, ensuring greater consistency.
You should also continue to review the online reputation of your business. Regularly analyze customer reviews, complaints, and feedback on online platforms, such as social media sites and online review sites.
How Would You Define Great Customer Service?
Thinking about what customer service means to you allows you to honestly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your current level of support. Imagine the perspective of a customer as they contact the support team for assistance.
Go through each stage of the resolution process. Look for areas that need improving and continually strive to provide better customer assistance.
If you are ready to take your customer support to the next level, consider outsourcing. The experts at Digital Minds BPO can build an effective support team for ensuring greater support services. Contact us today to learn more learn how you can outsource your customer support.
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