9 Principles of Quality Customer Service
In simple words customer service excellence is providing good customer service by satisfying customers with plenty of support and an effortless service experience. It’s a straightforward concept and with good customer service interactions come business success and a sustainable competitive edge. As Connie Edler said, “Excellent customer service is the number one job in any company! It is the personality of the company and the reason customers come back. Without customers there is no company!”
Principles are important for any business in any industry to succeed. So, regardless of what your business is, we are here with 9 key principals of quality customer service that always make business sense.
1. Existing customers are easier to maintain than to find new customers.
An Invesp research states that, investing in new customers is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones. A satisfied customer stays with a company longer, spends more and may deepen the relationship beyond just a purchase. In fact, Khoros says that, for 86%, good customer service turns one-time clients into long-term brand champions. So, focus more on your customers now rather than marketing for new customers.
2. Consistency is a deciding factor for many.
Customers expect consistent quality of customer service with a similar, familiar look and feel whenever and however they contact the company. In fact, salesforce research has shown that, 75% of customers desire a consistent experience, regardless of how they engage with a company. Maintain a good consistent customer service strategy can make everything easier for your customers and they love it.
3. Right language and vocabulary.
McKinsey found that, 70% of the customer’s journey is dictated by how the customer feels they are being treated. So, usage of the right tone and words are very important. Make sure that you always make your customers feel comfortable, valued, and appreciated. You should be knowledgeable of and understand the relevant policy and procedures. Try to listen to what they say without interrupting them in between.
4. Transparency ensures honesty.
A customer’s time is valuable and so is yours, which is why they appreciate it when you are transparent about your business and service, it makes them trust your business more. In fact, a ZD NET survey found that 9 out of 10 consumers will stop purchasing from brands that lack transparency. Tell your customers everything you can and they will support you with everything they have.
5. The Omnichannel strategy.
When done well, Omnichannel support provides an excellent experience for customers. The omni channel support can unify all your customer conversations in one place and can help you better understand your customer’s journey. In a Veeqo research it is shown that, the businesses that follow omni channel strategy retain an average of 89% of customers compared with 33% for those with weak omnichannel strategies. Salesforce also found that 64% of customers want to shop with companies that can meet their needs in real-time and you can do it with an omnichannel strategy only.
6. Faster solutions.
Zendesk found that, nearly 60% of customers feel that long holds and wait times are the most frustrating parts of a service experience. Hence, faster resolutions with live bots are principles for quality customer service. Use of live tools such as video chat and co-browsing can help identify the issue faster by collecting the information and provide faster solutions to customers. When your customer’s issues are resolved in the first interaction that too, faster, it raises customer satisfaction level.
7. Branding ensures loyalty.
It’s simple, Customers won’t just stay loyal to your brand because it exists, you have to earn the loyalty of the people you sell to. It’s common brands that provide tips on loving oneself, make customers feel cool and they eventually purchase it. If your brand provides such a pleasant experience, your customers will stick around. In, fact according to EY, 87 percent of consumers say that a transparent source is important when making a purchase decision.
8. Establish social listening for better connection.
Social listening is monitoring the social conversations about your brand via brand mentions, specific keywords or phrases, and comments. When you actively listen to the conversations, you educate and build relationships with prospects as well as customers. A Gartner study found that businesses that do not respond to social media messages face up to a 15% increase in customer churn. McKinsey also found that, 43% of customers have switched to digital channels due to convenience and availability.
9. Empower your customers.
The Deconstructing Delight report by Fresh works states that, 55% of customers want companies they care about to know more about them. There are few things more empowering than taking care of things yourself. Some people don’t like to be assisted at all and for them self service should always be an option. Let your customer know that you care about their wellbeing and uniqueness and they’ll appreciate you more.
Quality customer service keeps customers coming back and bad customer service drives customers away, taking their friends, family and workmates with them. As Howard Schultz said, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand” so make your core values something that they can believe in.
Great service today isn’t about big budgets, it’s about smarter investments. So, let these 9 customer service principles guide you to them.