Good customer service is essential for building a reputable and trustworthy business and brand. However, customers’ expectations are constantly rising. Since consumers are more informed, experienced, smarter, and have more options to choose from than ever, their expectations become higher. For that reason, companies have to come up with a system that will track customers’ happiness, opinions, and feelings towards a particular brand. This will help them map all problematic spots in the way they operate and give them a chance to attain excellent customer service and increase revenue.
What Is Customer Service and Why Is It Important?
This phrase implies any interaction between the consumer and your company. Whether this interaction is online or face-to-face, it encompasses every step of the customer’s journey, from contacting your company, inquiry, final sale, payment, and beyond. That means that user satisfaction is closely related to their experience of your brand, and for that reason, you should know the importance of customer services and their impact on your company’s performance.
Users are ready to share their positive and negative experiences more than ever, especially in the online environment. They will leave ratings, reviews, or comments on your website, Google reviews, Yelp, and social media pages based on their satisfaction and the quality of support they got. Usually, they do not hesitate to express their opinion and recommend or criticize the product or services to other potential users and impact your brands’ image.
What Is Good Customer Service?
Quality client care means providing assistance to shoppers any time they need it through the right channel. Make sure they can contact you through every possible online and offline channel, such as website contact forms, email addresses, telephone numbers, or social media. Being available, approachable, and consistent is the very first step of organizing any serious client’s care.
Helping customers, managing data, and following organization and productivity principles will be the most effective method to attain delightful and loyal consumers who will continue to buy from your brand. Having such a loyal and satisfied user base will enable you to reduce the cost of serving your consumers, decrease the cost of acquiring new users, lower the advertising expenses, and consequently lead to increased revenue overall. Still wondering why is good customer service important?
According to research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, an increase of 5% in clients retention rate may lead to a profit increase of up to 25%, which is one of the greatest benefits of good customer service. Knowing this fact, it is perfectly clear why the importance of customer service in business is so great, why your consumers are the company’s most valuable asset, and why you should keep nurturing them.
What Do Users Consider Efficient Customer Service?
One of the greatest mistakes business owners make when striving to build an efficient and helpful support department is not considering a user’s point of view. According to a Statista report, 58% of Americans contacted a company for any reason in 2020. This explains the upcoming trend, predicting that the top priority for businesses in 2021 will be user experience and establishing a team that will resolve all the potential dilemmas or complaints.
Zendesk surveyed 3,000 people on the importance of good customer service, and here is what they highlighted as the most crucial points:
- 60% of survey respondents said that resolving the issue quickly is the greatest advantage of customer service,
- 40% stated that being able to contact support 24/7 is a sign of the company’s efficiency and care for consumers,
- 30% of respondents said they expect a friendly agent,
- 25% of the respondents said they expect the company to provide them with a proactive attitude of problem-solving,
- 22% of surveyed respondents have said they prefer finding answers online, without the need of contacting the agent.
Since all of those expectations and needs are generally the same, knowing all this information will enable you to organize an efficient team and ensure the usage of the right channels that will match your customers’ needs.
Tools You Can Use to Enhance the Benefits of Customer Service
Taking a brief look at the survey results presented above reveals channels people are most likely to use when searching for additional answers. Furthermore, providing multi-channel servicing is a must-do in 2021. This way, you will enable your users to connect with your brand much more easily, which is the number one rule of how to be good at customer service.
When it comes to users’ expectations for a response by channel, Zendesk’s report reveals that users expect the following as indispensable elements of every effective client support department:
- Communication over the phone,
- Voice assistant,
- Text messaging,
- Social media,
- Company app,
- An online form.
Help Desk System
For older users who prefer an offline environment and more traditional ways of interacting with representatives, the best possible solution is the option to contact you through the phone. The agents in charge of this part of the support department should be familiar with all company’s complaints protocols while being friendly and proactive in resolving the issue. Also, if possible, you should provide this help-desk alternative 24/7 and be available at any moment. This way, you will show that you really care about their issues and their experience.
E-Mail Help Support
Another preferable communication channel for many people is e-mail, which is especially suitable for businesses and employees that need some kind of written communication. However, you should definitely be cautious of the time needed to respond to an email since users expect to be almost an immediate answer.
For millennials and Generation Z, an immediate response is definitely a mode to show how important is customer service for your company. The best part of live chats is it is very simple to integrate them into your website. Live chats are especially important for all types of eCommerce businesses that handle a large number of different products, and users often need some additional explanations. Live chats can decrease your cart abandonment rates, which is one of the greatest advantages of customer service for online stores.
FAQ or Knowledge Base
These resources can be helpful both for users who are very familiar with the usage of technologies and those who don’t know anything about the services you provide and want to learn something more about that.
Suppose you are running an eCommerce store, and you want to explain to your users all eCommerce payment options your website provides. FAQ and knowledge base pages will be just the perfect spot to explain in detail how online shopping works and what other alternative payment methods, like Apple Pay or Paypal alternatives, are available on your website. Also, a few pages can be dedicated to explaining how credit card processing works, how long it takes to authorize the transaction, what the difference is between an acquiring bank and issuing bank or entity, and how it affects the whole shopping process.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
As your company and client base grow, so grows the demand of having all the data about the users stored in one place. This means not only their personal information but also their consumer habits, special requests, and much more.
Another benefit of using CRM software is that it will help you lead your sales in a more personalized way, enabling you to send special email offers and track how the process of sales is progressing. Advanced CRM software provides its users with possibilities to integrate with hundreds of apps, like e-mail, social media, Google, WordPress, WooCommerce, and many more. Of course, different types of businesses require different functionalities, but the gist is the same. Choosing the right CRM can greatly facilitate the sales process and improve the relationship with existing users.
What Are the 7 Qualities of Good Customer Service?
The majority of users have seven basic expectations and needs when interacting with a specific company and its staff in charge of resolving their problems. Here are what principles every beneficial customer service should follow.
1. Friendly Agents
This is one of the most basic expectations of users when it comes to effective and pleasant communication with company representatives. Kind agents with a collaborative, problem-solving, and proactive approach who will actively listen are something that your users will appreciate and rate as helpful.
2. Showing some Empathy
Your users expect agents to show some understanding of their problem. For example, let’s imagine you’re dealing with an older lady who has a distrust of leaving personal and financial data on your website since her friend had a problem with identity fraud. In that case, agents should explain that they understand her fear, but that there is no place for worry since your website has a very strict protocol on credit card fraud prevention, so everything is safe, but in case she still feels uncomfortable with this payment method, offer her alternatives and explain how she can finish the purchase in some other way.
3. Being Fair
The user will appreciate it if agents admit that the complaint is justified. There are hundreds of reasons why a user is right, and when it comes to this situation, you should definitely react and protect them by providing a new product, an upgrade, or even a refund. Don’t forget that 70% of unhappy users whose problems are resolved are willing to shop from the brand again.
4. Control and Impact
Users want to know they have some impact and control when it comes to the outcome of their complaint. For that reason, providing them with an app where they can follow the process of problem-solving and giving them a chance to express their opinion would be a great solution.
5. Offer a Wide Range of Alternatives
Making choices is an essential part of the shopping process. The more options in terms of products or services you offer, the better chances for a sale you have. However, providing a wide range of alternatives does not apply only to products. It means choices across payment options too, like credit card virtual terminals, or card not present transactions, and channels for communications with your brand.
For example, 90% of millennials seek support using their mobile devices, which is a clear sign for companies that mobile-friendly websites optimized for all types of mobile devices are a must-do in 2021. Not to mention the rapid growth of mobile commerce which is predicted to reach 3.56 trillion dollars in sales in 2021.
6. Personalized Approach
The secret of the most successful small businesses lies in personalization. Treating your users like a number is a sure path to ruin your reputation, and this is one of the greatest frustrations associated with client services. According to the Salesforce report, 66% of consumers are likely to switch brands in case they feel mistreated or underappreciated.
Knowing their birthdays, habits, favorite products, and making personalized offers will make them feel respected and positively impact your sales results. All this data can be tracked through the CRM system that enables automation of these processes in terms of sending messages or emails. Only the businesses that know who and what makes their company grow can succeed, and this is why Cover insights are crucial for any progress.
7. Respect Your Users’ Time
The average time of replying to your users’ calls or emails is one of the key metrics that reveal effectiveness in customer service results. Work on meeting your customers’ issues in real-time and deliver a solution without delays. You don’t want your users to feel frustrated, and this is why customer service is important in the first place.
Why Is This Important for eCommerce Businesses?
When running a business in an online environment that implies a lack of physical presence and contact with users, an excellent relationship with the user base can be a crucial factor in leading sales. Although the global pandemic has changed the trade, and eCommerce has recorded a ten-year growth in only three months, there are still many users not familiar with online shopping and have many doubts about it, especially when it comes to the safety of their personal information. For that reason, no matter what e-commerce business model you’ve chosen, whether you’re about to start a dropshipping business or you are in the process of transitioning your brick-and-mortar store to an online one, make sure your platform is trustworthy and safe.
Along with quality user care, businesses have to ensure their brand’s integrity by providing their customers with a secure payment gateway, accurate information on credit card transaction fees, and any additional costs associated with their purchase. For that reason, you should thoroughly compare credit card processing services and average credit card processing fees and other conditions they provide.
How Can Merchant Chimp’s Credit Card Processing Enhance Your Business?
Unlike Stripe, PayPal, and other payment processors, with Merchant Chimp, you will have more flexible conditions, such as month-to-month contracts, transparent pricing rates, and a very beneficial early termination fee. Moreover, with our merchant services, your assets will be at your disposal within 24 hours, unlike with other credit card processing companies. Merchant Chimp is a complete solution for both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce businesses that provide end-users with a range of payment alternatives.
If you are still not sure how to accomplish impeccable client care, then research multiple successful examples of other companies. Try to map all the key points of their strategy, apply them to your case, and keep an eye on how your users react to these changes.