The 2018 State of Customer Experience Management Report reveals that a whopping 73% of companies who offer an above-average customer experience perform better financially. As personalization takes over everything from your digital marketing strategy to your product development processes, it’s important to also invest in better and more effective ways to build relationships with your customers. And this critical undertaking all starts with the MVPs of your company: your customer support team.
Consider these 6 ideas to inspire and equip your customer support team to achieve the goal of elevating your customer experience.
Aim for a Swift Customer Support Response Time
Ideally, your products should be easy to use and absent of any flaws, but when a customer is required to contact you with questions or issues, it’s important to ensure that they can get a hold of someone quickly and easily.
In order to ensure a smooth customer service experience, start with first impressions. What happens when someone calls your customer support line, messages your chat help, or sends your team an email? Do they find themselves wading through a long and tedious automated phone system, staring at a blank chatbox, or waiting for hours to receive an email reply? Consider these initiatives so every engagement can start out on the right foot.
- Track your team’s response times and pinpoint ways to improve them.
- Invest in multichannel support by offering more than one way to get help.
- Analyze your automated answering service and remove unnecessary steps.
Team-Building Tip: Encourage your customer support team to make speedy response times a priority. Dole out a monthly gift card reward to the rep who earns the fastest average response time in a 30-day period.
Train Your Customer Support Team to Lead with Empathy
Even in the most frustrating of circumstances, empathy can go a long way, transforming what could be a deal-breaking incident into the beginning of a long term customer relationship.
Develop best practices that customer support representatives can follow when dealing with unhappy customers. This will provide your customers with a consistent experience and also cut your team members a break when things get heated because they’ll know exactly what to do and say.
Involve Reps in Developing Customer Support Training Materials
Customer support teams consistently experience the highest turnover rate of any department, so ensuring the most knowledgeable representatives are available to take calls is more of a fantasy than an easy fix.
Although newcomers to your team won’t be able to spout off solutions from memory, you can easily give them the necessary tools to provide your customers with top-notch service. Establish a robust training program for on-boarding support representatives that includes:
- A quick-reference Trainers’ Manual (in Google Docs or an internal online hub) that enables support representatives to easily search and find solutions
- Interactive on-boarding classes that cover your company’s products, services, and processes
- Mentors/team leaders who can partner with new hires in their first months on the job
Team-Building Tip: Invite high-performing customer support representatives to lead in the creation and delivery of training materials and mentor new hires. This will not only give new hires a smooth start to their new role, but it will also reveal standout individuals who should earn the opportunity to move into management.
Deliver Hassle-Free Resolutions to Your Customers
The less your customers need to do, the better the higher they’ll rate their experience with your company.
Create policies and processes that address your most common support cases in ways that take the onus off the customer when it comes to setting things straight. Here are just two examples of problems and solutions:
- While it may be quicker and easier for your staff to email customers how-to articles, your customers will appreciate if your staff implements the fix for them and sends how-to information in a followup email.
- If the issue is with a product, email customers a prepaid shipping label to send back a defective product in a snap while sending them a replacement immediately.
Listen to Your Customer-Facing Team Members
Again, listen to your customer-facing team members. Often perceived as the lowest ranking members of a company, your customer support representatives are the most knowledgeable and intuitive when it comes to understanding what your customers love and loathe and what they need and never would ask for in a million years. It’s crucial to integrate their feedback into your product development, marketing, and sales initiatives. Consider the tip below to help you get started.
Team-Building Tip: Host monthly feedback sessions with your support team members to:
- Acknowledge their expertise and recognize their efforts.
- Discuss the most common support cases along with potential solutions.
- Collect ideas for product and service improvements based on cases.
- Share compliments given to support team members and what they did well.
- Address tricky calls and how they can be handled differently going forward.
- Highlight value props that marketing and sales teams can use.
Show Your Customers How Much You Appreciate Them
Empower your support representatives to make a customer’s day in a big way. By stocking up on digital gift cards, your company can arm support staff with gifts that can surprise and delight and make it right when it comes to customers who are tasked with reaching out for a resolution. Best of all, digital gift cards can be sent in seconds by your team. Learn more.
Motivate Your Customer Support Team with Incentives
Serving your customers is hard work. By setting up an employee rewards program, you can motivate your customer service representatives to improve their response times and to deliver stellar service that will make your company stand out. In the same way you invest in rewards to keep your customers satisfied, you should also put effort into rewarding your support staff. Order Giftogram gift cards for on-the-spot rewards in any $5 denomination you choose, plus add your logo. Get started now.