The business world will eat you alive if you don’t provide exceptional customer service.
With poor customer support, you get bashed, lose customers, and ruin your brand image, leading to a brand reputation meltdown. When that happens, you’ll lose tons of sales opportunities.
The people who otherwise would have bought or transacted with you will stay clear from your small business because of the negative news they read about you.
TL;DR: provide exceptional customer service. It prevents you from experiencing a brand image meltdown while increasing your chances of generating more sales.
To help you provide better customer service, we share several tips below.
1. Use a reliable business phone system
If you can’t communicate effectively internally (with your team), how can you expect to provide exceptional customer service — a type of communication that’s often external (outward facing)?
Providing exceptional customer service requires careful planning, constant communication, and continuous adjustments with your team — all of which require effective internal communication.
That’s why using a reliable business phone system is crucial for small businesses.
It helps everyone in the company communicate effectively; therefore, collaborate better, which puts the entire staff in a better position to help customers with their needs.
What’s more, business phone systems reduce back and forth emails within your team, increasing your productivity. Instead of spending several minutes composing and sending three to four emails to organize your team’s game plan to address complicated customer concerns, you can sort everything quicker through phone calls.
2. Create a Help page
A lot of great things can be said about Help pages. However, for the most part, customers appreciate companies that have Help pages because it allows them to find answers to their questions without waiting several minutes to get a hold of a customer support representative.
What would take several minutes to address their concerns when they wait and speak with a representative can be achieved in a couple of clicks if a company has a Help page.
Consider Amazon.com’s help page, for example.
The e-commerce giant offers several options under its Help page to make it easier for its customers to find the answers to their questions.
With this kind of support, your customers can just browse through your resources and find the answers to their questions.
Because your customer support staff’s volume of inquiries is reduced, they can focus on more complex customer concerns.
To figure out what ideas or topics you should include in your Help page, check out your competitors’ FAQ pages. Because the points added in their pages are frequently asked, your customers are most likely asking about the same thing.
3. Create a forum
Forums are such handy tools for growing a business because it helps with customer service, improves your team’s productivity, nurtures audience engagement and customer relationships, etc.
Through forums, your customers can solve their problems with the help of other customers. They can even brainstorm and develop unique ideas to solve their issues without anyone from your team stepping in.
You can also use forums to inform your customers of new features, products, or any new initiatives you think your customers need to know.
Lastly, if you want to study your customers to learn if they have new pain points, you can fish for ideas in your forum. Look for threads with the most engagement and see what the people are saying. Be mindful of the recurring issues, words, sentiments the users are pointing out.
4. Use chatbots
Instead of allotting numerous manpower hours to address repetitive and fundamental questions from your customers, use chatbots instead.
Chatbots are great since they guide your customers to the answers they seek. While Help pages are great in its own way, it doesn’t offer personalized support.
Chatbots are different.
When customers land on your website and are greeted with the options shared by chatbots, it helps your customers find the answers to their questions quicker.
ClearVoice, for example, has a chatbot that you can learn from. When you land on ClearVoice’s website, you see its chatbot in action immediately.
If you’re looking to hire talent, scale your content creation, or join their talent network, then you know which option to choose. You don’t have to scroll to the site’s footer or hover your cursor over to several menu dropdowns to find what you’re looking for.
When you include chatbots as one of your customer service channels, you make it easier for your customers to address their concerns.
5. Offer multiple customer support channels
Don’t just offer customer support through emails: have a phone set up, live chat, and FAQ page, among other things.
The more customer support channels you have, the more accessible you become to your customers.
It’s common practice for successful companies to offer multiple support channels. Zappos, for example, allows email, call, chat, texts, and even has an FAQ page.
Sometimes, it’s difficult for your customers to reach out to you via live chat or through the internet, in which case, giving them an option to reach out to you via call or text will do them a lot of good.
Use a software that allows you to centralize your support tickets. That way, even if your customer reaches out to you in multiple channels, you can still keep track of their concerns to ensure their issues are resolved. This prevents customer communication errors.
Often, these software programs allow your support team to take note and save your customer’s concerns. When your customers contact you, your support team can read the previous notes about the customer to have more context about the issue and offer solutions quicker.
Improve your customer support
Don’t wait until you get hideous complaints from your customers before taking your customer service quality to the next level.
Follow the tips shared in this guide; that way, you can support your customers better and influence them to stay loyal to your company.