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How to Enhance Your Team's Customer Service Department

ByJared Atchison,
business.com writer
|
Sep 30, 2019
Image credit: bernardbodo / Getty Images
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Your company's success is often determined by how well you provide customer service.

Have you ever had such a negative customer service experience with a brand that it stopped you from shopping with them again? If so, you're not alone.

A whopping 96% of consumers say customer service is important when deciding loyalty to a brand, while 89% of consumers made the switch to a competitor because of a negative experience. 

It's crucial to your business growth and success to offer proactive customer service. It's how your brand handles customer complaints, issues, feedback and questions. Without it, there's no way to gain insight from your audience about their experience with your brand so you can determine its future.

You could boast the best, most elaborately made products in the world, but if you don't cater to customer needs, you'll see a sharp decline in conversions. How you treat your customers matters because it shows them how much you, as a brand, care about them as your audience. According to Salesforce, 84% of shoppers say being treated like a person, instead of a number, is a crucial factor in winning their business and retaining them as customers.

If you provide a positive experience, you increase the chances of word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) doing your job for you. If a customer enjoys the experience your brand gave them, they're likely to tell a loved one about it. Since 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over advertising, this brings you one step closer to generating sales and building brand awareness.

These are the key tactics to improve your business’s customer service efforts:

  • Providing adequate training for your in-house team
  • Designing your website with customers in mind
  • Collecting user feedback through multiple channels
  • Outsourcing support for better efficiency

Here are the details on each strategy.

1. Provide excellent training.

Even if you have people on your team with years of experience, it's always a good idea to provide training that's specific to your company. Every business handles its customer service department differently, so training your employees to match company protocol is essential. 

How your team handles customers determines your business's retention rate. If a customer loves your products and services, but has a negative experience with a customer service representative, they likely won't be back. Research shows that 47% of customers will stop buying from a company if they have a poor experience. 

Your team should be adept in the following skills:

  • Positive attitude
  • Active listening
  • Clear communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking

Your team must be calm, concise and helpful when handling customer issues to ensure the best possible outcome. Reassuring the customer, offering solutions and providing them with further assistance are the keys to an effective customer service experience.

2. Design your website for support.

How easy is it for visitors to receive support on your website? If it's challenging to get in touch with your brand, you need to create new ways to bring them solutions and answer their inquiries. Your website is the hub of information about your products and services, and should accommodate its visitors.

Take a good look at your website. If you were a new customer trying to reach the customer service department, does it offer ways to do so easily? If not, it's time to consider a more responsive redesign.

As important as it is to act on customer support quickly, it's impossible for your in-house team of representatives to respond to queries 24/7. Live chat services use artificial intelligence to answer visitors' questions and give them more information about your products. It improves the user experience (UX) by offering quick solutions at any time of the day. 

Use responsive contact forms on your website that suit both desktop and mobile users. Your contact forms must be mobile-friendly to accommodate every customer for the best outcome. If it's difficult to navigate, your site will see an increase in its bounce rate. Use Google's AMP analytics to optimize and track your webpages so they load faster for mobile users and increase your site speed.

3. Collect user feedback.

Regardless of which method your company uses to collect user feedback, it's essential to track what customers think about your brand. They can give you firsthand information about what your business needs to improve on as well as what it's doing right. That way, you know how and where to refine your customer service strategy.

There are many ways you can gather customer feedback:

  • Social media
  • Email
  • Surveys
  • Social media
  • Reviews
  • Phone calls

People are more likely to discuss their experiences with a brand, both negative and positive, on social media. They might even take it a step further and reach out to that brand directly to get what they're looking for. When brands participate in conversations on social media, it makes 44% of their customers feel more connected to them. 

Though phone calls are a less popular way for brands to conduct business with customers, it's an immediate way to receive valuable feedback. Consider using VoIP phone services to make and receive customer phone calls over the internet. That way, you can track your calls with customers and increase productivity with its features.

Your email list allows you to directly communicate with your audience. You can use emails to ask them about their latest experience with your business. Link them to a survey or contact form on your website where they can get in touch with you directly or leave a review of your team's service. The more information you collect, the better. For example, if your customers approach you with questions about the best membership site software to use or which of your products best suit their needs, you have the answers. 

4. Consider outsourcing.

Does your customer service strategy feel hectic and unorganized? Perhaps it's because your team has too much on their plate or they waste time providing the same routine answers. Or maybe you don't want an in-house team and prefer hiring contract workers instead. If this is the case for your business, it's time to consider outsourcing.

If people don't find the answers they're looking for on your website, they'll be quick to abandon it. It needs to provide quick, useful solutions to retain its users and improve customer loyalty, which is why outsourcing is beneficial. 

Outsourcing customer service tasks has several benefits:

  • Instant, around-the-clock support
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Reduced employee workload
  • Scaling up your business
  • Lower operational costs

If you have the budget, time and resources to provide training for a contracted live support team, outsourcing is a great way to boost your business efforts. [Looking to outsource your customer service? Check out our best picks and reviews for call center services.]

If your business is going to stay afloat, it's essential to put the customer first. The right strategy will help you generate sales, improve customer retention and build a loyal customer base, among other things. As long as you take the steps necessary to enhance your customer service department, you're sure to see effective results.

Jared Atchison
Jared Atchison
See Jared Atchison's Profile
Co-Founder of WPForms, one of the largest WordPress contact form plugins in the market. I have been programming for over a decade and enjoy creating plugins that help people create powerful web designs without touching code.
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