Five-star customer satisfaction ratings, Tweets thanking the team for going above and beyond, positive emoji from grateful customers sent via live chat—these are the small reminders that we’re providing excellent customer service that keep us going.
It doesn’t take much to motivate us. And it also doesn’t take much to get better at meeting customer needs. Here are five best practices to get started—some your company may already be doing and others that can be implemented right away.
5 Tips for Providing Excellent Customer Service
#1: Be kind, caring, friendly, empathetic, and human
…it’s what customers expect and deserve. Companies known for providing excellent customer service, including Publix, Chick-fil-A, FedEx, and other top brands ranked by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, have been recognized for the quality of their products and services and the professionalism and warmth of their employees.
#2: Ask for feedback when it matters most
…in the moment. It doesn’t help to ask about customer experiences days, weeks, or months after the fact. The longer the wait, the longer it is before individuals get the chance to speak up—and the more time they have to voice their concerns elsewhere. And customers want to be heard, especially when they’re disappointed. In fact, researchers have found that customers with negative experiences are likely to discuss them with up to 16 other people, while those with positive ones are likely to only tell nine people.
Plus, the longer companies wait to find out how they’re doing, the longer it takes to learn and improve by making potential policy changes, offering coaching to CX teams when needed, or adapting in other ways to better meet customer expectations.
#3: Keep on optimizing
…based on the customer feedback your company receives in real time. Where traditional customer service trainings fail to provide timely learning opportunities, real-time coaching has been found to improve CX team performance by 12%. Old-fashioned training sessions, on the other hand, can actually have the opposite effect, leading to a decrease in performance by 5%.
#4: Track your company’s key CX stats
…including your organization’s customer satisfaction score (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), and customer effort score (CES). There’s only one way to truly know if you’re providing the best customer service, and that’s by checking in with customers—which can easily be done via quick surveys—and tracking the results. Each score offers its own insights into how customer service professionals, CX teams, and companies are meeting expectations and can shed light on where there’s opportunity for growth for individual agents and room for improvement for companies overall. Check out our guide: Everything You Need to Know About CSAT vs. NPS vs. CES to learn more.
#5: Respond to customer issues…
…ASAP. Every year businesses lose up to $75 billion when customers switch to competing brands due to poor customer service. There are two key approaches companies can use to turn things around and improve customer satisfaction, before it’s too late. With the first, first contact resolution, the goal is to ensure customer issues are addressed on the first call (or other first method of contact), where possible. With the second, implementing a service recovery strategy, the goal is to ensure that when negative customer feedback and poor experiences are reported, these issues are flagged, fast tracked, and prioritized.
Some of the world’s most loved brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Warby Parker, Walmart, Postmates, and other global leaders, have partnered with Stella Connect to optimize their agent performance.
Ready to empower your agents to deliver excellent customer service, provide best-in-class experiences for your customers, and watch your CSAT score soar? Get the complete Introduction to Customer Satisfaction Metrics guide to set them up for success.