Customer support remains as a strong pillar for growth and continued development for any type of business. And it rings true even in our modern digital age where businesses are already moving to the online landscape in order to serve more and more customers and possibly, some worldwide ones even. It is therefore important that you are able to strengthen customer support first especially as you see your business growing and a continuous stream of customers are starting to flow towards your online business.
Customers will always encounter issues here and there and as a business owner, it is your job to be able to solve them in the best way you can. A customer is always right as they say and having this tenet in mind will help you gain good reputation in every online channel where customers discuss their experiences about dealing with your shop. Providing excellent customer service is an important aspect that an online entrepreneur should focus on and in this article, we’re going to discuss the details on how you can make your customer service team the best one there is so just read on to learn the details further.
As already mentioned above, customer support is one of the most important pillars that every type of business should be built upon. It might seem irrelevant at first look but deeper examination of the customer lifecycle would reveal the utter importance of this business component which is sadly often overlooked by business owners. Customer service is a crucial matter and here are the reasons why it is so:
- Customer Service makes your business a lot more relevant to your customers
- By solving customer issues quickly with the help of an efficient customer service team, you are gathering good feedback and increasing positive sentiment from customers
- Good customer service encourages loyalty among your customers provided, it is able to solve problems amicably and favorably to customers
- Efficient customer service can shield your business from any legal suit. It is by resolving customer issues that actually protects you from any legal actions that any unsatisfied customer could file
- Effective customer service can encourage more sales as customers start to trust your business and choose to order from it instead of purchasing from other stores which don’t have a customer support that’s as responsive and helpful as yours
- Customer service is your way of sealing the whole customer journey with great satisfaction and positive vibes. When you’ve got a super friendly and highly-efficient system for refunds, returns, and exchanges which is implemented by your customer service team, customers tend to feel more satisfied. They may forget the way your customer service agents solved their issue but they will never forget how your efficient customer support team made them feel
- No matter where you look, businesses that have very efficient customer service teams tend to prosper and have a longer lifespan compared to those who fail in this same aspect. If you want to succeed against your competitors, improving and building a strong customer service team could be one of your secrets
Now that you know the advantages that efficient customer service can bring to your business, it is time to learn the best practices that you need to train your agents with so you can be sure that they are performing at their best while in your absence.
Being omnipresent is something that no single human is capable of doing that’s why training your employees to perform at their best is crucial. And here are some of the best practices that you can include in training your agents about the core values that your business associates should possess especially in the customer service department.
Customers both old and new look for a business that’s going to value them for who they really are. Customers are the lifeline of any business and therefore, they deserve to be taken care of. They deserve utmost respect and even reverence so to speak. No matter how irate they get, it is important that you train and always tell your customer service agents to speak softly and never show any signs of sarcasm.
Your agents need to learn the art of calming irate customers and assuring them that help is ready and they just need to speak out what the issue is that they are experiencing. Customers call and most of them need assurance that they’re going to have their issues resolved that is why it is important to establish a system that outlines a clear path to resolution for every kind of issue that customers might have.
Failure to give assurance and taking the conversation around the bush is what aggravates every situation to the point of an emotional breakdown and furious words from the customer’s side. Train and teach customers to be calm all the time and always say respectful words while showing a recognizable form of reverence. By doing so, a customer will surely calm down and listen to whatever an agent has to say until the whole issue is resolved.
Before hiring customer service agents, you need to prepare a list of steps for the resolution of every issue that could arise. Having such will not only ensure that every issue is solved according to your set standard but it will also aid in its fast and sure resolution. Failure to produce a systematic set of steps will result in confusion especially as you start to expand your customer service team. Uniformity is important as it reflects how well established your business is and it could be that one customer may be talking to different agents at different instances.
If you have set up instructions and steps in solving issues that ask for returns for instance, all your agents will say the same thing to every customer that they’ll have the chance to talk with and confusion as well as chaos will be avoided. If you don’t have time to formulate such resolution instructions, you can assign your most knowledgeable customer support agent to create such resolution instructions so the other agents can have a handy guide in solving any issue that could arise at any stage of your customer’s journey in doing business with your shop.
A return and refund issue will take longer to resolve than the ordinary order status query. That is the normal course things and as a business owner, you will need to inform your agents about this. Assign a set amount of time for issue resolution and encourage your customer support team to do their best to follow such timeline. One of the things that customers hate is when agents keep them waiting and consistently give them false hopes. The key is living up to any assurance that is given and show every customer that it is their best interest that your customer service agents are working on.
Your agents must be able to show that they are inclined to really help customers instead of showing bias towards your business. Make every effort to train every agent to really speak with the customer’s interest in mind instead of sounding like an advocate for your venture with the sole purpose of keeping money and earning profit. Setting a fixed timeline and letting your customer service team follow it strictly will create a positive perception in customers minds and thereby increase your business’s trust rating and overall reputation.
Another important aspect of good customer service is knowing which point within the team and the overall strategy needs to be improved. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link they say and the same is true even for your customer service department. Asking customer feedback every after they get in touch with your agents will help you examine and zero in on the negative points that need some refining and improvement. It could be that the resolution time is quite slow or customers simply don’t like the way your agent talked to them.
Being able to find out the exact cause of any issue is an effective way of managing and growing a business because it allows you to apply a patch or mend any torn areas before the damage gets worse and end up to a big disaster. There are several apps available within the Shopify App Store that can assist you in collecting customer feedback on every engagement that your agents have with customers and all you need to do is install and learn how to use it. The investment is going to be worth it and the positive impact that it will leave will surely dwarf any expense that you may feel intimidated about at first glance!
Lastly, you need to make sure that you’re hiring customer service agents that already have prior experience doing the job. This will save you time and money from training and other onboarding steps. When you hire knowledgeable people, you will feel more confident that there’s going to be less things that could go wrong even when you’re not around to manage the team. And when your customer service agents know what they’re doing, you can trust that they are less likely to deviate from any steps that you ask them to follow.
In fact, you can get even more insights from experienced agents which you can glean some wisdom from and even apply in the team that you are trying to build. But hiring experienced agents would also mean paying higher salaries so if you don’t have that budget yet then just hire one experienced agent and have him/her train the new ones that you might need in the future. By doing so, you can be sure that your customers are being attended to while you are focusing on more important things that are needed to grow and develop your business further.
One of the weak points that led to the collapse of the majority of failed Shopify businesses is customer service. Most of these shops focused on customer acquisition strategies and forgot to put some effort on customer service which is equally important especially as the business grows. Issues will always occur and it is the responsibility of the business to help customers in its resolution. Failure to assist in solving such issues will result in legal suits and frozen payment accounts.
As a responsible business owner, you need to make sure that your customer service department performs at its best all the time. We have given you 5 useful tips in how you can ensure a smooth sailing business, one with very minimal issues to face. Implement each of the steps we gave and you’ll be on the safe side.
Remember, customers are always right and it’s your job as the business operator to ensure that it is being observed especially in issue resolution. Start reforming your customer service practices today and you’ll be amazed of the results. Today is the right time to start so get up and get things started. No one is going to do it for you; the first step will always come from you being the business owner.