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Ring in 2017 with exceptional customer service

 

Customer service can taking a leading role in building your brand for the new year.

Customer service can take a leading role in building your brand for the new year.

The holidays bring joy, family bonding and, often, calls or messages to a customer care center about a new gift. With smart, up-to-date strategies, organizations can efficiently manage all of these interactions, satisfying customers and preventing miscommunication. Great interactions build positive relationships that last well beyond the season. Here are three best practices to start the new year off on the right foot:

1. Communicate through multiple channels

“Today’s consumers want an omnichannel experience.”

Today’s consumers want an omnichannel experience, with companies seamlessly offering service through whatever platforms are most convenient. Forbes noted that customers increasingly expect care on their own terms and are accustomed to communicating through email, chat and social media. Organizations must be ready to respond quickly through multiple channels with relevant information and guidance.

When a consumer has to travel through a labyrinth of recorded messages and menus to get to the human care agent he or she wants, it’s a failure for the organization’s approach to customer service. That frustration not only makes the initial interaction more difficult for a representative, but also risks damaging the individual’s long-term relationship with the brand. Companies should therefore be sure they have the resources in place to manage a high volume of calls or messages without forcing customers to wait on hold for long periods or switch to another platform.

2. Train employees with the right tools

Customer care agents can only provide a great experience if they have the necessary knowledge and resources. Providing those tools makes a major difference when just one negative interaction is sufficient to cut off a future sale, as Business Insider reported. Once the organization has created  a poor impression, it takes 12 successful interactions to make up for it.

Companies must therefore make it a priority educate their agents in optimizing their use of customer management software and other care center tools. Too many business interactions begin with a need to transfer the customer to another channel or care agent. Even worse, plenty of customers complain about being disconnected or cut off. Often, the need for transfers or callbacks stems from care agents sending the customer to the wrong platform or not having access to the proper data.

An easy-to-use, centralized customer care center solution ensures every employee has the proper information at hand and knows what steps to take during common customer interactions. Constantly collecting engagement data keeps consumer relationships moving forward. Customers don’t want to repeat their personal information or explain ongoing problems with a product multiple times. By maintaining consistent records, the care center ensures each new interaction grows the relationship instead of restarting it.

Everyone in the organization can take part in improving customer service.

3. Involve everyone in customer care

The representative communicating through voice or chat has a major influence on the customer experience, putting soft skills into action to make conversations friendlier and more productive. However, these employees are far more successful when they have supervision and support from others who are just as determined to offer quality information and a rewarding experience. Representatives must draw on training and a knowledge base from subject matter experts and be able to escalate cases as necessary.

The Harvard Business Review pointed out that a unified approach to improving engagement can be far more successful than focusing solely on training customer-facing employees. Everyone from factory workers to software developers should know how they contribute to exceptional service and understand what is expected from them. Care centers can make this possible by sharing data with marketers and sales so every branch of the business is aware of customers’ preferences and most common problems.

With the personnel, tools and strategies tailored to the needs of an organization, a customer care center leads the way in strengthening customer engagement. Great customer service is one holiday gift that keeps giving throughout the year.

 

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