Globalization and digitalization in today’s world are constantly transforming businesses around the globe. To be competitive, companies must be agile and get creative in how they present themselves to current and potential clients. To stay relevant, businesses need to offer a lot more than before – omnichannel solutions and more complex CRM tools, but the number one spot is held by the reigning champion – customer service. No matter the product or service a company provides, having and maintaining outstanding customer service is a must. Achieving that isn’t easy and is a process, but creating a customer service philosophy helps a lot. What is it and how can you create one? Let’s find out together, shall we? As always grab your coffee, tea, or whatever drink you prefer, and let’s get down to business.
Elements of Good Customer Service
Before talking about what makes customer service good, let’s first quickly define it. Customer service refers to the way a business provides help before, during, and after a person has made a purchase. Most companies have dedicated teams that take care of that part and some prefer to outsource it to other businesses. Either way, customer service should be a fundamental part of any company. If you’re not convinced, a relatively recent study, conducted by American Express, shows that seven out of ten customers are willing to spend more money if a business offers great customer service.
Most elements of good customer service are very intuitive and logical. Some key factors are:
- Empathy goes a long way – being empathetic with a customer and meeting them where they are at, can help you understand and define their goals and the potential roadblocks they might encounter when interacting with your product.
- Quality over quantity – sometimes, during higher demand e.g holiday season, the volume of cases can pile up and customer support representatives, logically, would want to prioritize speed, but a speedy solution doesn’t always lead to a happy customer. A careful balance should be maintained between efficiency and customer delight.
- Create omnichannel support options – providing the customer with plenty of options on how to interact with your business is crucial for their overall positive experience. The freedom of choosing a channel and then easily flowing through other media is a fundamental part of offering excellent customer service.
- Ask for feedback – establishing a working feedback system can be very beneficial for improving customer service. Learning from positive and negative customer experiences and making the necessary adjustments will enhance the overall experience of clients.
- Troubleshooting collaboratively – including the client in the solving process is important for two reasons. The first one – is they feel part of the process which makes the experience more personal in a way, and the second one – it teaches them how to troubleshoot properly, which can help them solve future issues by themselves and reduce the volume of cases for your team. Win-win.
What’s a customer service philosophy and how do you develop one?
A customer service philosophy is a set of guiding principles that are applied when customers interact with products. They help to better solve support issues and to build and maintain customer relationships. Simply put, customer service philosophy acts as ground rules, which direct every customer interaction.
A solid customer service philosophy is built upon your customer’s needs and your company’s values, vision, and goals clearly and simply. Generally, it is composed of two parts: customer service vision and customer service values.
The first part, a customer service vision is a simple statement, which defines the type of customer service customers are expected to receive. An example of such a statement is Atlassian’s customer vision statement: “Don’t &#!% the customer.” It’s very hard to forget and cuts to the chase. The second part of a customer service philosophy is customer service values. They provide more context and offer an explanation for why adhering to the vision is important. A prime example can be Apple’s guidance for support reps:
Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
Politely understand all the customer’s needs.
Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.
Good customer service philosophies have things in common, but they never are the same because each business is different. Therefore when creating yours you need to take into consideration your team’s specific values and goals, and long-term vision for your relationship with customers. Here are a few steps which might help you when you are creating yours.
Define your support team’s values
Organizations thrive better when everyone is aligned with the company values. Transferring this logic to teams, they tend to also thrive when they are following and working with shared values. Simply define them and use them for creating the team’s vision statement.
Define your support team’s vision
A hack to do this is to ask everyone on your team to answer one question: “What do you want our customers to think of when they think of the service we provide?”. By using the answers and by using the previously defined values, you can create your vision statement.
Stand by the philosophy
As powerful as your customer service philosophy might be, at the end of the day, it’s just a set of guidelines. It’s up to your team to uphold it daily and make sure to adjust it when it feels outdated.
Example companies with excellent customer service philosophy
LEGO’s customer service philosophy “Only the best is good enough” is simple and concise. It matters for their products, as well as for how they provide customer service. A prime example is the LEGO ideas platform where customers can propose and vote for potential new LEGO sets. By making the best of their baseline, nothing else suffices.
The Ritz-Carlton is famous for its high standards of care and service. The luxury hotel chain operates under its Gold Standards, which include three core steps of service: a warm greeting, using the guest’s name, and providing a fond farewell. Each Ritz-Carlton strives to meet “even the unexpressed needs” of its guests.
Disney is committed to creating “magical moments” through exceptional customer service at its theme parks, stores, and beyond. The company’s customer service philosophy revolves around seven customer standards, based on the seven dwarfs, making it easy to grasp from every employee, on every level.
At the end of the day, companies need a solution that will help them stay on top of every communication channel and will make the not-so-easy task of having excellent customer service and an approachable target. That’s where talkt comes in as an affordable, approachable, and easy-to-implement solution for your business. Customer satisfaction should be a priority for every business. It’s a fact that it’s not easy to retain customers and keep them pleased with the product or service you provide. But with a solid customer service philosophy fulfilling clients’ needs should become easier with time. There are a plethora of benefits that come with keeping clients content. At the end of the day how a business treats its customers represents the company’s values and beliefs. Happy customers are proof that a business is on the right path and a customer service philosophy helps out.