As a business owner, there are very few things more important than ensuring your clients are happy and satisfied. The days where being courteous was enough are long gone. While ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ will still go a long way, clients are expecting to be fully satisfied by the products or services you sell them, as well as by the support you’re able to provide with the help of your help desk software.
Customer satisfaction is crucial for any business, no matter its size, activity or country. It has a direct impact on your ability retain existing clients, as well as acquire new ones, and have them spend more money. On the other hand, studies show that 91% of clients who had a bad customer experience won’t willingly do business with a company ever again. So, how do you make sure your clients are happy enough to return? From empowering your clients to providing multi-channel support, here are 10 effective ways you can improve customer satisfaction.
Talking to your clients goes far beyond just listening to them. You need to take the time to understand them. And really understand them. After all, your role as a support agent is to uncover the exact issue and figure out the correct solution. In order to reach this solution, a certain amount of empathy is needed. There’s nothing worse, as a client, than asking a question and receiving an automated answer.
You’ve heard the cliche “put yourself in your clients shoes” over and over, but there is some merit to it here. In order to understand what your customers’ pain points are, you need to experience them for yourself. You and your team need to know your product or service like the back of your hand. To achieve that, you need to test your product, know it, understand it and have an extensive internal knowledge base so that your team is always on top of the latest improvements and newest feature releases.
Set clear expectations (and beat them)
Do you ever wonder why your friend didn’t love your movie recommendation after you gushed about it over lunch? It’s simple. Because you set the expectation way too high. It’s a similar situation when it comes to your clients. If you promise to deliver exemplary customer service, clients will follow up on this and expect nothing less than a perfect experience. Your clients only expect what you promise to offer. By setting a standard, your customers won’t be left feeling disappointed. A couple of ways to set clear expectations is through your messaging. For example: “We treat all requests as soon as they come in but it may take a few days before you receive an answer.” Ensure your messaging is clear and direct to avoid any misunderstandings or further frustrations.
Empower your clients
Who said that customers always need your help? Given the right tools, they can actually find the answer themselves most of the time. Not only will it be faster for them (and you), but they will probably also feel a sense of achievement once they’ve succeeded in solving the issue themselves. You can create an external knowledge base to incorporate into your help desk software, enabling your customers to find everything they need online. Include any tools that could be useful for them, such as tutorials, articles, webinars and videos. By providing your community with the right info, you will give them the chance to gain more expertise over your product or service.
However, make sure you’re not one of those platforms that are impossible to reach. You want to steer away from being perceived as a ‘robot’ company. Empower your clients and give them control by guiding them with a solid knowledge base, but also make sure that you’re available and easy to reach, if necessary.
Provide multi-channel support
Ensuring that your clients can contact you, from wherever and whenever they need, is crucial. If they want to update their billing information, for example, the necessary link or answer should be readily available on the relevant page. The longer it takes for them to find the right button or contact information, the more frustrated they will be once they finally do get in touch - and the higher your chances are of losing that client. The solution: be everywhere. That’s right - for your customers to find you at any time, be reachable on all channels, including directly from your platform, social media, phone and email. Sounds a little daunting? Explore Wix Answers for a convenient, all-in-one-solution that seamlessly brings all these aspects together, resulting in a faster and more efficient experience for your clients.
The type of customer service you provide should be adapted to each channel. If a client reaches out by phone, they probably want an immediate answer. If they contact you via Facebook or Twitter, it means they’re looking for public attention, whereas by email, it’s likely that they are expecting a more descriptive and technical response. As well as modifying your language to suit each channel, make sure you understand which channels are relevant for your industry. Social media may not be (that) useful in an import-export company, for example. Consider your target audience’s habits and decide where they would expect you to be before setting up your support system. Make sure to always provide the classic option of email and a help page.
This one’s a real time-saver: by providing help before your client actually needs help, you will be able to reduce the frustration by half. Add links, widgets and icons on your website and newsletters, asking your visitors whether they need any help, and point them in the direction of relevant information. Make these additions visible and easy to reach. Don’t forget to fully update your knowledge base with relevant support materials, whenever you have a new product or service. That way, you will be more than ready for the moment questions start to pop up.
Answer quick (and smart)
Time is an imperative factor in customer satisfaction. There’s a reason the famous saying, ‘Time is money’ is still around and more accurate than ever. Increasingly popular support channels like Facebook and Twitter are telling of the way customers expect their questions to answered - on the spot and in real time. By answering your clients as quick as possible, you’re reducing their stress and the opportunity for their mind to wander and see what a competitor has to offer.
But it’s not just about answering as quickly as your fingers can type. Certain situations require a good amount of digging. So take the time to let your customer know you have received their request and are looking into possible solutions. Customer service should not only be about being responsive, the type of information you provide should be beneficial and educational.
Be online, but not robotic
This may not be the case in the future, but for now, there are people behind the screen - and your customers should know that. When corresponding with customers online, you can’t use body language or tone to convey what you mean. That’s why you need to be extra attentive to your choice of language. Make communication more personal, by introducing yourself by your name and mentioning your client’s name. Naturally, every person is different in their needs, level of understanding and personality. In order to provide the best tailored service, treat every case individually. You can also look out for repeating clients and add a little personal note. On top of that, always try to be authentic and transparent.
Train your team
Your customer service representatives are the face of your business and unlike many other departments in your business, deal directly with your customers. You could incorporate all of these effective strategies but what good are they without a trained (and happy) team? Make sure each team member has the correct information to answer even the most basic of questions, and knows the proper way (both oral and written) to deliver it.
Is there an effective way to achieve this? Yes. First, make sure you pick the right persons for the role, by asking the most relevant customer service interview questions. Also make sure that you have a solid and long-term training plan, in order to grow the customer service skills of every one of your representatives (and this can include yourself). Finally, let your team fly solo with an up-to-date knowledge base packed with all the answers they need. Empower them to take ownership of any case while always taking any action with the customer in mind. Run simulations in order for your representatives to be confident and ready for any type of situation.
Measure your results
The only way you and your team will continue to grow is by measuring your results. After all, what gets measured gets improved. The first step of this process is deciding what metrics you should be regularly monitoring. A couple of examples include: ticket volume, average response time and ticket backlog. With Wix Answers, you can check your team’s performance, ticket response time and customer satisfaction ratings.
As much as you want to believe that your customers are all happy, things happen. And when they do, you should know about it. All of it - the good, the bad and the ugly. If your customers have something to share make it easy for them to do so with a contact form or an email address. By providing an appropriate platform for customer feedback, clients are less likely to publicly voice their frustration online (and damage your brand’s reputation). Feedback, both negative and positive, is an excellent tool to discover the pain points that need improvement. More importantly, in your customers eyes, it shows that you are serious about ensuring top-notch customer satisfaction.
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