4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Customer Service Experience
It used to be that businesses did not have much competition and didn’t have to put much effort to make sales. Now that opening a business has become an easier and more common thing, companies are finding that customer service experiences can differentiate them from their competitors.
It also used to be that if your customer service was bad, only the dissatisfied customer along with his/her circle would know. These days, customers can place a bad review anywhere on the internet. They will even go as far as write unthinkable things on your social media pages or posts.
If you’ve landed on this blog, you must be looking for ways to improve your customer service. Perhaps you’ve received bad customer reviews or maybe you’re finding that you’re losing customers – Don’t worry. Here are four simple ways to improve your customer service experience:
1. After sales support
If you think that customers are demanding before the sale, be prepared for after-sales demands. Customers feel that since they have purchased from you, they have the right to receive support for everything, including brushing their teeth. Okay, that’s an over exaggeration, but it’s still true that the quality of after-sales support determines whether you will get a repeat customer or not.
Here are some results from a customer service study
- “Fifty-eight percent of customer service teams view managing social media inquiries as their top challenge.
- Churn rate can increase by 15% if organisations fail to respond to customers on social media.
- Forty-five percent of customers share negative reviews on social media.
- Sixty-three percent of consumers read negative reviews on social media.
- And, 65% are likely to speak negatively about their customer service experience.”
After-sales support begins the moment your customer has made the decision to purchase and involves the following:
- A thank you note for their business
- Handling the safe delivery of goods
- Ensure that your customer has your contact details
- Adding your customer to your email list
- Checking up with your customer and offering additional products or services
2. Monitor your online presence
Some customers prefer to send their queries via social media, and they expect a prompt response. If you haven’t got a Social Media Manager handling your accounts, get one asap!
Your Social Media Manager should be someone with customer service experience and who manages their own social media presence well.
Provide customers with a feedback mechanism across your entire online presence. That way, your Social Media Manager can monitor and implement changes to address key issues when they arise.
3. Take care of your staff
A happy employee makes great customer support a possibility. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of you. It is Richard Branson who made this saying popular. He built Virgin on this principle, and to this day, the company is listed as one of the best to work for.
Here’s how to improve staff morale:
- Pay good incentives
- Train staff regularly
- Try to understand their point-of-view
- Involve them in key decisions
4. 24/7 Support
If possible, provide 24/7 support services. Many businesses have opted for this method and have seen great results.
In addition, allow your customers to find technical information such as articles, how to’s, news and more in one central place. Making this information available to customers will reduce the need for them to escalate queries.
Stop Doing Social Media Yourself and Grow Your Business
More than 460 small business owners, CEO’s and proprietors were asked how much time they spend managing their social media account. Here are the results:
- 63% spend 1-5 hours online
- The rest spend more than five hours
- Some spend as much as 21 hours a week or more
21 hours a week! That’s over half of a normal work-week. It’s no wonder that the number one gift every entrepreneur, small business owner or CEO asks for is more time. There’s got to be another way.
The amount of time spent on social media can be recovered if you outsource it to a Virtual Assistant. Outsourcing this task is not only beneficial but mandatory for anyone who is serious about growing their business.
How to work with a Virtual Assistant to manage your social media
Businesses have good intentions when creating their social media pages, but often these pages lack direction in content and structure. They’re not using a content posting schedule and therefore cannot measure the true benefits of their efforts.
A Virtual Assistant can help you to develop a content posting schedule for all your social media accounts. This schedule can include posting times, content that she will post, engagement received after posting and more. No longer do you have to wonder what the true effect of your posts are as she will manage that for you.
“Remember that building an audience takes time.”
I am always bewildered by entrepreneurs who expect their social media accounts to grow overnight. Building a social media presence takes time, and hiring a short-term freelancer on Fiverr will not work. Purchasing likes on the web will not help either. All you will get is a bunch of ghost followers who don’t engage with your content. You’ve got to build your audience organically.
Before you hand over your social media accounts to a Virtual Assistant, make sure you outline the best practices. Best practices include:
- How often you want posts to go live
- If she should respond to comments
- The topics that should be frequently explored
- The topics that are off limits
- How often you should get draft posts sent to you for review
- Which automated tool you will use to publish posts (Hootsuite, Buffer or the internal scheduling tool)
Other ways to use a Virtual Assistant to manage your social media
A Virtual Assistant is also useful to engage with your audience’s comments and queries. Often, people leave ‘angry’ comments on social media due to its public nature and therefore impact, so you’ve got to keep on top of that to diffuse situations. Your Virtual Assistant can schedule to receive email notifications for comments, direct messages and tags. She can then follow those notifications to respond to them. Not everyone is aware of customer service etiquette, so have a template ready for the following situations:
- General query
Here’s a typical response to a complaint:
We sincerely apologise for the bad service you have experienced. Please give us your details in a direct message and we will contact you to solve this issue. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will solve this issue with a matter of urgency. Kind Regards. Admin
These templates will ensure that your Virtual Assistant will not get involved in an argument on any of your social media accounts.
When it comes to finding out who’s talking about your company, a Virtual Assistant can do this too. She can use Tweetdeck, Google Alerts or Mention.net to do this easily.
Finally, it is advised to use a password sharing tool such as LastPass to share social media passwords securely with your Virtual Assistant.