Customer service should be at the top of your priority list. Why? Because looking after your customers means repeat business, referrals, recommendations and good reviews. So your existing customers are one of your most important assets. And that’s why, if you’re worried about spending time on customer care, outsourcing could be a great option.
Does your business have these customer service skills?
Looking after customers well takes skill and understanding. It takes a system that touches your customers at each point in the process and that you deliver consistently so your customers know what to expect – and get it.
Product or service knowledge – you can’t give great customer service if you don’t understand the products or services your customers are buying. Being able to give customers additional details and allowing them to understand how the product or service can be used is really important. If you’re outsourcing customer service, make sure you take the time to train your team and give them crib sheets or easy ways to access the right information so that they can answer as many queries as possible.
Positive attitude – customers want to experience a can-do attitude. That means positive interactions and a genuine feeling that you are trying to help. Even a virtual customer assistant can do this if they have the right skills – either on the phone or on an online chat or by email. A positive approach lifts your customer, reinforces your brand and makes it more likely that they will return to buy again.
Calm approach – we all know from our own experiences that the worst thing you can have is an argument with customer services. Outsourcing support to people who don’t understand how best to deal with people can have a detrimental effect on results. When customers are extremely angry, you need someone who is unruffled, consistent, kind and firm. If you’re managing your customer services in-house, you may need to invest in training for this type of situation.
Good listening – the more you listen, the more you understand about the customer and their query. This is a really valuable skill, because when you allow the customer to explain their query fully, you’re more likely to be able to answer it quickly and completely. What’s more, if the customer is complaining, you’ll be able to identify the problem and feed the information back into the business so that improvements can be made. This is one of the reasons why smaller businesses choose virtual assistant customer service help – if there are only one or two people in the office, there simply isn’t the time to devote to giving customers the time they need.
Keeping control – you should always be in control of a customer conversation, however and wherever that conversation is taking place. It’s inefficient and costly to spend all your time dealing with customer queries, so why not think about adding telemarketing to customer service at your business to pre-empt enquiries or complaints? Or adding some frequently asked questions to your website so that there’s somewhere for customers to go that might answer their question without them having to call you? Or having a simple script that takes your customer call to an end-point: sending them an email; calling them back with more information; or pointing them to your website.
For small businesses, it’s often more cost-effective to outsource customer service than it is either to hire someone on a permanent basis, or pay for the training that your existing people will need in order to do a good job. As businesses realise the bottom-line value of getting customer service right, they are more inclined to look into all the possible options – including customer care outsourcing – so that they can close those sales, turn one-time customers into repeat business and build their referral and review network.
If you’re short on time and need help with customer service support for your business, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.