Customer Service – The New Battle Ground

Different businesses have different aims, visions and missions. However, at the end of the day, the basic goal for most businesses comes down to same thing: the need to make money. Without money, you won’t be able to pay your employees and keep your business afloat.

One way to gain more customers is to expand rapidly and grow your customer base. Strong marketing campaigns are one of the key helping points here. However, just growing your customer base is not enough. You need to retain customers too.

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A customer that buys from you repeatedly is much more valuable than a customer who buys from you just once. What’s more, a repeat customer can often turn into a promoter which helps grow your customer base even further.

So, how does one go about this? One of the key elements in retaining customers and turning them into potential promoters is good customer service. No matter how good your product is, if your customer support is shoddy, your customer’s experience and satisfaction is bound to suffer, which affects your chances of retaining them.

In other words, good customer support equals good customer experience, which equals good retention and growth.

So, if you don’t have a dedicated customer support team, it is time you think of getting one. For those organizations that do have a dedicated support team, here are a few key skills that you need to ensure your agents possess to ensure a good support experience:

  • Product knowledge: It is extremely vital for your agents to be up-to-date and thoroughly aware of all your products and services. There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than calling customer support only to be transferred multiple times or put on hold while the agents hunt for answers.

  • Patience: A frustrated customer needs time to vent. No matter how angry or unreasonable a customer sounds, your agents need to give them a chance to explain their situation in detail. Negatively reacting to an angry customer ends up causing further harm.

  • Swiftness: Time is of the essence when responding to customers. Your team needs to be quick in responding to customers. With the increased interconnectivity that the internet provides, many customers have come to expect near instantaneous responses to their queries. This is why it is important to maintain a quick turn-around-time. Using swifter other modes of communication such as a live chat and call center support can further help you in this. Remember, delays in responding to a customer can lead to decrease in customer satisfaction and can cost your future leads.

  • Clarity: You need to ensure that your agents are able to communicate clearly and concisely to a client. Most people do not have the patience to read a long message or listen to long explanations. Your agents must balance brevity with thoroughness and approachability.

  • Empathy: An agent who can empathize with a customer will be much likelier to satisfy the customer than one who cannot. Customers need reassurance, especially when frustrated, and want to feel that they’re conversing with a person not a feeling-less robot. Along with this, smaller gestures that show consideration and respect for customers can help too. Amazon’s policy of refunding the price-change on recently purchased items is one example of such a gesture.

  • Adaptability: Each customer interaction is different. Your agents need to be able to adapt to different customer problems and demands, technical issues and more. This ensures that they are ready for every eventuality and that they continue to satisfy your customers.

  • Initiative: Good service helps keeps customers satisfied, but it doesn’t necessarily convert them into promoters. Going the extra-mile can make that difference. While not mission-critical, being willing to take initiative and go out of the way to help customers is a vital skill to have in an agent. Agents who do this end up delighting customers, converting a merely ‘satisfied’ customer into a possible promoter.

Do note, merely instilling these skills is not enough. You need to constantly monitor your NPS and customer satisfaction results. You need to keep an eye on all communications to see if there is scope for improvement elsewhere. Only by taking a proactive approach towards customer delight can you continue to grow, especially in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

However, handling this all internally can be quite a challenge – which why MattsenKumar (MK) is here to help. With a broad product suite offering you everything – from cutting-edge Speech Analytics services (MK’s SmartSpeech), to BPO services and consulting - MK can help you both - better understand customer grievance s and provide top-notch customer support, pacing the path for customer delight.

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Posted by Aarati Kumar

Aarati Kumar has 20 years of experience across various domains and has progressively more responsible BPO leadership experience within India. She started in the domestic India contact center management space, and after transitioning to the international call center space, soon became one of the first female general managers across all of Asia. That experience led to senior roles managing vendor service delivery for a Fortune 50 company and being Country-head of the largest Third Party Quality Services Provider globally. A proven leader who has effectively built complex service delivery teams, her success within the offshore market speaks for itself.

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