Providing a full, 360° experience for customers requires a lot of planning, incident management, and follow-through for each customer come away with a positive view of your company. You will need to have multichannel customer support, easy access for purchases and inquiries, and a thorough model of standard business to which all interactions can be held to create a more streamlined experience. The creation and maintenance of these items (and more) will help to give your company a steady ground-level on which to rely, but the key to truly providing impressive service is in the details.
Fine-tuning your customer support model is a multi-step process. One of the most overlooked qualities of good customer service is the necessity of keeping your customer informed on every step of the process. For some, it can be an instinct to tell the customer only as much as is necessary, so that the agent is able to maintain control of the interaction, but a customer who feels completely out of control is an unhappy customer. Information is the key to easing a customer’s mind, even if the information may not exactly be what he or she wanted to hear. Here are a couple of great ways to make sure your customer is staying in-the-know.
Give your customer a “plan of attack.” This doesn’t mean a ballpark idea of what may happen behind the scenes of your customer service operation, but a good, concrete answer that customers can understand and latch onto. Even if this answer is something that might have to change as the incident is diagnosed, it’s better to keep your customer in the know to abate what rising frustration may come about with long waiting periods.
Give regular updates and timeframes. If speaking with a customer whose issue may take longer than a couple minutes to resolve, it’s important to keep him or her informed of how the process is coming along and what they can expect to see happen in real time. Without any guidelines on timeframes, customers will actually have far less patience with your service representatives.
Stay in touch after the issue is resolved. When your customer is looking to have an issue resolved, it can often flood over into a question of trust. Why should this customer still believe in your company and return as a repeat buyer? Why should this customer suggest your company to their friends? A good answer to these questions is to provide follow up after a customer inquiry has reached its conclusion. This way your buyers will know you are not just getting through the day, but looking forward and continually improving the experience for anyone who may encounter a similar issue.
Keeping your customers in the know is giving them the power of knowledge, which will create a more comfortable atmosphere all around for your agents and your clients. In the age of information, the more you can relay to your customers, the better.