The definition of good customer service has been changing profoundly compared to the past. A long time ago, responding quickly to messages left by customers on the answering machine was considered sufficient. To answer the question “what is meant by good customer service today,” we propose this reading aiming at answering common problems, such as:
What is good customer service?
How can companies offer a service that exceeds customer expectations?
What metrics allow us to assess the effectiveness of customer service and customer satisfaction? The definition of good customer service has evolved over the years.
Customer service consists of any interaction, online or offline, that a customer or potential customer may have with your company from initial contact to final sale and beyond. Generation zero almost takes it for granted that you can control an order’s status by merely talking to a device. But their parents remember when they used catalogs to place orders by mail. And now customers say their standards for a good customer experience are higher than ever.
Excellent customer service means more:
Fast service (“in real-time” or “always operational” in marketing terms)
A personalized service that offers a connected and omnichannel experience
A proactive service, offering a solution before a problem or change occurs.
Other suggestions to improve customer service
First, customers want transparent transactions.
When a customer visits the online store, can he know why an offer reported throughout the site is not applied to his order? Can he quickly access information about delivery times and return policy? Will he be able to understand when and how someone can use for discounts? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then customer service may not be adequate, and, as a result, sales may decline. When it comes to providing information, it is always good to be cautious. Providing a FAQ page is a good start.
However, the most successful online businesses offer guidance and suggestions during the purchase process and do not hide any relevant information that the customer might find useful. In physical stores, these aspects are managed slightly differently. In this case, good customer service is based on verbal and gestural communication. The worst thing that can happen is that a customer gets the wrong message in the store. If, for example, you have adopted a policy that does not require returns for specific items, somebody should communicate this information to customers before purchase. Also, do not expect customers to read the story written in small print. Any information should be prominently displayed: if there is transparency in the transaction, somebody will minimize surprises on both sides.
Second, help them to help you.
In the era of e-commerce, companies make the mistake of letting online shoppers manage themselves, relying on self-service resources. But not everyone is so technologically competent or always willing to activate their self-sufficiency capabilities. Sometimes customers do not want to commit to finding an answer for themselves, hoping there is someone to ask. Whether talking to an agent in person, online, or via email, most customers. At some point prefer human interaction to get right to the end or complete the transaction.
To avoid a flood of abandoned carts, make sure you meet your customers’ needs with the level of service they expect. Live chat is the best solution: it has been proven to reduce abandonment rates. If this is not a viable option, make sure you provide an instant link to ask questions via email and a toll-free number available 24/7. If the customer feels he or she cannot get a quick response anywhere, put him or her in the position to leave the cart. He may come back later or reject it altogether. Whatever the motivation, the probability of completing the sale has just dropped considerably.
Third, create confidence, and customers will come back.
If your company answers the phone the first time it rings, it can immediately provide all relevant purchase information and offer customers a personalized needed experience. In this case, you have succeeded. You are creating an extraordinary relationship of trust. It is the last part, but the most important. Initially, somebody will draw the customer to your product or service.
It will probably be the ones who will bring him back a second time. However, what drives him to come back regularly is the certainty that he will have the best customer experience. If you can offer your customers what they are looking for just when they need it, then the trust established between your company and the customer will evolve to become valuable retention.
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