A major component of your customer experience (CX) process is customer service, and that’s why adhering to the 10 principles of customer service is critical to your CX optimization.
Before we get into the 10 Principles, let’s define what we mean by Customer Service. It’s a term that gets tossed about by both companies and customers as something that’s important. And it is.
It’s also a very broad, general term.
So, let’s be clear …
Customer service refers to the assistance or support provided to customers before, during, and after they make a purchase and/or use a product or service. The goal is to ensure that customers have a positive experience and are satisfied with their interactions with a company.
This help provided to customers can take many forms. Therefore, “customer service” includes, but is not limited to the following:
- providing information about products or services
- answering questions
- resolving issues or problems
- handling complaints
And, likewise, customer service can take place through a variety of different channels … or a combination of several. Customer service channels include:
- over the phone
- via email or chat
- through social media
Good customer service is essential for businesses to build and maintain strong relationships with their customers, as it can help to increase customer loyalty and drive repeat business.
Additionally, customers who have a good experience with the customer service they receive are more likely to reciprocate with positive reviews, referrals, and recommendations. And these can be incredibly valuable for your reputation and growth.
So, customer service plays a crucial role in creating a positive CX. And this, in turn, can be a key differentiator for businesses looking to stand out in a competitive market.
Now that we’ve clarified what customer service is and why it’s important, let’s explore the 10 principles that can help you deliver the service that makes your company stand out and keeps customers happy, coming back, and talking about you in a positive way.
Each of these principles are important on their own in meeting customer expectations and providing a good CX. However, the more of them you can incorporate together into your standard operating procedures, the better.
Customers expect quick responses to their inquiries and concerns. You should strive to respond to customer requests and inquiries as quickly as possible, whether it’s through live chat, email, or phone. The faster you can resolve a customer’s issue or concern, the more likely you are to retain that customer.
Providing accurate information is essential for building trust with customers. Your customer service representatives must be knowledgeable and well-trained so that they can provide accurate information and resolve customer issues efficiently.
Being transparent with customers helps to build trust and credibility. Therefore, you should be upfront about your policies, fees, and any other relevant information to ensure that customers are well-informed and have realistic expectations.
Empathy involves understanding and acknowledging a customer’s emotions and feelings. Your customer service representatives should practice active listening and demonstrate that they care about the customer’s concerns.
Customers expect to be able to contact a company easily and through multiple channels. So you should offer a variety of communication options such as phone, email, live chat, and social media to ensure that customers can reach you whenever they need assistance.
Empowering customer service representatives to make decisions and take action to resolve customer issues can lead to quicker resolutions and more satisfied customers. Part of this empowerment comes from giving your agents the training and resources necessary to make those informed decisions.
Providing high-quality service is crucial for building customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Nobody raves about mediocre or “standard” service they receive. Therefore, your goal must be to provide a consistent level of service that exceeds customer expectations.
Treating customers with respect and courtesy is another essential component of building strong relationships. Ensure that your agents are always polite and professional in their interactions with customers, even when faced with difficult situations.
Consistency is key to building trust and a sense of reliability. You should aim to provide a consistent level of service across all channels and interactions, ensuring that your customers receive the same level of quality and attention each time they reach out for assistance.
Taking responsibility for mistakes and resolving issues quickly is important for building trust and credibility. Mistakes and errors happen. So, when they do, you acknowledge them and take steps to make things right for your customers.
Putting these principles into action requires committing to a company culture that values them, providing the training needed, and also employing quality monitoring to ensure that the principles are being adhered to.
ARC Quality Solutions can help you implement the training (including one-on-one call coaching) and quality monitoring that you need to install these principles into your company’s process and procedures so that you can deliver exceptional customer service, build strong relationships with your customers, and achieve long-term success.
In the meantime, you may also find our Customer Experience Optimization FAQ helpful.