Simple ways to set your service apart from the rest
When I started Webgility, my plan was to create and sell software with a simple goal: Help e-commerce business owners pursue their passion by automating some of the most painful aspects of running their business, like accounting. While the business plan certainly included top-drawer customer service, I did not realize how important it would be to the longevity and profitability of the business. Fast forward nearly 10 years, and I’m proud to say that customer service is one of the major areas in which Webgility stands far and above the competition. In fact, our customer service team is considered the best in the industry and, week over week, we earn a 98% (and often better) customer satisfaction rating. 4 ways to set your customer service apart from the rest by @ParagMamnani #ecommerce #sellmore #Webgility Click To TweetWhile providing great service did not happen overnight, I assure you it did not happen by accident. Below I’ve listed the four simple guidelines that have been instrumental in helping Webgility stand out as a leader in customer service.
Be available. Good customer service departments call people back. Great customer service departments pick up those calls before they go to voicemail and make time in their schedule for each and every customer. Look at the typical calling patterns of your customers and schedule ample coverage during high volume hours and days of the week, even if that seems expensive or inconvenient. Our customers consistently report that the unexpected bonus of our software is that they can always get a human on the phone at any time and we take great pride in meeting this simple expectation.
Pay attention. Active listening is a thing—and it can do wonders for improving communication and understanding between your customer service team and your clients. Encourage healthy listening habits like repeating the customer’s problems and requests back to them. Based on your most common complaints, identify different customer service personas to help your team provide better and faster service. For example, some customers just need to be listened to (sometimes for long periods of time) and some customers are looking for quick, solution-based interactions in the form of a product discount, return, or exchange. Having the soft skills required to know how each case is best handled is crucial to giving good service.
Speak the truth. Train your team to be honest with your customers, even if they are unable to resolve their issue. Unless they are truthful, there will be no trust in your product or your company. A customer that feels like they’re hearing the truth is far more likely to stick with you through a rough patch. And if a customer senses that you’re interested in learning from their feedback, they will go above and beyond to follow your progress on a particular issue and spread positive word of mouth when you reach resolution. And if there is a common problem, such as frequent complaints about pricing, make sure your team is empowered to respond with a discount or promotion when appropriate.
Do unto others. At the end of the day, the best customer service teams treat clients the way they’d like to be treated if the tables were turned. Incentivize your team to go the extra mile to make sure issues are resolved and the client feels taken care of. If your team can’t help a customer, make sure they recommend another solution, even if that’s a competing product or service, that way your customers walk away with a story about your generosity instead of your incompetence. Side effects of great customer service are loyalty and repeat business—and the increased revenue that usually follows suit.
Since we live in a world where a bad review from a customer can swiftly and thoroughly take down businesses, customer service is often our only safeguard. Successful businesses know how to make their customers happy, take reviews seriously, and work to protect themselves from negative exposure of any kind. As insurance against unhappy customers and bad reviews, give your team the training and attention they need to keep your customers happy—the proof will be in the profits.