10 Proven Customer Service Strategies That Work
Every business needs a professional customer service team that can troubleshoot customer issues, solicit feedback, and build better customer relationships. For a customer service team to accomplish all this, they need to follow an expert customer service strategy. Customer service strategies identify the tools you need to provide great customer service and increase customer retention.
The best customer service strategies utilize your team’s strengths while identifying and mitigating its weaknesses. They use third-party software when necessary to optimize communication with customers and decrease response times. Each company will have its own unique customer service strategy that works best for them, but there are some features that can be found in every successful customer service strategy.
If you want to build a better customer service strategy, then read through this list of 10 proven customer service strategies that work. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that your customers are happy, their concerns addressed, and their desires for your product realized. Remember, the strongest companies are those that build the best relationships with their customers and focus on customer satisfaction above all.
1. Identify what platforms your customers use
To provide great customer service, first you need to know where your customers are! What platforms do your customers frequently use? How do they like to contact you? There are a lot of potential answers to these questions, including:
- Social media (find out the specific platform!)
Once you know which platforms you customers prefer, you can devote more time to optimizing your customer service experience on those platforms. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to maintain a presence on other, less popular platforms as well so that no customer inquiry falls through the cracks.
Still having trouble figuring out which platforms your customers use? Try using a service like Google Analytics that tracks audience acquisition and conversion channels. You could also send out a questionnaire or survey to your customers and ask them which platforms they prefer for contacting you. If you’re still unsure, then set up a customer service account on multiple platforms and compare engagement over the course of a month to see which garner the most usage.
2. Invest in a customer service messaging platform
When a customer has an issue, the first place they are likely to go is your website. As such, you can improve their customer experience by adding a customer service messaging platform to your website. You can use a platform like Intercom or HelpCrunch to embed a live chat platform directly onto your homepage. This chat can pop-up whenever your customer clicks on your homepage. From there, your customer can type in their question into the chat and be automatically redirected to a help article that answers their question or sent to a live customer service agent.
To get an additional step up, you can use a customer service video messaging platform to add a more personalized experience to your customer service. There are various kinds of video messaging platforms available for customer service agents. You can integrate Droplr with Intercom to send videos to customers directly over chat. You can also invest in a video messaging platform like Covideo that lets you send customer service videos over email, text message, and CRM. With video, you can develop a more personal relationship with your customer and demonstrate that you are personally invested in solving their issue.
3. Create a personalized customer experience
Personalized customer experiences are one of the most important marketing trends in the 2020s. However, they can be used in customer service as well! When you use personalized customer experiences, you increase customer retention and overall satisfaction. You let customers know that you care about their personal customer journey.
You can implement personalized experiences in customer service by targeting help articles, videos, and other resources based on a customer’s background or previous questions. You can also implement it by making sure every customer service interaction is personalized – using your customer’s name, marking which products they use, and identifying their previous interactions with customer service. To effectively do this, you should invest in a CRM or similar platform so that you can track every interaction with your specific customer.
4. Follow-up ASAP
Regardless of where your customer is contacting you from or what their message entails, you need to respond to them ASAP! In fact, 75% of customers have reported that a fast response time is the most important attribute of good customer service. Your customer service representatives should always be monitoring all customer channels so that they can quickly receive and respond to customer complaints. You should also set up automated responses on your customer service platforms so that customers know if all agents are currently out of office or when an agent is likely to get back to them. These responses keep the conversation with the customer open while they wait for a live agent to respond to their request.
You should also send follow-ups after every customer service interaction to ensure that their needs were met and that they’re happy with the service they received. You can use this information to better plan future customer interactions and focus on what works. Additionally, if a customer had a negative experience, you need to work with the customer to rectify this experience as soon as possible and rebuild the relationship.
5. Include self-service options
While live customer service is usually the best option, some customers prefer to solve a problem on their own. Additionally, your customer service team may at times find themselves stretched thin trying to help as many customers as possible. At times like this, it’s important to have self-help options for customers that can address their most frequently asked questions and issues.
Every customer service team should host an online help desk or knowledge base that features articles with answers for frequently asked questions and fixes for common issues. Every customer should know where they can go to access these articles. Articles should include screenshots and videos in addition to text for customers that learn better with visuals.
6. Be transparent
No matter the issue, transparency is key. If you’ve made a mistake with your product or ghosted a customer, don’t try to cover it up. Own your bugs and your mistakes. Let customers know what exactly you will do to fix the issue and prevent similar issues in the future.
Transparency is important in every other aspect of customer service as well. Be upfront with customers about when a new product or update will launch. State when live customer service is available and when it isn’t. Be honest if you don’t know how to solve an issue and who they should go to in your stead. Although your customers may not always like your transparent response, in the long run, transparency builds up customer trust. If your customers know that you’re honest, they’re more likely to stick around, even when you make mistakes.
7. Build a public roadmap for future updates
You’ll have to work with your dev team to implement this, but a good way to improve customer experience is to make a public roadmap of future features and updates. You can use this roadmap to answer customer questions about updates and requested features. You can use the roadmap or a similar platform to keep track of requested features and determine which should be implemented first.
You can host a roadmap on your website or use a third-party app like Trello or LaunchNotes to build one. If you host it off-site, make sure that you include a link to it prominently on your website.
8. Frequently engage top customers
Customer service isn’t just responding to complaints. It also involves bettering the customer experience at every step of their journey. As such, you should be frequently engaging customers, especially top customers, and starting conversations. You can send updates, ask for feedback, and provide special offers for your best customers.
One of the best ways to engage top customers is by asking for testimonials and reviews. These help you learn about what your team is doing best and where there could be room for improvement. Additionally, testimonials are a great marketing resource as they demonstrate why customers love your business. As a customer service representative, you should consistently be working with marketing and sales teams to improve the customer experience and keep customers engaged.
9. Use surveys
Surveys are a great way to get feedback on customer service, requested features, and customer pain points. You can send out surveys through email or in-app. To maximize responses, you can offer incentives for completing surveys, such as a coupon or first look at a brand-new feature.
You can use software like SurveyMonkey or Zoho to create personalized surveys that target specific customers. Once again, you will need to coordinate with your marketing and dev teams to disseminate surveys and implement results. Once you’re finished collecting responses for a survey, be sure to let your customers know about the results and what you intend to do with them to better the customer experience.
10. Reward good customer service
Do you have a really good customer service agent that customers love to praise? Be sure to recognize them and reward their excellent work! Whenever you get a review or an email that mentions a specific agent, you should send a shout-out to your whole team so that everyone recognizes their excellent work. You can also try offering incentives to top agents to encourage excellent customer service.
Once you’ve identified a top representative, you should utilize their skills to help the rest of the team. Learn what makes them the best at customer service through discussions with them or their customers. You can have them work one-on-one with other representatives to boost others’ skills or create materials that outline how to copy them in becoming a top agent. Whatever you choose, make sure that you recognize your employee’s hard work and respect their customer service expertise.
Bonus: Try Covideo’s Video Messaging Platform
See how to use video messaging throughout your customer service strategy, from the first initial touchpoint and throughout the customer’s lifetime. Check out this video to see how to use video to onboard customers and providing personalized, ongoing support.
Want to take your customer service strategy to the next level? Try out Covideo’s video messaging platform! With Covideo, you can embed videos directly into emails, text messages, or any other messaging platform. Video lets you build a more personal relationship with your customers, thus increasing customer retention rates. Covideo also lets you record your screen so you can walk customers through fixes and provide visual instructions. If you’re not already using video inc customer service, then schedule a demo with one of our video experts today.