If customer service had to be described in 3 words, for sure “fast”, “appropriate” and “satisfactory” would top the list. Customer service has actually reached a state where companies can no longer keep it in the back seat, in fact as most companies today mention; it has become the backbone of many processes and areas of functionality. Be it marketing or sales or for that matter the product/brand’s personality as a whole, all these are dependent on how people perceive and receive your brand.
According to research conducted in the past by various platforms, customer’s reaction towards a brand, depend mainly on two aspects, namely, product quality and the quality of customer service received. So, what exactly is the ‘mantra’ for great customer service? It’s pretty simple, reach your customers instantly, add in a bit of personal touch and solve their problems by deploying a smooth process!
The dawn of social media has changed people’s outlook not just towards shopping but also their pre sales and post sales experiences. People talk to their peers before purchasing a product and what better place to get opinions than social media, where the people from across the world are ready to give an opinion. What’s interesting is the post sales procedure, where people express their happiness about the purchased product or how bad the experience was! Here’s where your Social Media Customer Service team needs to jump in, to avoid any extreme situations. It is very possible that you “chose” to ignore a complaint made by any of your customers via Twitter; you might not be ready for the situation, but it has already gone viral!
So, here’s what a Manager needs to teach his/her Social Customer Service Agents for excellent after effects:
1. BE THE CUSTOMER: Treat your customers just the way you would like to be treated. Every customer service agent is also a customer at the end of the day, therefore standing in the customer’s shoes is pretty easy. Respond to them in exactly the same way how you would like to be responded to if you were complaining about a product and half the problem is solved. What matters the most, is the first response received by the customer.
2. MAKE IT QUICK: People hate waiting in queue, be it actually standing at the billing counter at a hypermarket or waiting on hold for their turn to come so they can speak to the customer service agent. People therefore have found a solution for themselves. All the people who are on various social media channels today complain using this platform. This being said, the expectations of people to receive a reply are also as fast as a maximum of 1 hour. Therefore companies who have achieved a first response time of about 5 minutes record highly satisfied customers.
3. ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH: All customers love to be pampered, therefore adding a dear or a good morning to your message might actually help calm down a certainly angry customer. This also makes the customer feel that you are actually listening to their problems and do not consider you a machine which is simply shooting messages even without reading the complaint. This reduces the risk of continuous complaints from them which also reduce the chance that many people would see the complaint avoiding chances of virality. Also do not forget to leave your name at the end!
4. DO NOT ARGUE: Your customer might be completely wrong and might still be shouting at you for bad service, you still cannot answer them back with foul/horrific words. Be the patient one and respond to their complaints with proof and reasoning. Explaining them the situation might actually help calming them down rather than fighting with them. This will also help create a good image among the rest of the customers who might stand up for you as well.
5. SAY THANK YOU: People always love that extra effort put in to make them feel special. Adding a thank you for a compliment or generally for sharing the problem can help reduce the tension between the customer and the company. They feel more welcomed and hence are willing to co-operate until you solve their problem.
6. SOLVE THE PROBLEM: Do not leave a case unattended or half attended just because you do not have the solution instantly. Make sure to reach out to a senior or someone in the management who can take care of it. This makes the customer feel important. Keep them informed about each step/process and they will be willing to wait that extra minute without complaining. For all you know, they might even leave a few kind words adding to your company’s charm!
7. REFER BEFORE YOU REPLY: You might have a returning customer at your disposal, someone who has complained in the past and has also shared their details. Keeping track of historical data and referring to them before replying to the customer can help understand their problem better. A reply which says “We have your contact details and we will look into the issue on priority” instead of “Please share your contact details for further assistance” always sounds better. The customer has lesser work to do and so do you.
Disclaimer: All the images displayed above are from the official handles of the respective companies. The examples mentioned above are not Simplify360’s clients.