“What do you guys do to keep your customers happy?”
It starts with a great product that people love and that rarely has issues or bugs. However, we all know that even the best products and services will eventually have issues. It’s how the customer is treated under these circumstances that defines a great customer service experience.
Some people believe it’s a numbers game. Can’t you just hire the right number of service people, train them, and have them follow a documented process? If you do this, then shouldn’t you be able to solve customer issues in a timely manner and offer a great customer service experience? Well, it’s not that easy.
Yes, you do need a service process in place along with properly trained people. You need to provide the answers and support your customers deserve and you need to offer it in a time frame they expect.
Customer service software will help you streamline processes, create clear routing protocols and automated workflows. Some solutions enable you to quickly connect with your customers, no matter their timezone, some allow you to create self-service solutions, such as knowledge bases, and some even power omnichannel communication and support. However, there is almost always a human element involved. Your service employees need good training on how to offer assistance and talk to your customers in order to solve their problems. It’s hard work and takes discipline.
Thankfully, Sugar’s powerful AI engine SugarPredict, records sentiment for both the customer and the sales rep or customer service agent in Sugar Serve. You can get this data shortly after each customer engagement, empowering your service reps to respond more effectively to customer needs, ultimately improving the overall customer experience.
The aforementioned recipe for success alone will not work. Ultimately, the hardest ingredient to get right in this recipe is the human element. You can have an extensive training process in place and the most well-thought-out service process, but your organization will fail to provide a great customer service experience if you have the wrong people in place.
There are two key qualities you can look for when recruiting new service team members. Does the individual have the willingness to go the extra mile and will they fit in culturally in our organization?
The first key quality, the willingness to go the extra mile, is a must-have. It’s the difference between answering the question and solving the problem. You want people on your team who will stay late if they are in the middle of solving a critical problem. Every interaction with a customer, even when they are having a problem, is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship.
Customers who have had issues can be your biggest fan if they had a great customer service experience while those issues were addressed.
The second key quality, but equally important, is making sure the individual is a cultural fit. Many companies hire poor cultural fit because they have an urgent need to fill a role. This is the hiring equivalent of fitting a round peg into a square hole or short-term gain for long-term pain.
These hires are either going to leave shortly after you hire them or they will create stress and stretch your team in non-productive ways. A good cultural fit blends in well with the team will get up to speed more quickly, and will ultimately be a happier and more productive employee.
The next time you hire a new member for your customer service team, don’t be in such a rush. Take time to consider if that individual exhibits the qualities that your customers deserve and if they will be a good cultural fit in your organization. Align your sales and service teams by enabling solid communication channels, a robust hand-off process, and technology that makes the hard things easier for your reps, so they can focus on creating customers for life.