Customer service is an essential experience to perfect. Every interaction your team has with your clients influences the way they perceive your brand. Now, more than ever, consumers expect a higher standard of support at every step of their journey. Anything less can create a bad impression, with 56% of consumers walking away from brands after a single bad service experience in the last 12 months.

Whether you’re working with an in-house team or using customer service outsourcing, maintaining support standards will help your brand uphold its quality service. Here are six customer service standards that will help you turn customers into loyal patrons and ultimately grow your business.

  • Open multiple channels of communication

While email and hotlines remain as reliable channels for support queries, more customers are making the shift to new channels, such as social media and live chat. These new channels allow for near-instantaneous responses, making it easier for customers to get the help they need when they need it. 

Monitoring these channels and responding promptly can be challenging. Aside from enlisting an outsourced customer support team, you can make use of specialized software that will enable you to receive customer feedback and give prompt replies across multiple channels. 

Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots, for instance, can help field simple and routine queries. You can leverage both solutions to reduce your in-house team’s workload while providing a smooth experience for the customer. 

  • Create a unified customer database

More than providing multiple channels, having a centralized customer database is key to giving omnichannel support that ensures your customers receive a seamless experience across multiple brand touchpoints. 

In the digital age, customer data is processed through multiple tools and systems by various departments in the company. Without a unified database, you run the risk of communication bottlenecks, as well as delayed responses or inconsistent solutions.

Investing in software for a unified customer base will ease the friction of accessing a customer’s data for your support team, as well as other relevant departments like sales and marketing. 

Having omnichannel customer support in place reduces the chances of miscommunication and helps in providing prompt and consistent solutions across multiple channels. It also lessens the time needed for turnovers or follow-ups for pending tickets. 

  • Work with service deadlines

For your customers, the sooner their concerns are resolved, the better. Long wait times and excessive back and forth with representatives create a negative experience. 

It’s vital to coordinate with your support team or outsourcing service to establish Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Setting deadlines for how long before queries receive responses help set the customer’s expectations and create a sense of transparency and accountability.

Some service software makes it possible to monitor how well these SLAs are implemented. These kinds of software can be set up to escalate any violations through the proper channels automatically. This level of automation helps the team stay on top of SLAs and effectively deal with any escalation. 

READ THIS RELATED ARTICLE:7 Customer Service Skills to Screen For When Hiring Support Reps

  • Observe good etiquette

Research shows that 70% of buying experiences depends on how good or bad the customers feel they are being treated. Indeed, proper etiquette is vital for shaping a positive customer’s impression of your company.

Support agents need to be polite, empathetic, and precise in the way they communicate with customers. They also need to be able to explain complex or technical information in layman terms and take a sympathetic stance before suggesting troubleshooting methods. 

Different communication channels may also require a different tone and approach, depending on the constraints of the medium.

To guarantee that your reps are practicing proper etiquette, provide specialized training. Document learnings from previous cases and compile your best practices for each channel. These essential resources can help both your current team and future hires align with the expected standards.  

  • Make self-service platforms available

Your customers want to be able to troubleshoot their own issues without contacting a support agent. Self-service platforms like community forums, chatbots, and knowledge bases (also known as FAQs) empower them to find solutions in quick and convenient ways. 

Even without directly interacting with your customers, your company can provide help and solutions by building a knowledge base. With the various programs and systems available, it’s possible to create one that is comprehensive, easy to use, and aligned with your brand image. 

You can even incorporate features like help widgets and search bars to further allow users to find their answers as quickly and simply as possible.

  • Address customer feedback

At the core of support services is creating a good experience for your customers. Following this line of thinking, gathering customer feedback can be a crucial point in determining which practices are effective and how to better those that aren’t. Through satisfaction surveys and feedback forms, you can gain valuable insight to improve your support practices.

Automation software can bring customer feedback even further by sending surveys and feedback forms at the right moment, as well as aggregating results and data for further analysis and future reference.

READ THIS RELATED ARTICLE: Customer Service Statistics Every Small Business Needs to Know

Take Your Customer Service to the Next Level

Customer service standards provide companies with meaningful benchmarks for how good or bad a customer’s support experience can go. Keeping up with these standards allows your business to nurture a relationship with your customers and nurture them to become advocates for your brand.

For customer service staff that exceeds expectations, SuperStaff provides Customer Support Outsourcing services that are in-tune with the highest standards of support.

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