Knowing what your customers expect is the first step in providing an excellent customer service experience.
When customers come to you, they have high expectations for the type of customer service they’ll receive. When customers don’t receive the expected experience, don’t get their problem solved, or feel ignored, they’ll become frustrated — and you could lose a customer.
On the other hand, delivering a customer service experience that goes above and beyond a customer’s expectations leads to repeat customers, increased sales, and more brand advocates.
Nearly 95% of managers say providing a good customer experience is a top strategic priority according to a Forrester report.
Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Don’t! We put together a list of expectations customers look for to help you move in the right direction with your customer service processes.
Quick Response Time
When clients or customers run into an issue and spend time trying to troubleshoot on their own, they are already irritated by the time they call in or get in touch with you. Any delay in your response time will give more time for their anger to grow.
To meet customer expectations, avoid missing calls or putting customers on hold for extended periods (let them know for how long they will be placed on hold). Don’t allow support tickets or general inquiries to go unanswered.
It’s essential to respond quickly to potential customers interested in purchasing your product or service.
Potential customers that are ignored or forced to wait on hold — even for a few minutes — might move on to one of your competitors instead.
Talking to A Human with A Personal Touch
Customers want to feel valued by your company.
To achieve this, add a personal touch to your customer interactions. Call them by their name and go off script if there is an opportunity to. For instance, a caller talking about their new puppy won’t be baked into a call script. Instead of sticking to a rigid script, add to the conversation by asking what kind of puppy it is, how they are handling potty training, how long they have had them, etc. Having genuine connections and communication with clients and potential customers will make them feel valued and listened to.
One way many companies neglect giving a personal touch is by providing automated messages.
Automated messages are annoying to customers and using them should be on a strictly as-needed basis. If you choose to use automation, it should be short. Avoiding automated messages will also lessen the frustration taken out on your customer service representatives.
When callers are already frustrated when calling in and then forced to wait 15 minutes on hold, only to explain their entire situation to a person again, they tend to take out their anger and frustrations on the customer service rep. This makes the rep’s job harder than it should be.
This is why it’s critical to listen and engage the customer in a personal and empathetic way. A great way to show callers you are listening is to ask questions about their day and how they are doing. Simple questions and gestures like that make customers feel appreciated.
Customer service reps should listen more than they speak. If they aren’t attentive listeners, they could miss a critical detail that could create a better experience for your customers.
Customers Want Their Problems Solved & Questions Answered
When a customer calls your company’s phone line, your ultimate goal is to serve them by any means necessary and they expect their problem to get solved.
When issues arise, remember simple confusion is often the root of intense emotions on the other end of the line. Helping clients understand why the issue occurred is the first step to calm down the situation. Be completely transparent with the customer; tell them what you discovered about the problem and then how it can be amended. Be clear and detailed in your explanation.
When dealing with a frustrated customer, do not be combative. Instead, try to show empathy and give a genuine appreciation for their inconvenience.
Be Honest With Your Customer
It’s important to be honest with your customers.
Own up to your company’s mistakes and take accountability for any issues that occurred on your end. Don’t add any fluff or dance around the truth.
If you are direct and sincere with your customers, they are more likely to build a connection with you, respect your company’s morals and stick around through any tough times.
To support honesty, don’t break promises of discounts and don’t tell them your service or product will fulfill more than it can. While a broken promise may get you the initial sale, it will come back to bite you later on. Being honest and transparent is the best way to keep conflicts with customers at a minimum.
Understand Your Product or Service
Ensuring you and your customer service team fully understands your product or service offering is a helpful way to deliver an excellent experience.
Customers will ask every question imaginable, so be prepared to answer whatever comes your way. You should know terms and conditions, product details, account status, order status, frequently asked questions, shipping methods and more.
Failing to give your customers clear explanations on what your company offers will lead to frustration on their end and embarrassment on your end.
When you provide detailed information to your customers, they gain more confidence in what you have to offer because they are fully aware of the capabilities.
Provide Multiple Contact Options
Everyone has different communication preferences. Some customers only want to talk to human beings, while others like to chat or email because it takes less time.
To cater to every customer’s preferences, provide multiple channels of communication. In general, you should have a customer support number, form or email option, and a live chatbot on your website. Other than your chatbot, try to keep automation at a minimum.
Providing a variety of options will ensure you connect with your customers whenever they need assistance.
Meet Your Customers’ Expectations
Accommodating your customers’ preferences and exceeding expectations is the best way to win them over. Customers have high expectations. If those aren’t met, they may take their business to another company that has a more effective customer service experience.
To appeal to all clients or potential customers, be sure your company is available via different communication channels like email, phone and live chat. When customers contact you, make sure to solve their problems quickly and efficiently — your customer service reps must understand all aspects of your product or service to provide detailed and honest explanations.
Taking on all of these expectations can be a lot for a business owner, but hiring an answering service or call center can help. If that’s something you’re considering, we have questions to ask candidates in the interview process to help narrow down your options.