Customer service may seem like another form of dealing with people's complaints, but that would be wrong. Customer service is an art that's best practiced through building relationships, providing value, and turning one-time customers into lifelong fans.
All it takes are some innovative customer service techniques which we will discuss in this blog post! So, grab a coffee, sit back comfortably, and explore this wonderful world together where customer service goes beyond a buzzword.
What exactly is customer service?
Customer service refers to giving proactive, reactive, agent-led or self-serve focused support to your customers on a channel of their choice.
Customer service goes far beyond being just another department within an organization or a job title on a business card. It is an entire philosophy and state of mind based on the understanding that your customers are real people with needs, wants and emotions that must be considered when providing customer service.
Customer service should treat people with respect, empathy and kindness. It should not be treated like a transaction but as an ongoing relationship that requires effort, commitment and genuine care. So, go the extra mile to surprise and delight your customers, even when inconvenient or unexpected.
If you want your business to thrive, go beyond providing good customer service; provide legendary service that keeps customers returning.
Why is customer service quality important for today’s businesses?
Exceptional customer service is no longer considered an indulgence but a necessity. Amidst fierce competition and rising customer needs, to build a great brand, you focus on your customer service quality. Here are five benefits you could leverage when you go the extra mile for your customers.
It fosters customer loyalty
Customers tend to stay with companies that provide excellent service. Treating your customers with respect, empathy and kindness makes them feel valued and appreciated — thus cementing their loyalty — which, we all know, is crucial for any successful business.
It boosts word-of-mouth marketing
When customers get exceptional experience from a brand, they tend to advocate it to their friends and family. Word-of-mouth is the oldest marketing tactic to earn authentic brand mentions organically. When your service is good, your customers do the talking and you save money on promotions.
It gives you a competitive advantage
In an increasingly crowded marketplace, exceptional customer service can differentiate your product or service. When customers have two similar offerings to choose between, those offering better experiences tend to win.
It helps increase revenue
Happy customers will spend more money with your company and make repeat purchases, creating sustained income for you.
It protects your brand image
When things go awry, as they often do, having an impressive customer service track record can help mitigate any potentially damaging results. Customers tend to be more forgiving towards companies that treat them well despite any difficulty in challenging circumstances.
In short, quality customer service is an indispensable asset to modern businesses. It ensures customers stay loyal, generates word-of-mouth marketing, sets you apart from the competition, increases revenue and helps manage crises effectively. That’s why brands innovating and providing excellent customer service become leaders in their niche.
If you want to improve your customer service and delight your customers, follow these 9 customer service techniques.
Let’s get started.
9 innovative customer service techniques brands use to delight their customers
When it comes to pleasing customers, no mediocrity will do. While you could provide decent service and hope they repeatedly return for maximum impact, you must go beyond. That's what the blog is about — 9 innovative customer service techniques to take customer experience from good to legendary.
So, whether you are a small business owner or an enterprise owner, get ready because we are about to embark on an unforgettable journey that will forever change how you think of customer service.
1. Let customers have a say in what you do
Hearing your customers with empathy is an art. Implementing what they say takes it further and makes them fans for life. This is precisely what LEGO did by launching a LEGO Ideas platform, giving customers a place to submit their designs for potential LEGO sets. The community votes on the design, and if any project gets 10000 votes, it gets reviewed by LEGO for possible production. An approach that engages the customers and gives them the power to bring their creative ideas to life.
2. Give customers a preview of behind the curtain scenes
Showing a glimpse of behind the curtain makes your brand look more human. That’s what Lush, a cosmetics company, did. It allows customers to witness the production process of their cosmetic products through live-streamed videos, giving them a unique and personalized experience. Not to mention, a great way to build trust around their products.
3. Don’t ask too many questions
Exceptional customer service means going the extra mile and doing the unexpected. Just like Zappos does with its excellent customer service and unique customer-centric approach. They offer free returns, yes free returns without any questions asked, providing 24/7 customer support and delighting customers with unexpected upgrades to express shipping.
4. Give VIP experiences to your customers
Hosting exclusive events and giving loyal customers a luxurious experience is a great way to delight them. Just like Emirate Airlines did, introducing an onboard shower spa on their A380 aircraft allows passengers in first-class to rejuvenate during long-haul flights.
5. Gamify the customer experience
How about creating challenges, competitions or loyalty programs to engage the customer and keep them returning for more? Just like Nike, the famous sports brand did with its Nike+ app. They tracked their customer’s workout data, analyzed it and provided personalized training plans. They made the personalized training plans fun by offering rewards for achieving milestones. Quite an exciting way to keep your customers engaged and motivated.
6. Let your customer stay in the comforts of their home
When customers are busy working from home, bring your product experience home, just like what Warby Parker, the eyewear company, did by implementing a “Home Try-On” program. It allows customers to select up to five frames for free at home before purchasing. It reduces the risk of buying glasses online and provides a convenient and personalized shopping experience.
7. Utilize social media creatively
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be leveraged as powerful customer service platforms. But look beyond and use social media platforms as customer engagement platforms, just like Oreo did with its “Oreo Dunk Challenge” They encouraged customers to share creative videos of them dunking Oreo cookies in milk. While it became a viral trend, it became a pleasant customer memory.
Also check: Why omnichannel customer experience is important?
8. Make it easier for customers to make decisions
Just like IKEA did by introducing the “IKEA Place” app, it helps customers utilize augmented reality to enable customers to visualize how IKEA furniture would look and fit in their homes. This allows customers to make more informed decisions and reduce the uncertainty of purchasing furniture online.
9. Use data analytics to enhance customer experience
Amazon is the top player in e-commerce, and one of the reasons it has been so successful is the way it leverages data to improve customer lives. For example, Amazon uses dynamic pricing like airlines do while adjusting ticket prices based on demand. When a customer repeatedly views a product, the willingness to pay is higher. Amazon uses this data to adjust their prices up to 2.5 million times daily based on shopping patterns, competitor pricing strategies, product popularity etc.
Businesses that adopt effective customer service techniques can deliver superior service, gain customer loyalty and expand their business.
5 tips to improve your customer service quality
Customers that experience excellent customer service tend to become repeat buyers and recommend your business to others. Here are five strategies for improving the quality of customer service you provide:
Create a customer-centric culture
Establishing an environment where customers come first is crucial to providing top-tier customer service. Train your team members to listen carefully, understand customer needs and be friendly yet helpful during interactions while motivating them to go above and beyond in helping solve customer issues.
Customize your support team
Customization is all about matching your team's skillset to your customers' needs. Are your customers tech-savvy? Get some IT wizards on board. Are you dealing with international clients? Recruit language maestros who can switch effortlessly between “hello” and “Bonjour”. When you get into layers of customer experience, you identify specific problems, use them to build a team to tackle them and craft better customer experiences.
Don’t just find people to answer calls. Rather assimilate a band, the lead singer (the empathic listener, a guitarist (the problem solver), a drummer (the efficient multitasker), and a bassist (the calming voice of reason). Bring all of them together, create music and rock your customers' world.
Invest in technology
Utilize technology tools to streamline and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your customer service operations. Use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to track customer interactions, collect relevant customer data, and deliver personalized experiences for each customer. Utilize chatbots or AI-powered virtual assistants for routine inquiries to free up agent time for more complex issues.
Establish ongoing training and development
Ensuring ongoing training and development can keep your team up to date on customer service trends and best practices, such as training on communication skills, conflict resolution techniques and product knowledge.
Use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to monitor service metrics like response time, first call resolution rate and customer satisfaction. Use these measurements to identify improvement areas and set team-oriented goals for your team.
Offer incentives for customer feedback
Encouraging customers to provide feedback can help businesses identify areas for improvement and enhance customer experience. Offering incentives like discounts, freebies or loyalty points as an incentive will encourage customers to share their thoughts and suggestions.
Let’s agree humans, by nature, are lazy. Your customers are not so eager to invest some time in giving you feedback.
Use freebies and discounts to entice customers to share their opinions and make it a rewarding experience. It’s like giving a piece of chocolate cake to a child who eats vegetables—a win-win situation that satisfies both parties.
Incentivized customer feedback has an untapped power — it increases customer engagement and participation. When customers know something is waiting for them, they are more likely to overcome any inertia when providing feedback, reminding them, "Hey, we value your opinion so much that we are willing to sweeten the deal!" Suddenly customers become active participants in shaping the future of your contact center; now, that is an invaluable advantage.
From personalized experiences to active listening, these techniques aim to build customer relationships and show that you care. Don't hesitate to put these techniques into action; who knows? One day your customers will sing praises of your customer service and post songs about you on Spotify.
If you want to actively listen to what your customers are doing online and find better ways to serve them, you need to hear what Sprinklr Service does and how it can help you build a trustworthy brand.