11 Proven customer service tips to master

Pradeep Vasudev

July 21, 202313 min read

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Unsatisfactory customer service has got to be the fastest way to lose customers. 67% of millenial customers will take their business elsewhere if they have even one bad service experience with a company. 

But wait, there’s a flip side. 

Stellar customer service is one of the best ways to fend off the competition and keep your customers loyal to your brand. It also uplifts your brand’s reputation via positive word of mouth from your existing customers. 

And here’s the cincher. 

You can actually charge more for premium customer service. Studies show that satisfied customers are more than willing to pay for a brand that promises and delivers unmatched customer support — because it shows they care. 

So what amounts for a “bad/good customer service experience”? 

The NewVoiceMedia research cited earlier taps into what frustrates customers into leaving. Here are the findings: 

  • Feeling unappreciated (40%) 

  • Not given the option to talk to a human agent (33%) 

  • Being passed around to multiple agents (30%) 

  • Long holds (28%) 

Now that we know the pet peeves of modern customers, it’s just a question of solving for them using the right processes, people and tools.  

In this article, we will discuss 11 customer service tips that have helped brands take their customer service game from bad to good to excellent in record time. 

Let’s dive in. 

Table of Contents

11 effective customer service tips

From the research, we know customers aspire to engage with brands that: 

  • Appreciate them  

  • Deliver service with a human touch 

  • Serve them where they are 

  • Provide lightning-quick support

If you’re not doing even one of these things, your customers will defect sooner or later. Fret not. The customer service tips below will help you master these very aspects of customer service and maximize your customer satisfaction.  

Here’s a quick gist of the 11 tips we’ll be discussing in the sections below:

  • Appreciate your customers 

    • Actively seek feedback and act on it 

    • Reward loyal customers 

    • Have a transparent refund policy 

    • Offer a no-questions-asked guarantee

  • Deliver service with a human touch 

    • Personalize the experience 

    • Allow old-fashioned human connection  

    • Avoid robotic responses 

  • Serve customers where they are 

    • Be truly omnichannel in your support 

    • Be responsive on social media 

  • Provide lightning-quick support 

    • Enable self-help options 

    • Leverage chatbots 

I. Appreciate your customers

Making your customer feel seen and appreciated is highly valuable to create lasting relationships with your customers. It demonstrates that you value their support in building your brand. Mentioned below are four effective strategies for customer appreciation that will positively impact customer experience.

Actively seek feedback and act on it

Feedback is invaluable for understanding your customers' needs and improving your products or services. Actively seek feedback through customer surveys, online reviews or personal interactions. By addressing concerns and implementing relevant suggestions, you demonstrate that you value their input and are committed to continuously enhancing their experience. 

As important as it is to collect their feedback, do ensure that you also take prompt action based on it and keep the customer in loop throughout the process. Quick reaction improves transparency in your processes and increases customer satisfaction

Learn more: How to measure customer satisfaction without surveys 

Reward loyal customers 

A loyalty program that offers exclusive perks, discounts or rewards for repeat business is a surefire way to strike a chord with your customers. Recognizing their loyalty and rewarding them reinforces your bond with them, boosting your customer retention

Reward loyal customers

Also, you can make it a point to acknowledge and celebrate milestones — such as anniversaries or important purchases — with personalized messages or special offers. Small gestures like these go a long way in winning your customers’ loyalty and retaining it.

The convenience chronicles: Shep Hyken on unlocking customer trust and loyalty

Have a transparent refund policy

How many times have you searched the website of a brand to check their terms for refunds? A refund policy that’s transparent, fair and easily accessible builds trust and confidence in your brand. With readily available agent assistance to help with refund-related queries will enable your users to feel more comfortable and relaxed with an otherwise high-friction support activity.  

If 24/7 agent assistance is beyond your budget or scope, you can use chatbots on your website and messaging channels to field refund-related queries round the clock. When customers are confident their concerns will be addressed promptly and fairly, they are more likely to trust your brand and make quicker purchases. 

A refund request being initiated through Sprinklr's chatbots

Offer a no-questions-asked guarantee

I think we’ve all been there — the age-old question of “what if I don’t like a product after I buy it?”, and we got to agree, it is definitely difficult to be in this situation. Guarantees are one way to ensure your customers are happy irrespective of if they choose to retain their purchase or return it. A guarantee policy is your brand’s way of saying “You can trust us with the quality of this product, and you can also trust us to take care of things when you aren’t satisfied with your purchase”. 

Offer a no-questions-asked guarantee

A no-questions-asked guarantee shows that you trust your customers' judgment and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure their happiness, removing the fear of making a wrong / unsatisfactory purchase from your customers’ minds. Through this gesture of guarantee, you actively demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and establish your confidence in the quality of your products.

II. Deliver service with a human touch

In the past few years, we’ve witnessed a rise in people-centric marketing and branding. Human faces in ads and hoardings, human voices in interactive voice response (IVR), conversational AI and so on. That’s because the modern customer is discerning; they aren’t swayed by glitzy ads and celebrities. They want to know the real person behind a brand.

What does that mean for your customer service?

Your service too needs to be humanized. You just can’t compromise on the human touch in favor of speed or agility or cost. Truth is the customer wants it all, and smart businesses give them what they want – on a platter.

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Personalize the experience

Address customers by their names. Humanize the sender’s name in your customer emails. Even the content should be personalized according to the recipient’s needs, tastes and engagement history with your brand.  

Want to go a step further? 

Use an AI-powered customer support solution to pre-empt a customer’s needs even before they are voiced. With proactive listening built into the foundation of your customer support, you can tap into negative sentiments of a customer and swoop in with personalized responses, recommendations and solutions before your competitors do. 

Human touch is at the heart of great customer service, but artificial intelligence enables businesses to be human at scale.

With AI-powered sentiment analysis, your agents know what direction a conversation will take during the interaction itself in real time. AI will indicate the sentiment as positive, negative or neutral and also take into account past interactions to suggest the best course of action for each customer. 

You just can’t lose a customer with this level of personalization! 

Unfortunately, brands today are struggling with AI application in support personalization. They are neither able to understand their customers nor apply customer insights to tailor their support. 

I’m not kidding. Sprinklr partnered with CCW in March, 2023 and spoke to 300 global CS leaders to understand the brand-customer disconnect. They found: 

  • Only 12% of brands could predict customer needs 

  • 36% limit personalization to updating “basic customer details” in their communication 

  • 11% are clueless about personalized support 

Read the full report here.

For your brand, there’s a hidden opportunity in this adversity. Go ahead and dig into your customers’ psyche. Use the mind-reading power of AI to get inside their minds, giving them what even they don’t know they want.

Allow old-fashioned human connection

While technology has transformed customer service, we can never overlook the power of human connection. Channels that connect customers directly with a live agent (such as phone calls or live chat) provide that human touch — and have their concerns addressed in real time. Therefore, ensure that you allow customers an option to call or live chat at all your touchpoints. 

But there’s a catch. 

Although these human channels must be directly accessible to your customers, do consider where you want it in your customer service workflow so that you can control the volume of calls/messages being received. One way to do this is by using advanced AI-powered ticketing solutions like Sprinklr to segregate messages into engageable and unengageable buckets as they pour in – so your agents can spend their time productively.

Learn more: How to preserve the human touch in customer service

Avoid robotic responses

In today's digital age, customers crave genuine human interactions, even with business interactions. The worst mistake you can make in customer service is using canned or robotic responses that lack personality in a quest to achieve scalability.  

There’s no doubt that customers want to get issues resolved in the most efficient way possible — but apathetic, formal responses are only going to frustrate your customers more and unnecessarily increase friction.

You always need to strive to provide empathetic and humanized responses that make customers feel valued and understood.

How does that happen? 

  • Listen actively: Train your support personnel to actively listen 

  • Show empathy: Show empathy and respond in a warm and friendly manner 

  • Gather full context: Ask relevant questions to understand the situation better and provide personalized solutions and responses.  

  • Serve with a human touch: Avoiding generic, boring responses and embracing a human approach can create a positive and memorable experience for your customers.

Learn more: How to show empathy in customer service

III. Serve customers where they are

An important part of customer service is to meet your customers on their preferred platforms - which goes hand in hand with providing seamless support across multiple channels. Being easily accessible and responsive demonstrates your commitment to meeting your users’ needs and significantly improves customer experience. This section will explore two key strategies to serve customers where they are - omnichannel support and social engagement.

Be truly omnichannel in your support

Omnichannel support is really the future — businesses that adopt an omnichannel customer service strategy are observed to retain upto 89% of their customers, as opposed to a 33% retention rate with companies that have a weak/no omnichannel strategy. Customers are increasingly preferring brands with an omnichannel strategy since it saves them a  lot of time and provides them the freedom to choose their support channels.

To cater to your audience’s diverse needs, your brand needs to enable customers to switch across their favorite channels seamlessly. Implement an omnichannel support system that integrates various touchpoints such as:

  • Phone 

  • email 

  • live chat 

  • social media 

Ensure that customers can start a conversation on one channel and continue it on another without any disruption. With this approach, customers can reach out in their preferred way and over their preferred channels, enhancing convenience and reducing friction. By being truly omnichannel, you demonstrate your commitment to meeting customers where they are and provide a unified support experience.

Omnichannel customer engagement: How to manage effectively

Be responsive on social media

Social media platforms have transformed into powerful channels for customers to voice their opinions and ask questions — or even seek assistance from their favorite brands. It's crucial for you to be proactive and responsive on social media, promptly addressing customer inquiries, comments or concerns.  

Monitor your social media accounts regularly and respond in a timely manner. Show empathy, professionalism and a willingness to resolve issues publicly with your customers. Being swift and helpful with responses on social media not only addresses individual customer needs but also showcases your commitment to transparency and open communication. This responsiveness can in turn positively impact your brand reputation.  

Learn more: How to provide better customer care on social

IV. Provide lightning-quick support

Delivering quick support and enabling users with speedy access to assistance differentiates you in the market. With support being easily available, your audience will feel less hesitant and more comfortable with being your customers — and also be willing to invest more in your solutions and services.  

Two strategies in customer service that will enable you to deliver speedy assistance are self-service capabilities and chatbot-based support — and we’ll discuss more about these below.

Enable self-help options

Customer self-service is possibly one of the best ways to reduce the volume of your inbound tickets — by enabling users to troubleshoot simple issues on their own and find answers to common questions.  

A comprehensive knowledge base or FAQ section on your website that lists frequently asked questions is a great place to start. Also, implement user-friendly search options so customers can quickly locate the info they’re looking for. 

Sprinklr's extensive knowledge base enables easy access to self-serve content

Additionally, creating video tutorials or how-to guides that visually demonstrate solutions will help customers with resolving slightly complicated issues. If your customers can find answers at their convenience, their reliance on your customer support is reduced which helps resolve issues much faster. 

The next best customer care is self-service

Leverage chatbots

Chatbots can be valuable tools for resolving common queries and providing instant support with virtually no human intervention. AI-powered chatbots on your website or messaging platforms can enable customers to receive personalized assistance anytime, making it a huge differentiator in 24/7 support. Chatbots can handle routine inquiries, provide information and guide customers through simple processes, and can even escalate complex issues to human representatives when necessary.

A chatbot assisting a user with resetting their password

Natural language processing capabilities are an important aspect of AI-based chatbot support which helps ensure you deliver personalized responses. By leveraging these AI-powered chatbots, you can significantly reduce response times, provide round-the-clock support and free up your human agents to focus on more complex customer issues.

Now that we’re aware of how you can improve your customer service with these tips, let’s brush up the basics a little — and understand the essential qualities users expect in your customer service.

What are the 3 most important things in customer service?

Exceptional customer service is built on three core elements that are in turn crucial for building strong customer relationships and improving loyalty. Let's explore these three elements one by one.

  • A people-first attitude: Going out of your way to assist your customers helps in providing a satisfying resolution and a great customer experience. With a people-first attitude, you can go beyond just hearing the words — you can understand underlying emotions in customer conversations and work towards leaving them happier than when they reached out to you.

A few qualities can help you with being more people-first, such as active listening, empathy and patience. Practicing these qualities help you clearly understand user requirements, enabling you to provide tailored solutions and personalized assistance. Also, these traits can help you identify areas for improvement much easily, ultimately leading to an improved customer experience.

  • Technical/critical solving: In customer service, the process of resolving an issue usually has three stages -

    • Having the right knowledge and expertise to understand a problem 

    • Using critical thinking to identify how you can solve that problem, and 

    • Communicating the solution in a simple, understandable manner to the customer 

The resolution experience will be affected if an agent cannot perform in either of these stages, so it’s important that they’re well-versed in all three — product knowledge, rich problem-solving skills and empathetic communication. Companies can make the whole process of learning these skills interesting through engaging training sessions, or by gamifying the whole training process with rewards for completing each level.

  • Personal and professional skills: Your customer service quality largely depends on your agents and their personal virtues and traits. They define how your company is perceived by customers. Your agents need to find the balance between being professional and providing personal attention to users — that’s the key to making customers happier and more loyal to your brand.

Personal and professional skills

Skills such as adaptability and trustworthiness also a play a huge part in how well your agents deliver solutions to your customer issues. Mandating trainings that equip your team with these essential skills is the best way to ensure they are on the same page - and consistently deliver the best resolution experiences. 

Want to dive deeper? Read 3 important qualities of customer service 

Final thoughts

Managing and monitoring all facets of your customer service operations can be a bit challenging - especially if you run a large business handling hundreds of support conversations every single day. 

This is where a powerful customer service solution like Sprinklr Service can help you. With a customer care solution built on the world’s first unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform, our digital-first customer service solution helps you bring all your operations together and holistically manage all aspects of your care operations from a single console.

Sign up for a free, 30-day fully functional trial of Sprinklr Service and experience how it can dramatically improve your customer service operations. No credit card details, no fuss - simply sign up with your work email and you’re good to go! 

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Find out how Sprinklr helps businesses deliver a premium experience on 13+ channels, using foundational AI so you can listen, route, resolve and measure — across the customer experience.

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