20 Customer Service Best Practices SELL. SERVICE. MARKET. SUCCEED.

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1 20 Customer Service Best Practices SELL. SERVICE. MARKET. SUCCEED.

2 We are firm believers in putting the customer back in customer service. It can be easy for customer service departments to continue doing what they ve always been doing. CSAT scores and overall cost are the same, so why change? this mindset neglects the fact that today s consumer has options around how they want to contact a company for support. Based on feedback from our customers, product experts, and thought leaders, we ve pulled together 20 customer service best practices, with five aimed at great service across channels, five around treating your customers well and 10 focused on building a word-class team. Let s take a look.

3 Table of Contents Great Service Across All Channels Build Your Team 1 Know Your Customer Across Channels 11 Start with the Interview 2 Leverage the Information Your Customers are Volunteering 12 Hire for Culture Fit 3 Use the Channels Your Customers Prefer 13 Think Beyond the Cubicle 4 Make the Move Toward Mobile Customer Service 14 Implement Gamification 5 Train Your Agents on All Channels 15 Leverage Multiple Channels to Reduce Monotony Treat Customers Like Friends 6 Share Helpful Content Allow for Flexibility in Scheduling Frame the Job in a Meaningful Way 7 Keep it Real 18 Reward, Reward, Reward 8 Turn Setbacks Into Solutions 19 Give Regular Feedback and Acknowledgement 9 Remember Your Regulations When Adding Supporting Channels 20 Provide Opportunities for Career Growth 10 Leverage the Experts 20 Customer Service Best Practices Page 2

4 Section 1 Great Service Across All Channels Technology has transformed the modern customer into a multi-screen, always connected, highly opinionated force in the business world. If your customer service isn t prepared to deliver exceptional service across multiple channels and devices, you are going to miss the opportunity to service your customers effectively. Your customer service needs to not only keep pace with your customers, but be out ahead, waiting for them to arrive. This means embracing new channels and using data to create a more complete picture of your customers than ever before. Page 3

5 Great Service Across All Channels #1 #2 #3 #4 Know Your Customer Across Channels Leverage Volunteered Information Use Channels Your Customers Prefer Move Toward Mobile Customer Service Customers often report lower Use your contact center as the When a new customer arrives, Mobile options, such as text satisfaction when companies collection point for complaints, that s the time to find out which messaging, aren t a dominant force them to visit multiple comments, and product channels they prefer for service channel for most contact channels to resolve their support suggestions. Your team should assistance. As part of your centers, but companies need to issues. Make sure your agents centralize all customer data in on-boarding process or welcome start thinking about it as a know your customers well, one place, making it accessible call, have your agents ask which service option. Mobile offers a including what they want, their to anyone involved in the channels customers prefer to use platform that s always with the history with you, their preferred customer service experience. for service issues. If part of your customer, and offers a real one communication channels, etc. on-boarding includes a welcome on one feel. Does your That way, if customers begin a , include a handy cheat customer service center conversation on , they don t sheet of all of your service team s consider other options for have to start over if they switch to contact channels. As well, include customers to connect, like phone or live chat. calls-to-action in your marketing mobile and beyond? content asking customers to connect with you on their preferred mediums. 20 Customer Service Best Practices Page 4

6 Train Your Agents on All Channels Your agents won t become multichannel masters overnight. As you add service channels, your customer support agents need to be trained on how to use them effectively. Staffing different channels means finding the hidden strengths of your existing service agents. Look at your team s previous experience, and actively solicit writing samples to find your team s most proficient writers. Make certain they re trained and ready to respond to your customers on channels that require written responses, such as . Page 5

7 Section 2 Treat Customers Like Friends Good customer service experiences answer a customer s question. Great customer service experiences provide something more. Companies that are creating real competitive advantages with customer service are providing real human interactions that surprise, delight, amuse, and educate their customers. The days of stodgy, script-based interactions are fading fast. Customers just want to interact with a real person, and get real help with their issue. Enable customers to educate themselves and feel like they are helping make real improvements to your business. Page 6

8 Treat Customers Like Friends #6 #7 #8 #9 Share Helpful Content Keep It Real Turn Setbacks Into Solutions Leverage the Experts To empower your customers, you Ensure your customer service Unfortunately, many companies Encourage your agents to must help them become sources teams are genuine, and will have customers who like to collaborate directly with the of knowledge. Useful content, encourage an open and candid gripe. Customer service provides external experts in your whether it s a blog post, webinar, tone with customers. If your a place for them to let off steam. industry. Choose experts that or white paper, can not only help customers feel comfortable, Remember, this can be a very are devoted fans of your solve your customers issues, it they will speak honestly positive and productive products, highly engaged, and can enable them to easily share which helps you solve development, helping current ready to help others get the this information with others. problems faster. customers, as well as your most out of your offerings to product teams, understand create even more highly To provide solid content, there product capabilities and satisfied customers. has to be constant dialogue limitations. Ensure your team between the business and its treats every complaint as an customers to ensure the content opportunity to make your is helpful, shareable and relevant organization even better. to your customers needs and challenges. 10 Essential 20 Elements Customer of Service Great Best Enterprise Practices Mobile Apps Page 76

9 Remember Your Regulations When Adding Channels 0 Page Ensure that with any customer interaction, industry regulations are followed. For instance, say your contact center is looking to add a live chat option which may be used to collect credit card data from customers. It s crucial to ensure that this new option and your procedures are still in compliance with PCIDSS regulations. These types of requirements are mandatory for any companies involved in credit card payment processing. Make sure that the required organizational policies are established and enforced. Implement solutions for quality management that fully comply with industry standards. 8

10 Section 3 Build Your Team The success and failure of any customer service department rides on the experience, skill, and determination of it s team members. Hiring the right service agents can set you up for incredible success down the road, or handicap your ability to provide adequate service right from the start. Even the best teams will falter without proper coaching and incentivizing. Make sure you are creating a culture of success on your service team and you ll find that success translating straight to your customers. Page 9

11 Build Your Team #11 #12 #13 #14 Start with the Interview Hire for Culture Fit Think Beyond the Cubicle Implement Gamification During a session at 2013 s Call Many agents will have the skills, The millennial generation has There is a plenty of buzz Center Week event, Kimberly fewer will have the attitude. The huge career aspirations, and as surrounding gamification in Warrick, Client Services Manager right culture fit should be what potential hires, they often make sales, but the very same tactics at NJ Shares noted that agent gets an agent hired. Sometimes, up their mind during training can benefit contact centers as motivation should be considered it may be worth keeping whether they ll work at your well. While targets may differ from the very first interview. Here, customer service positions center for a long-term period. between sales and customer you have your prospective agent open a bit longer to find the Telus International has seen a service teams, motivational directly in front of you, ready to right person rather than rushing decline in attrition rates through techniques don t have to. By answer any questions. That s the to fill available positions. The initiatives such as Telus University, bringing in realtime contests, time to get your first look at what long-term cost of hiring the which allows employees to gain reps can engage with motivates them. Before they ve wrong person can be much arts and business credits while colleagues, strengthening your even put on a headset, you ve got greater than keeping those still working with the company. company culture and the chance to make note of what spots unfilled. Cutting down on They fully invest in their customer improving center morale. will keep this potential service attrition begins with bringing support team members Gamification brings an element team member motivated. Just the right people on board in development outside of the of fun to an occasionally ask them! the first place. customer support role. monotonous job. 10 Essential 20 Elements Customer of Service Great Best Enterprise Practices Mobile Apps Page 106

12 Leverage Multiple Channels to Reduce Monotony 5 Page Adding new customer service channels doesn t simply offer new options for customers to interact with your company. Agents benefit by acquiring and using additional skill sets that can improve their resumes while breaking up the monotony of their day. Many agents will welcome the change of pace and an opportunity to switch from answering calls to responding to s and social media posts. Consider adding incentives that offer the opportunity to cover different channels if specific target goals are met. 11

13 Build Your Team #16 #17 #18 #19 Allow for Flexibility in Scheduling Frame the Job in a Meaningful Way Reward, Reward, Reward Give Regular Feedback & Acknowledgement Make a conscious effort to make When your service agents are Reward employees for a job well You don t always need to spend trading of shifts as quick and easy asked what they do for a living, done and be certain the rewards money on tangible rewards in as possible. Consider leveraging do they say they are a customer are those that can be put to use order to make your team feel your internal social networks to service representative? That outside of the company walls. motivated. Quite often, a create a common space where they talk on the phone all day? Work-life balance is important to supervisor s quick or agents can offer to give away and Or do they say, I help people your employees, so if possible, internal social network mention pick up shifts. A company that with. The latter is keep your reward initiatives to a team member on a job well recognizes that agents require that the ideal response. Your focused on helping your agents done is equally as effective as a flexibility in their work schedule, employees need to know they make better use of their time gift certificate. Continue to and whose management team are making a real difference away from the contact center. Be celebrate even incremental trusts employees enough to make for your customers, and they it tickets to local events or gift successes with even the shift changes happen easily, is a aren t just a collection of metrics cards, make certain your rewards smallest acknowledgement can company that will attract and and numbers. recognize that your team has a brighten the day of an agent retain a higher percentage of their life outside the office and you re dealing with an otherwise workforce. happy to help make that life stressful shift. more exciting. 10 Essential 20 Elements Customer of Service Great Best Enterprise Practices Mobile Apps Page 126

14 Provide Opportunities for Career Growth A lack of career opportunities is often one of the top reasons for leaving a job. Experienced, top performing support agents often feel like they ve hit a glass ceiling in a contact center. Try allowing these agents opportunities to try out new roles, even temporarily. This can be achieved through shadowing, or day in the life type programs. If you offer educational opportunities, your agents could soon be developing knowledge and skills that may make them attractive to other parts of the company, such as training, sales, or marketing. Be sure to stay on top of your best people, find out how they re feeling and if they re still motivated in their current role. Are they interested in a management position? Page 13

15 Price and product can both be duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can t be copied. So how can you take the best practices outlined here and make them work for you? All it takes is a commitment to becoming a true customer company with a mission statement reinforcing a complete focus on your customers and their satisfaction. In addition, ensure you have an empowered customer support team, where agents are armed with responsibility and feel that they are making a real contribution to the company s overall health. This will absolutely translate into increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

16 CUSTOMER SERVICE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MORE PRODUCTIVE The world is changing. Customers are demanding more and better service, delivered through every conceivable channel. That s why more companies are using salesforce.com s customer service softwareas-a-service solution for call center CRM and help desk management. See Demo Free Trial Contact Me CONNECT AGENTS TO CUSTOMERS WITH SALESFORCE 48% increase in agent productivity HOW TO CREATE A CUSTOMER SERVICE PROCESS THAT ENHANCES YOUR BOTTOM LINE

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