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7 Proven Tips to Deal With Difficult or Angry Customers

Dealing with a difficult or angry customer can be tricky, yet it is a common occurrence in the customer service industry. And because it happens so often, customer service employees and agents need to be prepared to deal with such customers. In this post, we discuss 7 proven tips to help you deal with difficult customers while doing your job effectively!

Dealing with a Difficult Customer? Try These 7 Tips

Quite often customer service teams are not trained specifically to deal with angry or difficult customers. This can lead to conflicts and the loss of a potentially valuable customer. For this reason, it is important to practice the below tips so you are better equipped to work with disgruntled clients.

1. Adopt Active and Reflective Listening

The first step to dealing with an angry customer is identifying the issue. And to do so, you need to listen carefully. Listen to your customer actively to identify what their concern is so you can find the appropriate solution. Another tactic is reflective listening where you pay attention to what the other is saying and then respond by reflecting the thoughts and feelings heard. For example:

Customer: “I’m annoyed because your service has the features we need but does not fit our budget.”
Agent: “What I understand is that your budget is limited and we are not offering you any discounts or promotions that fit your requirement.” Or, “Tell me more so that I can understand better and find the right solution for you.”

When you are practicing reflective listening, be careful not to promise a definitive solution to the problem. For issues such as pricing, you will need to check with supervisors and managers before you give the customer exactly what they need. But when interacting with the difficult customer, you must focus on listening and identifying the issue while making them feel heard.

2. Keep Calm and Focus on the Process

It is easy in a hostile situation to lose your calm (even slightly) and get nervous. However, remember that conflict and disagreement are common in business. But how you respond to conflict is essential because it determines your relationships with your employers as well as your customers.

Even in the heat of the moment, make an attempt to treat your customers with respect and consideration. Lower your voice, take deep breaths, and maintain a professional tone. Additionally, try to resolve disputes while over the phone. And ask for help, if you need it.

3. Try to Genuinely Empathize with the Customer

Besides listening to the difficult customer, try to empathize with them. Call them by their name, instead of “sir” or “ma’am.” Pull up their customer records so that you know their history with the company. Make them feel heard and valued and treat them as an individual person as opposed to just another customer. This can go a long way in calming the customer down and arriving at a solution.

Related: 23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

4. Use Support Resources

Most businesses should have some kind of knowledge base or support center that agents and employees can use when dealing with customers. If your company does not have one, it may be helpful to suggest it. This knowledgebase can help you:

  • Walk customers through common processes
  • De-escalate conflict with useful strategies
  • Set up audio/video recording
  • Get help from a fellow employee or supervisor

5. Demonstrate That You Are Taking Their Issue Seriously

Provide realistic solutions and avoid sounding monotonous. If you are repeating a script that you use with other customers without personalizing it, the customer will recognize this and become even more agitated. You need to demonstrate that you are taking their case seriously without simply saying it.

6. Don’t Take it Personally

This is hard to do when certain customers target their anger towards you instead of the issue they are facing. However, remember that this is not a personal problem. At the end of the day, the customer does not know who you are. And since you are the only way they can interact with the company, their anger is targeted towards you. Avoid taking it personally and attacking the customer back. Instead, apply the above tips to diffuse the tension.

7. Follow Up and Ask for Help, if Needed

Finally, if the problem is above your paygrade or the interaction gets too intense, then it may be prudent to ask a co-worker or manager for help. Let the angry customer know that you will contact them again with a solution or to follow up, and make sure that you do.

Related: 9 Best Customer Service Examples for 2020

Dealing with Difficult Customers Can Be Hard, But Not Impossible

Different customers will require different methods of interaction. Use your discretion but learn from mistakes. And when in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask for help from managers and bosses who may be able to offer additional options for handling tricky situations properly.

Top 9 Customer Service Trends You Must Know in 2020

In 2020, due to the pandemic, customers and businesses are working from home. They are considering ways to change their lifestyles to support their work-from-home lifestyle. This may lead them to your business as a possible and comfortable solution. If that is the case, then you need to up your customer service game to support all types of customer queries. Here are some important customer service trends to keep in mind this year.

9 Top Customer Service Trends in 2020

Ensuring your customer service and support efforts are always top-notch is important to maintaining customer satisfaction and retention. If your teams don’t do their best, then it becomes easy to lose valuable customers. Therefore, you must check your customer service strategies and tools every year to see where and how you can improve.

So, if you are looking to upgrade your customer service and stay of the game, here are the top 9 customer service trends to keep in mind.

1. Offer Multimodal Communication

If you are only responding to phone calls and emails, then you are way behind the game. Most companies are adopting multi-channel communication tools so they can assist customers no matter how they choose to reach out. This includes live chat, trouble tickets, text messaging, video conferencing, social media messaging, and more.

2. Become Mobile-Friendly

Most potential customers will find your business through their smartphones. This may occur due to a targeted ad that pops up on their social media or they do a quick mobile search for services like yours. For this reason, you want to make your website and reaching your customer support team easy for mobile users. Consider optimizing your website for mobile-view and adding click-to-call buttons that allow users to call instantly from their phones. You may also want to add easy-to-fill forms on the website for customers who want to send a quick message or email.

3. Include More AI and Automation

Use office automation to streamline processes and save time spent on simple, mundane tasks. Project management systems that automate tasks and enable file-sharing are essential for keeping offices well-connected and functioning seamlessly. Well-designed CRMs or customer information storage systems, IVR systems, chatbots, etc., are some additional ways to incorporate AI and automation in the office.

4. Be Active on Social Media

Having social media accounts is a must in this day and age. Not only does it give you the opportunity to market and target a different demographic, but it also gives you the ability to advertise and run social media campaigns. These campaigns can help bring new customers to your business while also adding another quick customer service tool. Be active on your social accounts, educate customers about products and services, and respond regularly to comments and messages.

5. Offer 24/7 and Real-Time Support

Besides offering various channels for customer support, you also want to provide 24/7 and real-time support. Consider live chat and chatbots to answer common customer queries, solve problems quickly, offer product/service descriptions, and guide them to completing a purchase. A phone equivalent of live chat is your IVR system. You can design the IVR to offer 24/7 service with troubleshooting support and self-service options. This way, callers can get assistance even after hours or on the weekends.

Related: 9 Best Customer Service Examples for 2020

6. Invest in Easy-to-Use Software

Provide your team with simple and user-friendly software. Complicated software takes longer to learn and has more room for error. If your team is spending more time navigating through the software, that is less time spent on providing excellent customer service. Research and find easy and more efficient solutions for your business phone system, CRMs, and project management tools.

7. Offer Work-from-Home Opportunities

One of the most important customer service trends this year is remote work. Working from home is growing more and more popular because it accommodates productivity. And your customer service team may want the option to work remotely, possibly until the end of the year. Prepare for this by considering call forwarding that can keep your remote workers and teams connected without increasing your monthly business communication bill.

8. Consider Video Streaming

A new development in customer service trends is the inclusion of video streaming and conferencing. Video is a useful form of communication and should be incorporated as much as possible in sales, marketing, and customer service. You can use video for product descriptions, service education, launching new items, and more.

9. Personalize and Customize for Each Customer

Finally, continue to personalize your services for your customer. Stock emails and responses can easily disenchant prospects. Based on their search and purchase history, offer personalized offers or discounts, rewards, and recommendations that mean something to them.

Related: 23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

Improve Customer Service Today!

All of these trends may not be applicable to your business. However, identify the ones that do and make an attempt to include them effectively and creatively so your business can care for their customers better. Happy customers lead to a happy business, after all!

What is Customer Success?

If customer retention and churn are a problem for your business, then you need to up your customer success game. Here’s an in-depth guide to customer success and how to improve your strategy.

What is Customer Success?

Customer success refers to the process of providing proactive customer support and service. This includes anticipating potential challenges or issues faced by customers and reaching out to them beforehand to resolve those concerns.

With customer success, businesses can work closely with customers to improve customer satisfaction and boost relations. By doing so, your business can increase customer loyalty and retention. After all, who doesn’t want to work with a business that takes the time and effort to care for its customers?

Customer Success and Customer Support

To execute good customer success strategies, it is first important to understand the differences between customer support and success. Here is a table highlighting key points:

Customer Success Customer Support
1. Type of approach Proactive approach; reach out to customers before they reach out to you Reactive approach; provide support when a customer connects with you over an issue
2. Duration of interaction Long-term interactions; you work with the customer closely over a longer period of time Shorter interactions; you work with the customer to provide immediate solutions to a problem
3. Teams responsible Team collaboration between sales, marketing, support, product development, etc Operated solely by the customer support or service team
4. Metrics to measure Customer satisfaction, customer retention, customer health, customer lifetime value, etc Customer satisfaction, number of cases and tickets issued, first call resolution rates, hold time, average handle time, etc
5. Tasks to accomplish Improve customer experience, upsells, cross-sells, etc Technical support, knowledge base and guides, resolve tickets, etc.
6. Discover Areas of opportunity Problem areas
7. Ultimate goal To ensure a successful customer lifetime value To react and quickly solve issues

6 Proven Ways to Improve Your Customer Success Strategy

Any company that has customers and depends on customer satisfaction must invest in customer success. Being in the service industry, you will notice that it is harder and more expensive to acquire new customers. It is much cheaper and healthier, instead, to retain your current ones by taking care of them. These happy customers, in turn, will make good recommendations and advocate for your service.

1. Increase Brand Awareness
Work on brand visibility to make your brand a real thing for customers. An updated website and social media accounts, stats and valid data, attractive design, and user experience are a few ways to grab customer attention. Use your marketing team to improve the way customers and potential prospects see your brand and interact with it whether online (through social media, your website, web forms, product demos, content marketing) or offline (exhibitions, stores, advertising platforms).

2. Create Buyer Personas
Your marketing and sales team must collaborate to create ideal buyer personas for your product so your targeting efforts don’t go to waste. When developing buyer personas consider these questions:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • Factors or demographics are important to your persona: their budget, age range, income, location, purchasing power, etc.
  • What does your persona value?
  • Which problems are you trying to help your persona solve?
  • What content or information will catch your persona’s attention?

3. Provide Educational and Informative Content About Your Product
Use your website, emails, and social media accounts to provide your viewers with information:

  • About your product
  • How it is used
  • What issues or problems it can solve
  • How other businesses have used the product, etc.

The point is to demonstrate your expertise in the field and highlight your product or service’s successes. Maintain an updated website, highlight interviews, customer testimonials, blog posts, etc. Use common terms, avoid overwhelming technical jargon, and make knowledge bases or guides accessible. All of this will help solidify your business’ credibility, making customers trust it more. Educating customers makes your product or service more user-friendly, thereby improving the customer experience.

4. Provide Guided Onboarding
Spend extra time and energy on onboarding new customers. Guide them through the beginning of their journey with your service so they clearly understand how processes work and where they can find help. Once they are well-settled, make yourself available and reachable for initial issues that may turn up. Then, gradually move to automation and alerting so customers become more independent.

5. Offer Customer Support
Whether it is email, phone calls, live chat, or trouble tickets, your customer support team should be easy to contact. Additionally, you must equip your team with resources for quick resolution such as guides, etc. Make your business available 24/7 for customer support. You can do so by forwarding calls to other office locations or remote offices or using an IVR system to help with common issues and troubleshooting support.

6. Work to Improve Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty means that for your customer, your business is “the one.” They will not look for another service or product to replace you. This is crucial to customer retention because a loyal customer will recommend your service to others and bring in more business.

Are You Ready to Build Successful Relationships With Your Customers?

Customer success is important as it can help your business build strong and meaningful customer relations. If your business needs to increase its customer retention rates, then it’s time to start offering more proactive support today!

44 Industries That Need Great Customer Support (2020)

Customer support is essential for almost every business. This is because how you treat and serve your customers directly impacts customer satisfaction. And quality support helps you retain more valuable customers.

How to Offer the Best Customer Support

So, what are some ways your business can offer useful and relevant customer support?

  1. Hire the right people and train them well
  2. Focus on improving caller experience by understanding your target audience better
  3. Pay attention to the customer and adopt active listening
  4. Personalize and customize the customer experience
  5. Make yourself accessible by offering multi-channel communication (live chat, SMS, email, phone, etc.)
  6. Provide quick and easy solutions, and so on

Additionally, check out these helpful examples for quality customer support.

Related: 23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

Industries which Provide Excellent Customer Support

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) ranks businesses within their industry based on customer satisfaction and evaluation of goods and services. According to the ASCI, these are the industries which have been offering great customer support so far in 2020:

1. Cellular Telephones
2. Consumer shipping
3. Video streaming
4. Wireless telephones
5. US postal service

In 2019, the figures were different, with the following industries topping the list of excellent customer support. Companies in these industries must, therefore, continue focusing on strategies and methods that improve customer experience and increase customer satisfaction rates:

6. Breweries
7. Personal care and cleaning products
8. Food manufacturing
9. Television and video players
10. Soft drinks
11. Full-service restaurants
12. Internet investment
13. Internet retail
14. Household appliances
15. Life insurance
16. Banks
17. Cellular telephones
18. Financial advisors
19. Internet travel services

Industries that Need to Offer Better Customer Support

However, the following industries received low scores regarding customer satisfaction in 2019. Hence, companies in these industries must up their game and provide useful and resourceful customer service in 2020:

20. Internet search engines and information
21. Apparel
22. Internet news and opinion
23. Ambulatory care
24. Department and discount stores
25. Health and personal care stores
26. Cooperative energy utilities
27. Hotels
28. Wireless telephone service
29. Health insurance
30. Airlines
31. Gasoline stations
32. Municipal energy utilities
33. Investor-owned energy utilities
34. Hospitals
35. Internet social media
36. Fixed-Line telephone service
37. Video-on-demand service
38. Internet service providers
39. Subscription television services
40. Network/Cable TV news
41. Cigarettes
42. Newspapers
43. Pet food
44. Motion pictures

Companies Ranked for the Best Customer Service

Here is a list of companies with their industries that provided the best customer service in 2019, as compiled by ASCI:

Airlines:

  • Southwest
  • JetBlue

Automobiles:

  • Lexus
  • Daimler – Mercedes Benz
  • Toyota
  • Subaru

Cellular phones/Computers:

  • Apple

Consumer Shipping:

  • FedEx

Department & Discount Stores:

  • Costco

Digital Services (content & social media):

  • HubSpot
  • MailChimp
  • Buffer
  • Pollfish

Full-Service Restaurants:

  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Cracker Barrel

Furniture Stores:

  • IKEA

Household Appliances:

  • LG

Internet Retail:

  • Amazon
  • Shopify

Internet Search Engines:

  • Google

Life Insurance:

  • Thrivent Financial

Limited-Service Restaurant:

  • Chick-Fil-A

Specialty Retail:

  • L Brands

Supermarkets:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Aldi
  • HEB Grocery
  • Publix
  • Wegmans Food Markets

Newsweek, with Statista Inc., has a different list of America’s Top 10 Best Customer Service 2020. This list was put together based on a few factors such as quality of communication, professional competence, range of services, customer focus, and accessibility:

  1. Disney Cruise Line
  2. Neiman Marcus
  3. The Ritz-Carlton
  4. Edward Jones
  5. Chick-fil-A
  6. L.L.Bean
  7. National Storage Affiliates
  8. Embassy Suites
  9. Publix
  10. Beau Coup

Start Showing Customers Your Care Today!

Customers need to know that they are being valued and they can count on your team if any problem arises. You must make it easy for them to connect with you and resolve their concerns quickly. As you improve your customer service and experience, you will notice a rise in customer satisfaction. After all, happy customers equal happy businesses!

9 Best Customer Service Examples for 2020

Customer care and support are essential as they can determine how well a company performs. If you are looking to upgrade your service, check these best customer service examples and give them a try!

Best Customer Service Examples for 2020

From small gestures to quick responses to individual care, customer support can go a long way in securing valued customers and clients. Here we list 11 best customer service examples of companies that try hard to offer quality customer care and please their valued customers.

1. Amazon.com

Amazon has risen tremendously in the past decade. Almost every individual uses Amazon to purchase gifts, household equipment, clothing, books, and more. In fact, users tend to look at Amazon first to get products that may not be available in any other physical or online retail store. Plus, the e-commerce giant is quick to offer refunds and even makes the return process easy with multiple drop-off locations. This makes Amazon one of the top customer service examples to model your support team after.

2. Google

Google, like Amazon, has grown into a service most people use on a daily basis. From its search engine to Google phones, Chromebooks, and apps, to marketing and advertising, Google is embedded in almost everything we do. It is, therefore, necessary that they pay attention to how we use the service. The company is extremely accessible via live chat, email, and phone. They even have an extensive forum for common issues and frequently asked questions. This helps users get quick answers to their concerns and resolve them successfully. They also offer deals and discounts (and at times, even gift products for free) to valued and loyal customers.

3. Chewy.com

Chewy has been steadily growing and earning its place in customers’ hearts. The key is to genuinely care about the pets and animals they are providing resources for. If a customer is unsatisfied with a product, they are quick to respond with a refund and possible solutions or alternatives. All the while keeping the interaction friendly and empathetic. With pets, it is often possible that you purchase a product that might not work out. Having a customer support team to right that wrong in the easiest way possible can be a huge load off your shoulders.

4. Publix

Publix is another top pick from great customer service examples because they’ve been voted the “South’s Best Grocery Store” and selected as one of “America’s Best Supermarkets,” both in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, Publix has continued to care for customers as well as their own employees. Employee satisfaction is an essential key to good customer service. If your employees are unhappy, how do you expect them to translate happiness to customers? Publix has this nailed down!

5. Starbucks

Starbucks pays great attention to details and uses that to meet exceptional customer service standards all over the world. Each type of drink is uniquely made with a precise pattern and ingredients that are easy to imitate elsewhere. From specialty drinks to cozy store designs to even their own music profile on Spotify for customers who care about music, Starbucks has been innovating in regards to customer care for years and continues to do so.

6. Chick-Fil-A

The customer service team at Chick-Fil-A is known for being professional and courteous. In fact, in 2016, they were rated the most polite employees for always including the magic words “please” and “thank you” in their interactions.

7. Aldi

Aldi has won many customers’ and shoppers’ hearts over the years with their low cost, high-quality items, and selection of produce. Even though the store is a supermarket, it creates a personal feel that appeals to customers of different sectors.

8. Costco Wholesale

Costco is a favorite all over the United States. Their low prices, top quality, bulk purchasing, easy policy, and free samples make them one of the best customer service examples, easily. And these factors are the reason why they receive loads of new members every year while retaining the ones they already have.

9. JetBlue

JetBlue is considered one of the top best customer service examples because they use small gestures to make their customers feel valued and cared for. In fact, in the 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, this company was awarded the Top Customer Satisfaction Honor Among Low-Cost Carriers. From cheap cancellation fees to complimentary snacks, JetBlue makes an effort to take care of its customers and offer a worry-free service.

Why are These Customer Service Teams Successful?

The reason why these companies and businesses are mentioned in lists of top customer service examples is because they are doing something right. So, what are they doing well? These companies:

  • Are accessible through different channels.
  • Customize and personalize wherever applicable to make users feel special and involved.
  • Practice active listening and quick responses.
  • Study customer behavior and preferences in an attempt to serve better.
  • Provide self-service content and FAQs.
  • And are highly motivated to serve well.

Let us leave you with these questions to consider: Is your business trying to achieve these goals? Where do you see room for improvement? How can you enhance customer experience and service? What is the next step?

Related: 23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

23 Incredible Customer Service Tips for 2020

Providing good customer service is key to the successful running of any business. Customers are what drives a business and therefore if you are not focusing on providing excellent service, then your company is more likely to lose valuable customers. Here are 23 incredible customer service tips that can boost your customer interactions in 2020.

23 Customer Service Tips You Must Use in 2020

The following customer service tips have been used by various businesses across the globe. While not all of them may apply to your company, it is a good idea to experiment with these tips and adapt them to fit your mission.

1. Treat Customers Well

Remember that customers are important for the proper and successful functioning of your business. And so, you want to make sure your employees and agents treat your customers like gold. When interacting with customers, employees should be empathic and take time to pay attention to the customer and their concerns. Interactions should be transparent with no hidden agendas or fine print. Offering personalized service and care can go a long way.

2. Use Positive Language and Attitude

A positive attitude and the use of reinforcing words can lead to good interactions and higher resolution rates. A dull sounding customer service rep that simply sticks to the script and fails to engage the caller or make them feel heard can lead to losing a valued customer instead of retaining them. Avoid taking things personally or arguing. Instead, remember the larger picture and the company’s goals.

3. Address Issues Immediately

Most customers are calling to resolve an issue they are dealing with and most often they want to do that urgently. Therefore, agents and employees should be equipped to address their concerns immediately. Help callers get to the right department soon, instead of being bounced around. This way, they are closer to a resolution. Additionally, provide your employees with the tools they need to quickly assist callers with the most common complaints and issues. This may require market research to understand what your product or service’s most common issue is, or the reason why customers call most often.

4. Personalize and Customize

Personal touch is the key to good customer service. When talking to customers, remember their name and their case or history with the company. Use their name throughout the conversation. Demonstrate that you are paying attention to what they are saying. When following up, ask when they are available instead of giving them a set time. And so on. It’s the little things that matter.

5. Improve First Call Resolution Rates

This goes along with addressing customer concerns immediately. First call resolution rates measure the number of calls resolved on the first call itself. A higher FCR indicates good customer service and improved customer satisfaction. Identify areas that need improvement and train your employees so they can resolve concerns quickly or, at the latest, in a follow-up email or call.

6. Consider Self-Service Options

One of the 2020 top customer service tips is providing more self-service options to customers. Customers are growing more tech-savvy and prefer if they can do things themselves rather than wait on a person to help them out. See if your business can provide such tools, either through a modern IVR system or a knowledge-base with support and troubleshooting content, etc. This way, customers can help themselves and can reach out to your business if an issue is more complicated.

7. Provide Multi-Channel Customer Support

It is no surprise: not every customer likes making phone calls. This is where multi-channel support comes in very handy. Most companies currently offer a variety of ways for prospects and clients to get in touch with them:

  • Toll free numbers: for free calling
  • Local numbers: for inexpensive calling
  • Email: with 1-2 day response times
  • SMS / instant messaging: with quick response times, preferably within the day
  • Live chat: with live agents, monitored 24/7
  • IVR within the phone system: which can provide 24/7 support and self-service options
  • Mail: for those who prefer and need it
  • In-person meetings: for local offices

8. Offer 24/7 Customer Service

If possible, try to offer 24/7 customer support that includes after-hours and weekends. You can do so by hiring off-hours or remote agents and have incoming calls forwarded to them through your IVR system.

Another indirect way to provide 24/7 service is through an informative IVR that can assist with account information, register complaints, process payments, offer troubleshooting help, etc. You can also have an online knowledge-base with “help” articles that can walk users through common issues and how to resolve them.

9. Consider Automation

Another one of the top customer service tips this year is adopting automation to provide support. An automated IVR system and chatbots are two ways you can cut down on agent workload while still assisting those in need. Automation can help with simple and common issues, provide 24/7 customer support, reduce the number of support tickets submitted, collect customer information and add it to their history, and free employees up to handle more complex issues.

These systems should, however, always have an option to connect to a live representative in case the user is unable to resolve their concern.

10. Pay Attention to Customer Satisfaction Scores

It is also important to measure and improve CSAT scores. This is because these scores directly impact your business’ customer retention rates. That is, they measure your business’ ability to maintain customer loyalty and long-term relationships with their customers. Bad interactions and experiences will deter customers away from your brand. It is, therefore, necessary to pay attention to customer satisfaction by collecting feedback and opinions. Utilize email or live chat to collect feedback about specific products, services, or interactions.

11. Focus Efforts on Marketing and Reputation Management

Use effective marketing strategies to showcase your brand’s values and mission. Demonstrate your team’s expertise, highlight important and valuable customer reviews, and so on. Marketing is a good way to maintain your business’ credibility and reputation. You can also choose to run active social media accounts where you interact with customers and interested prospects, answer their queries, run promotions, and so on. This is a good way to improve customer interaction.

12. Humanize Customer-Business Interactions

While automation can make business processes easy and efficient, you want to keep automation to a minimum and only if necessary during customer-business interactions. For example, a caller should not have to jump through various hoops to get in touch with a live representative. A struggling caller will end up being frustrated if the automated service does not help resolve their concern. And you may lose a valuable client this way.

Some issues and interactions should be conducted with a human as opposed to bots. When mapping out your IVR or chatbot application, always have an “out” available for callers who need to interact with an employee.

13. Evaluate Team Productivity and KPIs

One of the most important customer service tips is to consistently measure your team’s productivity through key performance indicators (KPIs). Some of the common customer service KPIs are:

  • Average response time
  • Average handle time
  • First call resolution rate
  • Average resolution time
  • Customer satisfaction rate (CSAT)
  • Number of calls
  • Number of interactions across different channels (chat, support tickets, emails, etc.)
  • Abandon call/chat rate
  • Net promoter score (NPS), and so on

14. Be Proactive: Reach Out to Customers Before They Have to Reach You

Depending on the service you provide, you may find it useful to be proactive in your customer interactions. Be the first one to reach out and check in with repeat customers. Is there anything else you can help with? Follow-up on recent purchases to make sure everything went well. Ask for feedback and how the service can be improved. Such interactions will show your customers that their opinions and business are valued.

15. Give Importance and Priority to Customer Complaints

Prioritize customer complaints as these are the experiences that can quickly turn bad and sour. Identify the problem and find ways to fix them quickly. If the issue seems to be a common one across a particular model, then improve it before the next batch is out. And reach out to customers who have purchased the model to inform them about the issue and its fix. Additionally, check in with customers regularly and collect feedback to learn how to make processes smoother or how to make the product better.

16. Collect Feedback Regularly

Use surveys either via email or text messages to study how customers are interacting with products and services you offer. It is important to see things from the customers’ perspectives. And feedback is the best way to do so. Whether it is about a certain product or their recent customer service call, it is important to always look for ways to make your service better.

17. Provide Your Team with the Right Tools

Provide your customer service agents and employees with the right tools to offer good and efficient service. Use CRMs to keep track of customer information, history, interactions, and more. This way, your agents are prepared to offer support that is personalized and customized instead of generic. We recommend Zoho or Salesforce, but there are plenty of great options for keeping track of your customers.

You may also consider investing in call recording software and forwarding tools. Recordings can be used to conduct performance reviews, training new employees, protecting against liabilities, reducing errors and misunderstandings, and more. Call forwarding and routing can help distribute calls evenly among employees so that no one employee is over- or under-worked.

18. Train and Re-Train Employees and Agents

Keep training new and current employees by providing refresher training, past recordings to highlight strengths and weaknesses, webinars and workshops, and more. When training employees, it is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the goals of the company.

19. Invest in Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs will help you retain valuable customers and their business. These programs are designed to do so by providing rewards to customers who continue to bring you business. Offer deals, promotions, and special offers to members of your loyalty program to retain a steady flow of sales.

20. Follow Up When You Do Not Have the Answer

Most customer service teams are expected to have an answer ready for any query or concern brought up. However, oftentimes, you may find yourself in a situation where different troubleshooting methods or common answers do not suffice. In such cases, you may need the assistance of a supervisor or manager. Follow-up with these customers as quickly as you can with better solutions or transfer them to someone who can help. Not doing so leads to the client seeking a better service elsewhere.

21. Be Consistent Across All Communication Channels

Two of the most common customer service tips are having multi-channel communication and being consistent in all channels. Ensure that all customer service reps are aware of the goals, mission, and voice of your brand. Train them to use these different channels (email, phone, live chat, social media, etc.) with ease and keeping with the support process. This will help with consistency across different communication channels.

22. Offer Premium Support to Loyal Clientele

Just how loyalty programs can help you retain good customers, offering premium support and prioritizing loyal and valuable customers can also increase customer satisfaction and retention rates.

23. Share Customer-Focused Content

Keep your website and social media accounts up-to-date by providing relevant and informative content. This content should not only focus on your services but how customers can benefit from these services. You may include customer reviews, case studies, and testimonials to see how your product or service ranks with customers.

Give These Customer Service Tips a Try!

Happy customers will give your agents peace of mind so they can focus on what matters. While not all of these tips may apply to your type of business, try the ones that do and modify them to your needs. To learn more about telecommunication tools that can support your customer service efforts, speak with one of our experts!

8 Tips to Design a Customer-Friendly IVR System

Want to improve caller experience and customer satisfaction? Start by fixing your IVR system and making it more user-friendly. Here are 8 helpful tips to help you redesign your automated system and improve customer interaction.

Designing a Customer-Focused IVR System

IVR technology, or an interactive voice response system is an automated voice system used by businesses. This system interacts with callers before an employee does. It provides company information, identifies the purpose of the call, assists callers with possible solutions, and transfers calls to agents when needed. And by doing these tasks, it helps create a more organized and well-functioning communication system.

1. Offer 24/7 Customer Support

Your IVR system should always be open for business. That is to say, aim to provide 24/7 customer service with a well-executed IVR. Use prerecorded messages to provide support, instructions, and troubleshooting help. Offer basic information and answers to simple inquiries such as:

  • Company information (store hours, location, directory)
  • Product descriptions
  • Account balances
  • Shipping information, and so on

This way, even during off-hours and on the weekends, callers can get help for simple, basic concerns.

2. Use Voicemail and Callback Features

Part of providing 24/7 customer service is offering a callback option in the event callers are unable to resolve their call. This is helpful during heavy traffic situations, after-hours, and over the weekends. Create personalized voicemail messages for these types of situations and have the IVR system forward the call to voicemail. This way, they can leave a voicemail and wait for a call back from your business.

3. Avoid Providing Too Many Options

Too many options and overly-detailed prompts may lead to confusion and more misplaced calls. If there is too much to choose from, callers may not know what to choose and may select the wrong option. This leads to frustration and an unresolved call. Provide only the necessary options and details. Additionally, keep the language and easy-to-understand; avoid overuse of technical terminology and jargon.

4. Simplify Categories

Keep your IVR system structure simple. When you map out your IVR strategy, consider the main categories you want to provide help and information for. Under each category, try to stick to 4-5 options. Add a “Press # to hear these options again” button so that callers can hear the options again.

5. Use Human Voices

Callers connecting with a business are generally doing so to get a problem resolved. And they typically want to talk to a human representative immediately. Interacting heavily with a robotic automated voice may create some frustration in the mind of the caller, especially if they cannot find the right menu option or solution.

Most IVR service providers will allow you to upload voice recordings of your choice. Here is an opportunity to add a more human touch to your IVR system. It may not be possible to implement this at every step of the IVR, but try to do so whenever you can.

6. Pay Attention to Customer Concerns

An IVR system that provides irrelevant options or information is not useful to a caller looking for specific help. For this reason, it is important to be able to predict customer concerns and what they would be calling about. Watch what your competitors are doing. Conduct market research. Collect feedback from current customers. All of this will help you identify common issues and questions that you can include and target in your IVR system.

7. Cater to Your Audience

Depending on the type of business you run and the demographic you cover, you may want to consider a multilingual IVR. This will help with the different markets you want to target as you are providing a way for them to connect with your business. Make sure you have agents who speak those languages on the team as well so that your callers are fully satisfied.

8. Ask for Feedback

Finally, get feedback on your IVR system. After building and updating the system, you need to know how it is working. Ask your callers if they’d be willing to take a quick IVR survey. This could be a phone survey or a followup email or text message that they can complete on their own time. The point is to study how customers are interacting with the IVR and if improvements need to be made.

Get IVR Technology with Us

Global Call Forwarding offers a highly-customizable IVR system along with virtual phone number plans. Sign up today or call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to learn more!

Push Your IT Business Towards Success with Good Customer Relations

The most important part of running a business is maintaining good customer relations. Whether this relates to selling new products or offering troubleshooting services, your IT business must focus on how it interacts with its customers so that you can serve them better. This, in turn, will lead to greater customer satisfaction and retention.

Build Stronger Customer Relations

What are some ways you can create better customer relations and have them return for more?
Developing a useful and high-quality product and marketing it well must be the first step. It is, therefore, necessary to present your product as a solution or one that your target audience needs. Think from your customers’ perspective, what can you do to draw them closer to your service?

1. Make it Easier for Customers to Contact You

Not all customers are going to interact with your business in-person. They may come across your brand or product over the internet or through ads. But how do you convert the interest to sales? Give them a reason to call you. Most customers know what they are looking for and if your business provides that, they will make a purchase. But there are individuals who need more information. And so, calling your company with queries can ensure they understand your product and follow through to making the purchase.

Toll free numbers for IT companies provide a free way for interested individuals to call your employees. Whether it is a new customer or a returning one, being able to reach your company easily lets them know that you care about their business. Furthermore, high first call resolution rates, where callers are able to resolve issues on the first call, leads to higher customer satisfaction rates. And an IVR system for IT companies can help achieve this by directing callers to the right department. And in some cases, you can even set up the IVR to assist callers in completing tasks without the help of an agent or rep.

2. Track Quality Assurance

Besides making your business available and accessible, you want to ensure that employees are doing their best when interacting with customers. Here’s where quality assurance becomes significant. Do you need employees to be informative and educational? Should they follow a certain script or can they customize interactions based on who they speak with? Are they following up with callers, as promised?

Monitor quality assurance with call recording for IT companies. Use recordings to study employee interaction and customer behavior. Which tactics are more successful than others? Additionally, you can reward good customer service, further incentivizing employees to do well. You can also use recordings as training material to teach new employees what they should and should not do. Better training leads to better customer service which vastly improves customer relations.

Connect with New Customers

Another way to improve customer relations is to use outbound calling for IT companies and be in touch with potential and existing customers. You can use this service to call local and international audiences for a reasonable price and by evading high long-distance fees. With outbound calling, you can:

  • Welcome new customers
  • Help new customers with setting up products and services
  • Generate new leads
  • Collect feedback
  • Conduct market research
  • Follow up with clients
  • Offer company updates or information about new products
  • Reward customer success efforts, and more

Global Call Forwarding’s Outbound Calling service gives you the opportunity to connect with potential customers across the world. If you purchase multiple local and toll free numbers, you can override the caller ID to display specific numbers when calling certain areas or regions. For example, you can display a Dallas local number or a Mauritius toll free number when you call those regions.

Customer Satisfaction = Better Customer Relations = Closer to Success

Connect with target individuals and serve them better with these communication tools. Improve customer relations and watch your sales increase. For more information on how Global Call Forwarding’s services can help, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

Improve Customer Success and Retention for Your Online Marketing Service with Outbound Calling

For many businesses, customer success and service can vastly impact how well they succeed and how long they survive. You will find that your online marketing service is no different. And so, you need every tool and feature available that can support your outbound calling needs which, in turn, will increase customer retention rates. Let’s see how all these elements work together.

What is Customer Success and Retention?

Customer success and retention are business functions that focus on providing customers with the necessary tools to succeed and achieve their goals. And, thereby, convert them into a returning customer. Customer success is a proactive approach where employees or reps reach out to customers to work together and find better solutions. Some tactics include suggesting other products, offering upgrades, cross-selling, providing market research and analytics, etc.

To ensure your marketing service is offering customers the best quality of work, customer success enables you to:

  • Develop strong customer relations by understanding their needs and goals
  • Take into account metrics and analytics for improvement
  • Help them reach their long-term goals
  • Present your product or service as the solution.

Customers who find value in your service—and can track their growth and success—will come back for more. These are the customers who will further recommend your marketing service to others.

Cold and Warm Contact with Outbound Calling

Because of these reasons customer support and retention are extremely crucial for the successful running of your company. So, why do we recommend using outbound calling for marketing services? This service offers a way to reach as many customers as you want, anywhere in the world for a reasonable subscription rate.

Outbound calling supports high outgoing call volumes. Whether you are conducting market research for a client or welcoming new clients or want to stay in constant communication with customers to help them achieve their goals, outbound calling will enable steady, reliable, and high call quality.

Reach More Customers by Switching Your Caller ID

More importantly, however, outbound calling gives you the ability to reach customers, clients, and markets across the world through your phone. How can you do this? First, you buy multiple local and toll free business numbers for areas and markets you want to target. Then, through our outbound calling feature, you can override your caller ID to display one from the list of numbers purchased.

For example, say your company is based in India but you want to expand to Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, and Mauritius. You can purchase numbers from Global Call Forwarding for these countries and then when you call Morocco, you can have the caller ID on your prospect’s phone display the Morocco number. Likewise, it can be coordinated the same way for the other countries you are doing business with.

Give Customers a Reason to Trust Your Service

The benefit of using virtual numbers and outbound calling for sales and marketing services is that you don’t have to pay high international calling fees. This is because your calls are routed through the internet instead of traditional phone lines. Calling and managing global clientele has never been easier.

Additionally, prospects are more likely to answer calls from numbers they are familiar with. And they are also more likely to ignore calls from areas and country codes they don’t recognize. So it is necessary to increase customer loyalty and confidence in your brand by being there for them proactively and demonstrating that their success is valuable to you.

How Can Global Call Forwarding Help with Customer Success?

Global Call Forwarding has local, international, and toll free numbers for more than 160 countries across the world. You can purchase multiple numbers with your outbound calling plan and pay only for what you subscribe to. Sign up for a new number or call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 for more information. We are here to help you achieve your goals and satisfy your loyal customers. Take advantage of our services today!

Call Center QA: Effective Quality Assurance Strategies

When running a call center, it is important to pay attention to Call Center Quality Assurance (QA). Call Center QA is a process that focuses on and ensures customer service and interactions are aligned with business goals. QA is customer-centric. That is, it is concerned with understanding customer issues and concerns, improving customer experience, and improving communication. QA is typically conducted by identifying ideal customer service agent behavior. Maintaining a good schedule and interacting in a professional tone are just a few ways to achieve good customer service.

Call Center QA

It is best to look at QA as an on-going process. This way, customer service agents or representatives will be motivated to always be on their best and most efficient behavior. Representatives should be made aware that their calls, emails, and chats are being recorded. This is important because these are the most crucial areas of customer communication that affect the business.

Essential QA Strategies

There are different ways to ensure good customer service practices benefit your company. Analyzing call and customer metrics include monitoring average response times, call logs, handling times, customer ratings, etc. You can determine QA data through assessments made by team leaders.

Call Center QA Effective Quality Assurance Strategies
Source: Depositphotos.com Lic#166638900 ID#25727499

Training and Motivating Your Agents

You should make call recording a significant part of the supervisory process. This way, you can review calls with customer service agents and help them identify areas to improve. Here you can also encourage and acknowledge their strengths, keeping them content and motivated to continue their good work. Additionally, knowing their calls are being recorded will give them an incentive to do a commendable job.

Appointment setters are responsible for contacting leads to generate appointments. Essentially, the company suffers if the appointment setter is unable to do their job. So, how do you make sure that appointment setters do a good job? Train them to learn the script and sound excited about the product they are offering. It is important that they are knowledgeable of the product so they can efficiently answer customer questions. Additionally, they should have the ability to listen to their customers’ doubts and queries. This way, they can make the customer feel heard and respected. Finally, they should send email confirmations with important details immediately after phone conversations.

Another way to train your agents is through evaluation. Evaluating agents will ensure they understand what is expected of them and are able to meet your standards. When assessing an agent’s interaction with a customer, using a Call Center QA Form will help you judge important elements. Here are some examples of assessment questions:

  • Did the agent greet the customer?
  • Did the agent ask questions to understand the customer’s needs?
  • Did the agent answer the customer’s questions accurately?
  • Did the agent follow protocol?
  • Did the agent display a professional, yet empathetic manner?

With questions like these, one can evaluate the agent’s strengths and weaknesses, and rectify areas that need refinement.

Utilizing Customer Feedback

Customer service feedback provides companies with a good idea of the customer’s perspective. With such feedback, companies can understand what they are doing well and which areas need improvement. To improve call center productivity, use recordings to compile data to set future goals and develop more effective approaches. Here, you can also identify frequently asked questions and develop customized messages to save time. Using an interactive voice menu can also answer questions by letting customers select a number to hear frequently asked questions. Such interactive voice responses (IVRs) can be set up by your virtual phone number provider and they are highly customizable.

You can also utilize call recordings to learn more about your customers and their preferences. For instance, how do they respond to certain questions? Why do they prefer one product over the other? What issues or concerns do they have? Are they asking for a product or service your company doesn’t offer and should you consider investing in it?

Consider Virtual Phone Numbers For Your Call Center

In conclusion, virtual call center software solutions focus on increasing productivity and reducing time spent on answering calls. Virtual numbers also make it easy to facilitate remote agents. Therefore, enabling you to host your call center from anywhere. Global Call Forwarding provides virtual phone numbers with additional features such as call recording, call transfer, IVR, customized greetings, and more. Call Global Call Forwarding 1-888-908-6171 for help with your call center QA today!