The Best Customer Service Advice You’ve Never Heard

Great customer service is no longer optional. With so many competitors vying for your customers’ attention, you need to do everything you can to make your customers happy.

Amazing customer service is a great way to stand out from the crowd, and can be the difference between you being ‘just another company’ or a market leader.

Zappos is the perfect example. Plenty of people were selling shoes online before Zappos came along, but their unparalleled dedication to customer service has made them famous worldwide.

You’ve probably heard a lot about good customer service, but there’s some advice you probably haven’t heard…

Speed isn’t the most important thing

Yes, your customers want you to sort their issues out quickly, but what they want even more is your time.

A 2010 consumer survey by RightNow found that 82% of respondents had stopped doing business with a brand following a poor customer experience. Of these 82%, 55% cited untimely resolution of customer issues as a reason for abandoning the brand. However, the most popular reason people left the brand was rude staff (73%).

While customers certainly value speedy resolution of their issues, quality of service seems to be more important for building a dedicated customer base. Instead of rushing through support queries, take the time to understand your customers and what they want, they’ll be grateful.

Let your customers help themselves

You don’t have to help every customer personally. While some people might want to chat issues over via email or phone, others just want to help themselves.

Don’t underestimate the power of a strong FAQ page and guides and tutorials to help customers help themselves. Help Scout’s Gregory Ciotti believes this kind of content based support can provide a better experience for customers who’d rather not reach out…

“Not only can users solve simple problems on their own, those who wish to dig in more with their new product (the customer “sandbox”) have a slew of content at their disposal, increasing enjoyment and empowering active customers who don’t want to have to reach out to support every time they have a question.”

Good support content can also help customers decide to buy your product, points out Christina Gillick in this article for Crazy Egg

“You see, many customers have questions that need to be answered BEFORE they decide to purchase—or not. By addressing the most common questions and concerns on your FAQ page you have a better chance of converting visitors into buyers without the assistance of your support team.”

The customer is not always right

Many of us have been fed the “the customer is always right” line for so long that we’ve never even considered otherwise.

However, often, the customer isn’t right. They may have an issue, and know that they want it resolved, but often, customers don’t really know exactly what they want.

Small business and management writer Ty Kiisel, believes great customer support means helping customer decide what they want…

“We need to uncover what our customers really want because they often can’t think out of their current paradigm to consider something new or revolutionary.”

What are your favourite customer service tips? Share them in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Phil and Pam via Compfight cc

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