What are customer service standards?
Customer service standards refer to the performance that customers can expect from the company. It encompasses various factors, like speed, accuracy, transparency, accessibility, empowerment, efficiency, and friendliness of the staff.
Measuring customer service standards
Customer service plays a very significant role in your brand image and customer retention. Measuring the quality of your customer service is vital if you want your business to thrive.
For starters, how can companies measure their customer service standards?
Ask for feedback
Choose the best type of survey and feedback form that works for your business and start from there. From online surveys, polls, physical surveys that people need to fill out, there are a variety of options to choose from when asking for feedback.
Your outsourced customer service providers can also ask customers for feedback after every call, whether through the phone call or an email survey.
Asking the right questions is the key to getting helpful answers. When you’ve gotten enough respondents, start analyzing your customer service strengths and weaknesses.
Show your appreciation to your employees who have done a great job. Also, conduct meetings to work on your flaws and weaknesses.
Evaluate customer retention
Customer retention is the mirror of customer satisfaction. If your customers are satisfied, they will most likely continue engaging with your brand and even start spreading positive word-of-mouth.
Take the time to evaluate if your company is losing, retaining, or gaining customers. From there you can work on the next steps to take to improve the quality of customer service that you provide.
Hire a mystery shopper
Hiring a mystery shopper is the perfect way to assess employee performance and get unbiased customer responses regarding their experience with your company.
The impartial feedback of a mystery shopper can help increase customer satisfaction and retention, increase sales, and create brand awareness – when used the right way.
Improving customer service standards
Mastering and dominating these areas of customer service can get you at least seven steps closer to raising your customer service standards. Further, to continuously raise your customer service standards, here’s a brief list of areas you can start working on:
Courtesy goes beyond smiling and greeting. It is more likely seen in your non-verbal movements, body language, tone, and choice of words. A company’s courtesy also reflects in its thoughtful design and store policies.
Simple initiatives like providing comfortable chairs during long lines and having a clear “first come, first served” policy can show if a company is truly customer-centric.
Customers appreciate the good kind of consistency. If you’ve received positive feedback about a certain move or initiative, that is a sign to keep up the good work and be consistent.
One of the most frustrating things for a customer is to look forward to visiting a store for a certain service only to realize that they don’t do it anymore once you get there.
Would you rather buy an average soda at the convenience store downstairs or a better-tasting soda in a store 30 minutes away? You may think that your product is the best of its kind. But if its inconvenient to get, you’ll most likely not gain enough customers.
Convenience also applies to your customer service strategy. In this day and age, you should be accessible on almost all social media platforms in addition to your website and phone number. This is to ensure faster communication and problem-solving.
4. Customer service strategy
If your company can sustain it, it is recommended to provide a customized customer service strategy. Getting to know your customers by name, recognizing loyal customers and rewarding them for valuable feedback, and treating them as VIPs surely go a long way.
A personalized customer service strategy aims to be tailored to your customers’ needs and expectations, which will result in customer retention and satisfaction.
5. Create communities
Customers will feel more valued if you treat them as important members of a community. Bringing customers together for webinars, trade shows, conventions, and even have them interact through creating groups in social media sites like Facebook can make them feel important and valued.
In addition, creating communities will not only make customers bond with each other. They will also get to know more about you, the company, and your product. Forums, even online ones, can help the customers learn more from you and vice versa.
6. Clear communication
We all know that clear communication is the key to a fruitful and healthy relationship. Still, we feel like it still needs to be said. Having a clear and concise way of communicating is a message in itself.
Whether you’re announcing a new policy or excitedly sharing a new product, first think of the best way to communicate your message to not create confusion.
Not clearly communicating may eventually result in complaints and other loopholes. Of course, we don’t want that.
7. Complaint handling
Lastly, complaint handling may be one of the first things that pop into someone’s head when encountering the term customer service. Most customer service teams have scripts on how to deal with specific complaints. Though, it’s still vital to practice empathy and understanding.
The process of handling complaints requires so much patience and problem-solving skills. Sometimes you’ll come across with irate customers who can’t seem to listen. But how customer service providers deal with the call or transaction says a lot about the company they represent.
It is only wise to put yourself in the customers’ shoes and follow the golden rules of complaint handling.