Customer service is about developing relationships with your customers, which can drive your company’s long-term worth. In addition, customer happiness and sales are key business goals that must be prioritized since revenue and customer support are two sides of the same coin. A great way to find new strategies for your company is to examine the relationship between customer satisfaction and sales growth.
Now let’s see some customer statistics to understand the importance of good customer service better.
- Customers who have already purchased from you are 60- 70% more likely to buy again. Customers who receive excellent customer support along with excellent products are more likely to become loyal to your brand.
- If the customer experience was positive, 83% of clients will likely recommend your company to others.
- Loyal customers can increase your sales by 20%.
- When they find it challenging to navigate your website, 70% of customers will leave it if they receive poor customer support.
- In addition, companies lose 62 million a year due to poor customer service.
To begin with, good customer service is one of the small business trends. So, in this article, we will describe how to provide excellent customer service using modern phone technologies in the digital age! For example, you can start with organizing your web page and creating a call widget.
What is customer service?
Customer service is a series of actions to understand the client’s needs. It starts from the first contact with the organization through the purchase process and continues after buying a product or service. Moreover, customer service representatives play the main role in customer service, appreciating the existing and potential customers and creating a good customer experience. Customer service takes a lot of effort, good listening skills, and the ability to act quickly!
What makes customer support and service important?
Though customer service reps communicate with customers when needed—via phone, website chat, and social media channels, those interactions are crucial to running a business successfully. If you don’t have your in-house team for this, you can always consider getting outsourced IT support for businesses, ensuring your customer satisfaction is always as high as possible.
For example, if customer service teams provide an excellent customer service experience and customer support solves customers’ problems, those customers will likely return to your organization. In addition, successful organizations understand the value of maintaining positive client connections and devote time and resources to this process.
On the other hand, poor customer service can drive customers away from your brand and result in a loss of profits. That’s because client expectations extend beyond simply purchasing a service or a product.
How does customer service impact sales?
Maintaining customer satisfaction is a safe path to a good reputation, reliable sales results, and long-lasting, competitive positions in turbulent market times. Your customers are more likely to promote your firm to friends or leave positive reviews on the internet if they receive pleasant treatment from customer care representatives. Therefore, you can develop your word-of-mouth marketing strategies by delivering excellent phone customer service.
Researches show that it costs five times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep one, so it is clear that providing top customer service is a cost-effective route.
Let’s take a look at the correlation between customer service experience and business growth:
- 57% of clients would not recommend your brand if they have experienced poor customer service
- 60 % of clients claim they trust word of mouth from friends, relatives, and other customers when deciding about purchasing
- 66% of the companies’ battle is based on the quality of customer service
- Businesses that work on improving customer service experience may increase revenue up to 80%
What are 4 examples of customer service
To provide the best customer support, take advantage of all the technology available to you. Multi-channel customer service is a strategic way to manage customer issues: email, social media, live chat, texting, phone. Keep in mind that if you provide multi-channel customer service, all of these methods must function properly.
Customer support email addresses
Today, everybody has an email! Allowing people to send you emails with additional questions. If you operate a website, do not disclose your personal email address. Instead, create a separate email account. You may even add email to your webpage to take your email service to the next level. Another example is to create a contact form where others can reach you, and then the messages will arrive in your mailbox.
Social media to support customers
It’s logical to assume that you have clients if you have a profile on a social network, and You must take care of them! Here is one example of poor customer service:
Let’s say you have a LinkedIn account, someone asks you a question through it, and you don’t respond. What happens then? You get unsatisfied customers, and you can potentially lose them. Although this may seem very simple, social media customer support has its downsides.
Another factor to consider is the response time rating. In most cases, users expect a reaction within two hours. This is what Facebook qualifies as: “Usually replies within a few hours.”
The option for a customer that wants to have everything at their fingertips is live chat. Live chat improves conversion rates!
So, the website’s lower right corner hides one small window. It can be programmed to jump out after 15, 20, or 30 seconds (depending on how long your customers stay on the site). After those few seconds, live chat asks the customer: “How can I help you?”—just like the store worker asks you questions when you come into the store. While the live chat box appears to be a little window, correspondence is organized similarly to an email!
What is phone customer service?
Phone customer service eliminates the need for written correspondence and enables making instant inquiries. It is currently the most popular because it reduces the time required to solve clients’ problems.
In order to enable support workers to give excellent service, the organization must use cutting-edge technology. Just like that, on the other hand, customer service representatives should strive to improve customer relationship management skills to retain clients.
Types of phone customer service
You can modernize your phone customer service in the following ways:
1. Transit to cloud communications
2. Incorporate your existing phone system into the Ringblaze solutions
3. Expand your phone service by adding some mobile applications
Main reasons to use phone customer service
Research shows that 48% of clients communicate via phone, while 80% claim the phone is the preferred channel for reaching customer agents. Misunderstandings on other communication channels usually get solutions over the phone. Here are some statistics regarding phone customer service:
- When they are unable to contact a company via phone, 47% of users search for other brands
- 70% of clients prefer a call-back over waiting in queue
- While 78% believe the call widget is essential
What are 3 important qualities of customer service?
High-quality customer service means going beyond the client’s expectations. Remember and appreciate existing customers to show how important they are for your business. We can say that good customer service is characterized by 3P – professionalism, patience, and a “people first” attitude.
Professional approach to clients
Professionalism means that the customer service team knows the product very well. Besides, there are techniques on how to deal with rude clients. Customer service representatives must not take offensive feedback personally, so they must maintain a safe distance without interfering with privacy.
Patience in dealing with customers
Customer service employees should practice listening since clients naturally tend to focus on complaints. Listen carefully and read the comments to determine what customers think about your brand, what they hold against your business, and come up with ideas to resolve those issues.
Even if the response to a user request is negative, support professionals should make an effort to find an alternative solution.
Customers come first
This is a combination of the art of listening and knowing the client. The key is to recognize the problem and be proactive instead of reactive. When customers see that you are there to help them, you will gain their trust!
Don’t leave customers on hold
Try to offer easily accessible phone communication. That means your customer service should respond to phone calls instead of leaving clients on hold. So, your phone support staff should quickly resolve eventual misunderstandings.
Listen to the client’s expectations
Users are ordinary people who want to be heard. Make sure to inform and train the phone customer service team not to move into a defensive stance. In addition, teach them to listen and ask questions to understand the user. Consider customers’ feedback as it might serve as a good idea to improve your service.
Keep your promises
Make sure to fulfill what you have committed to by contract or conversation. It will strengthen the company’s reputation and trust in you as a professional. No one likes mistreated promises and unfulfilled expectations, especially those who pay for your services.
Focus on customer relationships instead of direct profit
The customer relationship is more crucial to your company than the sale. Naturally, profit is important, but the user experience is equally important. Work on increasing e customer retention to create more sales in the future.
Train customer service teams to provide top customer experience
When customer service professionals are well trained, they can solve problems in a direct phone conversation. They will be aware of building good relationships with users and communicating positively. We suggest writing customer service scripts to teach your agents to turn any situation into high-quality customer service.
Consider measuring the customer experience through anonymous surveys to get first-hand insights about the quality of your support. Encourage clients to give feedback as that might serve as a template. For example, here are some useful questions to begin with and then navigate your way through it:
|Would you recommend us to your friend/colleague?
|Navigate the client to respond with yes or no.
|If the answer was no-
|Politely say “Thank you for your time” and finish the conversation.
|If the answer was yes-
|Ask the next question.
|What would you say, do our reps have knowledge about service/products?
|The client should respond with yes or no.
|Please tell me if your experience with our agent was positive.
|The client should respond with yes or no.
We will now share important customer service strategies to help you make a positive experience for your clients.
Provide fantastic customer service over the phone
Building positive customer relationships has emerged as the most crucial skill for professionals in the twenty-first century. Poor phone communication can harm the company’s reputation and jeopardize an employee’s job. So, here are six skills that phone customer service representatives need to implement to remain competitive:
1. Critical thinking
There are situations when service employee has to make spontaneous decisions about the treatment of users. The quality of the company’s reputation depends on how phone service agents handle these situations. Critical thinking should arise when consumers make unique requests—since they can lead to conflict and customer unhappiness.
Instead of waiting for orders from the back office, a service expert should provide a solution. Critical thinking skills are developed through training methods and the examination of real-world examples.
2. Connecting with users
Apart from being professional, the call agent also needs to know how to connect with users. The ability to comprehend what the client is saying over the phone separates constructive communication from the one burden with stress. Make sure to use simple words and do not put the client in an inferior position.
3. Taking accountability for the call
Phone customer reps should learn how to transfer the phone call to another department if needed. Also, if they receive a call for technical help, they should know how to inform the client about the issue/question correctly.
4. Cognitive flexibility
Cognitive flexibility is key in multi-user environments. A great phone service representative will go above and beyond to satisfy the client.
Cognitive flexibility is an important trait that helps in:
- Professional development
- Effective adjustment to situations
- Fast learning
- Creative problem solving
5. Negotiation skills
Negotiation skills, like critical thinking, have been considered an inbuilt skill. We believe that negotiation can be learned today, especially in customer service situations. Customer relationships strengthen when service providers create win-win solutions in which both sides profit. Therefore, negotiation has to be the subject of training at companies.
Everyone needs the help of team members to serve the customer in the best way. Willingness to cooperate for the benefit of users has become crucial. In these unique times of market temptations, businesses must prioritize team collaboration.
Phone customer service and sales
The Coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the way people communicate. In the age of remote work, more and more businesses use mobile phones as the main communication channel. Due to mobile channel overload, companies advance their phone customer services via CRM, VoIP, etc.
Improving phone customer service by using SaaS
CRM or similar software can improve phone customer service. When service representatives take the call, they should be able to select a customer by name and have their details immediately. That enables fast, personalized, and efficient customer relationship management. CRM software can track the actions taken on a call that required more than one contact to resolve.
Evolved phone service speeds the outreach
Hearing voice builds trust in the sales process. Instead of passively marketing through traditional channels and hoping that your potential customers will see these messages, evolved software solution makes telephone outreach easier.
Apart from outreach, try to organize regular post-sales activities. That is a good way to prevent loyal clients from leaving. Also, make sure not to neglect client messages on electronic accounts.
Availability through call centers
Being available to your clients is one of the steps to take your business to the next level. Unfortunately, businesses end up losing customers just because they don’t answer their phones on time.
Studies show that using the call center increases the rate of call responses to 2 out of 3. An increase in response rates has a positive impact on lead capture rates. To put it simply: fewer missed calls means fewer missed opportunities.
- More than half of the calls come from potential clients, and 12% come from existing clients. This means that at least two-thirds of calls are significant for your business.
- About 55% of your callers are your new clients.
Team collaboration and communication
Use all available customer support channels, answer questions quickly, and hire a person who knows the answers to customer questions.
We live in an age of modern business. Collaboration, communication, and control face many challenges—especially in large companies. Regardless of the size of the business, effective team collaboration becomes a must. Leaders have the opportunity to respond when relevant business issues are brought to their attention, and they can:
- Introduce changes in access to clients
- Improve the current status
- Keep up with the competition
VoIP phone technology
VoIP technology meets the needs of efficient information exchange through the use of a high-speed Internet connection for voice, video, and data communications.
How does VoIP work?
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or Internet telephony allows you to make voice calls using an internet connection instead of a standard phone line. Speech quality remains equal to or better than a traditional phone call. VoIP services allow you to connect to anyone with a phone number—local, mobile, and international numbers.
An additional advantage of VoIP is to convert speech to digital data. This data can be stored, searched, and distributed to any device that connects to the Internet. VoIP provides access to smart apps that merge phone calls, fax, voice mail, email, web conferencing, and other forms of business collaboration. VoIP transmission uses digital technology, and internet speech travels in packages using a protocol that guarantees the arrival of packages at the destination. Basically, VoIP telephony is slowly replacing classic telephony.
The contact center as a part of the phone customer service strategy
For the customer, the contact center is the company’s voice. For the company, it is a part of the customer service strategy. If the contact center is well organized, the organization gains loyal customers and starts making more income, so the benefits are mutual!
Difference between the contact and call center
The term contact center is more comprehensive than a call center. Contact center includes communication by phone, e-mail, chat, social networks, fax, etc. When we say contact center, we emphasize different conversation channels with current or potential customers.
The call center and contact center can be made up of one or more person who communicates with users. For example, large companies employ trained agents, and team leaders and supervisors organize the work of call agents. Since communication with users occurs in a predefined scenario, modern software enables real-time data processing, storage, and monitoring of the agents’ work.
Inbound, outbound and blended contact centers
Contact centers can be inbound, outbound, and blended. Here are their basic characteristics:
- In inbound contact center customers are the ones who initiate a conversation with the customer service rep (e.g., when they want to book or buy plane tickets).
- In the outbound contact center, the customer service team initiates a conversation with current or prospective customers (e.g., notifying users of special offers).
- The blended center is a mixture of the inbound and outbound, so it does both services.
What are the benefits of having a contact center?
The mission and goals of introducing a call center into the company are:
- Income gain
- Loyal consumers
- Operator’s pleasure
Having that said, companies get the following benefits:
- The ability to communicate daily with current and prospective buyers, regardless of which territory they live in.
- Customers will receive all requested information in one place, without having to refer to other agents and phone numbers.
- Customers can get information 24/7.
- Calls are automated.
- Thanks to special software, agents can enter and analyze information.
- It is easy to keep track of the performance of each contact agent since you can track the call history (calls are recorded).
- The possibility of human error is minimal.
- It is possible to integrate several different forms of communication (phone, SMS, mail, fax, social networks, live chat, etc.).
What should you know before setting up a contact center?
Let’s play with the numbers! These statistics show how average users “see” customer service.
- 89% of users of your company’s products or services will go to the competition if they experience poor customer support.
- 91% of customers are additionally informed about the product/service before deciding to purchase, and for this purpose, they use web customer support.
- 69% of customers will buy again from the same company if they experience good customer support in real-time.
- 82% of customers become loyal to companies that have helped them solve problems quickly and efficiently.
- 55% of customers would pay more for your product/service than competitors’ if they were provided with quality customer support 24/7.
Although the contact center allows different forms of communication with customers, research shows that 79% of customers prefer to communicate over the phone.
Now let’s see some characteristics of both well-organized and not so well-organized call centers.
Characteristics of a well-organized call center
- The focus is on business goals
- Quick two-way communication
- Trained and dedicated operators
- Regulated data collection and processing system
- Quality software solution for organizing and monitoring the work of agents
- The job is optimal, so agents aren’t overwhelmed with work
Characteristics of a poorly organized call center
- Long wait to talk to the operator (customer put on hold)
- Directing clients to the next operator
- Poor system of operation—dysfunctional software, agents who do not understand the procedure
- Frequent changes to the agents
How to organize a contact center?
The organization of the contact center is very complex. The independent organization requires a lot of time and money—due to the necessary technical conditions, software solutions, and many contact center agents, who must be trained to work. Therefore, we recommend using call collaboration tools.
Which collaboration tool to choose?
Ringblaze is a simple phone system that helps customer service. The cloud-based communication tool contains features for e-commerce, travel, and agencies. It enables you to guide your e-commerce visitors virtually. With this cloud API, there is no need for additional applications.
The dashboard is easy to use, containing the following features:
- Multiple users
- International calls
- Call history
- Group calling
You can navigate between a team and a personal list of unresolved or resolved calls. Team members can see or make comments in the chatbox at the bottom. Also, you can assign unresolved issues to a team member. Contacts are organized in a similar way as a mobile phone.
Phone customer service: FAQs
Any form of customer service is all about understanding client needs, building positive relationships, answering questions and solving issues. Call customer service is providing this kind of support specifically via phone. It can be done remotely when a client calls a number that connects them with a representative or an automated system.
Great phone customer service is characterized by professionalism, patience and a people-first approach. Since non-verbal communication is taken out of the equation, representatives have to pay attention to express their respect, helpfulness and careful listening with affirmation words. The contact should leave customers content and well taken care of – never frustrated.
The first step in improving your customer service is realizing that clients always come first. Try not to leave them on hold, listen actively and always strive to keep your promises. Stay polite no matter what and provide resources to your customer relations team so they know your product inside and out and can always quickly provide accurate information. Empathy and negotiation skills are also crucial.