Customer service satisfaction is all about making people happy at every touchpoint with your business. The client should feel special, cared for, and understood. They should have their needs met and what you provide should pleasantly exceed their expectations. All in all, the cliche is on point here – the client is king.
However, a commonly made mistake amongst tech companies is to focus on the product rather than the customer. It is, indeed, important that what you create is top-notch and it’s great when your team members care about their work and put their soul into it. But satisfying the customer’s needs should be the top priority for everyone on your team, not only the support guys.
For this to happen you need to build a customer-centric customer service policy that spreads throughout every aspect of your organization. And while 75% of companies state that they believe they are customer-centric, only 30% of their clients agree. At the same time, 80% of the people say that they are more than willing to pay for a better experience with brands.
Improving your relationship with your clients will boost customer service satisfaction and will bring in more revenue. It will also attract new customers because, as every marketer knows, word-of-mouth is the best kind of advertising there is.
So how do you make people feel at home with your business and keep them happy? Read on to find out!
Put in Effort to Understand Your Customer
The foundation of customer service satisfaction is knowing your customer well and understanding their needs.
You may already have established your buyer personas, but buyer personas are not real people and if not updated often, they become less relevant. Your customers change over time and their priorities and the obstacles they face are not the same ones they were a year ago. To avoid this, you should regularly conduct market research and freshen up your knowledge. Otherwise, you risk becoming disconnected and detached and no customer is happy with that.
Also, technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and as a tech provider, your audience is more dynamic than those of a regular business. You should always keep in mind that as your product is changing, so is your customer.
Conduct Voice of the Customer Research
Voice of the customer research is a great way to understand what your customer’s needs and preferences are. It is commonly used in product development but can be applied to any aspect of the business.
By getting in a room (a real or virtual one) with your clients to talk about what they like about your company, what they need from you, and how you can deliver, can dramatically improve your customer service satisfaction.
After all, the best way to know what makes people happy is to talk to them, listen, and get to know them.
A common problem for tech companies, especially those that service non-tech clients, is that they find it hard to realistically estimate the technical culture and abilities of their audience. This creates silos between what you believe is good for the end-user and what they actually desire, and can hurt your customer service satisfaction rates.
And even if you are doing a good job now, and your clients are content, the results of a voice of the customer research may surprise you with people having needs you never even thought about.
Don’t Be Shy and Ask for Feedback
Asking your customers for feedback allows you to stay in touch with them and show them that you care about the quality of the services you provide.
Sending out surveys after every interaction with a client will enable you to monitor how different communication channels perform as well as quickly notice if something is off so you can make timely adjustments.
Also, when you follow up on bad feedback in a timely manner, you not only fix the bad impression you left on the customer, but you prevent them from sharing their frustration with others. This way you can mend things before they get out of hand and keep your online reputation intact, all the while improving customer service satisfaction.
Send Out Customer Service Satisfaction Surveys
Asking for immediate feedback will provide day-to-day information about how your interactions with your customers are going. However, if you want to see the bigger picture of your relationship, you should regularly send out customer service surveys that allow your clients to express their overall satisfaction with your brand.
You can use the data from your customer research to come up with ideas for questions which also allows you to focus on the right topics for discussion.
The objectives of the surveys should be to understand whether people are satisfied with your services, find out what you can do better, and identify what else you can offer them so they feel happier when doing business with you.
Improve Your Customer Service Policy
How you treat your clients and how you make them feel is crucial for your business’s performance.
Your customer service policy should be incorporated into every aspect of your operation and should apply to all team members, regardless of whether they have direct contact with clients or not. When people do their job with the customer in mind, it really shows in the end-product and improves the overall brand experience.
Research shows that 91% of customers continue doing business with companies that deliver high customer service satisfaction. What’s more, 78% say that they are willing to forgive mistakes when they are shown good service, and 71% even base their purchasing decisions on the customer service a company provides.
People nowadays have an abundance of choices when deciding who to do business with. If you are not the one who delivers the best experience out there, someone else will. Improving your customer service policy and making it all about the customer, will make you more competitive in the marketplace.
Choose Customer Support Reps Well
The people who deal with displeased customers should be chosen very carefully. Not everyone is capable of keeping their calm while trying to tame an angry mob.
Working the help desk can be exhausting and if your reps are not well trained or don’t fit the psychological profile for it, this can affect customer service satisfaction in the worst possible way. Your support team should have the technical knowledge to assist customers but without being condescending or impatient. They should show empathy, understanding, and be supportive.
Care for the Wellbeing of Your Team
Happy employees who enjoy their job, care for company values, and believe what they do matters, will perform better in the workplace. On the other hand, if your teammates don’t feel appreciated or are not content with their work environment, it’s doubtful that they will care much for the customer or the products.
Improving your workplace culture not only boosts your employees’ morale and helps them become more involved in the company and their job, but it also reflects in their communication with the customer.
You can consider undertaking different initiatives to build a community with your employees, but above all, you should treat them with respect, encourage their growth, and show them that you care.
Maintain Consistency Across Channels
When everyone on your team is on the same page and is familiar with the company’s customer service policy, they can deliver a consistent customer experience across channels.
Your website, your social media profiles, your blog, your support reps, your marketing, and salespeople – everyone should follow the same communication protocols.
To maintain consistency, you can build a manifesto and introduce it to new teammates and to third-party organizations you partner up with that have interactions with your clients.
Your customers should feel welcomed at every touchpoint with your business and know that you’ll deliver a quality service.
Work On Your Business Communication Skills
Nowadays, a significant part of business communication is done online. As convenient as they are, digital channels can increase the risk of misunderstandings and misinterpretation of what is being said.
However, as with any other type of communication, the key here is to listen, understand, and show empathy. As mentioned, people may find tech companies to be detached and disconnected from their clients. Therefore, by maintaining a human touch and showing that you care, you can make your customers feel valued and important.
When your client network grows, it may become difficult to keep up with every account’s history. One way of getting around this is by matching clients and reps. Not only will this help team members build a deeper connection to the customers they are responsible for, but they will also always be up to date with their clients’ previous interactions with your company, their issues, and their preferences. Meanwhile, the client will be more than satisfied with your services and with the level of attention they have received.
To help your reps never miss a beat or forget a milestone in their customer’s journey, you can consider using CRM software. With this, you can organize all your client data in detailed profiles and have the information accessible to your teammates at a click.
Be Available and Quick to Respond
When people contact you – be it with an issue or something else – they expect to receive an answer soon. In fact, 83% of people even expected an immediate answer. If you are too slow to respond, this will not only affect customer service satisfaction but can drive clients away from you and to a competitor who is more available to meet their needs.
You should have a support team covering all communication channels, and be ready to help out. However, if you have too many clients and not enough reps, being quick to respond on any channel can become a hurdle.
The most obvious solution, of course, will be to hire more people. But, if you can’t do that at the moment, there are a few other ways to overcome the issue and stay available to your customers.
Offer Different Levels of Support
If you offer different plans or account packs, you can tie your customer support services to them and prioritize high-end clients by giving them quicker response times and more contact options. Although your lower-tier customers may not be happy that they have to wait longer, having response times for different plans that are written in black and white will reduce the frustration.
Transparency is very important for earning people’s trust. When they know what to expect and you keep the promised deadlines, people will be happy.
Send Automated Responses
Even if you have customer support timeframes announced on your website it doesn’t mean that people will read them.
When clients contact you on one of your communication channels and you can’t immediately respond, you should send them an automated answer, preferably personalized with their name, informing them when you will get back to them. Be sure to set realistic timeframes and always try to go beyond what you’ve promised.
For example, if you say that you’ll get back to the customer in 24 hours but you contact them in 30 mins, they will be pleasantly surprised by this and feel that you actually care about them and your business. However, if you get back to them in two days instead, the customer will be frustrated regardless of the reasons behind your delay.
Set Up a Chatbot
Chatbots are a great way to deliver 24/7 support and offer easy access to information when there is no human associate available. They can serve as an interactive FAQ page, and depending on how advanced they are, they can provide solutions to easy and moderately complex problems.
However, having a chatbot without a human to back it up is not a good idea. Not everyone enjoys talking to robots and bots are not always capable of understanding the whole problem. Your clients should have the option to switch to live chat at any point in the conversation or book an appointment with a rep when it’s after hours.
Provide Easily Available Self-Help Options
There are two kinds of people in the world – those who ask for help when they need it, and those who avoid it at all costs.
When customers know there is live support available, most people will instantly contact you when they have issues. This saves them time in trying to solve their problems and can provide an instant solution. To them, customer service satisfaction comes from the quality of the support they receive and the comfort of knowing that there is someone out there to help.
For tech companies, there will be clients that are non-tech-savvy and who prefer not to tinker with things they don’t understand. It’s important to be available to these types of clients, but it is equally important to answer the needs of those who want to do it themselves.
Providing educational and self-help resources that are easily available to your customers, will allow them to better understand your product, learn to use it properly, and find solutions to any issues they may encounter, without having to contact your support reps.
Create a FAQ Page
As a tech company, it’s safe to assume that your products may be complex and hard to understand. Providing a comprehensive FAQ page that answers commonly asked questions will save time for both your customers and your support team.
Adding step-by-step video tutorials and guides will also help customers find their way around and give them exactly the kind of customer service satisfaction they need – the tools to do it themselves.
Maintain a Forum
Forums may seem a bit out of date with all the fancy new ways to communicate available, but they are still a viable form of an online community.
A designated discussion space on your website allows people to talk about using products and help each other out, without necessarily having to contact you. And you can still join the conversation with solutions and support at any point.
Of course, you should still cover all other channels where your clients hang out but it’s a nice touch to have your own place where they can ask questions, search for topics, and meet fellow customers.
Build a Knowledge Base
There are many ways to educate people about your products, and keeping them under one roof will be convenient for both you and your customers.
Your knowledge base can be a hub where you organize all the webinars, informational blog posts, tutorials, video guides, workshops, and so on. If the information is well structured, customers will not only be able to find everything they need, they will be impressed by how easy it was to use.
To show that you really care, and to up your customer service satisfaction game, you can provide a suggestion box where customers can leave ideas about new information you may cover. This will help you improve your services by showing you where your customers have encountered issues and need more support.
Customer service satisfaction should be at the core of your business culture. By involving your team in your goals and showing them that you value their input, you will be encouraging them to do their job better and be more productive. This will be reflected in the way they treat customers and will increase the quality of all services you provide.
And how you treat your customers is directly related to how they will treat you. If you care about them, show them respect, and try to satisfy their needs, they will do business with you again and even recommend you to their friends.