10 New Year’s Resolutions for Customer Care Professionals
On the frontlines of browsing chaos, customer care professionals (aka CCPs) are the protectors of brand image, the first-responders in times of trouble, and the superheroes of a meaningful experience.
But without the right knowledge, tools, and empowerment, customer care will suffer. Think: a Jedi without her lightsaber — the results aren’t pretty.
As we celebrate the new year, we asked our customer care experts how they stay motivated to offer the best service day in and day out. Below, I’ve shared 10 of our most-effective tips for more memorable consumer engagement.
Enjoy — and happy New Year from our team to yours!
Our 10 best practices to be a customer service superhero in 2016.
1. Never make them wait. Consumers have high expectations for immediacy and relevance. The average consumer won’t wait more than 76 seconds before looking somewhere else for help. Plus, you don’t want to wind up on BuzzFeed for your outrageous lack of support — or in this case an eight-hour hold time.
2. Own the conversation. Commit to finding a quick solution by asking specific questions like, “Have you tried __?” or, “What’s your ideal outcome?” Hold a steadfast conversation to ensure the solution is clear and the problem is resolved. And don’t forget to add a personal touch! Consumer trust begins and ends with a positive human-to-human relationship.
>> Related read: How to Have a Great Conversation with Anyone
3. Find the right mix of professional and personal language. We all love emojis…but consider the audience before you hit “send.” Consumers want to feel they’re in friendly but capable hands. Seasoned CCPs keep context in mind. Find a good balance of warm and positive language, use proper grammar and spelling, and avoid negative or passive phrases.
4. Read between the lines. To be truly helpful, CCPs need to do more than simply answer questions — they need to connect with consumers and consider the “why” behind each issue. Responding thoroughly with a deep understanding of the situation will keep customers content.
>> Recommended: Start With Why, Simon Sinek
5. Master the art of multitasking. The most-successful CCPs have meaningful conversations with multiple customers at once. In addition to seamlessly navigating between chats, they use a robust toolkit (CRM, websites, product manuals, etc.) to give the most-accurate and thorough service possible.
6. Stay in channel. Today’s consumer journey can take place on many screens, across apps and websites. The best brands and professionals provide a seamless experience by offering help in the channel of the consumer’s choice — whether mobile, desktop, or social.
7. Give relevant feedback. Listen and respond to the consumer’s needs in the most-helpful way possible by reviewing behavioral history and looking up specific answers as necessary. It’s all about adding value to the consumers’ journeys and satisfying their needs.
8. Consider the big picture. Meaningful digital engagement can lead to more than in-the-moment sales. The customer experience is a critical part of strategy, and CCPs have the opportunity to promote company culture, build customer loyalty, and nurture brand image. The impact of a meaningful connection is real — the probability of selling to an existing, happy consumer is 14x higher than that of selling to someone new. Another bonus: On average, happy customers tell nine people about their experiences.
9. Be a forever student. Knowledge is power, and the most-successful agents stay up-to-date on the latest business, products, processes, systems, and policy information to empower and support customers throughout their digital journeys.
Tip: Be mindful of the thin line between confident and condescending. Part of being an expert is empowering others with your knowledge.
10. Lastly, be human. Communicating with machines is a long and lonely experience. But unlike machines, we can act quickly with empathy, warmth, and patience — giving consumers the personal, more meaningful connection they crave.
Here at LivePerson, we know that poor customer service is a brand’s kryptonite. That’s why we trust CCPs to save the day!
CCPs, unite! See what it means to be part of the Association for Customer Care Professionals International at ACCPI.org.
For more on CCP New Year’s resolutions, check out our latest infographic.