11 Tips to Share with Your Customer Care Team

Posted by
Barry Lamm
Director, Partner Success
Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 11:45

Truly wonderful, unexpected experiences stick with us — whether it’s a luxurious getaway or a simply  seamless shopping transaction. What’s more, people love to share their stories about them, too.

You probably remember the Morton’s Steakhouse airport delivery that went viral a few years ago. While waiting for his flight, customer service guru Peter Shankman (jokingly) tweeted at Morton’s to request a porterhouse steak upon his arrival at Newark. To his delight and utter surprise, there was a full meal waiting for him (free of charge) when he landed.

He promptly tweeted about it. 

A loyal Morton's gets a surprise welcome home from his favorite restaurant.








Now that is an unforgettable experience — and not just for Peter, but his 100,000+ followers were equally delighted with his story, which was picked up by several news outlets as well.

Other brands surprise their customers in different ways. And you too can create memorable, meaningful experiences (without the full steak dinner) that have the potential to immortalize your brand. In honor of the upcoming Customer Service Week, below are 11 ways customer care professionals (CCPs) provide amazing service at every encounter.

Go above and beyond with exceptional customer care.

1. Drop the jargon. Those trade terms might impress your boss, but they’ll be lost on your customer’s deaf ears. They just want to find a solution as quickly as possible and will gloss over confusing technical talk that’s foreign to them. Speak in laymen’s terms and remember who your audience is.

2. Share your purpose. The best brands live out their mission in everything they do. Take TOMS: When you buy a pair of its shoes, the brand donates another pair to a child living in poverty. In turn, customers feel connected to the brand, its mission, and that every time they make a purchase, they’re personally doing good, too. CCPs that can relay the why behind the product or service can strengthen the bond between brand and consumer.

3. Practice gratitude. No brand sees success without its customers! Find new ways to show you appreciate them, whether it’s quarterly giveaways, a loyalty program, or friendly and trusted customer care they can rely on at every turn.

4. Respond in-channel. Don’t make consumers channel-hop. Provide support where the consumer already is — whether it’s desktop, mobile, or social. You wouldn’t make a customer in your brick-and-mortar store call a contact center, would you? Don’t make someone browsing on their mobile device switch to the computer.

6. Defer to messaging. Just as consumers expect brands to engage where they already are, they also expect it in the most convenient way. And today, that means messaging. The most popular messaging apps have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (Facebook and WhatsApp surpassed a billion between them this year), and these numbers continue to grow.

7. Don’t rush the buying cycle. Don’t you hate it when you Google a question and you’re immediately bombarded with calls to “Buy Now!” or “Request a Demo”? Use behavioral data and insights to recognize where your customer is with respect to the typical journey to purchase so you don’t push them to make a decision before they’re ready.

8. Make self-help an option. Provide relevant, actionable resources for common FAQs, like product guides and how-to articles. Many savvy digital consumers would rather take care of the issue themselves instead of wasting time seeking outside help.

9. Act fast. Immediacy is one of the most critical factors to a high-quality customer experience. On social media for example, nearly half of consumers expect to hear back within 60 minutes, and 67% of them expect a response the same day. The longer you leave a customer waiting, the more likely it is you’ll lose their business.

10. Seek out opportunities to go above and beyond. Like the Morton’s example, take advantage of opportunities to truly amaze. Thanks to social media, it can pay off: Customers like to share compliments as much as they do complaints. Which do you want your customers to share?

>> Related read: This Employee — Not the CEO — Is the Most Important Person in Your Company

10. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. As the age-old maxim goes, treat others as you’d like to be treated. Every CCP is also a consumer, so think about your best experiences with brands. Remember: There’s an individual on the other side, and we all crave personal, one-on-one engagement. Being relatable and showing empathy will go a long way.

11. Ask yourself, “Is this truly helpful?” One way to guarantee customer frustration is repetition — on their end or yours. The best CCPs know how to listen and ask the right questions to understand a customer’s needs the first time. Furthermore, the right tech can answer some questions without having to ask!

Good or bad, the customer experience has an extremely strong grip on our brand perception. Whether it’s a Target employee giving a pre-interview pep talk, JetBlue humanizing its Twitter account, or Citigroup proactively engaging customers online, the customer care teams on the front lines are among the most important people in an organization. It’s vital to empower them with tools and resources (like this) they can use to put the brand’s best foot forward. Your customers will reward you by remaining loyal...and sharing their stories.  

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