Why Customer Service Experience is Vital in Boosting Customer Satisfaction


Customer service is important for your brand in the digital era. It can either help or damage your brand. While a simple gesture of replacing a product or a prompt refund with a nice note can quickly get you visibility and more orders, one bad customer interaction can also get you brickbats and spiral into a PR crisis within hours. 

What is Customer Service Experience?

Customer service experience is how they feel after an interaction with your company. Interactions can be visiting your website or store, buying a product, returning a product, requesting a refund, or contacting customer support. While a trouble-free, simple, and smooth interaction leads to a pleasant and positive experience for the customer, an inadequate, slow, and indifferent interaction often leads to a negative customer service experience.

Benefits of Customer Service Experience

In a global market, customer service can be a differentiator between your product and the rest of the market. Investing in the resources to provide a positive customer service experience is crucial for any product in the B2B and B2C segments. 

1. Trust and Relationship Development

 A good customer service experience is critical in developing trust and fostering strong customer relationships. When customers feel valued and supported throughout their interactions with a company, they start trusting the brand. Companies can build credibility and reliability by demonstrating their commitment to customer satisfaction. Customers who repeatedly receive exceptional service feel cared for and are more likely to become repeat customers.

2. Strong brand differentiation establishment

In industries like hospitality, FMCG, SaaS, Retail, and fashion, where competition is intense, a customer experience can become a strong brand differentiator. Companies that invest in a positive customer experience always have an edge over their competition. Customer experience is also something customers consider while looking at a product’s pricing and quality. 

In the case of luxury goods, the way a salesperson approaches a new customer can greatly influence whether or not the customer decides to buy a product from them. Readily available and accurate information online, such as a help section or knowledge base on handling a stain, tear, or repair on their product, makes a difference. 

3. Product and service improvement

A positive customer service experience can significantly improve both products and services. Customers who receive exceptional service provide constructive feedback. By listening attentively to customer concerns and suggestions, businesses gain valuable insights into areas with scope for improvement. 

4. Positive word of mouth and loyal advocates

A satisfied customer who just received an out-of-the-box experience will likely talk about it to friends and relatives and, even better, post it on social media. In today’s digital age, where people live on social media, updating every small incident, a “wow experience” will be a hit. This will lead to all their followers checking out your product positively. 

When a customer has a great service experience, they become a loyal advocate of your product.

What it Takes to Create Excellent Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is key to achieving customer retention. Customers will get frustrated if you cannot provide support and guidance during and post-sales. Some key things to keep in mind while trying to provide excellent customer service would be:

1. Understand your customers

The first step would be to take the time to understand your customers’ needs and pain points. Figure out the best way to attend to them, either by offering them the right product, subscription, or a way to troubleshoot. To better serve your customers, it is important to remember their background in age, probable usage, technological aptitude, and location.

2. Get feedback from customers

Choose a customer support tool to generate a feedback survey after attending to the customer. This lets you know if the customer is happy or not after the service experience, which allows you to follow up if the score is low immediately. The follow-up action can be an email or a call. This helps you convert a negative experience into a positive one.

3. Provide different communication methods

Provide omnichannel support so that customers can contact you through another channel if one system fails. Most businesses should have a self-service platform where customers can go online and find answers to most of their queries. The platform could host a chatbot to help customers find the solution. Besides this, Personalized Recommendations, allows companies to suggest products or services based on a customer’s browsing or purchase history, creating a personalized shopping experience. A survey by NICEinContact found that 90% of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that offer multiple ways to communicate.

4. React quickly to any questions

Respond promptly to customer inquiries through phone calls, emails, live chats, or social media. Avoid making customers wait unnecessarily and strive to resolve their issues by assisting in a timely manner.  Surveys have found that 52% of customers chose quick replies as the most critical attribute of good customer service.  A Forrester study found that 77% of customers felt that companies need to value their time most.

5. Enhance workflow management

Managing processes and workflows can significantly enhance customer experience by improving efficiency, transparency, and responsiveness. It  allows you to prioritize tasks based on customer needs and urgency. By focusing on high-priority items, you ensure that critical customer issues are addressed promptly. Say, for example tools using tools like Kanban Zone provide a visual representation of tasks, stages, and progress. This clarity allows your team to track and manage customer requests, inquiries, and issues more effectively, minimizing confusion and delays.

Make it easy to get assistance. Customers want to be able to get help easily. Statistics show that 96% of customers who had to put in much effort to get help become disloyal to the brand. Work on removing all obstacles between you and your customers in the form of complex contact forms and escalations.  Few other ways that can make it easier for customers to get help:

  • Creating an easy-to-navigate knowledge base where customers can help themselves
  • Make it easy for customers to contact you through in-app support like live chat and displaying your contact information in easy-to-find locations

6. Create a caring culture

Create a culture where your employees care for your customers. Make people understand the importance of customer satisfaction and providing a positive customer service experience. One way is to sound friendly and reassuring during interactions, being patient and empathizing with an irate or stressed-out customer while trying to find a solution. Some ways to create a culture of caring would be

  • Screening canditates in customer service is a crucial process to ensure that you hire the right individuals who can effectively represent your company and provide excellent service to your customers.
  • During interviews, evaluate candidates’ ability to listen actively, articulate clearly, and adapt their communication style to different customer personalities.
  • Use behavioral interview questions to gauge how candidates have handled specific situations in the past, this can provide insights into their problem-solving abilities.
  • Ask candidates questions like how they have improved the lives of their customers in their earlier roles. 
  • How do they respond to an angry customer?  

7. Employee empowerment

Once you create a culture of being “customer-obsessed,” it’s important that every employee takes ownership of making every customer feel satisfied. One way is to make every person see how they contribute to customer satisfaction and happiness. 

Customer support and happiness team staff should also be given the autonomy to decide when to go the extra mile to ensure a customer is satisfied. This can include connecting customers to technical staff in case of a complication, providing free usage of integration or extension, etc.

8. Connect emotionally and empathize

Demonstrate empathy when handling a customer. Motivate your employees to put themselves in the customers’ shoes to understand their perspective and show genuine concern for their needs and concerns. Pay attention to their body language, words, and tone to connect emotionally to respond better. Customers who are empathized with feel cared for by the company leading to a positive customer experience. 

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Best Examples of Customer Service Experience

  • When the AI-driven asset management platform, Symphony Summit, signed up with Document360 to set up its online knowledge base, the technical writing team found it challenging to customize the homepage to make it look like an extension of its product website. Once Document360’s customer happiness team realized that the page was yet to go live, they proactively contacted Symphony Summit. They brought in technical support immediately to help customize their homepage to their liking. Symphony Summit later put up a note praising the proactive customer support team at Document360 and prompt help.
netflix customer service page
  • Much of Netflix’s success can be attributed to its personalized recommendation, constant content updates, and intuitive user interface. All this has led to its users enjoying a superior experience to its users consistently, which has led the streaming platform to have a highly engaged, loyal customer base and a steady stream of new subscribers.
barkbox customer service examples
  • An online pet store, BarkBox, a while ago impressed one of its customers, Melissa, by going head and tails to apologise for an issue. Melissa’s dog Cricket managed to ingest pieces of one of their toys meant for heavy chewers. Melissa got upset; she ended up with a sad pup and a substantial veterinary bill. But when Melissa contacted BarkBox, they managed to turn the situation around. BarkBox reimbursed her veterinary bill completely, refunded her for the toy and sent a new super-chewer toy and apologized. A delighted Melissa wrote about the whole incident and experience on social media. The post on Facebook has been shared 78,000 times and has over 100,000 likes!
  • When Reddit user hekabip had a hardware and software issue with their new guitar pedal, he contacted Source Audio and expected a response within 2-3 days. However, they responded within 20 minutes, perfectly troubleshooting the software issue and couriering a replacement for the hardware part. Hekabip immediately posted his experience on Reddit, leading to other users adding their great experiences with Source Audio. Such kind of customer advocacy is what brands should target.
  • A few years ago, a customer who travelled first-class in a Virgin Atlantic flight had written a letter to the airline’s founder, Richard Branson, describing his disappointment with the meal. He used humor through phrases like “a sour gel with a clear oil on top”. The letter went viral on the media. But Richard responded with an apology and invited the customer to be a part of Virgin Atlantic’s menu-tasting panel.
  • The Ritz Carlton showed us how employees can improve customer experience. Author John Di Julius, during his stay at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota, had accidentally left his laptop charger behind. He had planned to call the hotel once he got back into his office. However, before he could, he received a next-day courier from the hotel with his charger and an extra charger for his laptop. There was also a note from Larry K Kinney from loss prevention, saying he wanted to ensure the author got his charger immediately.

3 Top Customer Service Strategies

The formulation of a customer service experience (CX) strategy involves the definition, formulation, and documentation of a comprehensive organizational approach aimed at improving customer satisfaction, ultimately contributing to achieving business objectives. 

1. Find a way to measure, prioritize, and scale customer service experience

Come up with a way to measure the impact of your customer experience strategy to understand which strategy contributes most to improving customer experience. This can be done with customer satisfaction (CSAT) questionnaires, post-service customer effort score (CES) surveys, etc.
ML-powered predicted analytics or AI-powered technology platforms can be used to pick up behavioral signals that predict negative behavior.

Identify and scale up the most impactful customer experience strategy efficiently. 

2. Refocus on the UX to deliver a “human” experience.

In the everything-as-a-service economy, every company needs to pay attention to user experience, when self-service is involved. A 2019 survey by SOTI found 73% of respondents Favor self-service checkout options. 

It’s important that self-service is designed to be simple, instinctive, and requires the least effort to “figure out”. Leveraging human instincts for websites and software engagement is crucial to delivering a great user experience. Many AI and ML tools are available today, but customers expect a more authentic and human experience.

3. Explore all available sources of CX intelligence

To be customer-centric, listening to your customer’s needs and incorporating them into your product or service is important. You can do this by tapping into real-time intel and feedback besides what you get on NPS surveys. One such resource is your customer-facing employees because they interact with customers daily, listen to the pain points and understand their requirements.

Conclusion

Remember, providing excellent customer service is an ongoing effort that requires consistency, dedication, and a customer-centric approach. By focusing on these key elements, you can foster customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and long-term success for your organization.

This was a guest blog. Please review our guest blog disclaimer.

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About the Author: Sai Dheepika

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Dheepika is a passionate writer and self-motivated content creator. She produces content whenever and wherever she can. If not, she's planting trees!