Succeeding Through Strong Customer Service
Humanity has made huge leaps in what we can do with technology, but for some jobs, you still need a real person. For instance, when it comes to customer service, 75% of customers say they’d prefer to interact with a real person even as technology improves.
The reason for this overwhelming preference is simple — whilst automation has definite advantages, technology can’t yet replicate the level of assistance a real human with strong customer service skills can provide.
We’ll be examining the link between these strong customer service skills and the overall success of a business, investigating how helpful staff can help a business retain customers, improve customer loyalty, and create a better customer experience. On top of that, we’ll look at how a business can ensure it employs customer service experts.
The Human Element in Customer Service
Why Human-Centric Customer Service is Important
Did you know that four out of five consumers prefer human operators to electronic systems? The linked study explains the primary reasons why: real people are generally able to provide more thorough explanations of solutions, and display more understanding when dealing with customer issues.
Real people as opposed to digital solutions are able to handle calls with empathy, something that’s increasingly in demand with the COVID-19 pandemic and cost of living increases pushing more and more people into the vulnerable category.
That said, there’s also a place for automation in customer service. Software tools like chatbots provide huge benefits to users, such as improved efficiency and 24/7 availability for customers in need.
So how do you find the right balance?
Omnichannel Customer Service
Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers on average, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement. So when determining a contact strategy, businesses may want to consider a varied approach to customer service.
To maximise the benefits of your employees’ strong customer service skills, try to ensure that customers are able to engage with individuals who can provide the same level of expert service regardless of the communications platform used. An omnichannel interaction will continue across multiple channels of communication, so by having expert staff available at each customer touchpoint, interactions will be both seamless and enjoyable for the customer.
Omnichannel strategies are also easily combined with automation: whilst humans deal with more complex topics on phone lines, software tools can provide round the clock support and convenient online solutions. Automation is especially helpful when one considers current UK recruitment issues. Over 40% of UK businesses reported recruitment challenges in 2021, so companies may need to leverage the power of automation to make up for low staffing levels. But digital can not eradicate the need for a human touch in certain parts of the customer journey.
The Importance of Good Training
One of the more popular means of ensuring strong customer service skills in employees is ongoing and thorough training but it can be difficult for businesses to identify exactly how to create a training programme that meets their needs.
Quality assurance is a key factor in ensuring effective staff training. By monitoring employee performance on a regular basis, then looping any salient problems back into training, businesses can ensure continuous development. Furthermore, businesses should try not to limit training to their onboarding process — staff will have stronger skills if training is offered throughout their career.
Outsourcing Your Customer Service
For some companies, to guarantee strong customer service skills amongst staff, outsourcing can be a more attractive option than investing in recruitment and training programmes. Outsourcing means that you’ll have access to a skilled workforce very quickly, whereas training can be time consuming and does not guarantee that every staff member will become an expert.
When it comes to outsourcing for customer service, a common concern is that companies won’t have the same level of control over their workforce and brand identity when using outsourced employees. To avoid losing control, it’s important to choose an outsourcing partner that can act as a seamless extension of your brand.
Beat the Competition with Strong Customer Service Skills
An overwhelming 96% of customers say that the strength of a company’s customer service decides whether or not they stay loyal to that company. Prioritising quality customer service is therefore a smart goal for businesses that are seeking to improve their retention rates and ensure success through customer loyalty.
Guaranteed Expertise With Sigma Connected
Are you trying to improve your customer experience?
At Sigma Connected, we offer a range of services to help you achieve this goal, from designing training courses to turn your staff into experts or providing you with expert staff ourselves. We have a proven track record for helping clients meet their goals, and ensuring the best possible experience for their customers. If you’re interested in any of our services, or have any questions about what we can do for you, contact us today