Top 10 skills you must know to improve the quality of your Customer Service team
Nowadays, the competition in every industry is fierce. In addition to paying attention to the quality of products and services, customers have also set high expectations for customer service (CS) teams. However, in the 21st century, is the customer service team only responsible for dealing with customer inquiries and complaints? If not, how should the company improve the quality of the CS team?
The composition and job scope of the traditional customer service department
The traditional customer service department mainly handles email or telephone enquiries and complaints from customers. Therefore, the characteristics of traditional account and CS managers hired by companies are people with quick response times, high organizational skills, strong communication skills, patience, and empathy.
As customers vary in terms of temperament and personalities, the account manager must know how to deal with each customer based on past experiences in handling complaints and provide a consistent customer service experience to everyone.
How to transform from “Customer Service” to “Customer Success”?
The title of “Customer Success Manager” (CSM) was unheard of ten years ago. However, a study in 2019 stated that among 109 high-tech company employees interviewed, more than 40% said they have CSM. Coincidentally, the LinkedIn survey also indicated that CSM is the second most promising sales job in 2019, second only to the Enterprise Account Executive.
Unlike traditional customer experience, CSM does not only handle complaints, but also provides customers with information, transaction services, business acceptance and suggestions, and also needs to conduct market research and marketing duties.
In fact, customer service is like an engine that affects the production chain and is closely linked with marketing, technical operation, and brand reputation. It is by no means trivial. Therefore, Customer Service Managers need to be detail-oriented and have a good understanding of the company’s product functions, use processes, and manufacturing processes.
So, how can companies make use of technology to improve customer service quality? SleekFlow is going to show you 4 popular customer service skills and demonstrate how to integrate with software and tools to maximize marketing effectiveness:
1. Build your strongest community on social media
E-commerce is nothing new, and social commerce is now and the future. With more and more social media platforms, consumers and merchants have grown accustomed to using Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube as the medium of transaction services and products. That’s why Facebook created a marketplace and Instagram created a shop tab.
Traditional e-commerce focuses on the value of the product itself, while social e-commerce uses the characteristics of social media to naturally increase the interaction and trust between consumers and brands. More importantly, to build a rapport with consumers. That’s absolutely the goal of customer service, right?
Our marketing or customer service team should not ignore these customer touchpoints. Social media interaction through word-of-mouth communication, celebrity influence, and promoting sales with “Comment, Like, Share.” can be way more effective than you can imagine.
2. Be present on the right instant messaging channels
Instant messaging software – another set of must-have tools that are critical for the success of the customer service team. Research shows that over 56% of the global messaging users used the messaging platform to ask businesses for more information. Instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Wechat and Line, can be used as a channel for customers to approach commerce for business inquiries, or vice versa, for businesses to send customers their products information.
Every business starts with a conversation. Have you ever connected with some businesses using WhatsApp, like booking for a salon treatment or inquiring about prices?
Communicating on an instant messaging platform is every customers’ daily routine. Understanding your customers and complying with their habits will narrow the gap between you and your customers. Customers will hence feel valued and more willing to spend on your brand.
Again, that’s customer service!
3. Choose the right tool for both internal and external communication
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many companies have adopted a remote office. Remote work requires efficient internal communication software to virtually connect multiple departments and individuals.
(If you don’t believe the significance of it, check how the stock prices of communication software go during pandemics.)
Combining the most popular social messaging platforms, SleekFlow allows companies to manage customers’ conversations together. Managerial levels can also assign conversations to different teammates to enhance team collaborations.
In addition, employees can also communicate with each other using internal notes so as to work strategically and improve the coordination and efficiency of the customer service team while maintaining the consistency of the customer experience.
Almost 100% of our customers contact us via WhatsApp. Some might come from Instagram or Facebook. That’s why we need an all-in-one platform where we can combine all the social channels into one place. SleekFlow also allows our team members to transfer customer’s chats internally which enhances the collaboration.
Cheuk Ying Wong
Founder of Weirdo Beauty/ SleekFlow user
Check out how the beauty salon Weirdo Beauty quadruples its business despite pandemics: Weirdo Beauty’s 24/7 virtual concierge
4. Utilizing Messaging Add-Ons
There are several Add-Ons that you may, or frankly speaking, you SHOULD use in your social messaging app:
Other than copy and paste, there is an easier way to deal with those repeatedly asked questions. Like in the SleekFlow platform, you can set a list of quick replies/FAQs. Those repeatedly asked questions can be settled with 1 click in less than a second.
Chatbot that helps you to reply to your customers automatically. Here is a guide about the quickest reply you can get. WhatsApp Chatbot Autoreply.
Live Chat allows you to provide immediate customer support on your eCommerce website. Aside from their functionality, they can be more efficient and reliable than humans to assure your customer a perfect purchasing experience. It can also connect to your social messaging channels!
5. Understanding your customers through means other than analytic tools–review
When it comes to understanding something, data analysis is inevitable. To understand online behaviors, tools like Google Analytics are powerful.
Other than sophisticated tools, reviews, or genuine customer feedback and even complaints are the gold mine. Complaints can be the lesson learned for your customer service team. This is the reason why you should have as many places for customers to type in or leave their feedback as possible.
Inserting review sessions are easier than you think. There are many ready-to-use plug-ins or SaaS products for you to display business reviews on your website.
Do you know how Amazon ran ahead of other counterparts? It’s because of the review session they added for their marketplace. The review builds confidence for customers and leads to reputation. These are the long-term assets no one can steal away from you.
6. Answer the customers quickly
As consumers’ expectations towards customer service increase, HubSpot has pointed out that 82% of customers believe that “immediate response” is very important, and 60% of consumers believe that response within 10 minutes is considered a quick response. Some e-merchants stated that if they put a customer on hold for more than 10 minutes, they would have lost the customer.
Therefore, companies should consider automating their sales, support, and marketing funnels with the use of chatbots. This way, companies would then be able to automatically qualify leads and route different conversations to the right teammates so as to provide them with timely yet relevant information and help.
Apart from this, businesses will also be able to set up auto-reply messages so that even if a customer query comes in after business hours, an “Away” message will automatically be sent to notify the customers of your business hours. At least customers have an expectation of when they will get a reply.
Remember, the worst response is no response.
7. Provide personalized service
Thanks to the rapid development of technology, there are more and more similar products and services in the market. To stand out, you should improve the level of communication between frontline sales and customers. This way you will be able to explore more customer insights, increase customer conversion rates and provide a “unique” product or service experience based on the customer’s personal preferences so as to increase brand loyalty. But first, you need to know your customers well.
For example, since SleekFlow has a labeling function, companies can automatically send personalized campaign messages (addressing the clients’ names) to a segmented list of customers with a certain label through WhatsApp, offering them birthday promotions, New Year greetings, membership updates, and even information on flash sales and promo codes.
8. Offer continuous support throughout the selling process
Giving your customer a quick and accurate answer is important. However, knowing how to take care of your customers meticulously throughout the whole selling process is also a skill to be reckoned with.
Once customers have made up their minds to seek help from you, they wish to grab every bit of attention from you as they now see themselves as a prominent guests of your company.
You can make use of widgets like Live Chat. When your customer success team is online, they can reply to customers’ answers directly. Just like in a physical store, you can seek help from a friendly store manager while for the eCommerce store, you will be greeted by the live chat. What’s more, SleekFlow’s Live Chat has pop-up message functions. Different messages can be popped up on different pages.
For example, on the payment checkout page, a pop-up message about the aftersale service can be shown.
9. Streamline query workflow
Systemically allocating and distributing tasks to the customer support team members will smoothen the whole customer service process.
With SleekFlow’s collaborator, you can now even cooperate with your teammates to reply to the same customer together, and each of you would receive notifications on your cell phones via your mobile SleekFlow app. Access and right to assign can be designed depends on the user admin level.
10. Teamwork is king. Build a knowledge base for customer success.
The foremost action that your team should take to transform “customer service” to “customer success” is to consolidate teamwork within your business.
A knowledge base generated from the whole team can consist of useful materials such as previous conversations of both happy clients and unhappy clients. The chat history of CS staff is valuable to the company. Take a step away and try to give more rather than internal cases. You can consider adding external resources and materials to your knowledge base from various educational platforms and turn to Studocu file-sharing education platform, which can also be used for training purposes. You might have archived your email history and many corporates would record the phone recording between the CS and customers. What about the social messages? You should also keep a record of that!