Don’t you hate it when you receive terrible customer service from a business? You start to wonder who in the world trained these employees or how are they still in business? I know these questions ponder my mind when I encounter issues. I tell myself, I could do their job better than they can but then I also remember it may actually not be their fault. Often times these customer service centers are based overseas with multiple office in different parts of the world. If you are one of those companies who do so, it is important to get each team on the same page. Let’s take a look at these 8 ways to help improve your customer service team and company as a whole.
1. Starts With Management.
Without a proper management system, your customer service team will be all over the place. Your employees will be on different pages and trying to achieve different objectives. Ensure you have a high-level managerial structure in play to help keep your team aligned and pushed in the right direction. Strong management will help oversee the day-to-day activities, review what’s working, and keep everyone focused on the customer service aspect. Putting the customer first and knowing what it takes to bring award winning service to the table is what it is all about.
Take your current or previous job for example. How do you know what tasks need to be done or what direction you need to go? You are given objectives and goals by your supervisors. These are the people who help keep your marketplace up and running. Without them, who knows if you will even have a job.
2. Lead By Example.
Nothing is more moving than your own CEO getting down to do the dirty work. Whether that is grabbing the phone to help your support team, taking clients out to lunch, or helping your development team. These are all signs of a great leader who is not just sitting back while others do the work for him. Seeing your CEO do the little things can help your team get out of a slump or put them in a position to work harder. Knowing their leader is involved in the day-to-day grind is something many can respect.
This is something I can greatly relate to here at Marketplace Platform. Our CEO, isn’t sitting back in his office chair but rather heavily involved in every aspect of our business. From the sales, engineering, and customer support just to name a few. He stays up to date with everything that is going on with our teams and loves to share his input when possible. The passion and drive he brings to the table rubs off on each and everyone of us. This is what makes working for the company such a great experience.
3. Flexibility Within.
Teams get dozens if not hundreds of customer service tickets on a daily basis (depending on the scale of your marketplace). It’s tough to distinguish and go through each one in a timely manner but it eventually has to get done. While each and every one is important to get to, there are some that need to take precedent over others. For example if you are tasked with customer tickets, one not receiving their product after being promised so a full week after or one looking to update their account information, you must help the one who did not receive their product. Putting a priority level to the tickets your team receives can help get through what should be tackled first. Start labeling the smaller ones level 1, while going to to level 4 being high priority.
4. Service Line Available.
While technological advancements have helped companies save money by using automation and machines, sometimes we still need to speak with a real human being. A few months ago I was having issues with my Apple Watch. I tried their online chat service and while it was easy to use, I could not get my issue resolved. The person (could be automated) I was chatting with was having difficulty with my problem and was directed to call a different support line. Once I got on the phone, my issue was fixed in a matter of minutes. Now if I had that number to begin with, it would have saved me the headache and time. Keep a phone number available for people to call rather than strictly email. Some issues need a person to chat with to fully understand what is going on rather than just a machine automated to respond.
5. Social Media Power.
I would be very shocked if you were to tell me you did not have a social media account for your marketplace. Whether it is Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter it is a must to have at least one of these. How else will people find you besides your website? Let’s face it, when there’s an issue people resort to social media to file their complaints for others to see it. Knowing that thousands of other people can potentially see your issue and putting the company on the spot to see how they handle it has become the way things are handled now. Will the company ignore you or work to help you solve your issues? Let social media become an extended service line for your team to use. This is a great way to funnel out what needs the extra attention and what doesn’t. By all means, you must answer to each issue but how your team takes the next steps is vitally important.
6. Transparency With Your Team.
Often times teams within your organization are so caught up with what they are doing that they fail to communicate with others. Whether you are on the customer service or sales team, people need to be transparent with one another. I am not saying you have to update each other after every customer you come across but setting up weekly meetings is a good start. This will give teams a chance to share information and feedback with the rest of your marketplace. All the information may not be relevant to one at the time, but it may come in handy later on.
Have you ever called a store, mentioned the special pricing coupon you received in an email, and the receptionist had no idea what you were talking about? That is a clear sign the company lacks communication and looks bad on their part. A simple call like that can make or break the decision of potential buyers.
7. Proper Training.
Being a startup, it can be very easy to skip this step and throw new members right into the fire. With tight budgets, limited staff, and in most cases no human resources department it can be difficult. Once a new employee starts, give them a day to get acquainted and then follow up with a few days of training. This will give new hires a chance to get comfortable and bring any questions they have to the training sessions. Keep trainees away from the phones and speaking to customers until they have completed the training sessions to keep any mishaps from occurring. Keep an employee handbook handy for each new hire to ensure they are all getting the same information. Guide them in the right direction from the start and it will pay off down the line.
8. Survey Your Customers.
No business or organization is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Don’t blind yourselves and think your company is any different. Add an optional survey at the end of every call with a team member to help fix any issues with your employees. If you see a trend in the surveys, look to make some changes to help improve the experience for customers. Take every survey into consideration whether it is good or bad to see what each individual can improve on. When a glowing review is turned in, be sure to acknowledge that employee and show that their hard work is paying off. It doesn’t hurt to throw a little bonus in here or there as well.
While you look for more ways to improve your customer service as a whole, start with the basics. Don’t look too hard into creating a top service team or strategy. A strong base of hard working and motivated workers is where you want to start. Take a moment to ask yourself, “Do I currently have that within my team?” If you have to think hard about that, then it may be time to make some changes.
Do you have any customer service tips you would like to share with us? We’re always looking to learn more and help our community. Drop us a note on social media by visiting our pages: