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Peter DeCaprio: How to use customer service and support as a way to retain customers

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Different ways to connect your employees from office and home

Customer service and support is an essential part of the customer experience. Depending on your business, you may provide it as a way to sell additional products or services, retain customers, build loyalty over time and reduce churn. The goal of providing excellent service and support should be to salvage as many customers as possible after they have become dissatisfied with your product or services.

Customer service and support is an essential part of the customer experience. Depending on your business, you may provide it as a way to sell additional products or services, retain customers, build loyalty over time and reduce churn. The goal of providing excellent service and support should be to salvage as many customers as possible after they have become dissatisfied with your product or services.

In this article we will cover the uses of customer service and support as a retention strategy, how to achieve excellence, what cutting costs will do to your customer service, the benefits of self-service, building an effective knowledge base and best practices with regards to agents.

For this article I’m using Customer Service & Support as a general term that includes all forms of after sales care including telephone, email, and video conferencing. I also include self-service within this category.

The Uses of Customer Service and Support as a Retention Strategy

There are six main uses for providing customer service and support: Peter DeCaprio

Answering questions about new features or common problems;

Explaining company policies;

Resolving billing issues;

Handling complaints;

Refunding money for defective products or services;

Offering incentives such as discounts, credits or free upgrades.

In addition, if you provide a service as part of your product offering, finding out what your customers need from the service and becoming an advocate for those needs will help to retain their loyalty to your brand.

How to Achieve Excellence

In order to achieve excellence in any area, it is essential that goals and expectations are set and then adhered to. This means that staff must know what standards you expect them to meet and be aware of how they will be measured. It also means that management must be held accountable for ensuring that staff members have what they need – training, resources, support – in order to do their jobs well. Meeting these goals helps you remain competitive by giving your customers excellent value for money and makes them more likely to remain loyal.

Read more: Googelecom

Cutting Costs Will Do to Your Customer Service

What often happens when companies try to cut costs is that they don’t really reduce spending; they just stop investing in things such as training and support for their employees. This can lead to a decline in staff morale, higher turnover and poor work performance. These factors will directly impact the level of service your customers receive because it will result in longer wait times, increased mishandled calls, poorly researched questions and lower knowledge levels among your customer service personnel.

The Benefits of Self-Service

You’ve probably noticed that there has been an increase in the number of organizations offering self-service options for their customers who require access to information or need to complete transactions with them. Offering self-service options is a win-win situation for both you and your customers. It gives them access to information that allows them to address issues themselves, before they contact your customer service team.

If you are able to resolve at least 60% of customer queries through your knowledge base, then the following benefits will accrue: reduced labor costs; increased levels of customer retention; improved customer satisfaction because resolutions are done quickly without human interaction or escalation; reduced call volume which reduces wait times and keeps customers happy. One caveat – if you have not implemented quality control procedures within your knowledge base, you risk alienating customers by being unable to meet their needs.

Building an Effective Knowledge Base

Studies have shown that the most effective knowledge bases are ‘structured’ rather than “free text” based. A structured KB is much easier for customers to use when they are looking for something specific, or need to complete a transaction. It is also much easier for the support staff because you are able to set up queries that will result in both accurate and consistent responses being returned every time.

There are four key elements that contribute to making your knowledge base successful: speed of response including accuracy of information; ease of use by customers working in multiple languages; self-help options in the event there is no answer within your knowledge base; an easy way to find out what content has been indexed so you can publish additional content if required.

The Role of Agents

When it comes to deciding whether to use agents to handle customer service requests, the advantages are clear. They are able to resolve many queries quickly, they can research more complicated questions and escalate them if necessary, they have access to information that may not be available via other channels and their knowledge of your company helps customers feel confident that their query is being handled by a professional.

Conclusion:

As a business owner, your success is dependent on knowing how to provide great customer service and support. It also means that you have the responsibility of ensuring that everyone in your organization is aware of what’s expected of them. According to Peter DeCaprio You need to know exactly what goals are being met and make sure they understand how their performance will be measured. In addition, customer service must constantly evolve as new technologies emerge, customers’ needs change and new competitors appear on the scene.

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