Sometimes I unfortunately think of customer service as a dying art form. I recently had a conversation with a friend who was surprised that a coffee barista genuinely asked him how his day was. Clearly, poor customer service is all too common today.
Here at LKR, we strive to be the complete opposite of this perceived norm. We have a live chat feature on our website that pops up along with my photo and a short message that says “Hi, this is Stacey – Team LKR’s customer relations gal. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with. :)”
Another effective way of interacting with our customers is via Facebook, Twitter, and customer communities. Your peeps are definitely hanging out on these social spaces – why not meet them where they’re already comfortable? Customers and potential customers are pleasantly surprised to have an opportunity to interact with you online.
And so, with that word in mind…here is where I share a list of Five Things to Keep In Mind To Kick Butt in Customer Service:
1. Customers are pleasantly surprised to even hear back from you at all.
Sad but true. Many companies have contact info listed on their website, but when you actually try to contact them, it’s as if your emails and phone calls are being lost in a void (I’m picturing that rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland). Have some rules in place for how soon you will respond to your customers (maybe within 24 or 48 hours) and stick to this rule.
2. Let your customers know they’ve been heard.
I can’t explain how beneficial it is to let your customers know their issue or question has been heard. I find it’s very reassuring for customers when I repeat back to them what they are sharing with me. Whether it be simply stating “I’m sorry to hear that you’re…” before supplying them with an answer or “I understand that you’re…” and repeating back to them my interpretation of their situation, I find this clarity and connection really builds up a customer’s trust in our company. Another note: If I’m confused about what someone is saying/asking, I never make assumptions. Instead, I ask them kindly to further clarify so we’re all on the same page.
3. Put yourself in their shoes.
I treat all customers that I get in touch with the way I’d like to be treated in the same situation. We all know the frustration we feel when we have a credit card issue or when we don’t know how to get something working, and we all know how desperately we want someone to not only understand but treat us with genuine kindness. Taking care of your customers in this way will be something they remember and something they will want to keep coming back to you for. No robots here.
4. Hang out on social media.
Being accessible to your customers via social media is incredibly valuable. It can create a relationship with your customers that allows them to feel they are being seen and valued and will build more familiarity and comfort with you and your biz. After all, all purchases are based on relationships (we buy Crayola crayons over generic crayons because we have a relationship with the brand name) so whatever you can do to nurture your relationship with your customers is essential (and fun!). Just remember to keep your conversations relevant to the platform — Facebook is best for fun, engaging posts, Twitter is great to inform your customers about your industry, and community is best for talking about specific products and services.
5. Life is short.
People want to laugh. Don’t forget to inject a little humor into your customer service. Funny pictures, videos, links to stories, a funny little quip in an email – all of these go a long way and will be remembered. Plus, it will make your job handling customer service more enjoyable for you as well. That being said, click here for a smile.
Stacey Raymond is the customer service maven for LKR Social Media, known for their Creating Fame and Social Media Marketer training programs for entrepreneurs. In addition to her love for customer service with LKR, Stacey is also a critically-acclaimed stage and screen actor. You can follow her on Twitter.