Customer-centric brands are laser-focused on providing great experiences to their shoppers. And for good reason. Consumers that have good experiences with a brand become loyal. What’s more, these happy shoppers are likely to spread the word about their great experiences. This, of course, leads to sales growth for the brand. In fact, according to an article from Forbes, brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors.
But delivering a great customer experience isn’t as simple as developing products your shoppers love. Instead, a customer’s experience is built on every single touchpoint they have with your brand before, during and after a sale. That includes the experience a shopper has when something goes wrong and they reach out to your customer care team to make things right.
Your customer care team plays a big role in delivering great experiences and building your brand’s reputation. But their jobs aren’t always easy.
In this post, we’ll explore the critical role customer care teams play in building a brand’s reputation and share seven tips for building a great customer care team that is empowered to deliver great experiences.
The Critical Role of Customer Care Teams
Today’s shoppers have high expectations. A study from HubSpot found that when they’re looking for customer service support, 72% of consumers expect a response within 30 minutes. And they want to be treated like a person, rather than a number. A study from American Express found that 47% of consumers consider personalized service an important element of their customer care experiences.
Brands that deliver on these expectations are rewarded with loyal shoppers who tell others about their good experiences. A study from HubSpot found that a whopping 93% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from companies that offer great customer service. And according to the Temkin Group, 77% of consumers would recommend a company to a friend after having a positive experience. What’s more, satisfied shoppers are likely to leave positive reviews for a brand and its products, which contributes to a strong online reputation.
On the other hand, brands that fail to deliver great customer service experiences are penalized.
For one, a shopper that has a negative experience with your customer care team will likely steer clear of your brand in the future. According to American Express, a third of American consumers will consider switching companies after just one instance of poor service.
What’s more, negative experiences can damage your brand’s reputation. American Express also found that on average, consumers tell 15 people about bad service experiences. These unhappy shoppers may also write negative reviews, which can damage a brand’s hard-earned reputation.
7 Tips for Building a Stellar Customer Care Team
A shopper’s interaction with your customer service team can make or break their entire experience with your brand. It’s critical to build a team that’s empowered to consistently deliver great experiences.
Not sure where to start? Let’s explore seven tips that’ll help you build a customer service team your shoppers love.
1. Manage Your Employer Reputation
In most cases, a job candidate will research your company before applying for a position. Be sure you know what’s being said about your brand online.
If you’re not already, start actively managing the reviews written by current and previous employees on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. If the reviews are less-than-stellar, look for common themes that can help you improve. And be ready to address those issues in job interviews.
Finally, be sure to encourage your current employees -- especially those in customer service -- to submit reviews on these sites. That way, candidates will get a better picture of what it’s like to work for your brand.
2. Hire the Right People
Sure, you might have dozens of resumes in your inbox for a customer service role. But finding the right customer service representatives for your company isn’t always easy. After all, someone might have a dozen years of customer service experience. But if they seem to have a lousy attitude, they’re probably not the right fit.
Ask questions during the interview process that’ll help you determine whether a candidate has the characteristics needed to be a good fit for your brand and your team. One way to do this is to present them with a specific customer service scenario and ask how they’d solve the problem. Also, ask them questions that require them to tell a story in order to answer.
In addition, consider having candidates interview with another employee in the same role. The candidate will get a better idea of what a day-in-the-life is like. And the employee can help assess whether the candidate is the right fit for the position.
Remember: you can always train on skills a great candidate lacks -- such as using a specific help desk software. Instead, focus on finding customer service professionals that have great attitudes, are good communicators, and are ready to help solve problems and deliver great experiences your shoppers will love.
3. Develop a Great Onboarding Program
According to an article from Forbes, up to 20% of staff turnover can happen within the first 45 days. A key way to prevent this from happening is to develop a great onboarding program.
Make sure your new employees feel welcome and understand the role they play in your company’s success from day one. Develop a training schedule that gets them up to speed on everything they need to do their jobs well, without overwhelming them. And consider partnering up new employees with someone who’s been at the company awhile so they always have someone (in addition to their manager) to turn to with questions.
4. Provide the Right Tools
Your people are the most important element of your team. But with the right technology, they’re better positioned to deliver great service.
For example, if your reps have access to your customer relationship management (CRM) software, they can see a summary of past interactions, which allows them to provide more personalized support. And with reputation management software, reps can manage all customer service cases from one location -- regardless of whether the cases originated from email, chat, phone, or even a product review.
In addition, be sure you’re providing your customer service representatives with agile workspaces and user permission sets, which only gives them access to what they need to do their jobs. You should also provide templates to use when solving customer issues and a process that determines whether a response requires manager approval. Approvals can help keep your brand voice consistent and ensure your brand is providing accurate information to customers.
5. Share Ongoing Feedback
Of course, it’s important to continuously track your reps’ performance. But don’t wait until their annual performance reviews to share your feedback. Instead, provide ongoing feedback and coaching to help your reps improve. Brands using live reports and dashboards are able to track performance in real-time.
In addition, be sure to have conversations with each team member to understand their career goals. When possible, provide them with development opportunities that align with these goals. For example, if they have a strong interest in another functional area of your organization, arrange for them to shadow a team member in that area.
6. Show Your Support
Your team is dedicated to supporting customers. But it’s also important to let your team know you support them.
Ask for your team members’ feedback and ideas on a regular basis. And put those ideas into practice when it makes sense.
Finally, let your teams know that you’ve got their backs and that you -- and the entire company -- have no tolerance for verbally abusive customers.
7. Celebrate Successes
People want to work for employers that value and appreciate them. Yet according to a Harvard Business review article, 82% of employed Americans don’t feel they are recognized enough for their contributions.
Be sure to recognize your employees when they go above and beyond. The same article reported that 40% of employed Americans would put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
Let’s say a customer has an issue. After working with one of your team members, their issue is resolved. And they’re so pleased with the resolution that they give the team member a shout out on social media. Thank the employee by taking them out to lunch. Give the employee a shout out at your next team meeting. A little more recognition can go a long way.
After all, happy customer service teams = happy customers.
Start Delivering Winning Customer Service Experiences
Your customer service team plays an important role in building your brand’s reputation. Brands that fail to deliver great customer service experiences risk lost sales and a damaged reputation.
Now’s the time to focus on building a customer service team that’s empowered to deliver great experiences to your shoppers. Curious how Reputation Studio can help make your reps more effective and efficient? Contact us to schedule a demo today.