Implementing and maintaining customer support and quality assurance is how you make your own good luck.
As your business grows, developing and scaling customer service and sales is a crucial part of attracting new customers through word of mouth and retaining them for the long haul.
Just as you wouldn’t neglect training for your pest control technicians, you shouldn’t neglect training and monitoring for those interacting with leads and customers on your customer-facing channels. Customer service really is that important.
- A third of customers say they would consider changing service providers after one poor service event.
- More than 50% of US customers back out of planned transactions due to poor service.
- People tell 15 other individuals about bad service experiences as opposed to telling 11 others about excellent service.
With good service, you can earn the goodwill of over 70% of consumers who might spend nearly 20% more with your company. Contrary to popular belief, people are more likely to post online about good service than bad.
How can you increase your chances of good luck? Prepare and make it yourself. . Here are five ways to ensure your customer support strategy is meeting the highest standards.
Perform Quality Checks
Where performance is measured, performance improves. You never know how well (or poorly) things are going if you don’t measure your CSRs interactions with customers nor will you know if any changes you make are effective.
Benchmarking and monitoring the appropriate metrics helps you understand how your customers feel about their interactions with your customer service representatives and salespeople.
A benchmark is the level of performance reached by the best of the best in your industry. Knowing where you are in relation to that mark tells you how far you must go to reach it and which processes and people need attention.
Categories of benchmarks include:
- Key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Organizational management
- Management information
- Location and facilities
- Customer experience
Defining the appropriate KPIs for your business, and measuring them across a position or department, can be pivotal for your growth. Choose and combine several measuring methods against your chosen benchmarks to build an extensive idea of how your customer service compares to others, particularly those at the top of the scale.
Keep an eye on performance through regular reviews of your KPIs. Select your measurements to provide actionable data, then put that information to use. Key metrics include:
- Call handling time
- Utilization rate
- Closing performance
- Customer churn
- First response time
Here’s an important point for monitoring and measuring: go for quality rather than speed. Encouraging speed also encourages rushing the customer through the process, which could leave them feeling unsupported.
Evaluate Customer Interactions
Dig deeper into how your customers experience the service from your organization. How do you find out? The best way is to ask them.
Before you begin your surveys, ask what’s in it for them. A few may provide feedback just to be helpful, but busy people don’t want to be bothered with things that don’t add value to them. Make it easy to give feedback by keeping any survey extremely short and asking after every interaction if your customer would like to opt-in for a quick question. Ask questions in specific areas for improvement instead of broad, vague questions such as “How are we doing on a scale of 1 to 5?”
An alternative is a customer forum where people can leave feedback on their own time. Again, ask specific questions, and be sure to monitor that forum daily so you can quickly fix any problems.
Many business phone systems provide software that allows you to measure a variety of KPIs and add surveys or other data gathering features.
Once you have everything in place, record calls and other interactions, then identify calls that require review. These calls can include those that went well or poorly, those that were long or involved multiple transfers, and multiple calls from the same customer. Listen to the entire call to ensure your customer support representative addressed the customer as you desired. Find out if the problem was solved and if the agent made a strong finish when wrapping up.
Lastly, monitor your live chat, social media, email, and text interactions as well.
Develop Quality Call Scripts
Many businesses use call scripts to standardize customer interactions. For example, you may have a preferred way for service and salespeople to introduce themselves and your business. You can provide specific responses to common problems and advice on escalations. As they become experienced, your call reps will begin to sound more natural and be able to go “off-script” without creating an unforeseen issue.
A quality call script can show reps how to up-sell or cross-sell, deliver a call to action, and wrap up a conversation. Scripts minimize errors and create consistency across your support and service department.
As you develop your scripts, read them out loud. Tweak the language until it sounds natural. Your employees appreciate the help, and your customers don’t need to know your staff relies on a script.
The best scripts keep the basics at the top of mind. Write out exact verbiage for greeting a customer, how to use the customer’s name, and how to introduce your company and employee.
Avoid wishy-washy words like “maybe,” “perhaps,” or “could”, then give your reps the recommended way to end the call, including any call to action you want to make.
Your reps appreciate knowing how they are expected to work with customers. A script provides a shortcut to delivering fast answers and making that rep sound confident. However, your reps may also need empowerment for going off-script when required. No call script can answer every situation, and that’s where setting clear goals and providing effective training comes in.
Set Goals and Expectations
It may be evident to you how to handle your customers, but your customer service reps need to know what you consider to be “good.” Describe your goals and expectations when talking about benchmarks and measurements, so your employees understand the connection. Take each KPI you measure and pair it with a goal to show the relationship and build on the “why” of that number.
Benchmarking helps pinpoint specific issues to address with processes, policies, training, and documentation. Make your staff aware of the KPIs you measure and what they mean. If possible, use technology to provide updated call statistics to each employee and reward high performers.
Make the goals reasonable. If nobody can reach “good,” they stop trying. Speak every day about your expectations from staff and take a non-judgmental approach for any corrections. Use issues as training opportunities rather than for putting a black mark on an employee’s record.
Onboarding a new employee is a general practice, but you need to provide reminder training throughout the year. Practices change, and sometimes a process runs slightly off the rails.
Don’t forget to add quality assurance to your training regimen. Education does more to improve quality than anything else you could do. When your staff understands the “why” behind what they are expected to do, they can take more initiative and become a partner in growing your business.
Regular coaching maintains awareness across the board about your goals, expectations, and measurement practices. Also, allow staff to request training or simple coaching sessions when they feel unsure or want to learn a new skill.
Training increases your sales quality assurance as well as your home services customer support. Furthermore, it protects your reputation and lets your staff handle negative reviews and issues quickly and knowledgeably. When the customer service reps know your products and services thoroughly, use positive language, and adapt to customer needs and preferences, customer satisfaction scores go up and your business grows.
Overall, you want your customer support reps to be brand ambassadors. You want them to excite customers about your service and fix any problems they have as fast as possible.
Does all this sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be. At Slingshot, we provide a way to improve your customer service without a considerable investment in benchmarking, measuring, or training.
Use Slingshot for All Your Customer Support Needs
Instead of spending resources on a customer support department, especially if your business is small, hire Slingshot. Our highly-trained customer support reps can handle those tasks for you. As a bonus, there is always somebody there for your customers any time of the day, all year long. Slingshot also reviews over 7% of all our calls each year which is twice as high as industry averages for a contact center.
You don’t have to worry about an employee calling in sick and limiting your ability to answer customer requests and sales. Our reps are available for after-hours calls and stand in for vacationing staff.
Slingshot brings you flexibility, so seasonal fluctuations are no longer a problem ― you can get as much or as little help as needed. We provide 24-hour omnichannel access and fast response times. Plus, our staff can fill in gaps or be your entire customer support team.
Contact us today so we can help you improve customer support quality assurance and create the fast track to good luck for your business.