Ann Gabriel | ExecutiveChronicles
The secret to retaining customers is great customer service.
Customer service is defined as the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met.
One excellent way of providing excellent customer service is by providing self-help guides that teach their readers how to solve every problem that might happen to a product during post-sales or teach buyers how to use the products. In the corporate world, “self-help” translates into useful guides and articles that aid customers in handling issues that they might encounter with a product or service.
As a customer, I would always want instant answers to my queries, and that is why it is always best to consider how the customer will react when an issue comes up. For a millennial like me, Google has become a verb. I don’t have time to sit around, holding a phone in my ear and forever wait for a customer service to answer my questions or respond to my issues.
What I do like is for a company to enhance my customer experience. This means that aside from giving me the product or service in exchange for my precious pesos, I would appreciate it even more if the company website will give me additional information. It is more efficient for both you and your customers to have an easily accessible page with all the answers that we, customers need.
Customers appreciate companies that provide rich support media online, including visual aids such as images and videos in addition to clear instructions and how-to guides, so we can get back to business quickly and efficiently.
Businesses should also embrace the opportunity to speak with customers who want to get in direct contact and fix their problem — not run them around through a voice recording until they give up. It is always best for customers to speak with a real human being, as they feel assured that somebody is actually taking care of their concerns.
It is always best to test your processes.
It is always wise that you put yourselves in the shoes of your customers. Before sending out or posting any troubleshooting guide or self-help articles to your customers, it would be wise to test them with a select group of insiders and outsiders to make sure they’ll be accessible and helpful to end users.
The feedback that you’ll get from this test group will be useful whenever you are considering of deploying online documentations, most especially if the service tools that you deploy are far too complex for the average user.
Visuals and forums are helpful. It is also wise to set-up a monitored peer-to-peer forum on your site so your customers can help each other. By monitor, I mean having somebody responsible for approving posts that are relevant to the topic. Sometimes, rants get in the way of a well developed forum.
Find the right solution for you. Solutions that enable collaboration can be used as a leverage. Email support, chat support or over the phone support can be added to your current roster of after sales solutions.
Don’t make relevant information scarce. A good FAQ page might suffice, but having something available to answer even the minute of all queries to answer the unaddressed questions. When customers are having a difficult time getting in touch with you will create dissatisfaction.
A seamless user experience is vital to customer satisfaction.
Don’t forget to update self-service information. Always have the habit of doing continuous improvement. Your quick self-help that worked before might not be effective anymore today. The self-service guides you publish are based on your business’s current circumstances and operations, and any changes that inevitably occur along the way should be reflected in that content.
Don’t ignore customer feedback. Never avoid customers. Address their needs immediately within the guidelines that you have set-up. If these guidelines lack effectiveness, then consider updating them. Be open to feedback. Feedback may prove that your product is ineffective or not.