Tips to Keep Your Customers Happy with a Remote Customer Support Team
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, establishing and managing a remote customer support system is crucial now more than ever. Remote work means your employees are serving clients from home through their phones or computers. While it lessens face-to-face interaction, remote service allows customers to access a virtual help desk that can address their concerns whenever and wherever they need.
This article will discuss what modern customers expect, why it’s important to satisfy these expectations, tips on how to fulfill these demands even with a remote client support team, and how customer relationship management (CRM) can help.
Why Customer Satisfaction Matters
To have a better understanding of why customer satisfaction matters, here are some statistics compiled by HelpScout on the cost of poor customer service and the value of great customer experiences:
- Americans will tell an average of 15 people if they receive poor service, while they will only share a good experience with 11 people.
- 51% of consumers will never do business with a company again after one negative experience.
- US companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service.
- 64% of people will consider the consumer experience more important than the price whenever they make a purchase.
- 7 out of 10 US consumers say they are willing to spend more money with a company that delivers great service.
Client satisfaction is the main goal of every business, no matter which industry they belong to. Happy and satisfied consumers always come back to do business with a brand that consistently provides quality products and excellent service. In fact, it is 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to keep current ones.
Loyal customers are also more likely to spend more money on a business, compared to first-time consumers. Aside from generating revenue, satisfied clients are also more likely to help in brand-building by promoting your business through word-of-mouth or reviews and testimonials. Positive experience and great service lead to consumer satisfaction, which will drive your organization’s growth.
The Evolving Expectations of Modern Consumers
While satisfied consumers undoubtedly bring benefits to your business, it is increasingly challenging to meet consumer expectations and satisfy them. Client expectations were previously limited to basics such as fair pricing or good service. But with the emergence of new technology, consumer expectations have started to shift.
The demand for personalized experiences, proactive service, and connected interactions across channels are among the new standards modern consumers have. This isn’t specific to certain industries and markets either; studies show that 76% of consumers expect companies to understand and meet these needs. It’s clear that companies have to innovate and work smarter to stay ahead of the competition.
Other modern consumer expectations include:
- Personalization: Most consumers would prefer to be treated as a human rather than a number. This means that a significant number of people are looking for unique, personalized consumer care where companies understand their needs and expectations.
- Immediate service: When it comes to digital platforms, consumers also expect to be accommodated in real time. Despite this, studies show that the average company response time is 12 hours. This means that there is a wide gap in the quality of service between companies that respond promptly versus those that do not.
- Consistency: Consumers expect to have seamless, consistent service across channels (in-person, mobile, web, social), but businesses struggle with this. Consumers anticipate their experiences based on previous interactions, so providing a smooth consumer journey each time is a test businesses should face if they want to survive.
- Data protection: There is a growing concern among consumers that the data they share with companies is at risk of breaches or improper use. Other consumers would be willing to share their personal information if it means an improvement in their purchasing experience or tailored product recommendations, but trust towards the business is vital.
All these evolving consumer expectations point to a need for companies to invest in a highly skilled remote customer support team.
6 Tips on How Your Remote Customer Support Team Can Maintain Customer Satisfaction
Managing a remote customer support team is generally more efficient than handling a team working from an office. Remote employees don’t need to spend as much time commuting and getting ready for the office. These teams also won’t spend a lot of time on breaks or other time-consuming tasks.
Since your team can work more flexible hours from anywhere, so they would have more time and energy to serve your clients better. If you’re already managing a remote customer support team, here are a few tips on how they can keep your clients happy with every interaction:
1. Respond within the day
When customer issues arise, your employees should be on top with responding to their concerns. Most clients expect an email response to their queries within 24 hours, while only 13% expect an answer within one hour – so a team of efficient employees based anywhere in the world should be able to respond to any client within the day.
- Email, phone, and social media aren’t the only communication channels available. Your remote employees can also work within a customer support software solution, so your team can collaborate on solving client problems.
- One way to keep clients satisfied is to set up an automatic email response that lets them know your team has received their inquiry. This allows them to feel that they will get an answer soon, which makes the wait feel less frustrating.
- Make sure your remote customer service team maintains a high standard with their responses. Uniformity even in remote customer service is a must, since this keeps communication consistent for all clients.
2. Engage with your customers
Speedy service is great – most clients will feel satisfied once their needs are instantly met. However, speed is a little less important than remote workers who are truly engaging with the clients. On top of speed, customer reps should also be courteous, friendly, and display a willingness to help and showcase competency in dealing with customer problems. Your goal shouldn’t be round-the-clock coverage but a holistic, user-friendly customer experience.
This is where it’s important to hire and invest in an excellent customer service team. Regardless of where they work, these employees will make sure that your clients are in good hands. Trust that your remote team members remember their training, are being proactive at their job, and are producing great results. Remote customer service could also be your team’s time to shine, so don’t hold them back by micromanaging.
3. Personalize customer interactions
Interacting with clients will feel less like a chore if your employees actively learn details about your clients: their names, what they do, previous conversations and more. By understanding the client, your team can better serve them based on their wants and needs. Here are a few ways to make any experience with your customers more personalized:
- Use client names when communicating with them, even when sending emails or other messages. Your team should be especially familiar with loyal clients.
- Implement a loyalty program to reward your regular customers for certain behaviors.
- Offer multiple touch points for communication. Every client has their own preference whether to call, email, or send a message through social media – so respect what your clients need.
- Make recommendations. If your team has history with a client, they can use this information to familiarize themselves with the customer’s purchasing behaviors and make suggestions on what they think the clients would enjoy.
4. Take responsibility for your mistakes
Mistakes will always happen, whether we like it or not. The important thing is to teach your employees to take responsibility when mistakes happen. Businesses tend to get a bad reputation when they can’t own up to the mistakes they make. If your team is unsure how to approach these problems, let them use the CARP method:
- Control the situation: Don’t let the matter escalate and take charge immediately. This will bolster the client’s confidence in your brand.
- Acknowledge the dilemma: Customers need to feel like their concerns are valid, so acknowledge the problem at hand. Assure the client that you will do everything to fix the complaint.
- Refocus the conversation: Make sure to stay on track with the complaint. Re-focus the situation and find out exactly what the problem is.
- Problem-solve until the client is satisfied: Finally, troubleshoot until the problem is solved. Your client will leave satisfied once the issue has been fixed by your employees.
5. Mirror client language
If your employees are too stiff or formal, it probably won’t work well with the clients. Clients want conversations, rather than correspondence. It’s important to match your customers on how they speak, or else they won’t feel like you’re treating them like a human.
- Pay attention to the styling and tone. Passive-aggressive language may offend some customers, while slang or technical jargon will confuse others.
- Maintain the balance between making explanations and talking down to customers. Your employees shouldn’t assume the client is on the same level of knowledge as them, but they shouldn’t be condescending either.
- Respond with positive language rather than negative language. Instead of saying “The product is not available until next month”, your team can respond with “The product will be available next month. I can place an order for you now and let you know once it arrives at our warehouse.” Positive language puts a spotlight on how your customer service team works on the solution, rather than the problem.
6. Help customers help themselves
Since a one-size-fits-all approach to service is a thing of the past, you should also consider ways to help your customers “help themselves”. Some clients dislike relying on employee assistance, so you can also incorporate self-service options in your brand’s platforms.
You can make it clear that your remote customer service representatives are easily accessible, while trying out these simple self-help solutions:
- Include a contact form on your site, so customers can easily fill up everything including their concerns – this will enable your remote customer service team see what the problem is at a glance.
- Host FAQs, videos, and other resources on your website and social media channels. This will be helpful for customers to learn more about your products and services, since they might be reluctant to ask questions.
- Add a chatbot where it’s possible. You can program chatbots to respond to customer service questions and provide solutions 24/7. Sometimes, human customer service representatives can make mistakes. With chatbots, these work errors can easily be reduced.
CRM Features: Managing Your Remote Customer Support Team
The quality of your customer service will never exceed the quality of the support team providing it, but that doesn’t mean technology can’t help your team become better at the work they do. CRM software is specifically designed to help companies address clients’ needs and enhance relationships with customers.
Here are some CRM features that will help you and your team members deliver the best service, even while working remotely:
- Contact management: Contact management capabilities in CRM will allow your remote customer service team organize all contacts for enhanced personalization, and assist in gathering crucial customer data to bolster your employees’ marketing efforts.
- Support automation: Support automation is the function that “helps customers help themselves”. Your remote team can set up FAQ pages, chatbots, and email correspondence so that customers can access resources for their inquiries, which will take some of the load from your remote team members.
- Case management: The case management CRM feature serves as the help desk, where customer issues are routed to the appropriate remote workers. It can track, close, and reopen existing cases to improve overall customer satisfaction.
- Social media management: With the social media management CRM function, you can streamline your social media and allow multiple remote employees to address concerns from any channel.
Make the Most Out of Customer Service with Commence CRM
Unsure how to manage your remote workers? Want to maximize the talent your customer service team has while they’re working remotely? Now is the perfect time to try out Commence CRM.
With our flexible and simple CRM software, your organization can be onboarded quickly so you can immediately work with our award-winning features. Commence has an intuitive and organized system, so you’ll never miss any of your customers’ concerns. You can also organize all your contacts into one database, and let our process automation function create a consistent experience for each client.
Build a better relationship with your customers with Commence. Book a demo today.