Customer care is an essential aspect of any business. The most successful enterprises also happen to have the most sophisticated and extensive customer care services. Customer care is the company’s after-sales engagement with the clients. And just like your sales department, a well-organised and effective customer care department can make a big difference for your organisation.
An effective sales department can lure in clients, but it is the customer care that keeps them. Here are ten easy steps to build an effective customer care system;
1. Identify and anticipate the needs
Look into your business processes that have direct customer touchpoints. The sales area, delivery, and the product itself. Taking the customer’s point of view, try to identify possible reasons or sources of complaints and address them early on as much as you can. Learning more about your customers will also help you understand and recognise their needs, wants, and possible grievances.
2. Let customers talk
You could easily lose a customer by not cutting them off or not giving them the attention. It will only fuel the resentment they already feel and make things worse. When getting a complaint, it is very important to let the customer speak. Listen and let them know that you’re listening. A captive audience will encourage them to speak more. You will want to know everything they have to say. From their narrative, gather the information you need in order to solve the case.
Your first words after the customer have poured out all his or her grievances will be an apology for the inconvenience caused or bad experience they got from your product, employee, or company. The same for emailed complaints, the first paragraph of the reply should be an apology. At this point, it is not important if the complaint is valid or not. Remember, that the customer is upset enough to call, email or return to the store to file a grievance.
4. Understand and Reassure
Try to understand their complaints. Is it something to do with the product or with the sales staff? Are they upset about your return policy or the delivery time? Verbally communicate that you fully and truly understand their concern. And then give the reassurance that your will look into the matter and will try to come up with a resolution.
5. Thank customers for reporting
Thank the customer for taking the effort of calling or sending you the email to express his or her opinion. Your show of appreciation will bring in the much-needed positivity to a gloomy situation. A simple ‘Thank you for letting us know.’ can mellow down customers’ fighting stance. Then you can continue dealing with a calmer and more reasonable client.
6. Take action, immediately
After the first touchpoint with the complaint, immediately try to do as much as you can to resolve the problem. Give regular updates to the customer, provide details of the actions or the steps you’re taking in order to resolve the complaint. Even if you can’t give him or her a positive feedback yet, the updates will give them reassurance that you’re taking actions and working on its resolution.
7. Give more than is expected
Always give back to a customer with a complaint. Most common requests include replacement, free service, and reimbursements. If the complaint is valid strive to give more than what is expected. You can use all the goodwill that will come out of the otherwise bad situation. A happy customer is your best marketer. In cases where the customer is asking for the impossible, make sure that you provide a sensible and detailed explanation.
8. Ask for feedback
After resolving the complaint, check on the customer and ask for feedback regarding your customer care services. Another touchpoint will highlight your client care commitment and strengthen their commitment to you. It is also a good way to ensure that you’ve resolved the problem accordingly.
9. Talk to your employees
Make sure that you’re not neglecting your employees in the process. In fact, the most customer service oriented companies place their employees before their customers. They believe that happy employees will embody the true spirit of your company in providing earnest service to the customers. Satisfied and dedicated employees are your way to a growing base of happy, satisfied, and loyal customers.
10. Improve your system
Use the complaint to improve your system. If it is valid, make sure that it will not happen again. Complaints are costly and disparaging to your market reputation. Use your customer care service department positively. Not only to attend to client complaints but also to provide great customer experience and to help improve your business processes.