Customer service has always been important; without it, or with it severely lacking, a company can end up with a bad reputation and a dwindling customer database, especially with the increase in using social media to channel both positive and negative reviews of companies. Word of mouth marketing is at a huge level of popularity, so your customer loyalty is vital to keep those sales coming in. To nurture your customers – both new and current – you need to ensure that they feel loved and appreciated. You can go one step further and be the best at it, and with a business-grade Virtual Assistant on your team, they can ensure that you are represented to an outstanding level throughout all of your customer service channels; have a read of these tips and ensure that you and your VA are taking your customer service to the next level.
Respond to ALL Feedback
Feedback arrives in many forms in today’s age. It’s not just emails or phone calls anymore; it comes on forums, blog comments, and the biggest one of all…on your social media channels. Many companies are on top of this, ensuring that every comment – good or bad – is responded to and dealt with, but many aren’t too. Twitter is a popular place to complain, and regularly comments go unanswered. The issue is that unanswered and badly dealt with issues can be seen by everyone else leaving your company open to getting a bad reputation. Don’t leave comments swimming in a sea of negativity; they’ll just get bigger. Ensure that your virtual assistant answers them all, from the smallest comments to the biggest ones. In addition, feedback comes via cancellation and return forms for your products. These provide a great opportunity to see what isn’t working and analyze what your customers are really looking for. When your VA answers this feedback that someone took the time to leave, as a company you are telling the customer that you care about what they think. This will build loyalty, and may even persuade them to stay or come back to you later.
Customers want to tell you how they feel, but many will hold back until they are presented with a good opportunity on how to share it with you, and a survey is a perfect opportunity. Providing you and your team with the feedback you need to keep customers happy, you can learn where you need to improve and what you’re doing well too. Offer an incentive for doing so; allow entry into a competition for taking part, or 10% off a particular product. Your Virtual Assistant can work with you to set up some questions and subjects that will generate good feedback, and use an online tool such as Survey Monkey to set it up. A study by Rice University Professor Dr. Paul Dholakia and Dr. Vicki Morwitz in Harvard Business Review showed that just by asking customers how a company was doing was a fantastic retention strategy, and could actually double sales.
Use Live Chat Functions
In a store, customers can head straight to a staff member or customer service desk to discuss their query. This isn’t as easy on a website. Email addresses are available or hotlines to call, but when customers have a hot issue to discuss, they aren’t going to want to wait for a response that could take days via email or wait in line listening to Mozart until the phone is answered. The solution? Offer a Live Chat window, and have trained Virtual Assistants available to talk to your customers who will be able to offer fantastic customer service and work through the issue. Such functions can be added via plugins to online stores, and really allow that extra something to be added to a customer service experience. When millennials were asked whether they wanted to phone or use live chat in a recent survey, over 60% wanted live chat when they had a problem. It’s something to think about.
Be Kind & Unexpected
It goes without saying that customer queries – whether positive or negative – should always be dealt with in a positive manner. If a complaint is legitimate and quite extensive, it often pays to go further than simply a ‘We’re sorry’ email. Jumping on to it as soon as possible, offer something that extends beyond what an average company would put forward. Have they been let down, product wasn’t what they expected, or delivery wasn’t up to scratch? Offer them a discount, a voucher, and if possible call them personally to offer your sincere apology. Good words spread about good companies; if you and your Virtual Assistant team take care of your customers, they’ll tell others about you and your business will grow. Starbucks is one example, who offered a $50 gift card to a customer who had suffered at the hands of bad customer service in store. Such an experience may have encouraged him to head to McDonalds instead for his morning cup of coffee, but that little bit of extra customer love means he is a loyal Starbucks customer for life.