By David Henzel, the co-founder of How We Solve — an umbrella company for services and tools that help you solve your startup’s growing pains.
The No. 1 goal of customer service is customer satisfaction, but how you get there may not be as clear-cut and straightforward as it seems. It begins with a strong team, which is the result of optimized management, which spirals all the way back to the founders of the organization. In other words, to achieve successful customer service, the highest echelon needs to understand that it begins with having a clear mission and core values that can be imparted to the team responsible for customer service, which for many brands these days, is increasingly being optimized through outsourcing.
First Of All, Why Do We Outsource?
The bottom line is: A company outsources its customer service with the aim of minimizing costs and maximizing competitive advantage in customer experience to further drive business and hence revenue. Successful founders recognize the vital necessity of delegating to responsible parties, and when the endgame is achieving the utmost in customer satisfaction, the gateway to getting there is through having an optimal customer service staff.
What Matters When Outsourcing?
Aligned Core Values: One of the most important factors to heed when selecting the right outsourcing team is whether their core values are in line with the services you need to provide. The outsourcer outfit must be trustworthy, transparent and accountable with clear communication channels established in this regard.
Speaking The Same Language: Both literally and figuratively, having a team that speaks your language and is well-versed in your brand and mission is priceless. If your customer service team members are staunch supporters of the company’s success, it will translate into positive results when it comes to customer satisfaction. Personalization, as well as the option to speak with representatives in different languages if need be, are both significant factors that contribute to establishing long-lasting relationships with clients.
Proven Processes: From transparency and accountability to personalization and optimal customer services, it is important to work with an outsourcer that applies tried and true processes that work. That said, changes can happen fast, and an outsourcer who is open to new developments and opportunities for improvement, coupled with providing easily accessible communication channels to allow for discourse on all matters is also of vital importance.
Taking Ownership: Last, but certainly not least, is the need for the staff members who will actually be providing your customer service to take ownership of your brand. In order for this to happen, they need to be satisfied employees, motivated to take initiative. As the adage goes: “Happy employees equal happy customers,” and let’s face it, that is the endgame. One of the major activities that make people happy is learning new things, while the best way to take ownership is to be well-informed on what and how you are promoting. Add the two together and you have confident employees. As a result, an outsourcer should have the mechanisms in place for their customer representatives to acquire deeper knowledge of the company they are representing. Thus, an outsourcing team needs to go the extra mile in research and customer service processes that have been proven to work.
Tricks Of The Trade For Customer Satisfaction
Timing Is Everything: Like many things in life, in the customer service industry, nothing is more valuable than time. Thus, the outsourcer must have streamlined processes and the right tools in place such as live chat, where applicable. When it comes to sales calls, the same philosophy of making processes as simple and to the point as possible takes precedence. Meanwhile, the sales call also needs to be personal and based on a conversation strategy to pique the customer’s interest while also carefully balancing their pain points and driving the brand mission home.
Memorability Matters: In order to achieve customer satisfaction, the staff needs to be enthusiastic and dedicated to the company. However, they also need to be memorable. Gone are the days of robotic transactions — the optimal sales call should be a personal interaction, and the best method of achieving this is through personalization. To achieve long-lasting relations with customers, the sales call conversation needs to be personal, direct, positive and meaningful in its every word. The way to achieve this is to ensure the representative is motivated to utilize all of the systems in place to acquire the necessary familiarity with the brand and its operations.
Finish Strong: As is also the case in many areas of life, making a grand exit, or a “finale” as it were, is the most memorable moment of an exchange or experience. The endgame is customer experience optimization, so whatever the situation is, it is important for a call representative to be pumped to finish strong under any circumstances. In sales, it’s vitally important to mitigate the negative and end the conversation on a positive note.