When searching for new customers, your title company can probably wow them with your extensive knowledge from years of experience and a wide range of connections in the industry. While these factors can surely bring customers in, superior customer support is what makes them stay for years to come. In any business and in any industry, there will always be pain points and the need for assistance. When challenges arise, it's the customer support team that saves the day by addressing issues quickly and effectively. Consumers have proven the importance of customer support time and time again: 60% of consumers have left a brand in favor of a competitor due to inadequate customer service experiences, while 93% of customers are more inclined to make repeat purchases with companies that prioritize high-quality customer service. When acquiring a new customer costs five times as much as retaining a current one, your business can't afford to not focus on customer support.
Below, we compiled three of the best practices that every company should follow to turn new customers into partners that will be loyal forever.
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- Focus on Your Team First
- Focus on The Customer
- Focus on Your Business
- The Bottom Line
1. Focus on Your Team First
You might be surprised by customer support advice that doesn’t start with the customer, but it is your team members who are the most crucial component of the support process. Your support team must be properly trained in two equally important areas, often requiring different skill sets. First, they must know how to communicate with customers in a pleasant, clear, and productive manner. They must also understand every aspect of your industry, products, and services to help customers with potential issues.
To ensure your team can communicate with and properly guide your customers, utilize some of these tips during their training:
- Teach Active Listening
It's essential to train team members to genuinely listen to customers without interrupting, ensuring they fully grasp the concerns presented. By allowing the customer to express themselves fully, support staff can better understand the root cause of the issue. Encourage your team to ask clarifying questions if any part of the customer's explanation is ambiguous or unclear. This aids in problem-solving and conveys to the customer that their concerns are genuinely being heard and understood.
- Manage Emotions
Unfortunately, customers’ patience can wane when they’re in the midst of an issue that’s affecting their day-to-day business. During these difficult times, team members should be equipped with techniques to maintain composure. By staying calm, they can address the issue more effectively and professionally. To prepare for such scenarios, role-playing exercises can be immensely beneficial. These simulations allow them to practice and develop strategies to navigate challenging conversations, ensuring a positive outcome for both the customer and your business.
- Use Positive Language
Instead of resorting to limiting phrases like "I can't," your representatives should be trained to pivot towards more solution-oriented statements such as "What I can do is…" This shift in language promotes a constructive and proactive attitude. By emphasizing solutions over problems, not only are customer interactions more productive, they also foster a sense of collaboration and trust between the customer and the representative.
- Empathy is Key
Training employees to view situations from the customer's perspective is crucial and allows for better understanding of the feelings and needs of the individual reaching out for assistance. By truly putting themselves in the customer's shoes, representatives can offer more personalized and caring solutions.
Technical and Troubleshooting Training
Follow these tips to ensure your team is knowledgeable about every aspect of your industry, product, and services:
- Provide A Comprehensive Onboarding
Starting with a structured onboarding process is essential for every new customer support employee. The training should encompass a hands-on approach to every facet of your products and services, from its basic functionalities to its most advanced features. By immersing new team members in an in-depth introduction, they become well-versed in your company’s capabilities, ensuring they can address a wide range of customer inquiries and issues efficiently and effectively. The onboarding should also include your company’s mission, vision, and values, including your customer service priorities. This foundational knowledge prepares employees to confidently handle any customer issue that comes their way.
- Foster Mentorship Programs
By pairing newcomers with seasoned mentors, companies create a supportive learning environment. With their wealth of experience, mentors can provide invaluable guidance, insights, and answers to any questions. These partnerships accelerate the learning curve for new hires and ensure they assimilate into the company culture seamlessly, enhancing overall team cohesion.
- Create a Knowledge Base
By curating and consistently updating an internal wiki, teams can swiftly access crucial information. This repository of FAQs, common issues, troubleshooting guidelines, and best practices can serve as a central hub for new and experienced representatives. This ensures that customers receive consistent and informed assistance across the board.
- Involve All of Your Employees
Every employee, regardless of their designated role, plays a part in shaping a customer's experience with the company. When all employees are trained in customer service strategies, they collectively contribute to a consistent and unified brand image. You can also never predict when unexpected situations may arise where non-customer service staff directly or indirectly impact a customer's perception. Emphasizing customer service as a comprehensive goal ensures a holistic approach to creating positive interactions at every touchpoint within the organization.
2. Focus on the Customer
Once you have your team trained and ready, now is the time to focus on what your customers need during their experience with your support team.
- Personalize the Experience
Leverage data and previous interactions to understand each customer's unique needs and preferences. By addressing customers by name and referencing past communications, your team can make interactions feel tailored and considerate. Implementing advanced CRM systems can aid in tracking this personalized journey. Through such focused attention to individual needs, you can ensure customers feel valued and understood.
- Offer Multiple Avenues of Support
To maximize accessibility and responsiveness, provide multiple channels for customer support. Customers with varying preferences might opt for email, phone, or even automated chatbots, depending on the nature and urgency of their concerns. Offering multiple avenues for support allows your customers to choose the option that's most efficient for them in their time of need and helps to facilitate rapid issue resolution.
- Set Their Expectations
Setting clear expectations throughout the customer support journey is pivotal for maintaining trust and satisfaction. Before a customer even needs your support team, you should provide clear timelines and processes for if they ever need it. When they do reach out, clear communication about the steps being taken, potential solutions, and timeline to resolve is essential. You can end the experience on a positive note with a concise summary of the resolutions you provided and any follow-up actions needed. Always remember: it's more effective to under-promise and over-deliver, ensuring customers are pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed.
3. Focus on Your Business
So, you have a happy customer whose problem is fixed thanks to your experienced and friendly team. Is your team’s job done? Not yet! The final crucial step is to ensure your business can learn from every customer support interaction and improve the customer's experience for the future. You can’t make those changes unless you have concrete data from your customers. Below are three of the most important data points you should be tracking after every customer support experience:
- First Response Time (FRT)
First Response Time refers to the duration between when a customer submits a support request or inquiry and when a customer support representative sends the initial response. It is a critical metric in customer support, indicating the efficiency of the support team and often directly influencing customer satisfaction levels.
- Customer Satisfaction Score
A Customer Satisfaction Score is a key performance indicator measuring customer satisfaction with a specific service, product, or interaction with a company. Typically gauged through short, post-interaction surveys, customers are asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale, often ranging from "Very Dissatisfied" to "Very Satisfied." The score is then calculated as the percentage of respondents who report being "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied," giving you a straightforward metric to evaluate and improve upon your service quality and customer experiences.
- Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score is a metric used to gauge customers' loyalty and overall satisfaction with a company. It's determined by asking customers a question, typically, "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?" Respondents are categorized as Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), or Detractors (0-6). The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters, resulting in a score that ranges from -100 to 100. Higher scores indicate greater customer loyalty and satisfaction.
The Bottom Line
The path to exceptional customer support requires a diverse focus on factors inside and outside your organization. SoftPro has first-hand experience with these efforts through nearly 40 years of training our support team full of analysts who bring a multifaceted skill set to the table. With expertise ranging from real estate and customer service to technical acumen and troubleshooting know-how, our team is equipped to handle any challenge. For more information or to experience our award-winning support first-hand, visit our website or call us at 800-848-0143.
Learn more about how to provide exceptional customer support. Watch our recording of SoftPro Saved You a Seat Episode 49: The Benefits of a Customer-First Mindset.
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