Speedy customer service is no longer an option; it is a priority for businesses to manage and still deliver a positive customer experience.
Customer expectations have seen significant changes with companies such as Amazon and Zappos leading the way in their speedy promises. It can be difficult for companies to keep up, let alone deliver what customers want and when they want it. Handling time-sensitive customer service issues quickly is possible with right procedures in place.
Take a look at these six tips for handling time-sensitive customer service matters in your business.
1. Be Proactive
If you are aware of an event or instance that will impact your customers, take a proactive approach and make them aware. Depending on the size of your business, personal phone calls might not be possible, but an email notifying customers that a delivery has been delayed will go a long way in showing you care and minimizing an increase on phone calls.
2. Prioritize Requests
It is true that most customers think their requests are more important than any other problem in the customer service queue. For a business to be successful, you have to prioritize customer service requests based on their severity. Some businesses look at the overall impact to their bottom line, while others choose to look at what will negatively impact their online reputation the most. By prioritizing requests, your customer service team will be better equipped to handle all incoming requests instead of just a handful.
3. Set Expectations
Most customers call service departments because they just want to feel as if somebody will listen to their frustrations. If you set appropriate expectations upfront, they will be more accepting of the results of the call. Even if that means you can’t guarantee delivery by a certain date, at least they will know you invested time to help them and that creates a better experience.
4. Invest in Education
Your customer service team is your front line of the company. If they don’t have the right information or knowledge about the company, services or products, they won’t be able to satisfy customers. Take the time to teach, train and invest in technology that streamlines their daily activities and increases overall productivity.
5. Be Honest
Honesty and transparency go a long way in establishing trust with customers. Make sure you don’t overpromise. Promising a result and failing to deliver only makes you look bad and creates a negative perception of your business. If a customer makes a request that you can’t deliver, tell them up front, “Unfortunately, I can’t do X, but it does look like we can do Y instead. How does that sound?”
6. Know When to Redistribute
Depending on the number of customer service requests you receive daily, there may be a tipping point on what your customer service representatives can handle. As the business owner or leadership, it is essential that you listen to reps and redistribute responsibilities when needed so they can better serve customer requests in a timely fashion.