Keeping customers happy is the first step toward a highly successful business. In fact, it is one of the aspects that these brands tend to have in common, as satisfied customers turn into loyal supporters and promoters of your brand. A good reputation has the potential of taking your business further than any marketing campaign, meaning your customer experience, and therefore your customer service should always come first.
In today’s highly competitive business environment, customer service is more important than ever. This is why we’ve prepared this ultimate guide to master the delicate art of creating a customer service policy, one that ensures happy customers and increases the efficiency of your team.
Customer Service Policy 101
A customer service policy is a set of rules, standards, and principles that guide the customer service teams in order to provide excellent customer service to clients. Its end goal is to establish expectations for day-to-day tasks in accordance with the level of care and support each interaction much convey.
As a physical representation of all the customer service team stands for, this document should be a training staple for agents. It will serve to provide direction as well as clearance in regard to the processes in place.
Despite being an internal document, it acts as a foundation for customer-facing policies and maintaining congruence with the company’s processes, this can be done through cancellation, refund, or return policies. These externally shared processes can be presented in the form of frequently asked question (FAQ) pages, help pages, transactional emails, and terms and conditions.
Customer service policies tend to be confused with service-level agreements (SLAs) due to their similarities. However, they share enough differences to require clear differentiation. SLAs are strictly external documents that specify your company’s expected level of service, meaning it involves the sharing of your support team’s business hours and establishing estimated response and resolution times. SLAs serve as a clear promise to customers that serves to build confidence in your brand.
Why a Customer Service Policy is Imperative for Every Business
No matter the industry, your business can benefit from a well-written customer service policy. Providing a sustained experience that represents the quality of your brand and product or service is the first step towards structuring an experience that keeps customers coming back again and again.
There is no doubt that a customer service policy is the best way to meet this goal. Without it, each agent can interpret one situation in different ways and reach their own conclusions. These inconsistencies need to provide the service that is expected from the brand.
Counting on a clear and detailed policy helps customer service agents provide the highest level of service possible, whether they have been with your company for years, months, or days. Additionally, it can also notably increase their efficiency and productivity levels as they provide customers with a high-quality yet speedy service with each interaction.
This document becomes even more relevant for growing businesses. More customers mean more interactions, and without established action plans there’s a higher chance of errors. Reducing the probability of customer churn with high-quality customer service becomes achievable with a well-established customer service policy, and Horatio has years of experience to give you just that.
Creating a Customer Service Policy That Sets Your Business Apart
Each company requires a personalized, insightful customer service policy that reflects their brand and product or service. This can help your business deliver outstanding customer service, ensuring that you stand out and create loyal customers who are willing to refer your business to others.
These are our tips to create a customer service policy that will help you set your business apart from the competition:
Horatio’s Tip #1: Define your Customer Service Goals
Before starting with anything else, it is necessary to define what your goals are. For this, you will need to know what you want to achieve through your customer service efforts. Do you want to increase customer satisfaction, reduce customer complaints, or improve your reputation?
Once you have an answer to this question, you can focus on the most effective strategy to achieve results.
Horatio’s Tip #2: Provide Quality Training
Your agents are the front line of your customer service efforts, they need to have the skills to provide exceptional customer service worthy of your company.
It is important to include training on effective communication, how to handle difficult customers, and how to resolve conflicts. Empowering your agents allows them to constantly work on themselves, increasing their efficiency in handling all interactions.
Horatio’s Tip #3: Establish Clear Procedures and Workflows
If you want your customer service to be consistent, it is important to set clear guidelines and expectations.
All common interactions that your customers have with you must be included. Such as order cancelaltions, refunds, return requests, damaged goods complaints, shipping problems, and dealing with angry customers.
Horatio’s Tip #4: Listen To your Customers
Customers highly value feeling heard, which makes listening one of the most important aspects of customer service. Encouraging agents to actively listen to customer feedback and taking it into account in quality assurance is essential to identify growth opportunities.
Horatio’s Tip #5: Be Proactive
The key to receiving fewer complaints and maintaining customer satisfaction is to resolve issues before they become major problems. This can be done in many ways, but conducting regular customer satisfaction surveys, moderating and monitoring your social media platforms, and reaching out to customers who have had negative experiences to offer a solution are great starting points to always come out on the other side of challenging times.
Horatio’s Tip #6: Leverage an Omnichannel Strategy
When you make it as easy as possible for customers to contact you with questions or concerns, they are more likely to feel involved and valued. Being responsive and available to help customers whenever and wherever they need to reach you certainly gives an advantage in these competitive times. Additionally, you won’t be missing out on any conversations about your brand if you are present in multiple channels.
Crafting a Customer Service Policy That Delivers Exceptional Experiences
The delicate art of providing exceptional customer service starts with a detailed understanding of what this means for your business. That’s how a well-written customer service policy can take your business to the next level.
By following these tips and developing a customer service policy that sets your business apart, you can create a competitive advantage and build a loyal customer base that will help your business thrive.
Exceptional customer service is an ongoing process that requires consistent attention and dedication, and we can assist you with just that.
At Horatio, we leverage our expertise in world-class customer service to build a personalized experience that represents your values and brand. Our team of experts is well-trained to assist you in creating the perfect customer service policy, showcasing all you stand for, and wowing customers from the very first interaction. Contact us to take your customer experience to the next level.