It's hard to argue with the premise that happy customers will be loyal customers, but we’ve all been there: we’ve all had conversations with customer help desks that have left us feeling angry, helpless and unimportant.
We receive a couple of hundred enquiries from our users every week and we pride ourselves in resolving them happily. I deal with the bulk of them and the last thing I want is for people to feel I don't care, because I do: I care about people being happy and I care about keeping our users.
Our users tell us they like three things in particular:
- we respond throughout the day and evening, and sometimes at weekends
- we are friendly and personable
- we don’t make them repeat themselves.
These can be challenging to sustain in an organisation with lots of customers but few staff. And, of course, it can sometimes be hard to remain polite - if someone has been particularly rude or I've been kept awake all night with restless children - or to remember enough about a particular customer to make them feel they haven’t been forgotten.
So, here are three things I do to make sure I help the customer as best I can.
None of us likes being kept waiting, particularly when we have a problem we are trying to resolve. And a quick response reflects well on the organisation: I don't need to reply as soon I've read their email, but the sooner I do it the more the enquirer will regard us a responsive, dynamic organisation that is in touch with it's users.
Take an interest
I don't mean show an interest, I mean genuinely be interested in the customer. This can't be contrived, but if you're the sort of person who is interested in other people then you'll find them much more likely to want to be your customer. Thankfully, I am - so I guess I'm in the right job!
Keep good records
Clear, consistent records are vital for good customer care. They help me get to know the customer over time and they give me information at my fingertips so that I - or a colleague - can pick up with them where I left off, without them feeling like they're just repeating themselves or dealing with people who don’t talk to each other.
Customer relationship software is a good investment, if you can afford it. I use Helpshift, but there are plenty of others on the market. The right tool makes it much easier to track, manage and respond to customer enquiries effectively and efficiently.
Uzma Mukhtar is responsible for customer care and incentives at BetterPoints Ltd.