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Customer service essentials for beginners

Why is customer service such an important feature of your business? Good service really influences a customer’s decision to buy from you. Customer service can be a major factor in someone's decision to continue shopping with a brand. Customer service also improves retention, which is a much cheaper way of increasing sales than constantly searching for new customers.

So how do you make sure your service is good? A top priority should be speed. It’s more important to customers that service is fast than virtually anything else. Some ways you can improve your response times are:

  • Set up social media alerts: Tools like HelpSocial can send alerts for specific posts, and you can set it up to respond to certain phrases or words.

  • Use in-app chat software: Messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger allow customers to talk to you or a representative in real time.

  • Offer self-service support: This gives customers an easy place to find all the answers to their questions themselves. It also lowers the amount of emails and calls you need to respond to and give you more time to address serious issues.

Customer service channels

There’s also the question of which channels to offer support on. And the answer is – however many channels you can handle. You want to give customers the ability to contact you wherever they feel most comfortable. The most common channels for offering support are:

  • Email: It’s easier to manage than live support and also simple, doesn’t require you to be immediately available and provides a record of every conversation.

  • Social media: Facebook and Twitter especially, but really anywhere you already have a marketing presence. What’s nice about social media is that your replies are public, so every customer service response is an opportunity to show off your brand.

  • Live chat: A service you can offer on your website.

  • Phone support: It’s a little old-school, but a lot of customers still prefer making phone calls if their issue is urgent or time-sensitive.

What about the content of your support? To offer quality as well as speed, you should:

  • Know your items inside out: Understanding everything about your items will prepare you to answer any query.

  • Use positive language: Responding to customer needs positively, especially when they’re in a moment of confusion, can go a long way.

  • Adjust your tone to the context: You might need to be more serious and to the point when you’re helping a customer.

  • Write clearly: Avoid creating more confusion for customers.

  • Advocate for your customers.

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SumUp Team