One bad customer service experience can swear you off a product for life. In the same vein, one exceptional customer service experience can turn you into a lifelong and loyal brand advocate.
So, how can brands actually earn the loyalty of customers? How can customer service professionals consistently delight and empower customers so they not only keep coming back, but they refer family and friends to become customers, too?
To answer this question, I took a look into other industries to bring the same experience into the legal profession.
But, before we dive into those examples, we need to set a baseline for what “good” customer service is.
Exceptional customer service is different from company to company, but the key characteristics of exceptional customer service include: a rapid response time to service requests; responding to all customer feedback (positive or negative); self-service help documents; and a frictionless process for getting in touch with support.
In addition to the ones listed above, let’s break down the common characteristics of exceptional customer service teams.
Customers are always looking for fast solutions. In fact, 66% of adults say that the most important thing a company can do is value their time. This means your team needs to focus on efficiency and develop a workflow that streamlines different support functions. Consider adopting a help desk as this tool can manage and automate a variety of service tasks.
Since customer needs vary from industry to industry, good customer service will look different depending on the type of business you’re running. The best customer service teams use feedback collection tools to identify the specific needs of their customer base and create personalized solutions for them.
Rather than assuming you know what your customers want, reach out to them through surveys and interviews to get their perspective on your business. These tools will help your team uncover new opportunities to enhance your services and improve the customer experience.
When your customers want to find their own solutions to service problems, they should use self-service resources provided by your business. For example, one of the most common self-service resources is a knowledge base for example Let them know how they should respond to an issue that may require legal expertise [police related matters etc].
At the end of the day, the best customer service teams solve their customers’/clients’ problems. They’re tenacious and determined to help their clients achieve their goals.
In many cases, this requires agents to be creative and come up with unique solutions to clients’ issues. Sometimes excellent customer service means finding a solution that falls outside of normal company protocol.
The famous hotel brand, Ritz-Carlton’s commitment to exceptional customer service is so strong that any employee is independently authorized to spend up to $2,000 per day to improve guest experience.
That’s right — whether an employee works at the reception desk, in the restaurant, or cleaning hotel rooms, they can independently decide to make a guest’s experience exceptional.
The lesson here is simple. Employee empowerment is critical to achieving good outcomes for your clients.
The first step toward employee empowerment is engagement. For managing partners, your subordinates need to be empowered to make customer service part of their mission. Also make it a part of everything your firm does.
Skincare and makeup brand, Glossier is hailed as an industry disruptor for preaching “skincare first, makeup second,” but its customer-centric business model and customer service team are disruptive, too.
Ride-hailing app Lyft succeeds in the customer service space by making its customers proud by putting its money where its mouth is, toward values and causes customers truly care about.
For example, Lyft recently announced its commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of the millions of car rides it provides every day by declaring all of its rides to be carbon neutral, thanks to its voluntary purchase of carbon offsets.
A very important thing to learn here is that, having identified that climate change is an important issue to its clients, they have taken a stand with their clients/customers. An important feature of customer service is standing for the values that are important to your customers.
Customers take pride in supporting businesses that represent them. Even if you don’t have the budget for a $1 million donation like Lyft, getting customers involved with and excited about fundraising and charity partnerships can go a long way towards fostering loyalty.
Problems and challenges always come, if these issues are left unchecked, they can become a detriment to the customer experience and halt your business’s success. Be pre-eminently strategic in dealing with your clients.